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NewsCurt von Delius Sets New 'J' and 'M'-Class Altitude Records With AeroTech Reloads at XPRS 2008 Launch
Curt von Delius, using a modified version of his record-setting Level 3 airframe, crushed his previous 'M'-class altitude record of 37,762 feet by flying it to a GPS verified altitude of 45,328 feet AGL on September 19th 2008 and also set a new 'J'-class altitude record of 19,758 feet on September 21st 2008, during the XPRS launch in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. The altitudes were recently certified by the Tripoli Contest and Records Committee.
Scorched from aerodynamic heating after reaching almost 2,000 miles per hour, von Delius' "MMAX" flight used an 8,060 newton-second, Kosdon by AeroTech Animal-Compatible (KBA A-C) M1450W reload kit (AeroTech P/N K13145P, $300.00 MSRP) that generates a peak thrust of 480 pounds during a burn time of 5.46 seconds. The rocket pulled 24 Gs and the time to apogee was 46 seconds, with the vehicle coasting for nearly 40 seconds after motor burnout.
The airframe was separated at apogee using black powder charges and was recovered with custom hybrid and Kevlar parachutes, of von Delius' own design and construction. A Beeline GPS was used to verify the maximum altitude and provide tracking during the over 5 minute descent (launch photo by Steve Wigfield).
Less than 20 days earlier at the AeroPac Aeronaut launch, also in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, von Delius clinched the previous Tripoli 'M'-class altitude record by achieving a GPS-verified altitude of 37,762 feet. Curt is also the holder of the 'L'-class altitude record of 31,316 feet.
Von Delius' high-altitude design was constructed with lightweight carbon fiber composites and weighs 56 oz. without the motor. The modified design now measures 59.77" in length and 3.13" in diameter with a flying weight of less than 20 pounds. After ignition, the vehicle reached 71 miles per hour before exiting the custom-built 8-foot aluminum launch tower.
"We had excellent conditions for this launch with mild surface and aloft winds. It all seemed to come together on this flight with an arrow-straight boost and all systems and recovery working flawlessly" said von Delius. AeroTech/RCS President Gary Rosenfield added, "We are thrilled that Curt chose to use AeroTech products for his record attempts. The M1450W reload especially represents a convergence of performance parameters that are ideally suited for this kind of effort."