Get Real Rocket
Photograph courtesy of Ben Jarvis
Get Real, the rocket which has earned me my lousy recovery system reputation, is a 4 inch diameter, 7 foot tall rocket, designed for use on motors of up to 1706 Newton seconds total impulse (K-class). Of all its flights, none of them has yet to recover without some form of mishap !
This photograph was of Get Real launching on an Aerotech I-211 relodable solid motor in November 1999. Onboard was an R-DAS altimeter/accelerometer, and a G-Whiz LC Deluxe altimeter/accelerometer. Recorded peak altitudes were only 1222 feet and 1242 feet respectively. When the rocket separated into 2 halves at apogee, the booster section managed to take a gouge out of the payload section, thus continuing my recovery record with this rocket.
For this launch, from private farmland near Heckington in Lincolnshire, the rocket was also filmed by a TV company for the Sky TV programme "Skyrocket".
This rocket is now on its second rebuild, following the gouge from its last flight. The opportunity has been taken to revamp the upper section and bulkhead to accomodate 2 LES or SafeEject holders, along with terminal connections to reduce igniter prepping time, and an 8-pin XLR connector to enable communications with internal avionics such as the R-DAS flight computer.
The rocket is constructed from phenolic tubing with fibreglass reinforcing on the fins and on the tube ends. It has 4 plywood clipped delta fins, with a slightly swept forward trailing edge. The rocket has a 54mm diameter motor mount to accomodate up to a 54/1706 casing (i.e. a K-550W, a K-1100T, and a K-185W), and a urethane boattail.
The recovery system consists of a 4 foot diameter ex-military cargo parachute and shock cord of 5mm diameter kernmantle climbing cord. A flameshield is used for parachute protection rather than a piston or a baffle. The reason for this is because I feel happier using a simpler recovery system - less parts to go wrong.
Where can I buy in the UK?
In order to ensure it is easy for people to know how to easily locate the best High Power Rocketry Suppliers in the UK (and nearby), the individual rocketry pages on this site all detail this information:
Probably the best (and friendliest) High Power Rocketry suppliers in the UK for high power rocketry components, are Rocketstore.co.uk and Rockets and Things (details on the UK Vendors web page on this website). The staff at both Rocketstore.co.uk and at Rockets and Things are experienced rocketeers themselves, and can always draw on their practical rocket launching experience to answer any questions. I say this as a satisfied customer of their kits and components.
For avionics, I can again recommend Rocketstore.co.uk and Rockets and Things, and also Random Solutions - the UK dealer of the G-Wiz range of peak altitude and recording altimeters, and Rebel Rocketry in the Netherlands, all of whom are also exceptionally good (and again very friendly and helpful). Also, for the AED R-DAS flight computer and its modules, it can be ordered direct from the manufacturers (AED) website aswell.
For rocketry tracking with an RF tracking beacon, the favourite, and the unit that recovers rockets time and time again, is the UK manufactured, Traxa RF Tracker, sold via Rocketstore.co.uk, Rockets and Things and online through UK based, Eclipse Engineering. All these suppliers and vendors are detailed on the UK Vendors web page on this website.