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BAAH-1 Update

Summary update on BAAH-1, the L-1 cert bird. Okay, more than simply update: more of a recent history, since it’s now been quite some time since my last BAAH-1 posting. In fact, I started this update back in November 2014! Construction at that time was mostly complete. The only things remaining were the avionics bay […]

NASA Ames’s Open House

(What about rocket building? Very much underway. Too busy working on BAAH-1, my L-1 certification project, actually to write up the progress. But, I’ve taken lots of pictures. Quick summary: airframe done, fins painted and attached, motor mount complete, nose cone painted, rest of airframe primed and ready for final sanding and paint.) This past […]

Fins and Nose Cone Prep Work

Most of the recent work has been on BAAH-1’s paint prep. Not quite all, but most. The balsa nose cone takes an enormous amount of work to get it as smooth as I want it.  I don’t need a polished hardwood furniture-grade finish on it, but I don’t want all the lathe pits and typical […]

Next Up: Nose Cone Fit

The nose cone: it fits, but it doesn’t fit. The nose cone is a reasonably nice plastic cone, sized, at least roughly, for high-power tubes. They’re probably just about perfect for what appears to be the standard 2.56″ (65.0 mm) I.D. and 2.63″ (66.8 mm) O.D. tubes, with a 0.035″ (0.89 mm) wall thickness. I’m […]

…Houston, We’ve Had a Problem—the Hex Nut and the MMT

So many clichés. The best laid plans… Measure twice, cut once. Missed it by that much. A miss is as good as a mile. And the grandaddy of all rocketeers’ clichés: Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem. (This one is famously mis-quoted.) The problem is hardly as life-threatening as that experienced by Lovell, Swigert, and […]

BAAH-1 Update: Fins Done, Airframe Slotted

Work continues, albeit slowly. At this point, the fin slots are cut in the airframe and fit to their respective fins and the fins are finished. I need to drill a few holes (launch lugs and rail buttons), start to build the motor mount, and begin the motor mount installation. Getting each fin slot to […]

BAAH-1 Update – Fin 1

It’s going slowly, for at least a couple of reasons, this building my L-1 cert bird. I’ve been spending a vast amount of time over the past six months on a short-term, important, urgent volunteer role, I’m intentionally working slowly and carefully when I’m working, and, despite the care, I’m having to revise the implementation […]

L1 Cert Bird: BAAH-1

At long last, after conceiving, then thinking, then thinking some more, then researching, then thinking again, then doing more research, then designing, then reviewing the design and having it reviewed—at long last I’m building. The L-1 cert bird will be about 6′ (1.8 meters or so) long, about 2½” (6.5 cm) diameter. It will have […]

Die Fledermaus Takes Shape

Continuing on the interlude build project, even though all the parts for BAAH-1 have arrived. The picture shows the rocket as things are taking shape. The MMT is installed, except for the aft centering ring. There are two centering rings now in place: forward and mid; the mid will serve as the forward structural element […]

BAAH-1: Intro to My L-1 Cert Project

It’s time: the bug’s bitten me.  It’s time to work on a certification project so I can fly larger motors. Why?  No: this is not a case of, “Why not?” nor a case of, “Because it’s there.” I have a Vostok 1 model that I want to build. Lots of detail, complicated, a great project—that […]