Saturday, March 15, 2014

The flight of the Avenger

At the TARC regional, I flew my Estes Avenger clone with a keychain camera strapped to the upper stage. I figured that the C6-0, B6-4 motor combination would get the rocket sufficiently high to produce a nice video, and I wanted to look at staging from the rocket's perspective. Speaking of the rocket's perspective, take a gander at the image below.

Yours truly from the Avenger's rocket cam
That's me in the green shirt, looking up at the Avenger. I look much better from this distance, don't you think? Anyway, here's the flight video in real time:

Rocket flights go by rather quickly. In the video above, you can briefly see the first stage falling away. The nice thing about digital video is that we can play with it - slow it down, speed it up, and extract individual frames. I converted the video to individual frames - over 2000 of them - and scanned through looking for the staging sequence, which starts in frame 391. This is the frame showing the actual separation of the stages, with fire, smoke, and much coolness (Ignore the guy in the green shirt way down below):

The moment of staging
In the next few frames (12 to be precise), you can see the booster falling away. I extracted them and created the greatly slowed animation below. This is model rocket staging, imaged at 30 frames per second - I can't help wondering what a faster camera would show.

Slow motion GIF animation of Avenger staging
Some more stills from the flight:

Leaving the pad
Shock cord and payload section before parachute opening
The launch area and cars down below
About to hit the ground
Gotta love modern technology!

1 comment:

  1. Not only do you build great looking rockets, Bill, you fly them too! This is an excellent video and thanks for the 12 frame slo-mo. Yes, 60 or more FPS would be very interesting!