LED-packin' helicopter rocket is a greener alternative to fireworks
As July 1st and 4th approach, people in Canada and the US (respectively) may be thinking about setting off some fireworks. They might want to consider a more eco-friendly and reusable alternative, though, in the form of the Rammaxx rocket.
Inspired by much smaller and simpler helicopter rocket toys, the 17-inch (178-mm) Rammaxx consists of a transparent tubular body with a nose cone at one end, and a set of rotor blades and fins at the other.
Inside the main body is a strip of high-intensity LEDs that can be programmed to flash in various colors and patterns. They put out a combined 5,000 lumens, with a single 1-hour charge of the rocket's battery reportedly being good for about 50 flights.
Making a banging noise, the Rammaxx is launched from an included spring-loaded platform that catapults it up to 300 ft (91 m) at speeds as high as 80 mph (129 km/h). Its lights flash as it flies, plus its nose cone produces a whistling sound – the pitch of that sound can be changed by swapping in different cones.
Although the unpowered rotor blades are kept folded back by the acceleration of the launch, they spring out and begin to auto-rotate once the rocket reaches its apex and begins its nose-down descent. This slows its fall considerably, so it isn't damaged (and doesn't do any damaging) upon landing. Additionally, thanks to its moveable fins, the rocket doesn't land just anywhere.
"The fins are controlled by a small flight computer which measures acceleration on the way up and on the way down," Rammaxx CEO Dan Lubrich tells us. "On the way up this allows it to calculate the deviation from the straight vertical at the apex point. On the way down it enables the rocket to guide itself to the landing zone."
Lubrich adds that because the rocket isn't self-powered and its launch height is limited, its use in populated areas shouldn't be legally restricted. In situations where keeping the noise down is a consideration, it can be fitted with a silent nose, plus its launch pad can be set not to bang.
If you're interested in getting a Rammaxx of your own, you can sign up for email updates via the Source link below. A full kit, consisting of a rocket and launch pad, should retail for around US$250.
The Rammaxx rocket can be seen in action, in the following video.