Crashes in the News - Thread

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

Wanttaja

Well-Known Member
It always seamed to me that the term "Rocket Science" was a subtle insult. Rocket science is just F=ma.
Actually, "Rocket Science" is actually DV=Isp*G*ln(Mi/Mf). That is literally Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation.

It is not nearly as difficult as trying to explain how wings create lift or proving that the earth is round.
About twenty years ago, I was friends with a retired Boeing aerodynamicist. He had had the lift equation tatooed on his arm.

I've been threatening to do the same with the rocket equation....

Ron Wanttaja

jedi

Well-Known Member
Actually, "Rocket Science" is actually DV=Isp*G*ln(Mi/Mf). That is literally Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation.

About twenty years ago, I was friends with a retired Boeing aerodynamicist. He had had the lift equation tattooed on his arm.

I've been threatening to do the same with the rocket equation....

Ron Wanttaja
I am just a stupid engineer, as in not a Dr., only a masters degree. Can you please define the the variables and terms of the equation on one arm below the elbow. I may wish to join you at the Tattoo parlor.

PS: I think I get it. Change in velocity = Specific impulse times the log of the ratio of the change in mass of the rocket times the acceleration of gravity on the planet where the mass was measured.

I think we need to
1. Get rid of the G by using a universal Mass measurement.
2. Define Impulse and simplify the equation.
3. Thus F=ma. or KISS. (Translation available on request)

Reference: In classical mechanics, impulse is the integral of a force, F, over the time interval, t, for which it acts. Since force is a vector quantity, impulse is also a vector quantity. Impulse applied to an object produces an equivalent vector change in its linear momentum, also in the same direction. Wikipedia

I will foot the tattoo bill if you will go for F=ma on your forehead to explain the tattoos on your arms (airplanes versus rockets, F=ma works for both*). Now back to work on my intended reply for the "Why do airplanes fly?" question .

* It is difficult to measure the mass involved for the airplane. But then the lift equation takes care of that by eliminating the mass term in the lift equation.

Last edited:

Aerowerx

Well-Known Member
...I watched a single episode of Ancient Aliens or whatever that show is called.... not sure if it is how all of them are, but was kind of interesting/funny/disturbing....
He spent the entire episode laying out an argument for intelligent design (the basis behind Christian as well as many other religious belief systems), then ends with "but because there can not be a God, it was Aliens".................. No argument for why there could not be a God, or why it was Aliens, just that its obviously intelligent design and he chooses Aliens as the answer.
Ok, then. But where did the Aliens come from? How did they develop?

I don't think I have seen any shows on the history channel in recent years that wasn't designed for 8yr olds addicted to annoying youtube repetition without any meat.
Oak Island???

mcrae0104

Well-Known Member
Log Member
It is not nearly as difficult as... proving that the earth is round.
That was done by the ancients using sticks and shadows. No sweat.

That is literally Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation.
I had no idea he was a rocket scientist too. I really liked Swan Lake. Oh, wait...

choppergirl

Banned
My first thought: he may have not proved the earth was flat, but he proved that the earth was very hard
My second thought: what a waste of a good V2 like rocket, it would of had a longer lifespan in my front yard
My third thought: Kansas may have indeed been flat before he took off, but now it's rather cratered.
My fourth thought: no need to build a rocket... buy a night time commercial flight and take a look out the window; not only will you see the world is round, you'll also see it's rather pretty
My fifth thought: I ponder taking an open cockpit motorglider up to 10,000 ft on a windless still full moon lit night, and just killing the engine and gliding down to the ghostly illuminated earth below... the perfect or worst night for a prison escape... I've never decided which... wow, okay, now I have something to live for again.
My sixth thought: why didn't he build a Reichenberg... that would of looked even better on my front lawn
My seventh thought: steam powered rocket? what was it, a nuclear reaction? hydrazine? too lazy to look it up, my brain is now up there coasting through the quiet cool night air

Last edited:

danmoser

Well-Known Member
A friend of mine was Mad Mike's partner in his steam rocket endeavors.. The story about the accident I got was that a pair of experimental backup parachutes came loose from the recoil of the thrust pulse at launch, snagged on the launch ramp, and were ripped free. That deflected the flight path of the rocket slightly, but thrust force was more than sufficient to overcome that back-up parachute glitch, and the rocket continued climbing. The two manually deployable "Last Chance" main chutes were still ready to go in their canisters on board the rocket when it crashed. the ground crew was yelling at Mike on the radio after the rocket reached apogee, instructing him to hit the chutes, but he apparently never tried to.. why will remain a mystery, but some speculate that Mike was probably blacked out or otherwise incapable of triggering the main chutes.. Automatic chute deployment likely would have saved his life.

