Mac McGarrigle's Lifting Body
Radio Controlled X-33 at NARAM 39
Liftingbody.com is dedicated to model rocket engine powered 'Lifting Body' models, model rockets, associated NASA lifting body, and rocket powered technology. This site is also intended to be a one-stop-shop to every technical reference I can find about lifting body technology on the Internet. If you would like to contact me or send reference material for inclusion please use the following email address link.
|Story so Far...|
Story so Far...
My name is Mac 'Lifting Body' McGarrigle and after seeing the 'Six Million Dollar Man' (the first time around) I always thought I would like to fix that lifting body and make it fly. I am originally from Wales, Great Britain but came to the USA in 1988 when everyone was building Ethylene Plants. I have a darling wife, two wonderful young adults (a boy and a girl), I live on the water in Galveston, Texas, I like to fish, walk on the beach, and would love not to receive any more junk email...
When I did the the Boy Scouts of America 'Space Exploration Badge' with my stepson it got me hooked. When I grew up I (the British, at the time) did not have a chance to build model rockets and I found building model rockets was so much fun. I then took model rocketry over as my new best hobby. I have an Electrical Engineering degree with a major in Instrumentation and control system theory, I have a pilots license (motorized glider), love model making, electronics, programming, and I am a Space Cadet at heart. What I do with lifting body model rocketry is a combination of all that and then some. Since NARAM 39 I have not done anything serious with the hobby but now I'm BACK...
I am now on the next generation of the Reusable Lifting Body Vehicle (RLBV II) model rockets. They are a lot more sophisticated than my original efforts from 10 years ago as now I have computer programs to help me, such as CompuFoil (aerofoil design software). It also helps that I have a new workshop and new tools (the last ones got washed away with hurricane IKE).
My intent is that the next generation of model
rocket lifting bodies be made from EPS foam covered with low temperature
EconoKote. The foam core allows me to be more consistent with airfoil
that the designs are repeatable as I develop the concept further.
My models started from a humble beginning. I began by taking the Quest HL-20 kit and putting it in the photocopier and enlarging it to accept 'D' size engines. I then modified the cones to get a better aerofoil section. I progressed to HL-10 look alike using balsa bulkheads, construction paper covering and motor pods that ejected. Adding to this I started making them initially radio controlled but some were controlled by a computer (Basic Stamp).
documented some of the lessons learned from each of the models.
This section also shows the progression of the designs to what I
have built so far. Please check out this section regularly as
I update with new and better models.
Basic Stamp Auto-Pilot
Technology has significantly changed since I left the hobby and now everything
now appears to be possible. Even the Basic Stamp I was using 10
years ago now has a GPS module, 3 axis accelerometer module, a
distance measurement module, a compass module, and many more options
and opportunities to do some really cool stuff. I can't
Books on Lifting Bodies
This section is devoted to listing all the available books and
technical white papers on lifting bodies. This is a list of my
personal favorites that have helped me develop my model rocket
lifting bodies. This is well worth a visit.