Water Rocketry - Aerial Photography

Pictures of the Mk I camera

The first set of photographs were taken from site 1 . . .

This is the rocket in all of its glory, standing over 6 feet tall on the launcher In the picture on the right, you have me for comparison - I'm only five feet eleven inches tall.

This first run of launches was done in the frost one Monday morning using the six litre rocket as the booster for the camera unit and the circular nylon parachute for recovery using the nose separates at apogee mechanism and a tape-on fin set that brings the tail diameter down to about half of the body diameter.

Note the frost on the ground.

All of that talcum powder sure looks pretty.

The back-lighting from the early morning sun illuminating the powder against the unlit underside of the grey clouds is remeniscent of those photographs of the Horsehead Nebula and the like.

Good separation - note the separate camera cover unit between the rocket and the main parachute.
Still swinging. The height of the flight should be around the 250 feet mark.
Still a little way to go. To got an idea of just how high up it still is at this point, thing about how long the main rocket body is and then comapre that to the height of a house.
This is the way it landed (honest).

The way that the camera cover separates from the rest of the rocket body can be seen here along with how the main chute is fastened to the camera cover.

This is from site 2

This day's helper. Note that by using the smaller 2 litre rocket, I can carry the whole setup on a push-bike.

It was fairly windy that say and the hill that you can see was a good shelter for the rocket while it was on the launcher. However, when it got into the air and the wind hit it, that was a different story.

looking straight up, a rare shot of the 'Z' shaped fold in the process of opening out.

Packing the chute and the cords in this way means that there are no tangles to undo at altitude.

In another sheltered spot. By this time, the grass had got so muddy that I found this spot only a few feet onto the field - there are some bushes behind me giving shelter.

This time, as I was using only a single 2 litre bottle for power, I used the bin-liner to save on weight - every little helps and the 20 gramme saving helped.

Until the wind hit it of course.

The drogue carried on for a little longer but as I approached the rocket, the wind caught in the parachute and the whole thing started to get dragged across the field.

As I ran and got closer, it would slow down, as if to let me get a hold of it but every time I got only a few yards away from it, another gust of wind would come and take it well out of my reach.

Finally, I managed to catch up with if only a few yards in front of the trees in the distance.

The camera had fallen out a hundred feet or so before this and the mechanism was covered in mud and broken. Funnily enough, the drogue didn't go walkies in the same way as the main chute - it was as good as gold.

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How to make an Aerial Camera Pictures from the Mk I camera