An experimental program was conducted to investigate the potential of achieving an altitude performance advantage from a boosted dart over an optimized conventional single-stage model in the same total impulse class. Theoretical considerations were addressed that considered design parameters that result in a predicted altitude advantage for the boosted dart configuration. A highly successful, safe, and reliable delay timing and ejection mechanism was developed for the dart which allowed empirical flight testing.
Flight tests results demonstrated an average twenty percent altitude performance advantage for the boosted dart over the optimized conventional single-stage model. Graphs and tables are provided that address boosted dart design parameters applicable to different engine classes for modelers who wish to conduct future boosted dart research. A perspective on the limitations of the dart delay timing and ejection mechanism within the restrictions of the U.S. Model Rocket Sporting Code is presented, as is a request to model rocket manufacturers to develop prepackaged mechanisms so that all modelers can take part in the boosted dart experience.
Email: cbweiss at frontiernet dot net
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