Rocketry segment on Time Warp

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Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2009
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What did you all think of the ROC rocketry segment on Time Warp tonight? If you missed it, it repeats at 10pm CDT.

I thought they did well. I was a bit concerned when they recreated a V2 CATO, but they were careful to show it was set up as a special effect and not as a functional rocket. And I liked the comment as they walked away from the scene... "that's why we don't use explosives (or metal) in our rockets.".
I loved the slow motion of the motor burns. You could clearly see the mach diamonds.
I thought it was a pretty well done segment..And they did make clear that it was a recreation of a 'launch gone bad'..Nice to have truth in the show..
I just saw a part of it, and I thought it was really cool. I only had time to watch the segment that was including maybe about 1/3 of the way into the program. I wish they could've done a little more on it though, unless they added more on it near the end of the show. I loved the slow motion, as it's not really something I get to see everyday with the exception of the few people here that own the Casio slow motion camera.
Just a bit more at the end when they recreate the V2 CATO.
Interesting. I did like the slo-mo of the actual rockets they recorded.

It is ironic though that they blew a great opportunity. Ever see the Estes video “Model Rocketry the Final Frontier”, with William Shatner around 1976 or so? There was some great slo-mo footage of model rockets in that. One of the most impressive was ultra-slo-motion and extreme close-up of an ignition of an 18mm engine. The exhaust flame started out crooked, not straight. Then it got straight a bit, and went past straight to angle the other way a little bit, before finally getting stronger and coming out dead straight. Never thought about it before I saw that footage, but the exhaust flame moving may have been from the ignitor igniting one side of the short core of the propellant, with the exhaust gases at first coming from one side of that short core then the other side of the core igniting to cause the flame to swing, to the other way, and finally enough of the propellant igniting and burning outwards (dome-like) to cause enough thrust to start to move. It was fascinating. Same thing for close-ups of flights at apogee, with ejection charges going off to eject the noses and deploy the chutes. Stuff that can’t be recorded with HPR rockets flying thousands of feet up.

When I had heard this show was going to do rockets, I had hopes they would have done that sort of stuff too.

Oh well..... sigh.

With the V-2 they did not “re-create” anything.

They created what they wanted to have - A big rocket-looking-thing blowing up, then attempted to claim it was “history” they were re-creating, as an excuse.

The real V-2 accident they were “re-creating” was a test flight attempt at Peenemunde. The V-2 started to lift off a bit, then lost thrust, and fell back onto the launch pedestal. Then, it slowly fell over, and....


But, on Time Warp , a V-2 lookalike (which never had a rocket engine in it) detonated as it toppled to about a 45 degree angle. In the slow-mo, it was obvious that they used DetCord to shatter the metal shell, then they had some flammable liquid (gasoline, kerosene, whatever) that was dispersed in mid-air by the detonation and ignited in mid-air.

The real V-2 accident that they were supposedly copying, had the real thing fall completely onto its side, onto the concrete, bursts its tanks, the Liquid Oxygen and Alcohol fuel spew out onto the concrete, and about a second later, ignite into a big fireball.

I know, for the sake of the TV show, they just wanted an excuse to force some big rocket-shaped thing to be “blowed up real good”. They might as well have just done that, then, without the re-creation claim. But trying to claim that as a re-creation of a real V-2 accident, no, that was ridiculous.

They didn't even say, and probably did not even KNOW, that the historical accident even happened at Peenemunde, in Germany. The show gave the impression that the crashes they showed all happened in the U.S. after the war, but only the first one was (the one going horizontal was at White Sands), the rest were at Peenemunde.

- George Gassaway

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