Launching a Christmas tree with 32 large model rocket engines

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35 Responses to “Launching a Christmas tree with 32 large model rocket engines”

  1. merreborn says:

    Does the guy on the right’s shirt say something about “Creationism”?

    If it says what I think it does, it looks awesome. Where can I get one?

  2. ZippySpincycle says:

    Slackers + Rockets = Awesome

  3. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Funny, but too bad they didn’t bedeck it with ornaments and tinsel before launch. Isn’t this a national sport somewhere in Scandinavia?

  4. Anonymous says:

    ah… model rocketree at its finest.

  5. Felton says:

    Scotty: “The energizer’s bypassed like a Christmas tree, so don’t give me too many bumps!”

  6. Anonymous says:

    Love it.

  7. Gilbert Wham says:

    Again! Again! With more, bigger motors! Whoosh!

  8. Anonymous says:

    ROCK ON!!! You both should seriously consider aerospace engineering careers!!! NASA needs intellectuals like yourselves!!! And thanks to our very convincing senators here in Florida I think the space program may just make the cut when we ATTEMPT to re-construct the AMERICAN way of life,liberty and the search for allusive happiness!!! Keep on Rocking in the Free World” To quote Neil Young.

  9. technogeek says:

    Who would have expected a tree to be that stable in flight?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how heavy the star had to be to give it enough stability?

  11. lava says:

    I guess you call that project model rocketree.

  12. mcarrick says:

    Love the 461 Ocean Blvd. on wall.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Alcohol TF or Homeless Security should hire them as a consultants.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great video, but the dry grass looks like a extreme fire hazard. Nonetheless, model rocketry at it’s very best.

  15. solflare says:

    Awesome, but what they should have done is wait till it turns brown and set it on fire 7 seconds before launch. Srsly guys go get another tree and do this.

  16. jeligula says:

    Brilliant doesn’t begin to describe this. These guys launched a tree!!! Kudos, it was awesome.

  17. AndrDrew says:

    Oh Tannenbomb, indeed!

  18. Anonymous says:

    That was great! Good to know fine American education is not wasted. What’s next? Pumpkins. Yeah!

  19. Stefan Jones says:

    @Loren:

    Normal booster motors don’t have a forward bulkhead. When they expend the last of their fuel the flame front sprays sparks and hot gas forward. This is what ignites the upper stage, and it looks like an ejection charge.

    Not taking this into account is a huge fire hazard. Especially with all that dry grass.

    Estes sells “plugged” motors with a forward bulkhead that would have avoided this problem. They’re normally used in R/C boost gliders.

  20. elizo says:

    Twistedly wonderful! I love it!

  21. Anonymous says:

    We’ve been doing this for the past couple of years.
    Here is the video with a homemade J motor in Jan 2008.
    http://www.mdra-archive.org/photos/ESL116/BobUtley/Full/JChristmasTree.wmv

    Here is the video of our club making it an annual event in Jan 2009.
    http://www.mdra-archive.org/photos/ESL128/BobUtley/Full/xmastreedragrace.wmv
    Enjoy!

  22. alttsunami13 says:

    Next time 64 ENGINES!!!!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Heh. Paging Larry Niven… but this isn’t quite what he meant by stage trees.

    • social_maladroit says:

      “… Stage trees started out as science fiction, like? Some guy called Niven – anyway, what you do is, you take a pine tree and you hack it. The xylem vessels running up the heartwood, usually they just lignify and die, in a normal tree. Stage trees go one better, and before the cells die, they nitrate the cellulose in their walls. Takes one fuckin’ crazy bunch of hacked ‘zymes to do it, right? And lots of energy, more energy than trees’d normally have to waste. Anyways, by the time the tree’s dead, it’s like ninety percent nitrocellulose, plus built-in stiffeners and baffles and microstructures. It’s not, like, straight explosive – it detonates cell by cell, and some of the xylem tubes are, eh, well, the farm grows custom-hacked fungal hyphae with a depolarizing membrane nicked from human axons down them to trigger the reaction. It’s about as efficient as ‘at old-time Airane or Atlas rocket. Not very, but enough. …”
      - Charles Stross, Rogue Farm

  24. Daemon says:

    Hmm. How many of those do you need to launch a VWBug?

  25. Stefan Jones says:

    Large? Fah! I was expecting 32 Aerotech K550s and a suborbital attempt.

    But seriously, getting more than a dozen motors to ignite simultaneously is always a feat.

  26. palindrome says:

    Less talking, MORE TREE LAUNCHING!

    My brother-in-law has a penchant for making large rockets out of shipping tubes and multiple engines. On Christmas he treated us to a launch of his latest 4 stage rocket. It launched, rose about 100 feet in the air then gracefully arched over the shed and crashed behind it. The remaining stages shot off all over the place. It was awesome.

  27. PTBartman says:

    I just wished they had taken more time to explain the telemetree.

  28. Loren says:

    D12-0s???? That certainly looked like a delay charge going off after it landed!

    I’d love to know how they tested stability on that before flight.

    Anyway, it’s not a stage tree because it didn’t stage!

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