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back to article El Reg to unleash rocket-powered spaceplane

The El Reg Special Projects Bureau (SPB) is pleased to announce we've finally come up with what we reckon is a worthy successor to our Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) project. After a good deal of mulling as to how we could use our PARIS experience to launch an even more improbable and audacious plan to keep the UK at …

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Hurrah

Sounds an excellent plan, though I bet Rui's dreading the frock already.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Hurrah

He is. He's threatened a restraining order if I come within 20 feet of him waving a dress...

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Mushroom

LOHAN

Et voila, il suffit de demander

Low Orbit Half-assed Aeronautical Nightmare

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Joke

Working title

The project might be LOHAN but as any fule kno, the ship itself will need a nickname.

Following on from the success of PARIS may I humbly propose 'High Hilton', complete with a suitable graphic? Perhaps her ladyship in reclining form underpinned with a long white line representing...err...the exhaust gasses.

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Bronze badge

Is 'V2' taken?

Excellent graphic! However, why the stealthy design?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Is 'V2' taken?

Actually, it's unlikely that'll be the final design, sexy as it is.

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Coat

Waverider

There's a bunch of space enthusiasts in Scotland who were looking at something called a "waverider"

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~portwin/ASTRA/Waverider/waverider.html

Seems worth a look.

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WTF?

I looked and my eyes hurt

Their website seems to have emerged from an anomaly wormhole to 20 years ago.

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Go

Oh yeah..... Here we go again

this is going to be so cool.....

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LOHAN

Low Orbit / High Altitude Navigation project?

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what he said

I like this one. It's even conventional enough to go mainstream.

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+1

For this and similar backronyms.

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Pint

Hmmm

No advice here, just a wish of fair winds and following seas for the worthy endeavour.

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Happy

Altitude

Will the rocket be used to get more altitude?

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Holmes

Err, no. Nope. Nein. Negative. Not at all, totally out of the question.

What else do you think (if you can) it would be used for?

Summing up: no shit, Sherlock

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Headmaster

Direction

So......

It has to be pointing in the right direction when the fuse is lit.

Tricky!

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Mushroom

I Christen Thee...

“Low Orbit / High Altitude Navigator”

Any good?

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Pint

What's the recipe

for the rocket fuel? Black powder? Liquid? Ah, the smell of burning eyebrows!

And here's me thinking you may have gone the other way and developed a solar powered paper submarine to cross under the English Channel.

Next beer please

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Flame

try...

Potassium nitrate and sugar cooked together in a frypan. Don't use a gas flame unless you want loads of smoke, a melted frypan, and your parents yelling at you...

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Happy

HARA KIRA

High Altitude Rocket Assisted Kit In Released Ascent

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Go

KNIGHT.LY

Keeping National Innovation Going However The .uk Looks Economically Yuseless?

Think of the advantages:

It almost qualifies for FotW in and of itself.

It is a registerable domain name. In Lybia, no less.

And who doesn't like Keira?

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FAIL

Ahem. EY is not Libya

in fact, .EY is not a valid TLD yet, but 180k USD can change that soon-ish.

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Anonymous Coward

Rocket motor?

Because gravitiy isn't enough. Or is there an intention to shoot it beyond balloon's reach to higher altitudes?

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LOHAN

Low Oxygen High Altitude.. NNNNnnnthingie.

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Pint

bodge

Shurely just sellotape an Astra firework to the belly of Paris with a match head and the sandpaper striker thingy stuck to the release box thingamajig.

Bish bash bosh, job done, proper job, etc.

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Sellotape?

If this is to be done properly shirley it should be gaffa tape

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too heavy

and you missed the title - its a bodge job, cant be using proper tools like gaffa tape!

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Mushroom

Picky Vogon says...

Is a model plane with an auto pilot called a "cruise missile" in some circles?

I thought (probably wrong) that you need a license to develop cruise missiles.

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Silver badge

Nope.

So long as you stick within model aircraft limits (3m wingspan, 7.5Kg weight), no license is required for a UAV. For larger airframes, a specialised license can be obtained. I'm going to hazard a guess and say Lester probably knows all this, or knows a suitable "pilot" (quotes due to it being, err, a UAV).

Of course the rules in Spain may be different to the rules in the UK. Go have a look at the BMFA's website for the latest Handbook and other resources.

www.bmfa.org

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Childcatcher

Re: Nope

I thought that limit only applied to conventional propulsion and that you still need a licence for a proper rocket motor.

