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View Full Version : Reliant Robin - At least the SRBs separated



3rdvogon
2007-Feb-19, 12:22 AM
Did anyone watch the Top Gear Robin "Shuttle" launch. It had me falling off the sofa with laughter. Mind you to be fair it flew higher and for longer than I expected.

jumbo
2007-Feb-19, 12:34 AM
I expected a launch pad explosion. It flew pretty well. SRB separation worked well and they got a decent altitude. It was gutting the fuel tank didnt separate and the r/c pilot didnt get to try and glide the car to its landing but still far more successful a launch than i thought they'd manage.
Not a bad paint job on their 'orbiter' shame about the logo though!

Classic TV yet again. Its made sunday night tv essential watching again.

captain swoop
2007-Feb-19, 12:44 AM
I thought the launch was pretty spectacular! 8tons of thrust! hell of a rocket!

captain swoop
2007-Feb-19, 12:46 AM
I don't like the weay that the 'Star in a Reasonably priced Car' seems to have degenerated into a standard 'plug'

Both this week and the last 'Star' feature were blatent plugs for new films by actors. I don't want a ten minute 'chat' and film clips of some stupid dud comedy film in the middle of Top Gear!

jumbo
2007-Feb-19, 12:51 AM
I'd noticed the plug thing too. Its especially obvious when it follows Clarkson saying 'We dont do plugs on top gear but....'

Maksutov
2007-Feb-19, 05:22 AM
Which BBC channel was this on?

Mellow
2007-Feb-19, 07:58 AM
...BBC2

I agree with the plug thing,so I wrote to the BBC last night and will probably do so to TopGear magazine.

I suppose we have to remember that Clarkson is a bit of a luvvie and wants to be more of a celeb, Hence Gallardo cabrio (I rest my case m'lud)

The Relian Robin "Shuttle" launch was spectacular, it looked like the Robin's engines were not directed to take account of the centre (and that is spelled correctly) of mass of the combined shuttle plus tank assembly.

Great Telly though.

3rdvogon
2007-Feb-19, 10:22 AM
...BBC2

The Relian Robin "Shuttle" launch was spectacular, it looked like the Robin's engines were not directed to take account of the centre (and that is spelled correctly) of mass of the combined shuttle plus tank assembly.

Great Telly though.

I think they went for a simpler approach - from what I could see the main fuel tank was a booster in its own right with its own set of engines - unlike the real shuttle stack. This would have meant that the Robin's engines were only trying to overcome its own mass not that of the tank as well so both components were providing thrust, though I assume the Robin was drawing fuel from the main tank. It was a pity they did not separate as planned. Mind you I was also surprised that from the wreckage in the impact crater they were so confident about being able to claim the entire failure was all down to a single bolt. Whilst such things can be found out in crash investigations, I rather doubt that they would comitted the resources and time to be that thorough at finding out what happened in an accident that was only supposed to be a joke stunt.

For those that did not see it here are a few pictures as well as some U Tube clips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCab1BNFjjc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9TBgkJC3co

http://www.topgear.com/content/features/stories/2007/02/stories/03/images/5/large.jpg

http://www.topgear.com/content/features/stories/2007/02/stories/03/images/3/large.jpg

http://www.topgear.com/content/features/stories/2007/02/stories/03/images/2/large.jpg

http://www.topgear.com/content/features/stories/2007/02/stories/03/images/4/large.jpg




About the "Plug" - one wonders if Clarkson's "We don't normally do Plugs" remark was his way of making a point with the management. He has always in the past resisted the temptation to get compromise his position with the auto industry by getting sucked into the old corporate hospitality trap. I would have thought he was shrewd and cynical enough to realise that trying to be yet another Parkinson or Wogan would do nothing for his street cred. Remember he tried being a chat show host once and clearly it was not the thing for him.

peteshimmon
2007-Feb-19, 06:45 PM
Yes I enjoyed it as well, the British
Broadcasting Corporation was taking the..er..
mickey in a big way:) Butttt..I am slightly
suspicious. The nozzels on the robin seemed to
be mock ups and with rockets in the boosters
and fuel tank, the thrust would not exactly
go through the centre of mass. There was no
demonstration of the flaps and rudder having
the extensive servos that would be needed for
control. It looked like door hinges on the
elevators. Then the launch! Spectacular but a
hint of very good video matching came over!
And the crash seemed over the top with that
cloud of smoke and flame. These things
normally just crunch into the ground. But
very well done and perhaps my suspicions
belong in another forum.

mutleyeng
2007-Feb-20, 07:00 PM
well thet did say that there were 3 additional rockets on the car should they need to use them after seperation.

