I wanted to do something while I was home on break from school. While my initial plans were totally different and more complex, I think I can be proud of the recycled rocket.
This was meant to be a continuation of the Coors 1-X beer can based rocket body, and act as a stepping stone to the Coors V, allowing me to experiment with a transitions between can configurations that differ between levels. For example, this rocket transitioned from a level of 4 MGD cans to two levels of 3 Coors Light cans then to two levels of single Coors Light cans and finally to a bottle of Alaskan Oatmeal Stout for the nosecone. I was able to obtain some F20-4W (20 newtons average thrust, 4 sec ejection charge delay after burnout, white flame). I also collected as many beer cans as I reasonably could. This rocket became known as the "Recycled Rocket" because I used much more than just beer cans, relying heavily on cardboard for the construction of not just fins but also stage adapters and interstage. Recycled paper was used for the aerodynamic nose cone; This rocket was made out of 100% post-consumer waste, excluding the tape, epoxy, hot glue and rocket motor.
The first photo gallery shows some of the construction of the rocket. (click images for captions)
So admittedly, some of the criticisms of this project could of course be the use of glass in the nose of the rocket and the lack of a slow-recovery system. In defense of such possible criticism, the reader should be made aware, and can see in the videos of the rocket launch, that the launch range used was entirely private and massive (several miles of possible range), and the rocket was launched at a lower QE (launch angle WRT normal) to get as far away from structures or observers.
Video of the Launch:
You can see another video from a different angle here.
Unfortunately the aspect ratios which I captured that at didn't allow me to edit it using iMovie 6. That's what I get for holding my iPhone vertical I guess.
It is impossible to see the apogee or descent of the rocket in these videos unfortunately, but the rocket was sufficiently heavy that it went behind the trees before we saw an ejection charge.
I made some guesses at the coefficient of drag of the rocket, and using Excel modeled a 1-dimensional flight path of the rocket. that model seems to have since been corrupted, but I think I estimated an upper limit apogee of around 300 m or more. With negligible drag in free fall, this would mean about a 4 second fall. Including the coast time of the rocket, the ejection charge was never going to fire very high anyways due to the large weight of the motor. Unfortunately adjusting the delay timing was not possible.
I will have more on the recovery and crash analysis next post.