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Silver badge

Dunno about that.

What I do know is BMFA liability insurance (which is highly limited and only applies on approved land, etc, etc, consult their site for more info) does cover you for up to class M rocket engines, which is pretty fecking huge. We're not talking "firework on a stick". More like "amateur suborbital missile."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaN8jVgmTtc

I'm gonna guess that Lester has probably done research in this department though, and might even have larger rocket classes planned.

At least, I'm sure we're all hoping he has. Teehee.

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First in, first served...

You could always call it "Low Orbit - Here And Now"... more of a goal than a name, really.

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Megaphone

LOHAN

LOHAN, Original High Altitude Namesake...

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Linux

Yay!

A recursive acronym no less, excellent idea!

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A title

Launch

Assisted

Device (with)

Yaw

Gyrocompassing (and)

Autonomous

Guidence

Activation

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Happy

Or...

could at least name a component:

Gyrocompassing

Autonomous

Guidence

Assembly

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"Design and test your own plane"

Alternatively buy one off the shelf - plenty of RC aircraft that you could use. That'd get the job better, faster and probably more cheaply too. Lewis would approve (especially if it was American ;)

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At least it will actually have to fly this time...

Call me a cynic, but it's nice to see 'flight testing' and 'control' in the list of design necessities this time round...

PARIS was interesting, but it didn't 'fly'...

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WTF?

@PC Paul

>PARIS was interesting, but it didn't 'fly'..

Err, what did it do then? Plummet very, very gently?

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Flying != dropping slowly

>> PARIS was interesting, but it didn't 'fly'..

> Err, what did it do then? Plummet very, very gently?

Essentially, yes.

It _may_ have managed to glide, although with no evidence of it even being gently hand launched into long grass before the big flight, it's hard to see how it could have been anywhere near trimmed for that.

Not that there was any allowance made for trimming it either.

Very pleased that this one looks like it might be more of a plane and less of a 'lightweight plane shaped object dropped from a height'.

+1 to Ardupilot, there are enough other challenges to overcome to get this one to work.

Probably need tweaking to avoid an Ariane 5 style 'outside the design parameters' disaster though.

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Boffin

Sheep do not so much fly as...plummet.

Well, it looks like you wouldn't call what a folded paper aeroplane does when thrown off the n-th floor balcony 'flying' either.

PARIS managed to end its flight with a surprising lack of damage, from which I dare to draw the conclusion that the craft went relatively slow, which again means a near-horizontal attitude.

OK, it wasn't guided in any way, but in common parlance the craft, seeing that it did no plummeting to speak of and managing airborne time and distance travelled consistent with the aforementioned lack of plummeting, was flying.

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Boffin

H

Hydrogen's cheaper - have you considered using that in the balloon?

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Boffin

Whilst Hydrogen is Cheaper

It has a nasty tendency to diffuse through most things, so that might make the other materials more costly. I also wonder if the legal situation with launching a highly flammable hydrogen balloon differs with that of launching an inert helium one? Anyone know more on this?

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Hydrogen

Would be fine with most modern balloons, especially anything made of mylar or similar synthetics.

The real risk is handling large volumes of the stuff. Unsurprisingly it's not easy to buy canisters of hydrogen without a licence. But, that said, we all know how to make it...

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Hydrogen

We're not going to use hydrogen - ever. As we've said before, a lot of the team smoke, so it's not a very viable plan...

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Mushroom

@Lester

And who'll keep the smokin' team away from the rocket fuel?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: @Lester

We'll probably recruit a dedicated team of non-smoking teetotallers to handle the rocket end, while we watch from behind six feet of plexiglass while swigging a beer and smoking our boffins' pipes.

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Flame

"teetotallers"

Wise. Otherwise you'll need twice as much rocket fuel

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Boffin

"smoking our boffins' pipes."

Ooer! fnnr fnnr.

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Boffin

Hydrogen really not a problem, outdoors

In the open air you can't get an explosive hydrogen/air accumulation. Hydrogen on its own has no explosive properties. If someone gets really careless and manages to ignite the balloon, it'll burn strongly upwards (away from them).

It's not well-known that the majority of the passengers in the Hindenburg disaster survived. Of those who didn't, many died of wounds caused by jumping from too great a height, or by heavy metal components of the airship falling onto them. And that was one helluva large balloon.

The fatal flaw of the Hindenburg, was using an inflammable material for its outer skin. You wouldn't do anything that silly, would you?

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