So… I think my ideas are getting more and more dangerous by the day. I should note that I am currently working on a Level 2 build for my own certification purposes, which will be detailed in other posts. At the same time, however, I am coordinating builds with the Georgia Tech Ramblin’ Rocket Club (NAR #701), whose rockets are designed to push the envelope rather than optimize performance.
My primary project in the club is a Level 1 staged, clustered rocket. The lower stage comprises of a central mid-power motor clustered with four C6-7 motors radially attached in side boosters. Each booster has its own nosecone that separates from the vehicle on the booster ejection charge to deploy four small parachutes. To increase the complexity of the lower stage, we’re also using tube fins. The second stage is a single electronically-staged mid-power motor. That all seems fairly innocent (or perhaps not) until it is noted that the second stage is 54 mm in diameter while the first stage is a mere 24 mm. Because of the staging mechanism, the transition to a higher diameter proved to be slightly problematic. I took the stage coupling lead on this project and ultimately designed a coupler that transitioned the first stage to 54 mm so the second stage could be treated as a constant-diameter stage. A bulkhead was added to the transition element to increase pressure available for stage separation. The second stage functions as a normal rocket, containing a 54 mm payload bay for the flight computer, before transitioning back down to 24 mm to hold the nose cone.
The other two bad ideas in the making are purely my idea, and thus are only in a conceptual state. The first design would be a Level 2 rocket comprising of three Level 1 high power motors in parallel. Using three 3-inch tubes in parallel, with the side two transitioning into the central body tube, this rocket will be powerful and sufficiently radical to earn a spot on the last pad. The second design is intended to be a festive item for a November launch. It would be a flying pumpkin! One caveat: the pumpkin would be a wrapped wooden frame to minimize weight and ensure even weight distribution. This would certainly earn a place on the last pad, even with a G motor, due to the incredible instability inherent in the shape of a pumpkin. It would be cool to launch this design, but it may have to sit on the back burner until next fall.
More reports on all these rockets when/if they get launched.