Humble Begginings:The Early Evolution of Rocketry
Chapter 1: Loss of Vehicle
Engeneer Carol Kerman watches over the only hangar of the EATA-1 (Experimental Aircraft Testing Area-1).
4 engeneers, Philip, Carol, Quiana, and Helga were moved to a new division of the air force. The constant tension between countries forced the air force to start rapid development of new aircraft. One recently built commercial airfield was on sale after the company that build it went bankrupt. The dirt runway, the abandoned hangar, and a single land vehicle to taxi small aircraft. All operations would have to be crammed here for up to a year. Experimental Plane 1B, a bomber body with modified wings and two small rotors with 2 small propellers instead of 1 big turboprop, was being integrated on the hangar. A new, cheaper tail fin system was to be tested in a month.
Carol went down the stairs of the Control Tower, and joined Hanmal, a scientist who planned to use the new planes to run experiments on the upper atmosphere, was underwhelmed by the aging engines' capabilities. The scientific load would have to stay over 8500 meters for half an hour. the plane could stay over that threshold for less than a minute.
Once Carol got in, Hanmal drove the van to the hangar. 5 people would have to sleep on the hangar for a month. The engeneers questioned the tail design, but they had orders from above to keep working on the flawed design. During integration, a test pilot, Don Kerman arrived at EATA-1.
After weeks of work, EP-1B prepared itself for its first flight.
EP-1B, piloted by Don Kerman, prepares for lift-off
The two turboprops, even while being old and ineficcient, were overpowered for the hollow and light body of the plane, resulting in high speed and altitude capability.
Quiana, sitting alone on the control tower, spoke: "Status?"
"Nominal, 120 m/s, 120 meters AGL, 900 ASL", responded Don.
"You can start a steep climb"
The overpowered engines kept a speed over 140m/s while mantaining 50° angle of attack.
"8400 ASL, Engines choking, going back"
"Copied. You are authorized to land"
Don turned off the engines, at this point throwing black smoke, due to the unburned fuel. Pointing down, everything started to go wrong.
"Emergency, I'm unable to control roll or pitch", screamed Don.
"Eject at 4500 ASL if you don't recover"
"Landing gear broke!"
"EJECT NOW!"-Blurted Quiana
After ejecting, Don impacted the left wing. A few tense minutes later, Don touched down and sent his approximate location.
Philip quickly boarded the van, and drove the 11 kilometer distance between the airfield and the landing site of Don.
This was only possible due to the new solar pannel on the van.
After picking up Don, Philip drove to the crash site. Only part of the wing remained.
That night, Quiana filed a mission report representing the team:
EP-1B Flight One Report:
Outcome:Loss of vehicle and payload. Pilot Recovered.
Cause: Aerodynamic Failure
Highest recorded altitude:8970 meters ASL
Highest recorded speed:203 m/s
Engine Array: Success
Aerodinamic Surfaces: Failure
Landing Gear: Partial Success
-Quiana Kerman, Flight Control
-Don Kerman, Pilot
-Carol Kerman, Lead Engeneer
-Helga Kerman, Engeneer
-Philip Kerman, Engeneer
-Hamal Kerman, Lead Scientist