Monday, November 3, 2008

Flat Pam Has Her Own Adventure Courtesy of Prairie Flyer

After Flat Tony experience his rocket ride in Colorado, courtesy of Dale. His blog is at the following address Since he was orchestrating the thrill ride, I will let him tell the story.

Well Pam, your ride into the sunny Sky's of Northern Colorado didn't go so well.

First problem I encountered was an issue with Capt Danger; he just didn't want to share his rocket or capsule. I even tried to appeal to his vanity and tell him that if Flat Pam the Stunt Woman didn't fly in the stunt monkey rocket she would go up in a larger more power full rocket, and test a altimeter! This appeal didn't work. He took his capsule and left to visit some relatives in Florida, I think he is secretly volunteering to work for the Obama campaign, but I won't hold it against him, he is a good monkey just a bit willful at times.

Anyway I happen to have an extra I 366 Cessoroni motor that would work just fine in my Yin/Yang rocket that I build for Mile High Mayhem. I also had an altimeter to test, so it was off to the prairie to test out the new configuration. I debated whether or not to put Pam inside the vehicle or taped to the outside. I created a suit for her with a helmet, and even a parachute for protection in case the tape didn't work (Flat Tony can attest to this) The reason she didn't ride inside is that there is no capsule, and she would have to ride with the ejection charges (Black powder) so friction from wind won out over exploding flaming death. She is after all made of paper.
Yin Yang is an excellent test bed for altimeters; it's fast, tough, and can easily handle any 38mm motor. So out to the pad we went, I had everything set up and ready to launch, the altimeter was armed, and Pam was securely taped to the side of the rocket. I went back to a safe distance and the launch control officer counted down from five. Whoosh, up she went into the sky, a very impressive launch. It was when the rocket disappeared from sight that it occurred to me that the paper and tape on the outside of the rocket probably won't be able to withstand the aerodynamic forces. I run computer simulations on all my rockets to ensure they are stable and safe to fly. This rocket, with the motor I installed, was simulated to exceed 400mph and achieve approximately a mile in altitude above ground level. Hope Pam packed her own parachute! The search for Yin/Yang while short was quite a walk. It was a long way away but visible due to the brightly colored parachute. When I came upon the rocket the altimeter showed a peak altitude of 5438'AGL which was right on with the simulation. Now the bad news, apparently Flat Pam didn't make it back to the ground with the rocket. The only thing still attached to the rocket was her glove. No, I checked, and there was not a hand inside. So the search was on, here is a photo of the recovery area. The search was eventually abandoned at dusk due to a lack of visibility and a lack of volunteers. Also due to a large and angry population of rattlesnakes that seem to be everywhere, people were just not willing to risk their lives in search of a paper figure with a missing glove. (Go figure)
I am sure flat Pam will be just fine, we will be back next week for an EX launch. I bet it was a wild ride, and I bet her parachute worked just fine, otherwise we would have found her close to the launch pad.
Way to go Pam no guts no glory!
Thanks for a fabulous trip! I am sure Flat Pam (wherever she is) is still grinning ear to ear (unless she's dead) from the thrill of going a mile in the air at 400mph. WOW! That is fast.


Tony said...

Hmmmm, not good, a missing Flat Pam in a desert full of rattlesnakes & without a glove....

Maybe she should have taken her chances with the black powder of exploding flaming death...

Pam Lambros said...

We are sending out search parties for her remains. Given the distance of her flight...remains could be found anywhere.