Thrust vectoring pringles can

Pringles can #

The idea came to me when I knew we’d go to a launch party with the rocket team. I thought I’d bring something funny.

The plan was simple. Incorporate my flight-proven GNC32 system into a pringles can. I wanted to keep it “stock”, so I preferred minimum modifications to the can. I removed the bottom metal cap, drilled mounting holes, and cut a hole to flip the power switch and observe the status LED. All parts were printed in LW-PLA to keep weight down and hopefully get a dynamic flight. I also used glued some popsicle sticks to the sides to serve as landing gear (though in this case its more like liftoff gear). The thing needed no launchpad - put it on the ground, power up the control system, and light the fuse. The signature plastic cap and seal found on the snack packaging was modified to hold the main line and parachute. The ejection charge popped it off with a piston. From the top, you couldn’t tell that the can was modified into an inertially-guided rocket.

Sadly the LW-PLA TVC gimbal failed due to the forces. It completely collapsed and promptly melted from the heat of the motor.

For the second attempt, the motor-handling parts were reprinted in PETG. The rocket flew perfectly, though data showed a slight wobble - not visible to the naked eye, I never fixed this issue since it was “good enough”. After all, this is all for the meme. image image image image Phone lost focus so the video is pretty bad, but its available here

FM2023 flight #

The rocket performed 1 flight at FM2023. This time my phone didn’t lose focus, and I captured the entire flight. This time there was a bit more wind, and the control system struggled. Despite a barely visible wiggle, it kept the can pointing straight up, until losing control near burnout. The recovery system, once again, performed perfectly. Because of the heavy steering, the final momentum transferred in the vertical axis wasn’t as high. Because of this, the rocket briefly “hovered”, which is a rare sight at launch events. Video is available here image image Overall, I am quite happy with these results. The project was fun, and everybody had a laugh.

rocketry, fm2023