Doodler
2007-Feb-20, 10:13 PM
Beautiful. The looks on their faces when it was heading back to the ground were priceless...

The only thing missing was a stuffed Wile E Coyote doll as pilot.

Code Red
2007-Feb-22, 04:54 PM
Yes I enjoyed it as well, the British Broadcasting Corporation was taking the..er.. mickey in a big way:) Butttt..I am slightly suspicious. The nozzels on the robin seemed to be mock ups and with rockets in the boosters and fuel tank, the thrust would not exactly go through the centre of mass. There was no demonstration of the flaps and rudder having the extensive servos that would be needed for control. It looked like door hinges on the elevators. Then the launch! Spectacular but a hint of very good video matching came over! And the crash seemed over the top with that cloud of smoke and flame. These things normally just crunch into the ground. But very well done and perhaps my suspicions belong in another forum.

Oh, great - you're one of those Hoax Believers... I bet you'll have a video out soon "Top Gear Never Got Their Robin Off The Ground", with a load of fuzzy photos and pictures of the dirt around the launch site :P

Seriously, the guys who put it together were professional amateur (oxymoron I know, but you get what I'm saying) rocket builders and I doubt they'd risk damaging their reputations getting involved in a hoax. Especially when the guy was saying things like "this is the biggest non-commercial rocket launch in Europe and the most powerful non-commercial rocket launch in Europe.

The explosion was very gratifying, I agree but you'll notice some of the engines were still ignited when the thing was plummetting to earth, so I guess there was still quite a bit of fuel left in there.

Regarding the "control" surfaces of the Robin it had already been pretty well established that the thing was about as likely to glide to a landing as a washing machine. I suspect they dressed it up to look good but had no intention of trying to overcome those pesky laws of aerodynamics and actually get it to land. Given Hammond's affection for making things go BOOM, I wouldn't be surprised if they packed the thing full of explosives for the sake of effect when it hit the ground.

peteshimmon
2007-Feb-23, 06:35 PM
Well if it was a stunt there may well be an
agenda here. Just think if they own up in a
few weeks and everybody is laughing. Then these
noises from Hoi Polloi the next day...they would
never light something that big...just shows
how pictures can be rigged...and there were
no stars visible ..jibber jibber jibber! And
before you know it the old Moon hoax babbling
has a new lease of life. More books, some new
telly programs. I might have been taken in if
Mr Hammond was sitting in the Robin driving
seat but I understand this was not possible.
Anyway it is pleasant to think my opinions
have provoked a long dormant member to pipe
up. Welcome back:)

cjl
2007-Feb-24, 05:47 AM
Actually, the tank and boosters were cosmetic in a sense, to make it look more like the shuttle. The actual rockets used, and the corresponding fuel, is nowhere NEAR the size or volume of the tanks and boosters, and they are entirely self-contained. The motors used were 6 Contrail O6300's, which are hybrid motors with a wax type fuel, and nitrous oxide oxidizer (That was the "fueling" as well as the condensation plumes seen just prior to launch - all of that was N2O). Each O6300 is 6 inches in diameter, and 72 inches long, with a total impulse of 28 kNs (this also means that they weren't really "solid rocket boosters" - they were hybrid boosters). They burn for 4.5 seconds. I believe several smaller solid motors were added too for effect (15 or 20 of them, but MUCH smaller than the main O motors). Motor specs can be found here (http://www.contrailrockets.com/Products/prod05.htm), and a video of one of the O6300's being tested is here (4MB) (http://www.contrailrockets.com/Videos/6InO.wmv). From what I can see, they had a couple in the car, a couple in the tank, and one in each booster. This would give the more balanced thrust that it would need to fly straight, as the guidance was purely passive on boost.

All of the motors used are certified and commercially available though, so an explosion on boost was quite unlikely. Certainly it was possible, as sometimes these motors do explode, but it is a rare event. Much more likely would be the rocket simply being unstable, and chasing the hosts around the field.

As for the explosion at the end, the consensus among rocketeers (including those who actually set up the event) was that it was faked. All of the fuel was used up in about 5-7 seconds worth of boost, and it would absolutely not have exploded like that. Yes, those engines do tend to smolder a little after burnout, but there is basically no fuel left, and they are just cooling down after firing. I believe the footage used of the explosion was actually from a bomb that was tested on the same explosives range at a different time.

Dr Nigel
2007-Mar-01, 08:38 AM
Even if that explosion at the end was a mock-up (and I must confess that I, too, was surprised that it exploded when it hit the ground), the sequence was still very very funny.

