TdD Washington, "Houston, we
have a problem"...
From an email from David Luders:
I regret to inform everyone that the two
FlisKits Deuce's Wild! rockets were damaged during the Washington State launch today. The
SPokane Area Rocket Club (SPARC) held its monthly launch near Deer Park, WA on a
beautiful, autumn day. In front of a crowd of about 25 people, the first Deuce's Wild!
rocket had only one of its two C6-5 engines fire. The rocket acted like a cruise missile
and it skidded along a farm field before motor ejection. The top 4" of the body tube
is crushed (from the forward launch lug upwards). Minutes later, the second Deuce's Wild!
rocket launched upwards, but the parachute never deployed and it lawn-darted. It has the
top 1" crushed.
To help troubleshoot "what went
wrong" with the two Deuce's Wild! rockets, I have the following observations:
a) I really don't have a reason for why the first rocket that flew on only one C6-5
engine. Looking at the (unburnt) ignitor on the Clip-Whip, the pyrogen never burned (but
the wires were broken). I don't know if the wires broke AFTER takeoff, or were broken
before I even connected the Clip Whip. In any given launch, there are several rockets that
don't launch because of bad Estes igniters. It's too bad that the FlisKits Deuces Wild!
rocket suffered a bad luck of the draw.
b) The second rocket (which lawn darted) was probably caused by me packing the "dog
barf" wadding too tight into the body tube. One of the C6-5 engines ended up popping
out of the engine motor mount tubing at apogee, because of a slightly too loose
friction-fit with masking tape. The other C6-5 engine DID stay with the rocket, and should
have had enough "oomph" to push out the nose cone. Alas, it did not. I shouldn't
have packed the wadding so tightly; sorry.
3. If it's any consolation, the FlisKits Tour de Deuce rockets are TOUGH and excellently
made. Any other rocket (especially the flimsy Estes kits) would have been totally
destroyed, had they undergone the stresses that these rockets did today. Believe it or
not, both of them ARE still flyable (even though they look kind of dinged-up). The SPokane
Area Rocket Club appreciates all of the great communication and kindness shown by the Tour
de Deuce team. Thanks very much, and may you have better luck that we did today!
Both models have since been returned to Florida
where Eugenio and Jason performed critical, life saving surgury, saving both models in a
very short period of time! You can see the photo essay of the repair at the bottom
of the photo album on the left.
Whew! Man, that was heart wrenching to say
the least. But life goes on, as does the tour. Next up is Nebraska!