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Armadillo suspense

Posted by: TJ - Sun May 16, 2004 2:16 am
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Armadillo suspense 
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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 4:13 pm
they scrapped the crushing nose-blow idea some time ago

wonder why... :P :wink:


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 4:19 pm
n54 wrote:
they scrapped the crushing nose-blow idea some time ago


Oh. I had a quick look at the armadillo site and wasn't able to find a flight profile diagram. The "team card" on the Xprize site still has the broken nose reference. Poor excuses both. :oops:

Note to self: must keep up!


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 4:53 pm
i don't think it's poor exuses, finding information can be difficult. often simply because it isn't there or is "hidden"


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Post Beercan Nosecone   Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 4:58 pm
Armadillo always wanted to eventually move to a powered landing a la DC/X, but the decision to do so early was forced on them by constraints from WSMR, who were restricting them to a 100km flight clearance. That requires a lot more work, a lot more fuel, and everything that that implies.

They were going to use the crushable nosecone along with a parachute landing, but drift could have taken them beyond 100km. They probably don't have to use the nosecone now, unless they are going to use that as a redundant safety system. I don't think Armadillo is married to the idea of launching from White Sands, any longer, juding from Carmack's own comment's here:

http://tinyurl.com/3gs9b

So possibly the old Parachute-Crushable Nosecone idea is not quite dead. I hope it isn't, as it simplifies things for everyone's favorite underdog.


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Post Now just a moment fellows ... landing gear?   Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 6:26 pm
OK, OK, so the published plans don't say anything about "landing gear". Perhaps I was having a flash-back to the days of the DCX. In actuality they are just "liftoff gear", if you will. The vehicle's center of gravity would still be lower and the drag higher by widening the radius of the placement from the craft's body - a small, seemingly paradoxical problem.
Yes, the plans do indicate a crushable nose cone. However, if you watch the video of the parachute drop test, it looks to me like the nosecone is planned to be more of a "bendable" nose cone. "Crushable" would tend to indicate they plan on landing with the nose pointed straight down, which is not what the video shows.
I too would like some more insight on their design, planned trajectory and angle of re-entry so I can stop putting my foot in my mouth.


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 8:13 pm
hmm i wonder which video you saw as it can't be the one i saw. in the one i saw it was definetly a crushable nosecone, one sees it being dropped straight down under testing and it all crushes inwards in a very nice and orderly way which would be very hard to achieve if it didn't fall straight down...

must admit i still don't like the idea lol happy they chose something different :D


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Post    Posted on: Thu May 27, 2004 1:31 am
The crushable nose cone vehicle was abandoned for the X-prise because WSMR felt that from altitude descending by parachute they could possibly exceed the flight area during high winds.

During one of the test drops using a helicopter the nose cone did indeed bend, mostly due to the vehicle swinging under the parachute after being released. During static drop tests using the crane it crushed very well so the problem would probably only be an issue when the parachute opens at low altitudes such as when it was dropped.

As for the DC-X landing gear, and it was landing gear since it was fully retracted at launch, there were no problems with landing due to it's small foot print. The reason why the DC-X was lost was due to the infinite wisdom of some NAySAy engineers 'upgrading' the landing gear. So on the first, only and terminal flight of the DC-X to be run by NASA one of those upgraded landing struts failed to open. The DC-X was perfectly stable on four landing struts but not so on three. There was also more than enough fuel left in the tanks to cause a spectacular loss of the DC-X. Although I'm reasonably sure that was an honest failure like many of NASA's it certainly was very convienent for getting rid of a rather embarassing success built outside of NASA.

Despite all of that though I also think the new version of the Black Armadillo is a bit on the narrow side with it's landing gear. I'm sure Armadillo feels that it's a reasonable trade off against the drag a larger setup would cause. Also at it's most critical time most of the vehicles weight would be just above the landing gear framework and I'm sure it has a much lower center of gravity than it appears to. Then again John Carmack has stated a few times that they fully expect to crash this vehicle during testing. Hopefully that won't happen on the first flight.


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Post Re: Now just a moment fellows ... landing gear?   Posted on: Thu May 27, 2004 4:39 am
ArcheAngel wrote:
... However, if you watch the video of the parachute drop test, it looks to me like the nosecone is planned to be more of a "bendable" nose cone. "Crushable" would tend to indicate they plan on landing with the nose pointed straight down, which is not what the video shows..


The chute caused excessive oscillation, resulting in the vehicle hitting at a less then optimum angle. The nose did crush, but it also bent. It was a test landing, and that's what tests are for. In the end, it would have done it's job, though I think the cabin was slightly damaged, though obviously not beyond repair. The whole thing could have been/would have been resolved with a differen chute, but they went on to the powered landing after this.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:15 am
Well another weekend has passed and while they need to work a bit on the landings they certainly seem to be doing well.

I do wonder if they can use the jet vanes for multiple engines. I'm sure it's just software work but can it be done in time to fly a really big vehicle using that 1600 gallon tank before the end of the year? Although if they build a really big engine that might be eaiser. I think John said in a recent update they could fly the 1600 gallon tank vehicle on two engines.


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Post Attitude problems   Posted on: Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:03 pm
I have an idea to fix Armadillo's rolling problems. Have a set of rotating rotors or discs in the spacecraft. Then when the wind blows the nose off course, and the power is off, the discs can adjust the attitude. This is comparable to having two counter rotating rotors in a helicopter, and adjusting the rotation to control yaw.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 04, 2004 2:16 pm
Looks like Armadillo is considering liquid catalyst for larger 20,000 lbs thrust engines...

We are considering mixed-monoprop + liquid catalyst for building huge engines (20,000 lb thrust) where solid catalyst would cost fifteen thousand dollars or so.

http://lists.erps.org/archives/erps-list/msg06492.shtml


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 08, 2004 4:29 am
Not to clutter up the Q&A thread but TerraMrs has me wondering if they came close to being able to fly this past Tuesday. I think that they probably spent most of Tuesday assembling stuff but I'm hoping to see a really cool flight for next Saturday.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:06 am
It sounds like they were at least partially successful. I think getting stuck on a lifting bolt is a good sign of upward mobility :lol:

I can't wait to see any new videos whether successful or not. Armadillo is my second favorite, after Rutan. Though they have been growing on me after I started following them again recently. I may have to move them past Rutan for my favorite team, not to win the Xprize mind you, just in favorite team status. :wink:


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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:37 pm
ARRRGGHH!!

I thought it was bad before waiting for the old Monday updates or the newer Monthly updates.

What's going on with the FAA?!?!?!

What happened at the border?!?!?!?!

WHY OH WHY AM I NOT IN NEW MEXICO! :lol: :lol: :lol:



Best of luck guys, bring home the wins!


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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:09 pm
Quote:
What's going on with the FAA?!?!?!

What happened at the border?!?!?!?!


Last I heard, they made it to New Mexico and were supposed to do a flight for the FAA today. Depending on how the flight went, we may or may not see them launching tomorrow morning.


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