Super Shuttle Flight Photos


I managed to get the Super Shuttle's flight bug finally licked!
I needed to add weight to the pod's forward separator disk
to bring the launch C/G forward.  The flight before this one
was with  twelve 3/4" washers bolted to the disk.  It went
straight up but the delay was too long and it ejected at about
100 feet going down at about 30 degrees.  The glider almost
recovered but landed without damage.

Here's the flight from 9/4/2003:

                                     Ignition of the D12-3         Cleared the rod and accelerating - 50 ft   Starting slow barrel roll at about  150 ft

                                             Continuing Roll Program                   Burnout at about 250 ft                        Coasting up to about 300 and
                                                                                                                                                                                          continuing roll to....

                                                              ...wings level and..........................................................Orbiter Launch!

If you look closely at the photo you'll see the two pieces of the starboard elevator
and the whole port elevator stripped off due to an overzealous D12-3 ejection charge!
I had removed 6 of the 12 washers that I first tried (to move the C/G forward) but failed
to make sure they were tight against the plate.  They shifted slightly during boost
and jammed the orbiter on the pod.  The pressure ruptured the aft end of the orbiter
and stripped the elevators.

The next step is to build and entirely new prototype from scratch and then work out
the uniformity problems with the Orbiter cone production.