We arrived in Newquay late on Sunday night and headed to our digs - the location is right on the coast, but it wasn’t until this morning I realised how close. Unfortunately the overnight storm was still passing through, so we didn’t get our 0630hrs role call for a swim in the sea.
The test site is located on the south side of the Newquay Aero-hub, which used to be RAF St. Mawgan until recently. The infrastructure is still used for service hangers and we have been fortunate to have great partners to the project, Newquay Airport Ltd. and the Cornwall Development Company, who have provide us with an ideal facility to test the Rocket in Hardened Air Shelter #7 (HAS). As sheds go, this is one of the best I’ve worked in.
Most of the test rig is now installed, so until the rocket motor arrives we have been preparing the site with cameras, control systems, and lots of HSE paperwork. The job list is growing, and luckily we have a local Mole Valley Farmers shop for all the anchor bolts, straps, cables and turnbuckles needed to hold down all the support kit.
The deluge rig is laid out the truss structure is built ready to assemble over the rocket system. We found an alternative use for the Diffuser Chamber (at the back of the HAS is a ‘vent’ for exhaust gasses called a Diffuser Chamber). The CCTV cameras needed to be mounted near the rig, so we fabricated the posts and used the chamber as a spray booth. Luckily there is no overspray, but if there was it will get blasted off next week when the rocket fires.
First job in the morning is another visit to Mole Valley Farmers for 24 off M10x50 anchor bolts, but for tonight at ‘Chalet Chez Bloodhound’ it’s Mexican night. A few of us have hidden culinary talents, and I can’t help thinking this is going to get highly competitive.
Dan Johns, Mon 24th September 2012