Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

Title to be decided pt5

Brownsville AAR chapter 5:

The hum of the back country highway hisses on by as T and G head to their next destination.   You can cut the air with a knife due to the tension in the cab.

“Alright T, spit it out, whats eating you? The fact that we could have just started an international incident or my flying?”

“You know damned well, its your flying.  I was watching the telemetry and there were two points where you showed near zero pressure on the intakes. You almost flamed out twice and 20 miles over the Mexico border with no chance in hell of recovery. ”

“Its these damned rockets T; I have to be too damned close to be accurate and the pressures nearly blow me out.  I’m tellin’ ya, we need ceramic nozzles, those graphite ones are burning out premature.”

“I’m failing to see how they do that.  Graphite is more than capable of standing up to the heat.”

“Heat maybe, but not the erosion of being directly in line of superhot gasses moving at supersonic speeds!”

“Ok, your getting a tad technical so you’ve tthought about this.  Prove to me what you are thinking.”

“Look, we designed these things for 1000 meter burn and 1800 meter det in case they miss, right?”


“But watch the vids, these things start yawing around 800 meters from launch.  By 1000 meters, they are damned near sideways and where they go from there is anyones guess.  I’ve been holding launch until within that 1000 meters and by the time they do bust loose, I am within the 800.  Unfortunately, that puts me right over the blast and boom, loss of pressures if I am angled just so.  Thats why you only saw two drops, not sixteen. ”

“Ok, so you have some proofs, now sell me on the ceramic idea.”

“Well, we use sand blasters for cleaning all sorts of things, and the nozzles we use for them are ceramic.  They hold up against several types of grit all moving at speed of sound or better, I figure ceramic nozzles would hold up under what we would be putting them through even better, AND, ceramic is made with superheats so it should hold up to that as well” G says, looking hopefully at T in the drivers seat.

T chews on his lip for a few, watching the Texas countryside slide by in his headlights. “You know, I chose graphite so that we could machine the nozzles and keep all of this in house. Getting those nozzles made in ceramic means we are going to have to sub out part of this, and that means yet another mouth that can talk.”

“Then we need to cut the burn time down or something.  They just arent holding together.  I know these are dumb rockets, but they shouldn’t be retarded ones.  And that’s how they act after 800 meters.:

Laughing T responds,”retarded missles, wonder how much the Pentagon would pay for a batch of those?”

“Way more than we are for sure!” 

“Alright,ya sold me, but I am not sure on what part yet; let me think on it for a few.   We have a few days before we get to Nogales and we still have to build the next set so we arent out anything.”


Ah, shit, here we go again.”

“Seriously,this is important”

“I’m listening.”

“I want an airspeed indicator.  The GPS is fine for ground speed, but ground speed is two dimensional.  I need to know when i am getting close to stall speeds and that doesnt show up when I am near vertical and ground speed is near zero. I mean, its not like I am actually in the plane so ai cant fly ‘seat of my pants”. How can we do that?

“Keep it up boy and I am gonna make you attempt to drive while I work on all this in the trailer.”

“Wouldn’t that be a blast, trying to put together rockets while I try to push on the gas with a broom handle.  Yah, that’ll work.  You know T, you can be an ass somedays.”

Yup, Grumpy ol’has been programmer with an attitude: thats me.  Get over it G, I’m tired.  Its been a long day.”

“That it has been.  And here you are still pushing this rig.  How far tonight? ”

“‘Bout three hours.  Friend of mine an hour this side of San Antone has a little spread in the sticks.  Figured to hole up there a day or two and get some rest.  If’n I remember right, there is even a little ceramic place in town, maybe I can play with that nozzle idea of yours,”

” and the air speed indicator.  I think I can help there but I can’t figure out a way to calibrate it.”

“Talk to me. Whatchagot?”

“Those ducted fans we used when mocking up Damocles, the outrunners are just tiny permanent magnet alternators, right?”

“Yup, and I think I see your idea, keep talking.”

“Well, wht not rig a tube along the vertical stabilizer with the ducted fan in it, that would generate a small AC signal when air is rushing down the tube and that we could use to measure airspeed.  The calibration of it hangs me up though.”

“Well, thats math, and you might be quick at it in your head whenit comes to things you know, this one is a bit more complicated.  I’ll figure it out.   Now, about that potential internatonal incident you mentioned,,,”


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