And the launch was so spectacular.

I think they actually mentioned in the programme that the "fuel tank" was not really acting as a fuel tank, but was packed with rockets.

And I think they only used the term "SRB" to refer to the bits that corresponded visually to the SRBs of the real shuttle. Note that they kept referring to the mock fuel tank as a fuel tank, even after they had pointed out that it had to be packed with rockets.

publiusr
2007-Mar-02, 11:51 PM
They have a blurb about this (Top Gear ) over at www.nasawatch.com
and www.xprizenews.org.

I still say it's Super-Dave Osborns Xprize entrant.

Code Red
2007-Mar-03, 01:21 PM
Anyway it is pleasant to think my opinions
have provoked a long dormant member to pipe
up. Welcome back:)

Thanks for that - I have checked in regularly but haven't commented on anything up until now. Personal situation has meant I haven't had my telescope out for a few years, something I'm keen to rectify asap.

Extravoice
2007-Mar-06, 01:50 AM
This video has been removed due to terms of use violation. :(

Roy Batty
2007-Mar-06, 02:19 AM
Originally Posted by YouTube
This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.:(
I expect that is in no small part due to the BBC striking up a content deal (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6411017.stm) with YouTube very recently....
Loved the 'stretch limo' one as well this week btw :D

Doodler
2007-Mar-06, 06:25 PM
You know, it occurs to me if they ever showed that segment in the US, there'd be Hell to pay for whatever network dared. People would be calling up and screaming about emotional trauma after seeing Columbia or Challenger.

I'll bet lots of money on that.

Dr Nigel
2007-Mar-06, 09:31 PM
You're probably right, Doodler. Did you see the one where the Top Gear crew went to America? They found some people in Alabama whose "sense of irony must have been surgically removed."

captain swoop
2007-Mar-07, 12:57 AM
the stretch limo feature was the best ever. Chris moyles on the trolley with his bag of 'snacks' propelling himself to the rear seat was hilarious, and exiting through the rear hatch was priceless!

3rdvogon
2007-Mar-07, 10:39 PM
Well there still clips of this event on U Tube if you look for them.

In fact the ones below are better quality than the original links that I put up.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFzHq2Ftjt4&mode=related&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAxp1nNiosA&mode=related&search=

publiusr
2007-Mar-09, 09:50 PM
You're probably right, Doodler. Did you see the one where the Top Gear crew went to America? They found some people in Alabama whose "sense of irony must have been surgically removed."

When was that? I missed them?

3rdvogon
2007-Mar-09, 11:17 PM
When was that? I missed them?

If you search on U Tube you can find several video segments of the American road trip (including the "Road Kill" dinner section) also part of the strech limo episode is on there too

Blob
2007-Mar-09, 11:43 PM
Hum,
is this not old news?

publiusr
2007-Mar-09, 11:52 PM
Good pics.

Doodler
2007-Mar-11, 04:47 PM
You're probably right, Doodler. Did you see the one where the Top Gear crew went to America? They found some people in Alabama whose "sense of irony must have been surgically removed."

Good Lord, they sent Brits to Alabama without armed escort?! Glad they made it out alive. I live in this country, and there are some parts of the boonies I won't go without kevlar. Seems there's some folks down there who still have a bone to pick over the War of Northern Aggression...

3rdvogon
2007-Mar-12, 02:16 PM
Good Lord, they sent Brits to Alabama without armed escort?! Glad they made it out alive. I live in this country, and there are some parts of the boonies I won't go without kevlar. Seems there's some folks down there who still have a bone to pick over the War of Northern Aggression...

And you would not drive around there in car with "Hilary for President", "NASCAR Sucks" or an endorsement of "Gay Love" written in pink on the outside of your vehicle.

Doodler
2007-Mar-12, 09:32 PM
And you would not drive around there in car with "Hilary for President", "NASCAR Sucks" or an endorsement of "Gay Love" written in pink on the outside of your vehicle.

NASCAR: Non-Athletic Sport, Centered Around Rednecks.

Also not recommended is rolling your window down and screaming "Wrestin's FAKE!" at the top of your lungs.

Dr Nigel
2007-Mar-15, 11:16 PM
NASCAR: Non-Athletic Sport, Centered Around Rednecks.

Hey, haven't you ever seen Days of Thunder?? :)


Also not recommended is rolling your window down and screaming "Wrestin's FAKE!" at the top of your lungs.

Very probably true. Any volunteers to do the experiment...?

publiusr
2007-Mar-16, 05:07 PM
Not me! I have to live here!