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Saturday, July 05, 2003
Armadillo Aerospace News: Helicopter drop test
We finished up all of the prep work for the vehicle on Tuesday. We welded in strapping points to hold 600 pounds of “passenger” sandbags in the cabin area, and we mounted five 45 pound Olympic barbell plates on a peg at the end to simulate the weight of the final engines, plumbing, and backup recovery system that will be on the full size vehicle. We mounted four 2” throat engine shells as placeholders. Total weight is just under 2400 pounds. We use a combination of multiple chain hoists, a palette jack, and a forklift to move the full vehicle around and get it up on the trailer, but we did wind up breaking one of the castor wheels that we had mounted on our tank cradle. If we wind up having to use the 1600 gallon propellant tank (the current one is 850 gallons), we aren’t going to be able to stand the vehicle up under the main girder inside our shop, which will be inconvenient.
On Saturday, we headed out to our test site for the drop test. There were quite a few stares on the road in transit… We had a few spatters of rain, and the wind occasionally gusted to 12 knots, but we were able to perform the drop in relatively calm 6 knot winds. Read More
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