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Old 04-14-2018, 02:34 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Posts: 5,811

Originally Posted by surdumil
I've found that the Mach 10 is more "air brake" than "glider", really. In no way is it a performance glider. Keep the wings square-edged and unsanded so that it slows as much as possible before landing.

I cloned the Mach 10 about 18 years ago and I still fly it fairly regularly. It's a pretty tough bird, but I made sure that it's a pretty rough bird, too, so that it slows down decently as it decends. When gliding, it kinda stays oriented correctly but comes in fairly "hot". It doesn't glide so much as "fall with style". And, yup, it lands pretty hard, with an impressive bounce and tumble every time. Really fun rocket!

With rocket's forward motion, the little wedgie up on the tail produces downward thrust along the long moment arm of the vertical stab which drops the butt end down, causing the wings to tilt upwards thereby presenting lift and breaking force... a neat air-brake mechanism/demonstration.

The system becomes less effective if an airfoil is sanded into the main wing because the upward lift of the wing airfoil overpowers the force presented by the little tail wedge. So... don't airfoil the main wing!
I've never had or flown a Mach 10, but the YouTube videos I've seen of them flying show what you described. Like the X-24 "Bug" lifting body, the Mach 10 utilizes "angled flat plate lift" rather than airfoil lift (as the Centuri TIR-24 "Model Rocket Lifting Bodies" report shows [with a rear off-center-weighted cone] and describes, flat plate lift isn't as efficient as an airfoil, but enables a steep but safe descent). One advantage of the Mach 10 is that it makes a good "foul weather boost-glider," being steady and having good wind penetration on windy days that a high L/D boost-glider couldn't cope with.
Black Shire--Draft horse in human form, model rocketeer, occasional mystic, and writer, see:
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