Aerodynamics/Structures has been doing great! Since we have figured out how to manufacture tubes with no wrinkles, we have been able to make our three body tubes.
There are only two separation points on the rocket, which is at the nose cone and then between the upper section and lower section. We had to layup 3 tubes because the upper section is 70 inches long and wouldn’t fit in the oven to cure. What we are doing to alleviate this issue is to have a coupler that will be permanent to join the two 35 inch sections to make the full upper body section. With the couplers made the week before spring break, last weekend we were able to put all three sections of the rocket together!
As you can see, this is a pretty tall rocket, and this is without our nosecone and boat tail. The final height of the rocket will be 12.1 feet tall! This is a huge difference from our 2015 rocket which was 7 feet tall with a 4 inch outer diameter. With a bigger rocket we have more opportunities to be creative with our payload and recovery system (more on those components later!). We also have made half of a nosecone and will be using a joggle to join the two halves together; a joggle is like an insert for the inside of the nosecone. It will be offset on the inside of the nosecone and will be used as a guide to join the two halves together. Since the boat tail and fins have been made we really wanted to see them on the rocket so we have attached them. There are centering rings that insert into the fins from the inside of the body tube which reinforces the strength of the fins as well as holds the motor in place.
The next steps for Aerodynamics/Structures are to epoxy in the coupler for the upper section, put bulkheads in the rocket (pictures to come for the bulkheads), and finish the nosecone.