Friday, 1 January 2010

Lenton Rec's own rocketeers

Yesterday morning Susan and I went with Owen, Lewis and Libby to Lenton Recreation Ground to launch a rocket! Chris, our next door neighbour came and joined us a little later. Despite the cold, we had an hour or more of fun, although towards the end, Libby and Susan wandered off to the swings (a four year old grand-daughter's attention, when it comes to rockets, is limited).

It went all too fast for me to capture in detail, but here are a few of the pics I did manage to take:


The rocket is fuelled up (with water) and ready to go — as soon as Lewis starts pumping…


…and within seconds Lewis has blast off and the rocket shoots high into the sky…

… which I manage to catch on camera as it returns to earth. The blurb with the rocket says that is can go 200 feet or more.

After just one launch, Owen had to do running repairs to a 'dislocated fin' and the decision is made to move the launching pad from the grass to the dunking area. This is because Lewis applied what science (or is physics?) he knows (and as an eleven year old he certainly knows more than me or Owen). Lewis told us that the rocket would achieve more thrust and, thereby, go higher if launched from a hard surface. He was right.  I used the camera's 'movie mode' to capture a take off from the hard surface, but have yet to work out how to include a few secons of film in this blog…

… so you have to make do with a still pic I caught of another launch from the dunking area. It was all great fun and although we used just a plastic Coca Cola bottle, Owen told me that water propelled rocket enthusiasts decorate their rockets and some fit nose cones so that the rockets will go even higher. I could well imagine a fun time being had in the park if we got local kids, some students and grown-ups together for an afternoon.

Chris told me that his ambition ever since he was a child was to make and launch a paper hot-air balloon, heated with a night-light, into the sky at night. It is something I have always wanted to do as well. We must check and see what the fire brigade have to say about such ideas. For years, I have wanted to like the park with paper lanterns on All Souls' Night (31 October). Lenton Recreation Ground would be an ideal park for some kind of autumn light fest. Ideas please.

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police officer in charge of the operation that led to the killing of Charles De Menezes by police officers, has been awarded the Queen's Polic Medal in the New Year Honours List.

1 comment:

Paul Pursglove said...

Paper hot air balloons work. We used to make them in the 1970's when I was teaching principles of flight. We would cut shapes from tissue paper, about 6 to make a baloon with a bell shaped bottom were glued together. The baloons were held over a lit candle to warm the air inside. We had competitions to see who could launch their balloon the highest. If the candle flame caught the tissue paper, it was gone in a flash - you then had to make another balloon. We never suspended flame to the balloons as that was considered an unacceptable fire hazard.