This is our first view of the recovery hardware. Four inches seems like a lot when flying mid or high power, but for an attempt to near space, there is actually very little room for recovery and electronics. There is a redundant recovery system in place, including CO2 and black powder. Although N5800 flights have been shredding left and right, the normal failure point for high altitude projects is either motor cato or failure of recovery, not max q. The extremely powerful and efficient N motor, burning faster than optimal for altitude, changes the game around a bit and forcing the rocketeer to worry more about heating and airframe stresses than recovery! I am extremely pleased with this project as it nearly matches my dream of an all-aluminum modular rocket that basically screws together, and flies on these new and extremely powerful 98mm pro x motors.
This rocket has an extremely aggressive tailcone. According to simulations, this cone helps improve final apogee by several miles! As before, I was personally worried about the conventional airframe section between the nosecone and motor, both because it is not designed to be heat resistant like the nosecone, and also because it is not thicker than normal to withstand flight stresses. This team has done a ton of homework, however, and they carefully investigated each part. This thing will scream out of the tower! Simulations get this rocket to around mach 3.8 at burnout. Short of the mach 4 predicted in a minimal mass N5800 flight, but still extremely fast! However, we have little reason to worry about the fins at this point because the team made the correct choice to use metal.
The discussion continues at the Rocketry Forum.