Wells its been a while since the last update, everything has been happening except rocket related activities unfortunately. So progress has been few and far between, heres a run down on whats been happening since Space Access.
Once again a very fine conference held in Phoenix, Az, my thanks go out to Henry and everyone else who made it possible. It was good to catch up with friends from the previous year and meet new people, was good to meet Charles Pooley of Microlaunchers and with thanks to Charles for enabling us to speak at the conference.In my talk I covered my plans and approach to the N-Prize, notes and pictures of which can be found under the N-Prize link on this site. I mentioned using a stepped appraoch to achieving the prize, building upon proven concepts and ideas and implementing this all into the N-Prize vehicle, yes taking longer and potentially costing more in the long run but at least I will be 100% confident when the fuse is lit on the N-Prize launcher, knowing everything has been tried and tested in all aspects.
With my stepped approach the first step is to build a reusable liquid fueled sounding rocket, acting as a platform for engine/component and flight testing. This first rocket which I have started work on will stand at 10ft tall and have a diameter of 8in, will be powered by a 300lbf thrust lox/kero engine, which will be of the same construction techniques that the upper stage N-Prize engines will have, the idea is to continually upgrade the rocket with systems that I plan to use, such as engine gimblaing, guidance and control etc. and then pass the electronics from this test bed right over to the N-Prize rocket knowing everything is in working order.
I have made the tanks which are pictured below, in the spirit of the N-Prize they were made from material lying around the shed, the fuel tank is actually two truck/semi oil filter cases welded together and supprisingly makes a very strong and light weight tank considering its steel. Lox tank is Stainless tube. Both tanks hydro tested to 500psi no problems.
3D view of the rocket.
Where to now?
Overall rocket construction, continuation of the electronics package, this is being done by my brother David. And engine machining which should start in the next few weeks. So although hardwares off to a slow start things should pick up as the major componentry is completed, so untill next time!!!