What is it that makes a man willing to sit up on top of an enormous Roman candle, such as a Redstone, Atlas, Titan, or Saturn rocket, and wait for someone to light the fuse?
The successes at Red Glare V have given me the confidence to take the next step in Hobby Rocketry. I will work towards achieving Level 3 certification. Level 3 certification allows us to fly larger projects with larger M and above motors. Level 3 is not to be taken lightly. It is a formal process that must be successfully completed. The entire rocket project must be thoroughly documented. This requires developing schematic documentation for every rocket component that demonstrates construction techniques, adhesives, materials, laminations, electronics, wiring, and detailed checklists. The whole process must then be approved by two members of the Tripoli Technical Advisory Committee (TAP) with at least one TAP member completing a successful final inspection of the entire rocket project. Once all the paper work and approvals are completed, the level 3 rocket can be flown. Only when the rocket is successfully launched, recovered, and all final TAP signatures obtained, is the level 3 process completed. It is that initial level 3 certification flight that is the most apprehensive, with all the hours of construction, all the money in hardware and electronics, and all the anticipation of certification, all trusted in a high-power rocket of your doing. The level 3 certification flight is scheduled for Red Glare VI during April 17-19, 2009.
I have chosen an 8-inch diameter, 10 foot, 8 inch tall, all fiberglass, Mad Dog8 DD Performance Rocketry rocket kit from Rockets Magazine. I will extend it another 16 inches to accomodate 40 inch motors. I chose this kit for the following reasons:
To share this Quest for Level 3, I have included a link to my TAP Submission Document and to monthly construction progress reports. Please enjoy and feel free to comment with any questions or suggestions.