Apogee Aspire - On the way to a ShredAbout a year ago - or perhaps longer - I purchased the Aspire from Apogee Rockets. Designed to go supersonic on a G motor. I built it up and waited for the right time to fly it. Sitting on top of a G80, it was to fly at nearly Mach 1.2 to an altitude of around 4,000'

I had to have the perfect day - clear sky, no wind. Month after month I loaded it into the back of the car and drove up to the Serpentine range. Month after month it was too windy or too cloudy. So back it came again, to sit on the shelf for another day.

This week, however, conditions were perfect! So I carefully slid the motor into the back of the rocket, securely taped it in place, re-packed the purple Mylar streamer and loaded it up on the pad.

A short while later, it was my turn to launch. The launch controller gave the customary count-down and pressed the button. The surge of power through the igniter caused the pyrogen to burn and in turn lit the propellant.

Within the blink of an eye, the Aspire was climbing skyward towards it's predicted top speed of 1400km/hr - Mach 1.16.

Something went wrong - very very wrong. As the rocket began pushing it's way through the sound barrier the cardboard and balsa decided it was time to pack up and go home; A voice in the crowd called out 'We've had an event'. I recovered about the top 2/3 of the airframe and nose cone. The fins and motor were never recovered. I didn't expect to see the rocket again - so I guess getting 2/3 back is better than nothing - and boy, was it a spectacular flight!! I do plan on re-building it, but this time i'm going to use Blue Tube. I will hit Mach and live to talk about it!