W9YA's L3 Certification Article

Whooie in the High Plains of Colorado Springs


Over the ensuing months I continued the testing program on Stealth models from 1/2 through K class motors, gathering lots of useful data that had remained elusive to other rocketeers. Amongst the novel nature of my resulting design was a simple wooden hub, spoke, and wheel made out of birch plywood to serve as the the motor and deployment tube and airframe support. The novelty is in the simple yet very strong nature of this resulting support design. This modification of the basic Art Applewhite design (along with the added recovery system deployment tubes) resulted in slightly less than doubled the weight over the simple three foam-board sided cube. The strength gained was enough to allow for a 4X total impulse increase over the basic 54mm design WITHOUT changing the thickness of the airframe ! Further I would be able to use the three deployment tubes as part of the required strength improvement so their addition came at no weight penalty. The details of the stability investigations, pre-build docs, building pictures and some of the L-motor test flights, are located here.

Pictures of the test flight in Albuquerque can be seen here.

  • L3 Technical Documentation Package

  • Rocket Graphics courtesy of the Crystal Space Community. Pictures courtery of Nadine Kinney, Tom Beach, Greg Elder, and Grant Finch