Dave has another brief update on what we did today, along with some more video:
This was basically a preparatory run for our throttle response test. While we’ve done hundreds of firings now with the engine in the trailer, this test was our fifth on the vehicle. We wanted to run a few runs to try and get the throttle map better tuned for the vehicle itself before doing the formal test, and we also wanted to make sure nothing bad happened integrating the engine with the vehicle. As you can see, things went really well.
We will need to tweak the throttle map a bit, particularly since we need to up the tank pressure back up (as Dave mentions in his notes), so we’ll probably do a few more like this, but we’re almost there. Once that’s done, we’re going to be taking the engine apart for a thorough inspection, and then reassembling it with the final flight wiring, and everything. We’ve still got a ways to go, but as Dave points out, this vehicle really looks like it wants to be unleashed.
On another fun note, we were all really impressed with how well the wood jet deflector stood up to the abuse. The top layer for the deflector was the same layer that was on there for the three firings last week. All in all, the $16 worth of 2×4’s and the $3-4 worth of screws and nails lasted for a cumulative time duration of over a minute. Which is really not too shabby for how inexpensive it is. We’re probably going to prefab several that we can just pull one off, and drop a new one in once it’s been burned up. We were kind of worried originally that we were going to have to go in for something fancy like graphite or a water cooling system. The fact that this simple wood construction is working so well was a pleasant surprise.