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How low was your level 2 certification flight

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DrewW

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Some folks are interested in higher, I’m more curious about the lowest altitudes achieved with a successful level 2 certification.

Please provide a picture of your low altitude masterpiece if you can.
 

AlfaBrewer

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If memory serves, I only hit about 2600'. Unfortunately, my old hard drive ate itself and I don't have the altimeter data anymore.

4" upscale of my favorite rocket (Red River Rocketry Scortch) on an AT J270W.
00063_Capture_1.jpg
 

Cl(VII)

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Arapahoe J to 3031 ft on an AT J460T. This pic is coming up to pressure. Later flew on a K550W, a much more entertaining flight.

Video

1606101807588.jpeg
 

DrewW

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Arapahoe J to 3031 ft on an AT J460T. This pic is coming up to pressure. Later flew on a K550W, a much more entertaining flight.

Video

View attachment 439403
Great timing on the photo I love seeing the moments just around ignition while they’re still on the rail but clearly have other plans and places to be.
 

Cl(VII)

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Great timing on the photo I love seeing the moments just around ignition while they’re still on the rail but clearly have other plans and places to be.
Thanks, but I cheat...GoPro on a tripod next to the pad with remote trigger for a 30 frame burst...pretty easy to time on a blue motor, but hard on a red or green. I’m surprised you can’t see it in AlfaBrewer’s photo, I believe that is my Cherokee upscale on pad 1 in his pic.
 

cerving

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I know somebody whose Level 3 didn't even hit 2K... made of three Sonotubes, a lot of plywood, with a huge chute. Something like 100#...
 

DrewW

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I know somebody whose Level 3 didn't even hit 2K... made of three Sonotubes, a lot of plywood, with a huge chute. Something like 100#...
I want to know so much more about this! With the no odd-roc restriction I find the low shots way more fascinating.
 

AlfaBrewer

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I believe that is my Cherokee upscale on pad 1 in his pic.
You believe correctly.

Great timing on the photo I love seeing the moments just around ignition while they’re still on the rail but clearly have other plans and places to be.
Here's the Scortch just about to get motivated. Like Chris, I cheated. This (and the pic above) are frame grabs from a video. Makes catching these moments a bit easier.
00063_Capture.jpg
 

Rocketjunkie

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5.5" Motoreater on a J460 to 1758 ft. 1996, when the 3 level system was started.
 

Kosmo

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Slow and low is good for cert flights. Mine was a 10lb Nike smoke on a J430 (sorry, no photos) that went to 2300 ft--used a chute release. After that you can get adventurous and put K motors into 5 lb rockets and watch'em go over 2 miles high.
 

rockladen

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I purposely kept my level 2 very low: 1,375 feet on a 15.3 lb four inch Black Brant II on a CTI J430 motor.

Black Brant II TRA L2 Flight Oct 3, 2020.jpg
DSC_1815a.jpg
 
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Kelly

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A bit under 2000'. A short/stubby scratchbuilt from an 8" sonotube, flying on a J270.
 

DrewW

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Alright I’m setting my goal of sub-1000 for my level 2. Time to start figuring out how I get there.
 

DrewW

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Mmm.....does look like it. Not sure if I should be proud of "wimpiest" level 2 certification!!
Not wimpiest, just best engineered to survive a fall from apogee without a chute.

I fly at a field with a low-ish ceiling so all those 20kft flights while exhilarating (I’m sure) don’t really work for my situation. The challenges of planning/engineering required to fly a small field seems just as interesting.

Also I will be trying to steal your assumed title of wimpiest.
 

rockladen

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Also I will be trying to steal your assumed title of wimpiest.
Hah!!...yeah! It is challenging to do it minimal height.

I just played around a good bit with Open Rocket simulations shooting to be at the safe rail exit velocity and also safe weight to thrust ratio without too much height. Was just focused on making that certification flight work that morning.
 
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ghuber

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~2000 feet. Scratch built. 5.4" LOC BodyTube, 6 Tube fins. Length: 6 foot 2". 8.5lbs. Motor: Aerotech J250-8. 60" Chute. Chute release @ 600 feet.
Image_1 2019-06-15_14-26-46.jpeg


 

DrewW

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It is a challenge to do so. Low flight means tricky deployment sequence
Absolutely, I think I need to get some DD practice in. The plan for now would be to deploy a drogue at apogee using an egg timer apogee then secondary charge for a lower altitude main. Sticking the sub-1k apogee on a J seems interesting on its own but off will be an opportunity for some engineering thrills.
 

NateB

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I am looking at flying a Darkstar 3 on a small J for a level 2 flight between 2000-2500'. Entering a 9lb finished rocket on Thrust Sim gives me plenty of options to keep the flight in sight. Of course, I haven't purchased the kit or any hardware and knowing how fast I build, this is probably 2 years out.
 

boatgeek

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Absolutely, I think I need to get some DD practice in. The plan for now would be to deploy a drogue at apogee using an egg timer apogee then secondary charge for a lower altitude main. Sticking the sub-1k apogee on a J seems interesting on its own but off will be an opportunity for some engineering thrills.
An Eggtimer Quark would also be a great solution here. Easy to use and assemble and handles both events for your dual deploy needs.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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My Warlock went just over 2,000 feet on a J290. My kind of flight.

If you want to keep it low, drag is your friend, even more than weight. A high drag, but lightweight rocket can get off the pad fast enough to be stable, but when the motor burns out, drag brings it to a stop pretty fast. I have one foam rocket that pretty much coasts to a stop in 5 seconds, no matter how fast it gets going. I use an Eggtimer Quark for apogee deployment, motor eject backup drilled a little bit long, no dual deploy. I could see adding a chute release. Eggtimer now has their Apogee altimeter that all it does is apogee deployment, and I plan on using those in future foam builds.

For a J motor, under 1,000 feet, you might want something over 10” in diameter. Drag increases pretty quickly with increased diameter.

I’m interested in what you come up with!
 
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