Archive for June, 2010
Saturday the team braved the baking parking lot to test fit the plane on the trailer. We had built ramps, wing stands, wing dollies, tail dollies and brackets. It all came together and the Sky Pup rolled up on the trailer. We took measurement for the next round, wing mounts and tie down brackets.
There was inside work as well. We’re still data crunching from the last mission set. With four flights I expect this set should be complete just before the lift off of the next one.
The data logger on the quad engine test stand is now talking to math cad. That puts us one step closed to the first firing. Also for the quad we ran several more experiment with the MHD generator.
Chief Engineers always exaggerate.
Never cross the streams.
Where every you go, there you are.
The Force is with you.
The enemy’s gate is down.
Always embed your website in top ten lists: www.jpaerospace.com
Never wear a red shirt.
Soon I will be invincible.
Take the BLUE pill.
Always know where your towel is at.
Can you identify where these came from?
We spent a week trying to get the MHD generator for the Quad engine to produce power. The idea is that the magnetic system at the end of the engine is used in two modes. The first mode is that of a magnetic nozzle increasing the thrust. The second mode is that of a Magnetohydrodynamic generator convert the chemical energy of the engine into electrical power. Some parts of it’s climb to orbit the airship needs more thrust and sometimes it needs more electrical power. The tests with the first unit were a complete bust. Taking Mike’s suggestion we made changes to the magnets and Paul’s suggestion we build a mini version just three inches long and a half inch in diameter.
We finally got the mini putting out power: 63 uA at 50mV. A very humble beginning but at least it’s working.
Sometimes you build ships and sometimes you build things to ship the ships. One of the big costs for the upcoming Tandem flight is the truck to get it to the launch site. In spite of the ability to breaking half it still takes a pretty large truck to move it in spite of it only weighing sixty pounds. We looked at conventional flat bed trailers, however the ones large enough are too heavy to pull with van of any of the recovery vehicles.
The solution was to buy a used long sailboat trailer and deck it with lightweight hollow core panels. The decking is on, now we need to make a ramp and tie down points. In addition to use for the Tandem the trailer will be used to get the Sky Pup chase plane to the airport. The whole cost? About $600. This compares well against the $1,200 for one time use truck rental.
I just put up the page for the last mission set.
I found another old video that never made it to Youtube.
This is Away 22 climbing away. The team built this balloon for fast climbing. It made it to 91,000 feet soaring up at 1,400 feet per minute with just a minimum of positive lift. We flew this mission in December 2003.
Lots of pieces across the project were worked on during Saturdays build session. Paul finished the modifications to one of the small balloon launch bags, Ethan glued together several vehicle antenna mounts for Away 48. Kevin assembled the ceramic insulator for the quad engine MHD power generator and Bob toiled away all day on data conversion from the last mission. Mike did epic battle with the balloon release circuit upgrade.
A lot of other tasks got crossed off the list as well. Progress was made modifying the new Tandem/Sky Pup trailer. I did a radio interview in the middle of it all and Kevin tackled the unfun task of sorting through all the helium tanks from the last mission.