Debugging Two-stage Flight at MHM – The Twins

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    The Recovery. The DC20 told us right where it was. 🙄 Thanks to Bruce for picking up the Sustainer, to Scott for retrieving the Booster, and to Becky for accompanying me while i tried to find the rest.


    So that was the sustainer that Jeremiah and I saw spin. I’m not loosing it!!!

    That map is great. I so wish I had it Sat.


    Just to put an update on this thread, the fin can was found one month after the launch described previously. It was right where the GPS predicted it to be. 😯

    The fin and motor mount section was repairable. A new motor mount cap was purchased from Aeropack (the other was extruded out by the motor). My bandsaw cut the damaged top off and a 12″ long coupler was inserted and epoxied with a 3 inch long piece of airframe. My external copper foil tape, which brought the ignition current from the timer was repaired as well and a new timer and altimeter was installed.

    The Twins, Micky and Ricky, are ready to fly again on Dec 6th. Come on out and watch!

    Instead of two K700’s (which would break the waiver at the Atlas site) I’ll be launching using a J570W in the booster and a J350W in the sustainer. It should stay below 8,000 feet so it will be within view the whole time.

    1) I’d appreciate help getting the 1010 rails set up with an extension (the twins are 11 feet long), and the aspect ration of the rocket is a bit ungainly.

    2) James (or Art), if you could help me with a fail-safe igniter again, I’d appreciate the comfort of knowing the sustainer will light.

    3) I’d love to see another series of pictures taken by Ray. The last were very helpful in the debug process.

    Yes, I have mach delay’s set , 😳 but they won’t be needed on this flight as it should only hit 560 MPH.

    Warren B. Musselman

    I wish you the best with this flight Mike – don’t know if I’ll make it out there for this launch due to the predicted weather and a lack of anything ready to fly.

    Again, best of luck.


    Tim Thomas

    8) Mike, I have a couple of Cesaroni dipped igniters that are used to light the V-max motors. Low voltage, lots of dip. They should have no problem setting a J350 on fire. I will bring them just in case you need them… 😀


    don’t know if I’ll make it out there for this launch due to the predicted weather ….


    Warren, It going to be nice Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Any snow we get would be over on Thursday. No excuses, buddy, fly some BP motors 😆

    Tim, Thanks for (again) coming and (again) supplying my needs and (again) being the grease that keeps flying simple.


    Looking forward to seeing it, Mike. Low winds in the forecast so far.

    Think one of those ignitors would fit in an E6, Tim?

    Tim Thomas

    8) The whole igniter thing is kind of weird. The other day I set off 5 straight G80’s with nothing more than an JTec e-match. (I had left my igniters at home) I also lit 2 Ellis E-motors with a small piece of Thermalight, just peeled the wire back and stuffed the fuse up into the nozzle. Worked fine. Other days, I can’t get anything to light. I will bring igniters, e-matches and some Thermalight, we will start them. The best little motor igniter, IMHO, is the baby Fudd. You can get them in a D24 reload, very small hole! Joe ar Ken might have one (I am out) 8)


    Thank you Mike Shinn. for capturing my two-stage ‘The Twins’ flight which showed the transition from boost to sustainer. I made a composite from the pictures he sent me. To understand the time sequence, the J570 burned for 2.05 sec, the separation charge went off when the acceleration stopped. The J350 lit off 2 seconds later (using a Timer). You can see the booster (Ricky) following the sustainer (Micky) in the smoke trail until it falls away in its own apogee, then deploys its own chute. Micky landed 838 yards away to the SE (per the on-board DC20, along the same line, but not quite as far as Joe’s launch which went higher. My RRc2X reported 5729 ft on the sutainer (9.5 lbs) and the RRC2mini in the booster reported its apoggee at 580 ft. Total weight was 15 lbs w/o motors.

    There is a peculiar orange dot (seen in the 2nd row of pictures and the last row) that is falling after the initial separation, which I don’t know quite what to make of it. There was a red cap on the suatainer nozzle, but it hadn’t fired yet when these were taken, and the separation charge was in a latex glove finger. It doesn’t make sense to me what it is.

    Thanks to everybody who pitched in the set up the rails and help me recover the rocket sections.

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