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Monday, May 17, 2004

Armadillo Aerospace News: Small vehicle work, Big vehicle work
chabot imageWe worked late on Saturday and I spent Sunday at the Wired NextFest event, so this is just a quick update.
We cut open the small vehicle motor to replace the hot catalyst pack. The bottom retaining plate had bowed down a fair amount, but there wasn’t anything burned inside. Activity was down, so we replaced it with completely fresh material. We used a thicker retaining plate with a deeper weld, 600 grams of rings, and welded the top retainer in place under 2000 psi gauge (4000 pounds) pressure.
It turned out that this didn’t help the engine, so we cut the top off to remove the cold pack monoliths. The top one was ok, but the second monolith had some burned sections, and had very little catalytic activity. This almost certainly happens during the low flows at warm up. We have selected the two best monoliths out of our used sets (we have fresh 7”, but no more fresh 5.5”) to rebuild the engine with.
We added a little more weight to the small frame to balance it more precisely. Dry weight is around 420 pounds now.
The software is all complete and simulated for doing our boosted hops, which we hope to test next weekend at our remote site. Read More


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