The "Darwin award" jokes and snickers are inevitable, but whatever your opinion of flat-Earthers or daredevils may be, it's worth noting his passion, fearlessness, and total commitment to a goal, no matter how misguided his efforts may have been.

Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
Automatic chute deployment likely would have saved his life.
Yes, but if it is desirable to deploy at apogee (to minimize load on the 'chute, shroud lines, and Mike), maybe the most foolproof approach would involve commanded deployment from the ground. In these circumstances, folks on the ground are probably in the best position to make a decision and can account for unforeseen deviations in the flight path.

I would think everyone is sorry things came to this, and that they wish Mike's family and friends the best.

TarDevil

Well-Known Member
Yes, but if it is desirable to deploy at apogee (to minimize load on the 'chute, shroud lines, and Mike), maybe the most foolproof approach would involve commanded deployment from the ground.
Most likely he had neither the budget or aptitude for automation and/or remote commands.
... it's worth noting his passion, fearlessness, and total commitment to a goal, no matter how misguided his efforts may have been.
No one can deny his determination. I cannot dispel the feelings of waste over a pointless goal.

Well-Known Member
My third thought: Kansas may have indeed been flat before he took off, but now it's rather cratered.
Kansas may be cratered, but not from that event which took place in California.

Hephaestus

Well-Known Member
Mentioned this in fritzw's thread. Surprised it's not here.

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/233238
Ercoupe at Torrance municipal. Doing T&G's, engine problems. Impossible turn. 2 parked aircraft. Injuries only.

There's a cellphone video on FB but I can't seem to find it anymore.

pwood66889

Well-Known Member
Know the gal in the `coupe that did that "1/2 impossible turn" landing. From the chat, she did an impeccable job. And the A&P who was her passenger got an outstanding object lesson!!
"When the gremlins are out, the best place to be is in an Ercoupe." Gen. Chuck Rosenfeldt (USA, ret.)

lr27

Well-Known Member
Regarding the chute deployment on the steam rocket, I'm sure that rocket hobbyists have figured out 17 reliable ways to do this automatically.
Does anyone know how many g's the rocket could do?

bmcj

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know how many g's the rocket could do?
I don’t know about on takeoff, but it looks like a whole lot of g’s on landing.

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure why he believed a low altitude rocket flight would allow him to see the curvatur eof the Earth any more than a half hour ride in a Cessna 150. What I heard was that his rocket was only supposed to go a couple of thousand feet in the air. How would that show him the Earth was round? I've been up over 30K (sailplane) and didn't see any curvature.

bmcj

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure why he believed a low altitude rocket flight would allow him to see the curvature of the Earth any more than a half hour ride in a Cessna 150.
...or I short hike up a medium sized hill.

I've been up over 30K (sailplane) and didn't see any curvature.
That’s because the Earth is flat!

dog

Well-Known Member
not only flat but you can fall off the edge....there is a phenominon when looking out to sea when its calmer inshore but either its rough farther out or an illusion ,in any case the whole horison is some how
magnified......the end of the world....and ration and reason fail.....its a shame that someone so captivated by there own sense of the real wasnt able to find another way to explore that,I am sure that they were a force of nature in there own right.

BJC

Well-Known Member
From the link in post #3306:
In the past, Hughes said he believed the Earth was flat, with some publications stating his launches were aimed at seeing the Earth's curvature for himself. In August 2019, however, Hughes told Space.com that his flat-Earth belief was not his launch motivator. He was simply a daredevil, pushing the envelope of homemade rockets, Hughes said.
He was a publicity seeker who was pursuing self-promotion, not someone trying to prove anything about a flat Earth.

BJC