Lift off 12 litre

These are photographs taken of the first launches of the 12 litre rocket. It was a real feat getting it pressurised and the chute in position but I managed it in the end.

This is it on its side with a NSA nose cone to show the full length. For comparison, there is a 2 litre rocket without nose cone at the bottom right.

Once one the launcher, it was too tall for me to handle on my own and I had great difficulty in pressurising it and then taking off the tapes that secured the nose during pressurisation.

On the launcher, the top of my head is level with the rocket, just about where the top of the trees are in the picture.

The point where the parachute nose cone joins the top 2 litre bottle is just out of my reach if I stand on the tips of my toes.

Any tapes that hold the nose in place during pressurisation must be pulled from the top, slowly and carefully so that the nose is not dislodged.

The water level in the bottom 3 litre bottle is just under 2/3rds of the way up.

The nose cone has two rows of small holes (1/8th" diameter made with a soldering iron) on the straight section, next to the curve of the top of the cone, just where it straightens out. This is a low pressure zone and this low pressure will keep the nose on while the rocket is traveling upwards. At apogee, the rocket has stopped, the pressure has increased and as the rocket rotates to face the ground, the cone separates and releases the parachute.

This is the rocket around halfway through its decent. A clean parachute deployment. Note that the rocket (without the cone) is around 6 feet long, making the whole rocket (ignoring the other bits) over 12 feet long.

You can clearly see the fins at the bottom of the picture. Each one is made from the straight sides of a 2 litre bottle.

Instead of using talc, I used a Teflon sheet (actually a cleaned used baking sheet) to line the NSA cone. This worked perfectly.

Note the length of the elastic cord shock cord between the nose of the rocket and the ring where all of the parachute cords meet. This is normally about 0.5 metres long but with this monster dangling on the end of it, it has been stretched to around 4 feet in length.

And yes, it was a blue sky - the first in a long time.

This is it just as it is touching down (the nose end hasn't quite reached the ground yet).

The proximity of the landing site to the launcher shows the stillness of the air that morning.

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