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  #1  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:11 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Default Falstaff (a *SCALE* egg-lofter!)

Hello All,

The RAE (Royal Aircraft Establishment) Falstaff test vehicle (it was also apparently called "Stonechat" after the name of its rocket motor, see: www.astronautix.com/lvs/stoechat.htm and http://fuseurop.univ-perp.fr/falsta_e.htm ) was flown 8 times between 1969 and 1979 at the Woomera Range in Australia. Its bulbous payload fairing, which housed test payloads for the Chevaline (enhanced Polaris penetration aids system) that were tested during the suborbital flights, would make Scale and Sport Scale Falstaff models also able to double as egg-lofters.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:08 AM
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Falstaff ???
Not sure I'd want to name ANY aircraft for a CHEAP swampo-brew beer.
If it flies anything like that slop tasted, it's a sure loser !
Just kidding....
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
Falstaff ???
Not sure I'd want to name ANY aircraft for a CHEAP swampo-brew beer.
If it flies anything like that slop tasted, it's a sure loser !
Just kidding....
I'm a Philistine when it comes to literature and the arts (the proverbial bull in the china shop and I would get along fine together in the same paddock), but I believe the Falstaff the Royal Aeronautical Establishment (RAE) had in mind when they named the rocket may have been a character in one of Shakespeare's plays.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:09 PM
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There's also an opera by that name....
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
There's also an opera by that name....
That could be, although Shakespeare's Falstaff http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falstaff certainly has the appearance that the project personnel could have ascribed to the short, thick vehicle.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:31 PM
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Here is a photo of a Falstaff pad I took.

Falstaff pad at Woomera, Australia.

They begged me to launch from it. I didn't have large enough motors . . . . . yet.

Solved.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Irvine
Here is a photo of a Falstaff pad I took.

Falstaff pad at Woomera, Australia.

They begged me to launch from it. I didn't have large enough motors . . . . . yet.

Solved.
That looks like the launcher from which the Falstaff F0 (the motor test vehicle) was launched, but Jean-Jacques Serra's "Rockets In Europe" web site (the URL is in the initial posting) isn't working right now. The operational Falstaff vehicles may also have been launched from that rail, but the launch photos of them don't show the launcher well.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:50 PM
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Never heard of this program before, thanks for posting.
Very cool, looks like a Honest John with hormone issues.
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2010, 07:57 PM
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Default Other Stonechat-powered rockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pem Tech
Never heard of this program before, thanks for posting.
Very cool, looks like a Honest John with hormone issues.
You're welcome. The Falstaff was powered by the 36" diameter Stonechat motor, the largest plastic propellant motor (and possibly the largest solid motor, period) produced by the British. The Stonechat motor was also proposed for use in several never-built variants of the BAe (British Aerospace) Skylark sounding rocket (they would make good Future/Fiction Scale rockets--please see below for more information on these Skylark variants).

An artist's illustration of the proposed Skylark 17 in a late-1990s British Aerospace Skylark Sounding Rockets marketing booklet that I have shows it with the same fins (and even the same paint scheme [white overall with two thin black circumferential stripes and a black spiral stripe between the other two]) as the operational Falstaff vehicles. The 36" constant-diameter Skylark 17 in the illustration has a rounded-tip, short conical nose cone like the ones in the Estes Yankee and Centuri X-24 Bug kits. I have e-mailed the successors to BAe and the RAE for more material on these Skylark variants and the Falstaff vehicles.

The Skylark 8, 9, 16, and 17 would all have used the 36" diameter Stonechat rocket motor as the first stage, either with or without upper stages depending on the version. The Encyclopedia Astronautica article on the Skylark rocket series (see: www.astronautix.com/lvs/skylark.htm ) briefly describes the Skylark 8, 9, 16, and 17 thusly (the relevant article text is reproduced below):


Version: Skylark 8.

Skylark version with Stonechat booster and Waxwing second stage motor. Never built.


Version: Skylark 9.

Skylark single-stage version with Stonechat motor. This would make it similar to the Falstaff test version. Never built.


Version: Skylark 16.

Skylark version with shortened Stonechat motor. Never built.


Version: Skylark 17.

Skylark version with Stonechat booster and Mage 2 second stage motor. Never built.
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Black Shire--Draft horse in human form, model rocketeer, occasional mystic, and writer, see:
http://www.lulu.com/content/paperba...an-form/8075185
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6122050
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre www.northcotehorses.com.
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Last edited by blackshire : 06-27-2010 at 08:11 PM. Reason: This ol' hoss done forgot somethin'.
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