As soon as I left the store, I took it to a field to launch. After a half hour, it was ready and I placed it on the launch pad, counted down and pressed the ignition button. With a loud WHOOOOOSHHHH the X-Wing lifted off. Oh yeah! My heart raced with excitement as I saw it soar up into the skies.
After a few seconds, the rocket motor stopped; the nose cone was ejected and the parachute was deployed. The X-Wing started to come down slowly . . .then suddenly, it plummeted to the ground! I ran to the point of impact and saw that the parachute separated from the main body. My X-Wing was severely damaged. It looked as if Darth Vader got to it! Upon further review I realized that I was, unfortunately, Darth Vader.
In a model rocket, the parachute is deployed when the engine shoots out a small blast from the top of it, pushing the nose cone and the parachute out of the rocket. To prevent the parachute from being melted by the blast from the engine, you need to place a layer of wadding (which is kind of like flame-resistant tissue) to protect the parachute.
Here's the deal, recovery wadding is two-ply; but before launch I decided to tear the sheets apart and only use one sheet of wadding in the rocket. I figured I'd save money by doing it this way!"It will last twice as long now!" Unfortunately, the downsized wadding allowed the blast of hot air from the engine to melt the rubber band that connected the noise cone (and parachute) to the main body of my X-Wing.
No parachute = No slow floating back to the ground=FAIL!
It's a good thing the Rebel Alliance wasn't counting on me because the rocket was a total loss. For all I know parts of it may still be in that field! All to save a few pennies.
Now it's your turn! What are some ways you tried to cut corners, only to find it wasn't worth it?
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