Let's See Your Lawndarts... (Or Tell Us Your Tale(s) Of Lawndarts.)

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Blast it Tom!

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Electro-Launch. There's one in my avatar picture, with the Alpha shown lawn-darted in my post above, sitting on it....

Don't need eight D cells when they're Duracells. Four work just fine.
Yup! Too cool! And you're still using it?!?! WOW! I remember that too-small safety interlock key and the little flashlight bulb for a continuity check light! Too bad about the Alpha, it would have been nice to see it make its 100th flight!
 

BEC

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Yup! Too cool! And you're still using it?!?! WOW! I remember that too-small safety interlock key and the little flashlight bulb for a continuity check light! Too bad about the Alpha, it would have been nice to see it make its 100th flight!
It's not my original E-L. I went on a kick of collecting old GSE a few years ago and it's an eBay acquisition. I have two - one of the more common version with the upper case larger than the lower case (as was my first one) and one of the earlier ones that has the four tabs with screws in the middle of each side (1966 catalog only). The earlier version hadn't even been finished when I got it, so it launched its first rocket at the age of about 50 years.

Yeah, I was hoping to get that Alpha to 100 flights as well. But the damage is pretty extensive and the nose cone/chute floated off to get treed on a hillside on that last flight. I may yet try to fix it, as I haven't trashed it. I do have one Nova Payloader with 101 flights on it.
 

Blast it Tom!

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Mine must've been the 1966 version as I clearly remember the screws on the mid-sides. I would have been 10 that summer; 55 years ago! Thanks for the memories, now I can fix the start of my rocketry hobby!
 

BEC

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To get back on topic, another lawn dart of the same Big Bertha. Shock cord failure on a beta White Lightning Q-Jet flight. On this one, the motor mount tore loose and went up the body tube on impact.

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jd2cylman

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Not my lawn dart, but maybe someone knows who’s it was by the description. Years ago (1999) I went to my first organized launch down at Muncie, IN to get my L1. A guy flew a beautiful 6-8”dia. Saturn 1B. Rocket went up to about 1000-1500’ and never arced over, but instead started to tail slide down to earth. Eventually it settled into a flat fall until about 20’ above the road when it went stable and nosed right into the pavement.
Only about 15” of the fin unit survived (if you can call it that…). Very sad occasion, and it wasn’t even mine…
 
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Dad Man Walking

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The pic I'm curious to see is after you shovel it out!
Far less damage than we expected. The nose cone and top two inches of the payload tube (where it was reinforced by the nose cone shoulder) were damaged. Got a new nose cone, chopped two inches off of the payload tube, and put on a fresh coat of paint. Have flown it a bunch of times since, including last weekend back on the playa.

That wasn't it's first ouchee -- this was the first, back in 2011. I built a new booster section to fix this one. The only thing remaining of the original rocket is the coupler tube and switch band.
P8080018.JPG
 

tfrielin

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Two Estes Ascenders in a row lawndarted on me. Have no idea why as I’m pretty sure my builds were to specs. Won’t try one again as the lawn dart target area involves the nearby horse farm. Anyone else have lawndart problems with the Ascender?
 

Arpak

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Zephyr build, first launch I had with a VERY condensed avionics bay, best bet is the coupler was shaped into an oval by this and the coupler got stuck.

Here's the video of it 😄

 

Blast it Tom!

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Far less damage than we expected. The nose cone and top two inches of the payload tube (where it was reinforced by the nose cone shoulder) were damaged. Got a new nose cone, chopped two inches off of the payload tube, and put on a fresh coat of paint. Have flown it a bunch of times since, including last weekend back on the playa.

That wasn't it's first ouchee -- this was the first, back in 2011. I built a new booster section to fix this one. The only thing remaining of the original rocket is the coupler tube and switch band.
View attachment 469895
That's amazing. Seeing a rocket in the desert that deep you'd think it'd look like an smashed accordion when you dug it out! You guys out west... man to have places like that to fly! (Yeah, I'm a litttle jealous, in a good-natured way!)
 

Mr G

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As expected, the 3" cardboard LOC Shadowhawk liftoff on an AT I 59WN to apogee at an estimated 3,400 ft was picture perfect . When there was no initial event (usually I have motor eject backup but the I 59 is plugged) it was time to duck and cover. I heard the last-second whistle of death as it buried itself nose first less than 50 ft from me.
The culprit for this hair raising misadventure was me. I only hooked up the drogue charge since the Chute Release was for the main. What I did not know then was that there needs to be a load on both circuits. Live, Lose a couple hundred dollars in rocket and electronics, and Learn.
Photo 1: Shadowhawk on I 59WN moon burner. This was my L1 cert rocket so a bit sentimental on its loss.
Photo 2: The plastic nosecone is still imbedded with the body wrenched apart, disgorging the recovery gear.
Photo 3: The 9v battery may have provided the crushing force to take out the Quark, Altimeter 2 and Chute Release.
Photo 4: The remains are now displayed on the Wall of Shame after stretching out the accordianed body tube. The 38/480 RMS motor survived without a scratch and remains in service today, five years later.

