The holidays are upon us, and with that, the winter build season for many clubs, which are shut down until spring. So, from now until the 5th of January, use coupon code HOLIDAZE at checkout, and you will receive 20% off your entire purchase. This is an excellent excuse incentive to pull the trigger on that cert project you wanted to do next spring, or build that upscale you wanted to break out when the weather gets warm. Hey, if you ask nicely, and give your beloved the coupon code, maybe they’ll surprise you with a main, pilot, and deployment bag (it’s worth a shot, right?)!
Whatever holiday you celebrate (or don’t), we wish you the very best for this season and the upcoming new year!
Paramedichutes is proud to add to our lineup the BLS TARC-15. This lower-cost, lightweight parachute is a fantastic solution for teams participating in the Team
America Rocketry Challenge, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to help our teams achieve their goals! The TARC-15 is a 15″ diameter, lightweight chute based on our BLS-15, with modifications made to cut down on weight and bulk, to assist in packaging and reliable deployment from small airframes. One might notice that the satin trim is absent from the mouth of the chute. The lines are also thinner. The weight is cut from 0.88oz of the BLS-15 standard version to just 0.57oz for the TARC. In order to keep costs to the teams down, the colors are variable, but each will be the alternating 8-gore pattern shared with all the BLS family.
In addition to this exciting news, Paramedichutes is extremely thrilled to share that we’ve sent out Paramedichute #100 this past week.
#100 was a Rageapple Red and Montreaux Purple BLS TARC-15. We think it’s a pretty sharp little chute with the white trim and lines. Congratulations to the TARC team receiving this chute, and we wish you the very best of luck in your pursuits. We’d love to see this chute in action during your competitions!
That’s all for now… more exciting news coming soon. See you on the flight line!
Paramedichutes is proud to announce that our ALS line of parachutes has expanded to include the ALS-120. This large main, suitable to recover Level 3 projects, has twenty-four (24!) gores, 375# lines, a nylon webbing apex loop, and our signature satin trim.
Photos of this large, multi-gore parachute are forthcoming and we will be adding it into the inventory over the next week or so.
Also, our Color Pallette is expanding to include a shade we’re calling Montreaux Purple. When we get the pics of the ALS-120, we’ll be adding that as well as a color option to ALL chutes of ALL sizes.
After a busy week, we have a range report from the 23 July launch at MDRA. We made a total of 5 flights. Jenn (she’s the model holding the ALS-72 on the site here) and I arrived at the field about 9:40. The weather was Maryland Summer: add in a bit of Old Bay and you could have steamed us like a blue crab between the heat and the humidity. Winds were light–this side of 10MPH. and we got our site set up in short order. She’d never been to a launch before, and as she’s going to be leaving us to move out to Nevada with her beloved, Paul, she figured that if she was ever going to see a launch, this was the time to do it. She was a big help in prepping, setting up and tearing down camp, and keeping an eye on the rocket when the sun got in my eyes. We’re going to miss her.
Our first flight of the day didn’t go as well as we would have liked. In attempting a different packing technique for the Jolly Logic Chute Release with our BLS-15 in small airframes, we found it to be a delicate balancing act between sufficient bulk to release the stock rubber band, and thinly-packed enough to exit the airframe. We erred too far on the first option. Apogee was 476′, and the chute never cleared the airframe. Landed at ~40 FPS with a core sample. The chute release was found to have been open–so the method WOULD have worked, if it’d cleared. Gah.
Conclusion: Revert to prior technique, change bands for small chutes.
Rocket status: under review, likely flyable.
Clearly, if you have a sub-optimal LPR flight, the appropriate response is to fly a motor 10 times as powerful. The CTI H-123SK is a fair motor for the King Kraken. Normally, she flies on 3-grain I motors at this field (the CTI I-180 or -212) but for testing purposes and availability, it’s a lot more cost effective to fly on H’s. We had this 2-grain 38mm sitting around doing nothing, so… why not? The Jolly Logic Altimeter Three was not turned on for this flight because the author of this flight report was an idiot and forgot to press “record” while in bluetooth range. We’d flown this chute in this rocket before at around this weight, so we were expecting a gentle descent. The chute release performed flawlessly, and it recovered gently, close to the pad without damage.
