Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Micropost: Chute or Streamer - Decisions
Sometimes it's hard to decide whether to use a parachute or a streamer for recovery. A chute will bring the rocket down nice and softly, but more slowly. In that time, the wind may cause the rocket to drift, increasing the likelihood of losing the rocket in a tree or over the hills and far away.
A streamer brings the rocket down more quickly, so there's less drift. But a harder landing may cause more damage to the rocket.
Above is my sim of the Estes Goblin, a rocket I've built but never flown. The kit came with two streamers. But I built the rocket a little on the heavy side (so it may fall more quickly than Estes had planned when designing the kit), and it came out quite beautiful.
On the one hand, I don't want to lose it. On the other, I don't want to damage the lovely paint. And since the rocket may top 1200 feet, I have some thinking to do here.
I may compromise and go with a tiny six-inch Mylar chute, which should split the difference in descent times. It will also sparkle in the sun, which may help me spot the rocket in the sky as it descends.
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