IMG_8234.jpg

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fyrwrxz

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My Polecat Thumper, the green and white one in the catalogue. I glued whistles into 2 fins. I also forgot to augment the single use motor's ejection charge. The ejection charge vented thru the exhaust, adding just a little more terminal acceleration. Fully visual flight. Thumper indeed! BTW, It didn't whistle coming in 30' behind me, but the nose cone made a very loud pop when it cratered. Don't know which memory card it's on. Back in the day we used cameras and not our 'phones'.
I also,killed a Mirage on an "I" motor when the g forces packed the dog barf too tight. Bird had well over 200 flights on it.
Most embarrasing was when Charlie Savoy from Aerotech gave me a 38mm Dark Matter to preview in Vegas in my new MiniMagg with 2 outboard 29's. Great boost, crowd pleasing smoke and sparks. Long story, but the motor ended right up next to the screweye/nut assembly holding the recovery train. It vented out the exhaust also. Unfortunately, I had removed the 29's ejection charges. Should have kept them in, but thought they would be too short, dang it, Forensic pics also on a random card, sorry.
 

Buzzard

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A club member loaned me his Chute Release shortly after they became available. I forgot the 29 120-140 reload's ejection charge. The Chute Release survived and ground tested. The fin can of the Partizon survives in a stretched Super Partizon.

Chas
 

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BABAR

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I’m a bit surprised the RSO didn’t hit the destruct button the moment it went horizontal. I figured that was the standard for non passenger rockets to blow the thing up at altitude rather than letting it hit the ground with a full fuel load.
 

T-Rex

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This past Saturday I went to my first launch in two years. I had an F24-7W that I had assembled back then still in my box. I pulled the forward closure off and drilled about 4 seconds off because I knew it would have been a bonus delay due to age.
Silly me should have replaced it.
The motor chuffed a couple times, the finally lit, bellowing black smoke (supposed to be white...). Rocket got to arched over at probably 200 feet instead of 600. Came in ballistic. We watched it smoke for a period of time before the ejection popped the body off the nose.
Crinkled the tube a bit, but I can probably shove a coupler in to make it flyable again.206541756_1974599979348064_8486760179331721384_n.jpg
 
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Mach_Seven

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I’m a bit surprised the RSO didn’t hit the destruct button the moment it went horizontal. I figured that was the standard for non passenger rockets to blow the thing up at altitude rather than letting it hit the ground with a full fuel load.
Well, that's the thing. The Russians don't believe in "self-destruct" systems for dubious reasons.
 

FredA

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Well, that's the thing. The Russians don't believe in "self-destruct" systems for dubious reasons
For good reason......they add weight, they are dangerous and they diminish the overall reliability of the system
So if there is nothing on the ground you care about then it's a prudent decision.
The choice about caring for things on the ground is the only dubious part.
 

cerving

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If you launch over water it's a pretty easy decision.
 

cerving

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First major lawn dart was a 38mm MD out at Jean NV about 5 years ago. I had prepped the rocket in the Spring but didn't fly it, I put ematches in the wells and taped over them. Fast forward to October, I looked at it and thought, "Oh, it's taped over so there must be a charge in there." Nope. Now, I get out a Sharpie and put a big dot on the tape if there's powder... no dot, no powder.
 

BABAR

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For good reason......they add weight, they are dangerous and they diminish the overall reliability of the system
So if there is nothing on the ground you care about then it's a prudent decision.
The choice about caring for things on the ground is the only dubious part.
I am not so sure about your statement

from Popular Mechanics

May 2008




Each time the space shuttle rises from its launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Fla., an Air Force officer waits anxiously for the first 2 minutes to pass safely. If the spaceship were to veer off course and endanger a populated area, this range safety officer would bear the terrible responsibility of flipping a pair of switches under a stenciled panel reading "Flight Termination." The first switch arms explosives on the shuttle's two solid rocket boosters. Flipping the second switch would detonate them, destroying the shuttle and crew.

End quote

Different and less reliable source, but I believe is correct, AFTER the Challenger flight became clearly unrecoverable (and also AFTER the boosters were visually confirmed separated from the orbiter itself) the destruct was indeed actually performed.


Quote
The shuttle stack broke up at ~73 seconds after launch of STS-51L. The Solid Rocket Boosters separated from the other elements and continued flying in a more or less stable manner (surprisingly). Air Force range safety personnel detonated the boosters at ~110 seconds after launch using the self-destruct system built into the boosters. (timeline reference)

I have not seen any writeups explaining the ~30 second delay to sending the destruct command. Range safety operated using preplanned procedures which included predicted impact of the vehicle on populated areas (see What rocket launch protocols (if any) are in place to prevent premature or late intentional self-destruct? for some details) It may be that the flight termination lines were not crossed until then, or possibly the procedures did not cover the case of two free-flying stable SRBs, requiring some human judgment.
 
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