Conclusion: still a great chute for this weight class, if using dual-deploy. The flier may want to consider a BLS-36 for apogee deployment, depending upon field size, because with a BLS-42 popped at 2, 500+, you may land in the next county.
#3: Pem-Tech King Kraken
Mark X prototype
3.28 lb recovery weight
Jolly Logic Altimeter Three
Jolly Logic Chute Release, 300′
The 29mm H-226 is a fun little motor to fly. We ran an adapter, and prepped as normal. The Mark X prototype chute was packed the night prior, so it was a
simple affair to cut the delay, throw in the step-down, load the motor, heave a couple handfuls of dog barf, attach the chute and close her up. Mark X is a 36″ diameter, 12-gore prototype of a chute we are not yet offering for sale. The Mark X prototype was designed to correct the helicoptering noted in the Mark IX version, as well as increase performance slightly. The launch was an unintended drag race with another flier. LCO goofed and flipped a switch wrong, so we got no photos of liftoff. We did, however, get the descent pics, which, for us, is the main thing anyway. Apogee was 2041′, and the rocket descended with bound chute at a nominal 54FPS. Landing was at 16 FPS, and the descent under inflated main was stable and pulseless. We would have liked to have seen it come in a smidge slower than the 16FPS –that was the ultimate goal. As it turns out, our Cd is still around 1.7–which is good, but not quite where we would want it.
Conclusion: better in that it did not helicopter and was a pulseless, stable descent. Still want to see the descent rate slower. Mark XI will be coming soon.
We love flying this rocket. The 4-grain H-135 white motor is perfect for this little slab of retro SF goodness–gives it a nice kick in the ass to get it off the pad, sends it about a half-mile up, and has the horizontal recovery to protect its swoopy fins. I’ve honestly lost count on how many times I’ve flown this rocket on this motor combination. This was, however, the first time we used the chute release with it. I wondered how it would work with the bound parachute and the horizontal system. Apogee was 2,180 feet, and it landed at 13 FPS.
Conclusion: The chute release method of dual-deployment with horizontal recovery worked okay in this instance, but the horizontal tether did become entangled around one of the fins. The bound chute did not have the drag necessary to keep the line taut to prevent entanglement. We were lucky. In the future, we may work on figuring out a way to have a drogue in-line with the main–but there is limited space to work with.
The Bucky Jones, Space Cadet typically recovers very slow on a BLS-30 –around 13 FPS. I know: crazy. But it has been consistently this speed. It can’t be hitting THAT many thermals, and the horizontal recovery can’t be adding THAT much drag. Maybe it’s magic?
Since this model spent a couple of months in the tree and I had to pay to get it back, I have resolved to fly the Hell out of this thing. It owes me. The 6XL 29mm I-243 white motor gives a nice flame-to-rocket ratio, and gives this thing enough rail speed to fly
straight. This marks the fourth or fifth time this motor had been used in this rocket, so we expected a straight launch leading to a low flight to ~1,500 or so with a landing speed of “slow.” We were not disappointed on all accounts. Apogee was 1,432 feet, descending at 57 FPS under bound chute to 300′, with the BLS-48 exceeding any reasonable expectations and setting down 6.25 lb at an unbelievable 12 FPS.
Conclusion: Perfect chute for this rocket
While flight #1 could have went better, it was not without learning something in the process: go with the first method, and use even smaller rubber bands than that which are supplied. Now that we understand that, we’ll accept the bit o’ crunchiness to the Kraken and move forward. Flights #2-#5 were fantastic, and Jenn got to see firsthand the special brand of rocketry that is MDRA. We left shortly before the thunderstorms rolled in and drove back to PA in the vomiting down rain.
Actually have off from the medic unit today–and spent this morning chasing after the critters and working on my first LPR build in a long, long time. It’s a scale model of Tom Cohen’s Higgs Farm rocket –that big, ridiculous, lovely square monstrosity that was at LDRS.
Yes. It’s square. No kidding! The folks at New Way Space Models made these kits up, and they are fun! Once I weigh the thing, I’ll make a chute for it. Thinking a BLS-15 oughta do it.
