C6-5 Rocket Engine Tested

Model rocket

The Estes C6-5 solid fuel rocket engine was used for the first time today in the "Tidal Wave" rocket. Previously, only the A and B class engines have been used. The results were spectacular, as the rocket climbed to new heights and was barely visible in the sky.

However, the rocket launching was cut short after only two launches due to high winds and a near disaster.

The first launch was stunning, as the rocket climbed at approximately a 30° angle to the west of the launch site. The parachute deployed perfectly, and the rocket drifted significantly, eventually touching down west of the launch point.

It was the second launch that ran into a bit of trouble. Although the launch tower remained in the same position, the rocket fired off course, heading south directly into the sun.

As the rocket fell from its apogee, and the parachute deployed, the descending rocket quickly used up all the safety zone in the launch field. Fears of it landing on Bayview Drive were soon replaced with fear of it landing on the roof of the Coca-Cola building. Eventually it touched down just short of the building, and was successfully recovered.

Subsequent launches were called off due to steady wind. A "dusk" launch is being planned for the fall, when it is expected the solid fuel rocket engine will blast a trail through the air. Stay tuned!

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J. Daniel Clements | Photography

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