Ranc"O"r - Flight 1


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This project began as an idea between Jeff Taylor of Loki Research, and myself.  Jeff wanted to try to make the case, and I wanted to make the propellant.  We talked about static firing the motor, but thought that we had enough experience to make it work in a rocket.  So I hunted around and found that Neil McGilvray of Air Fiasco would love to fly an O motor!  We conned Dave Bullis of DBMS into bringing his tower.  Erik Hall's ARTS telemetry system also took a ride.

Originally the flight was planned for Saturday, but the Discovery Channel gave us a call and wanted to film the flight, so we changed the date to Sunday.

Saturday was completely a prep day.  Jeff and I epoxied the 30lbs of propellant into the liner, and got the motor put together.  Neil was busy at work getting the telemetry system going with Erik.  Saturday afternoon was so beautiful and we were wondering if we should bag the camera crew and go for it.  But our egos won out and we waited.

Sunday we got the motor adapter fit, and assembled the rocket.  Neil was busy getting all the rigging setup with help from Fred Schumacher.  By 3:00 the rocket was on the pad and ready to be armed.  As Neil was arming the system, one of the Transolve P6's blew the charged and popped everything off the rocket.  YIPES!!!

Stunned, we looked at the rocket pieces on the ground, and quickly decided to re-arm, this time taking the Transolve's out of the loop. 

In a record turnaround time, the rocket was prepped and armed and ready to go by 4:00PM.

Joe May counted down and the igniter was lit.  After a few seconds to pressurize (This is a HUGE motor) Ranc"O"r took to the skies atop a 20ft flame.  The motor shifted into high gear at 1.6 seconds and pushed the 145lb rocket to 8500ft. 

Erik Hall's Ozark ARTS Telemetry System performed flawlessly, providing realtime data during the flight.

On the way down, the 17ft chute proved too small, and blew open. However, the rocket is in perfect condition, and will fly hopefully in January 2002 atop a Fucia O motor.

Ben Russell's excellent video of the flight here

The video of the pre-flight disaster here

The video of the liftoff here

Thanks to Jerry O'Sullivan for the videos.  (The liftoff was taken without looking thru the viewfinder... no way he was going to miss that!)



Neil, Jeff and Darren prep the O rocket.

Neil Jeff and Darren in the assembly phase

Neil and Jeff fit the adapter to the motor.

Jeff and Neil install the 23,000ns motor into the airframe

Big motors need alot of adjustment

Jeff cuts off the extra allthread.

Ranc"O"r on the rail


A great shot of Ranc"O"r atop the O5800

Another shot of the O5800

Rancor at full thrust

Ranc"O"r takes to the air on O power.

The recovery mob cleans up...

Thanks to Mitch Guess, Jeff Taylor and Ben Russell for the pictures / vidcaps





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This site was last updated 12/16/01