From all of us here (that is: myself, Nikki, the kids, and the critters) at Paramedichutes, have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
MDRA trip was a resounding success. The Jolly Logic Chute Release performed admirably. We had 1 failure out of 5, but that was operator error –no fault of the unit. I should have replaced the nonspec rubber bands after the first flight, but didn’t. I used them in place of the OEM bands because even the small OEM band was too big for the BLS-15 on which it was being used.
Their recommendations for the bands are their small one for chutes up to 36″ or so in size, their larger band for larger than 36″ or so diameter chutes. This may be a solid recommendation for most manufacturers, but Paramedichutes seem to pack a bit smaller than that. We used the small band up to 48″ diameter without issue, and could probably do the BLS-60 in it as well. We didn’t have one immediately available (nor an appropriately-sized rocket with us), but we’ll test that at another date.
As time permits, we’ll post photos of the packing techniques we used that seem to work for us.
Anyways… flight report:
#1: Pemberton Technologies Kraken. D-12-5. Paramedichutes BLS-15. Jolly Logic Altimeter Three and Chute Release @200′ (nonstandard bands). Purpose of flight was to demonstrate Chute Release operation and achieve dual-deployment at low-power rocketry (LPR) levels in the smallest recommended airframe for the Chute Release unit. Apogee at 517 feet, descent to 200′ where chute was released. Recovery weight was 0.441 lb. Chute opened fully by 174 ft. Landed 16 seconds later for descent rate of 10.875 ft/seconds. Now we’d love to be able to say our chute has a Cd of ~2.5, but that’s just ridiculous. There had to be a thermal or something it was riding. We were expecting somewhere around a 14.5 ft/sec landing velocity. Mission success.
#2: Pemberton Technologies Kraken. E-22-6. Paramedichutes BLS-15. Jolly Logic Altimeter Three and Chute release @200′. (same nonstandard bands). Purpose of flight was to further explore dual-deployment in the LPR range with the larger LPR motors. Apogee at 748 feet. Nosecone separated from shock cord, carrying altimeter data with it. Chute Release did not deploy properly due to use of nonstandard bands that were previously used. Failure #1: failed to detect worn shock cord. Failure #2: use of nonstandard bands. Failure #3: failed to recognize loss of band elasticity, leading to slow opening of main. Altimeter Three case and screen cracked upon landing. Nosecone and rocket recovered with minimal damage (shock cord only) Mission: failure. Status: easily repairable.
#3: Pemberton Technologies King Kraken. H-237SS-8. Paramedichutes BLS-42(zp) Jolly Logic Altimeter Three (damaged from previous flight, still able to record), Chute Release @ 300′. Purpose of flight was to characterize ZP chutes and to serve as a benchmark for the next flight. Unfortunately, I was called away from the pad to handle a developing situation and lost my place during prep work and neglected to start recording on the altimeter so no data was obtained on the flight profile with this particular chute. The flight looked great, though, and the chute release worked well with the standard OEM small chute. I don’t have a descent rate, but it was pretty slow. Recovery weight was 3.28lb. Mission: undetermined–no data.
#4: Pemberton Technologies King Kraken. H-237-8. Paramedichutes Experimental Chute Mark IX, 36″ diameter, zp). Jolly Logic Altimeter Three (still damaged), Chute Release @300′. Purpose of flight: to characterize ZP in this chute design, and compare descent rate vs. BLS 42 of identical material. Apogee at 1412 feet. Chute release at 300′. Complete main inflation occurred at 35 seconds, 234 feet. Landed 15 seconds later at an altitude of 3 feet, for a descent of 231 feet at 15.4 feet per second. Cd is within expected range, however, oscillations were noted during descent that are normally absent with the standard chute material. Venting should be sufficient to prevent this, but at this point it is unclear if it this may be a design flaw. Mission is considered a partial success, given absence of comparative data. Considerations: test again using standard material to compare vs. this flight.
#5: Scratch-Built 4″ AIM-54c Phoenix. I-243. Paramedichutes BLS-48. Featherweight Altimeters Raven 3, Jolly Logic Chute Release @ 400′. Purpose of flight: 1: Confirm Raven 3 working. 2: Obtain base data for comparative future flight. 3: Straight liftoff to stop Bob’s razzing.
