Recovery Harness Length

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New Member
Jan 27, 2010
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I'm trying to figure out how long of a recovery harness to use for my team's rocket, this is our first time building a large rocket so we have little experience. We have a 8 foot rocket weighing at 35pounds and are using a duel-deployment recovery system, a 10 foot main and 3 foot drogue. Our spacing is limited in our rocket, so I'm trying to figure out a good length that will be sufficient yet not take up too much space. I've been referencing the "Modern High-Power Rocketry 2" book by Canepa, which recommends a harness length of 2-3 times that of the rocket. Say we used 3x's the rocket length, would the 24 feet harness get divided up among the drogue and main chute or would you use 24 feet of harness for both the drogue and main? What are your recommendations?
I use 50 feet for the apogee event and about 10 feet for the main. Too short at apogee and the hard jerk when the parts reach full extension will deploy the main - even with reasonable shear pins.
I usually go; 20 to 30 ft for the apogee event & then 12-15 ft for the main.
Most of my rockets are 3" to 7.7" diameter. For my L3 I think I use about 35 to 50ft then another 20 ft for the main & it was 12' tall & weighed 55 lb loaded.

I'd second the 30' on the drogue and 20' on the main. Better to have a bit more lenght on the drogue.

Long enough to reach to shore, or to the ground from the top of the tallest tree, whichever is longer.

But then, I fly at Bong.