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Video Amateur Rocketeer Derek Deville's Qu8k Rocket Flies to 120,000+ Feet (Video) 165

Derek Deville is a rocket hobbyist. A lot of us have messed with Estes Model Rockets, which start at about $13 for a pre-assembled rocket that can go 800 feet straight up. Derek's rockets are on a whole different level. His personal rocket altitude record is closer to 33 miles, which is about 150 times as high as the entry-level Estes rocket -- and takes more than 150 times as much effort to build and launch. Derek's employer, Syntheon LLC, helps him out a lot with tools and materials. Lots of other people help him, too. Derek has been mentioned on Slashdot before. This video is a chance to get to know him a bit better. And anyone who shoots rockets to the top of the Stratosphere for fun is worth knowing, right?
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Amateur Rocketeer Derek Deville's Qu8k Rocket Flies to 120,000+ Feet (Video)

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  • by luvirini ( 753157 ) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:54AM (#39286931)

    and his toys are definitely not on the cheaper side.

  • by dtmos ( 447842 ) * on Thursday March 08, 2012 @10:08AM (#39287083)

    Derek's rockets are on a whole different level.

    To be sure. Derek's rockets are classified by US Federal Aviation Administration regulations as "Advanced, High-Power Rockets", not Model Rockets. See CFR Part 14, 101.22 [].

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:04AM (#39287787) Homepage

    ... to have videos that work through company firewalls - ie use port 80? youtube can manage it along with dozens of other sites. Why can't you??

  • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:29AM (#39288213)

    Title: Derek's "Amateur" Rockets Fly to 120,000+ Feet
    Description: Derek Deville builds amazing rockets. For fun.

    [00:00] <TITLE>
    The Slashdot logo with "News for nerds. Stuff that matters." scrolls and zooms along the left side of the view, superimposed over a 'small' rocket's take-off event.

    [00:03] <TITLE>
    Derek Deville and the Qu8ke (pronounced "Quake") Rocket

    [00:03] Timothy>
    Derek Deville is a serious amateur rocket maker.
    Today, Derek was kind enough to allow me both into his home workshop, and here in the former Chess Hall of Fame, his current workplace, where many of the parts for Qu8ke were actually fabricated.

    [00:16] <TITLE>
    A picture of a workshop with a large cylindrical casing on struts with a man, Derek Deville, is in view.

    [00:16] Derek>
    This is a filament-wound composite casing, aluminum-wrapped with a phenolic carbon fibre-wrapped nozzle.
    This is a 5,000lbs thrust hybrid motor.
    We fired this one already.
    These have enough fuel to burn for 34 seconds.
    We've tested full duration burns.

    [00:33] <TITLE>
    A rocket motor test, with large high velocity exhaust plume, is shown.

    [00:54] <TITLE>.
    Back to the workshop, the view pans to a large cylindrical metallic object standing upright and a set of other cylindrical casings stacked up beside it.

    [00:54] Derek>
    This is the aluminum test version of that.
    I wouldn't even dare to lean this all the way over; it's too heavy, it's still got propellant in it.
    It's another 12 inch.
    There's another 12 inch casing over there, and a bunch of 6 inch stuff.
    The 12 inch ones are what we call the Hyperion Two, and the 6 inch is the Hyperion One.

    [01:14] <TITLE>
    The video pans upward along a set of racks, revealing a rocket with stabilization fins laying across the top struts of the racks.

    [01:14] Derek>
    You can see up there is a 16 inch full-scale nike smoke.
    It doesn't have a nosecone on it, it's got a different nosecone on it, temporarily.

    [01:23] <TITLE>
    The view changes to a zoomed in view of the rocket being discussed.

    [01:24] Derek>
    But that is one I made a P-motor for and flew at an LDRS [...]

    [01:28] <TITLE>
    The view changes back to the view of the racks, and follows Derek around the workshop.

    [01:28] Derek>
    [...] some years ago.
    If you swing around over here besides the funky mannequins ...
    Oh, here's a piece of finstock.
    This is the finstock that was used for Hyperion.

    [01:39] <TITLE>
    Derek is shown holding the piece of finstock.

    [01:39] Derek>
    This is an extrusion that we had made, so it had that profile matched to 6 inch diameter casing and then had the fin... so that when we trim this to be fin profile, and fin profile with leading and trailing edges, and drill it out.. and then this would be secured directly onto the motor casing.

    [02:01] Derek>
    So this is a compression-molded phenolic nozzle that forms the convergence, the throat, and the divergence.
    These are glued into a XX grade [ia] phenolic liner with another compression-molded phenolic forward closure.
    The injector would seal right in here and then eject, you can see the tapered cone, the way that the nitrous impinged the fuel grains.
    This is a fully-consumed fuel grain.
    This is about a Q motor.

    [02:40] Derek>
    And then 12 inch versions here.
    Similar to what was done with Qu8ke, we had kevlar molded nose cones made for Hyperions back in the day.
    That fits the 6 inch motor casing.

    [02:55] <TITLE>
    The same rocket launch from the opening title is shown.

    [03:00] <TITLE>
    Video following Derek around the machine shop is shown.

    [03:00] Derek>
    This is the Syntheon machine shop.
    This is where all the Qu8ke machining parts were made.
    We've got a standard lathe and a precision, smaller, lathe.
    Nose cone parts were fabricated here.

  • by Ellis D. Tripp ( 755736 ) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @12:07PM (#39288817) Homepage

    High power rockets like this are fin stabilized. The initial guidance is provided by the launch rod or rail, which keeps the rocket going straight up until it gains enough velocity that the fins provide sufficient aerodynamic correcting force. Exactly the same as the little Estes model rockets, just bigger.

    The lack of spin is an indication that he got all the fins well aligned with the thrust axis of the rocket. Not surprising since he laid out the attachments using proper tools in a well-equipped machine shop.

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