Been giving your suggestions a second thought.anachronist wrote: ↑Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:02 amExcept for the class D competition, most of the competition records are achievable only by organizations having access to advanced manufacturing techniques or processes (such as carbon-fiber filament winding machines). As I mentioned in this post in another thread, this presents kind of a disincentive to compete.
So I propose a re-organization of the competitions, in which each class would have two or three subcategories:
Class A would still be single-stage, and the current record would fall under the "open" category. The current class D record would fall under the proposed class A "unmodified soda bottle" category. And a new category would be available for the soda bottle enthusiasts to experiment with splicing.
- open (anything goes within currently defined limitations: custom carbon-fiber pressure vessels, custom designs, no pressure limits, no volume limits, etc.)
- unmodified soda bottle, limited to 100 psi
- modified/spliced soda bottles, limited to 100 psi
Class B would include the same subcategories, with the current record falling under the "open" category. New categories would be available for soda bottle enthusiasts to compete with single-bottle stage designs and spliced bottle staging designs. Detachable boosters would also fall under class B.
Class C - I'm not sure what this is for. It seems that the winner here would be the highest-altitude rocket with the largest parachute? Since parachutes are nearly negligible in weight when made from plastic film, it seems that the current class A record holder with a large parachute would beat the record under the class C rules. In any case, if we have a duration record, the same three sub-categories would still apply.
Class D would be folded into the new class A unmodified soda bottle category. Or, if kept as its own class, we could leave class A alone and instead have two unreinforced bottle categories in class D: single bottle and spliced bottle.
Class E - there have been no takers for this competition, and in my previous post in that competition thread I explained why I think that's the case. I feel that this class could be eliminated or folded into an additional category in the proposed new class A.
Water rocket dragster (by the way, the standing page misspells this as "Dargster") - currently the rules are written as an "open" competition where anything goes with respect to pressure vessels. This competition would also benefit from having categories that include unreinforced single and spliced bottles.
My objective in this reorganization is to open up competitions to people or teams who don't have access to advanced composite manufacturing processes, who would rather use soda bottles. Another thing to consider would be a category for using other off-the-shelf parts such as fluorescent tube sleeves.
I think you may be right about certain competitions having a "hard limit" that once achieved, no one will be able to do better and that might be discouraging participation. (especially the competitions where pressure is limited or the bottle cannot be modified. After all how high can an unmodified 2 liter bottle go when the pressure is also limited.
I propose that the classes be reorganized as follows.
1. Class A & B will remain unchanged.
2. Class C (flight duration) will be removed (it was a great low cost competition back in the days when onboard cameras and altimeters were expensive) but the participant would probably need an extremely large launching area to account for drift which may be impractical for some teams.
3. The water rocket car competitions remain unchanged and will be called Class C (water rocket dragster).
4. Class E (reinforced bottle will be removed (competitors going through the trouble and expense of reinforcing a bottle will most likely enter it in the A or B competitions).
5. This is where the most changes will take place So start the suggestions rolling. The unreinforvced bottle competition. It should be opened up to sliced rockets and have no pressure limits (the fact that the bottles will not be reinforced will "self police" the pressure limits yest keep the pressures in a range that special equipment (high pressure compressors, scuba tanks, etc. will not be needed. This also eliminates the need for accurate pressure gauges as well. Teams can splice, couple or whatever (as long as the bottles are not reinforced. we will probably need a way to prevent "painted" rockets being used to disguise reinforcements. (maybe a requirement that a specific amount of the rocket be "clear". Weight limits and general requirements will be the same as the class A and B (camera onboard, altimeter, 2 flights etc.).
6. Make a unreinforced multi stage class ( the new class E) with similar construction requirements listed above in the unreinforced bottle competitions.