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The launch of the N18, heading for a good flight.

ASK 't Harde, 21 May, 1999 - After having several launches cancelled, we finally were to launch again. We even had clear blue skies, which was only happened once during the eight launches we had organised so far. The most important rocket of the day was of course the Hercules N18. The N18 had two main goals: filming the launch and deployment of the parachute and to recover a complete rocket by means of successful parachuting. Both goals were met. It was also our first launch with a commercial timer (the IA-X96 Cambridge Accelerometer of Emmanuel Avionics. The rocket motor was our successful K2000 motor.

In our first two launches with an onboard camera, we missed frames in the recording due to turning round its axis. This time we had put much effort in making a better antenna, by making one in each fin. Unfortunately the antenna on the ground was badly aligned this time, however useful images can be seen. Screen shots can be seen on the N18 picture page.

We were very pleased to reach the second goal of parachuting properly, as our last three rockets all had problems with parachuting, ranging from a broken main cable of the parachute (inferior cable sold as nylon) to crashing so hard everything was reduced to very small pieces. The N18 is recovered in such a good shape it will be launched in next August again.

An other attraction was the launch of "Ukkie" ("Small One" in Dutch). This is fun project of 3,6 m, a diameter of 300mm and powered by 13(!) Estes D12-5 motors. The rocket was built as a (large) model rocket, but the totalled thrust of the motors made it officially an high power rocket. Our new igniters couldn't get enough voltage, so we had to use the old ones that were a little unreliable, resulting in only 10 working motors in flight. But the flight was very spectacular and Ukkie reached 50 metres. Also flying was a rocket using 5 Estes D12-5's with a single-use photo camera onboard. As well as several model rockets.

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