LUNAR# 309 1/2
Those of you, who know me, know I like rack rockets. A rack rocket is like a multi stage rocket, except that the stages do not separate. There is only one stage and the engines pop out the back as they burn, lighting the next engine in turn. It takes some special engineering to make these rockets work as the fire from the second stage and up is playing over the fins and the wooden rails that the fins are attached to and that align the stack of engines.
Figure 1 shows my fleet of rack rockets. The smallest is the picomaxx rack with 4 grains of gunpowder in a stack. It is too small to see in this picture. Following that is a rack of four MicroMaxx engines, then one with four C6 engines and the largest is four E12 engines plus two C6 engines to get things moving.
Figure 1. The rack rocket fleet.
To celebrate the April 1 launch at the ranch, I decided to one up myself with the MonsterRack, which consists of 24 E12-0 engines in a stack. See Figure 2, showing the MonsterRack prepped and ready to fly leaning against my shed.
Figure 2. The MonsterRack.
A difficulty I am having is that RocSym simulations of the flight characteristics indicates a maximum altitude of 0. With that many engines, you would think that it would at least get off the ground. Looks like I will need to add a couple of M class boosters to get it moving.
Without the boosters, one thing that it makes easier is recovery and cleanup. I don’t need a parachute or streamer as the rocket will still be sitting on the launch rod after all the engines are burned and sitting in a nice little (big) pile at the bottom. We will need a thicker blast deflector as 24 engines will likely melt our existing ones plus a wheel barrow to haul away all the burned cores.
In my plans for future launches is the Level-3Rack with four M1850 engines in a stack. See figure 3.
Figure 3. The Level-3Rack with 4 M1850 engines.
It sims to 200,000 feet and will be a little expensive to fly as it is ejecting M class engine casings as if they were single use engines. Anyone who wants a free engine casing only has to catch one on the way down.
Finally there is the AackAackRack, on the theme of Mars Attacks ™ . See Figure 4.
Figure 4. The AackAackRack Rocket.