Apogee at 1,480 feet. Chute release @ 400′. Data suggests chute was released 309 feet (where one sees a corresponding 5.74 G spike, with approximately 2 seconds of elevated g-forces, as chute is released, lines extend, and main fully inflates). Chute is released at 29.6625 seconds. Inflation complete at 31.4325 seconds, 242 feet. Landed at an altitude of 5 feet at 45.8320 seconds, for a descent rate of 16.459 ft/sec, meaning the BLS 48 recovered the 6.283lb of weight at recovery with a Cd of 1.553–a nominal recovery. Mission: success x3. Bob conceded that it flew straight.
To be fair, Bob’s razzing was warranted: Phoenix models typically are vulnerable to making abrupt turns shortly after leaving the rail, and ours was no different in our initial shakedown flight. Paramedichutes suggests keeping the end-of-rail speed on these models up above 65 feet per second or so. So, if you have a Phoenix that tends to display such behavior, just remember that here, at least, in thrust we trust. Consider stepping down your motor diameter and using a higher thrust motor of reasonable impulse for your field parameters. See how it goes.
Well, Paramedichutes will be back on the flight line at MDRA on Sunday. The MDRA launch is both Saturday and Sunday, of course, but we’re working the medic job until 5 this evening, then starting the part-time job at 7 this evening, working until 7 tomorrow evening, so we’re going to have to skip Saturday’s launch activities.
We’re going to be attempting dual-deployment via the Jolly Logic Chute Release on a BLS-15, in a Pemberton Technologies Kraken –that’s the 1.6″, flyable-on-black-powder D-12’s off the LPR pads Kraken. It’s an interesting prospect –to fly a single D-12, yet, recover via dual-deployment. Let’s see if the BLS-15 is up to the task. Further, we’re going to be attempting to graph the flight with a Jolly Logic Altimeter Three so we should be able to graph out the altitude, apogee, main deployment, and landing speed.
Just thinking about the kind of data one can get from a LPR flight with current tech is amazing. I recall as a kid trying to teach myself how to read the thrust curves on the Estes motor inserts. Now, I can make a virtual model of the rocket, viurtually fly it to see what’s likely to work and what’s not, and have a very good idea of the performance of the thing before I ever get to the field.
Amazing times we live in.
Let’s shake this thing down and see how it does before throwing it on a BLS 42 on the King Kraken, or the BLS-48 on the Arboreal Phoenix…. Should be an interesting and exciting day!
Many thanks are owed to the fantastic, handsome, witty, and utterly mad scientist Layne Pemberton of Pemberton Technologies
for bringing to the Mid South Rocket Society a number of our BLS parachutes this past weekend, and graciously sharing some photos of his rockets under chute. Not only does he have mad build and design skillz, he takes great photos, too!
Do you have photos of your rocket coming in under a Paramedichute BLS, ALS, or QRS? We’d love to see them! Send copies to
us, and if we use post them on the website, you’ll receive a coupon code for 10% off a future purchase!
Thanks again, Layne!
If you do not have one of Layne’s kits, you’d do yourself well to visit Pemberton Technologies and fix that for yourself. He’s got some great examples of rocket-powered art deco and vintage SF inspired designs. We’ve got a number of them ourselves and fly them quite regularly.
In other Paramedichute news, we expect to see a number of black and red BLS 36’s in the wild soon, and are very much looking forward to that. Can hardly wait! Also, we’re quite proud to say that R&D efforts do, still, continue. We’re experimenting with different materials as well as different designs, and look forward to the MDRA launch (which we thought was this past weekend–but it’s NEXT weekend–d’oh!) where we can do some comparison flights. The project we have been hinting at for a while now is still ongoing –we just finished the Mark IX prototype. That is–this is the ninth re-draw of the gore and geometry, and we’re hopeful, but cautiously so–that THIS will be the one that will meet the third expanded performance goal.
Coming soon: updated info on how to pack your BLS Paramedichute if using the Jolly Logic Chute Release. The Jolly Logic Chute Release is is the latest must-have rocketry gadget–a small, simple, self-contained unit that lets one perform dual-deploy recovery out of motor-ejected rockets. We have seen these in action and have been impressed. We’re going to be acquiring one here, shortly, to see how best to use this exciting new product with our chutes. There may even be video!