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     First step completed

    The EARL ProjectThe EARL-D3 test vehicle has now worked as planned. On 31st March, there was a successful flight, in which the vehicle took off vertically, rose to around 400m altitude, and then under autopilot control flew a curved glide path back to a landing within 50m of the take-off point.

    The EARL-D3 is 75 cm long, has a delta-shaped hull with vertical fixed stabilising fins at the tail, and four flaperons for aerodynamic control. The rocket motor was custom-designed for it and is 4.6cm in outer (3.1 cm inner) diameter by 31 cm length, made of aluminium,  developing 50kg thrust for 2 seconds in the fuel formulation used.

    Now, the larger rocket motors for the EARL-D4 will be constructed, starting this week. The 120 mm diameter motors will produce up to a tonne of thrust for 7-8 seconds, which will be enough to propel the EARL-D4 up to 30km. The EARL-D4 will be able to accommodate up to three engines within the hull, so there is scope for adding more propulsion for higher apogees, and, if we have enough funding left, we would like to try to build two more hulls, in order to attempt triple-hull launches, which will take the middle hull to even higher apogees, and possible high enough to reach into space, which will then give us the chance of a commercial sub-orbital launch vehicle.

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