After more than two years of work, "Launch Vehicle No. 2", or LV2, had a near perfect first flight.
On Sunday morning, September 22, 2002, the Portland State Aerospace Society launched LV2 at an experimental amateur launch held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. This first flight of the LV2 design was an "airframe only" test and proved that the airframe would handle the acceleration and aerodynamic loads of flight (including crossing the sound barrier).
This flight of LV2 contained no avionics except a commercial flight computer and the LV1b 2m radio uplink system. The commercial flight computer, an Emmanual Avionics unit, recorded a top speed of 900mph (Mach >1) and an apogee (maximum altitude) of ~ 18,000ft.
LV2 was recovered succesfully, but during the soft landing on the main parachutes the airframe was slightly bent at the interface between the fin canister and avionics module.
Ready to go
Loading onto Launch Tower
Entering supersonic flight (picture credit )
Boosting into the blue (picture credit )
Main body at recovery site
You can find the raw data from the Emmanual Avionics flight computer we used for this launch here.