September 13th 2013 Meeting Report

The September 2013 meeting was attended by about 6 members. The date for the next launched has been moved back to November.

 

I brought two LR101 rocket engines to show. One brand new, and one that had been flown and salvaged. A friend of mine from college who sometimes comes to me with his crazy ideas wants me to put an LR101 rocket engine on a BD-5 aircraft witch would make it the world’s smallest rocket plane. I’m aware of how crazy and nearly impossible accomplishing a flight with that setup would actually be. I have realist expectations and only really expect to do a static test with a non-flight version of the engine and a stretch goal of static firing the same version while mounted in the aircraft with it tied town. His end goal is to use this stunt to impress investors enough to give him money to peruse building a space plane with a similar configuration to Virgin Galactic’s vehicles capable of sub orbital flights from LA to London. I don’t have any expectation of success there, but it can’t hurt to let him try. It should be fun to try firing that LR101, especially since he’ll be footing the bill.

 

Osvaldo also brought 2 LR101’s. He borrowed them from Norton Sales in North Hollywood. That is also where my friend got his engines and it’s really an amazing place. They have all sorts of aerospace surplus stuff from the cold war and the space race. It really warrants a visit if you’re in the LA area. One engine Osvaldo brought was complete with the thrust frame and all the gimbaling hardware. The second was just a thrust chamber. He also had a mandrel of some kind used for forming the thrust chambers.

 

I brought a sand casting of the Beta rocket coupler I made from a 3D print. I used a very course sand and the surface was far too ruff to use, but the process shows potential, I just need to figure out the right details to get better results. Also from 3D printing was a servo valve I brought that I’ve been working on. The valve is pretty much complete save for one or two small changes. I was originally planning to use them as the main propellant valves, but they actuate too slowly, however they can still be used on valves that don’t need to be actuated fast. Now I’m thinking about designing some pneumatic valves based on Tom Mueller’s Pyrovalves which he wrote a great article for in the RRS Newsletter in February 1995 .

 

Frank brought a list of all the newsletters that the RRS has published so now I know how many we have left to digitize.

 

I haven’t had time to work more on the web site. since the last meeting report I sent out. There is not to much more that needs to be done, but I’ll need to work with Frank and Osvaldo to finish membership access.

 

The attached pictures are the two LR101s, the dual pneumatic valve for the LR101, my servo valve, and two BD-5s.

 

-Richard Garcia

 

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