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El Reg's NAOMI rocket throws launch-pad strop

SPB fails to get it up at International Rocket Week

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At this point, we decided that NAOMI clearly stood for Negligible Altitude Obstreperous Model Initiative. It was then left to a young lad...

A young lad launches a rocket

... and a mother-and-daughter team...

A mother and daughter team launch a rocket

... to show us how it's done. We're delighted to report that at the second attempt, NAOMI finally headed skywards with an agreeable whoosh:

NAOMI finally gets off the ground

In summary, a good time was had by almost all, although Jonathan Rhodes has certainly had better days. His Spirit Of Columbia soared from the pad with a mighty roar resembling that of a turbocharged Porsche engine strapped to a V1, but broke apart a few seconds into the flight and came down in pieces across Fairlie Moor.

Jonathan later explained he thought the screws holding the motor to its circular mounting plate had failed, allowing the hybrid power unit to force its way through the rocket's centre.

Back at base camp, armed with some hands-on experience of rockets, and having witnessed the pitfalls of a range of technologies, Bill and I presented our LOHAN concept to the rocketeers, and our initial thoughts on a power plant for the Vulture 2 spaceplane.

There was complete agreement among the experts that there is only one way to go with the LOHAN rocket motor, and that will be revealed in due course, once we've done a bit more research and identified the right unit for the job.

In the meantime, we'd like to thank all of the International Rocket Week participants for their hospitality and enthusiasm for our LOHAN initiative, as well as their invaluable advice as to how to get Vulture 2 off the ground. ®

A tip of the hat to our LOHAN associatesOpenPilot

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