The Purple People Eater was a 3x upscale of the Centuri Groove Tube. I built it out of new and spare parts and happened to have a lot of purple paint laying around from another project so I painted it purple and the Purple People Eater (PPE) was born. The PPE had a 54mm motor mount, dual altimeter ejection with an RRC2 altimeter, and tube fins. It stood 8.5 feet tall and served as the display rocket in my Study for many years.
On May 3, 2014 we took it to Orangeburg, South Carolina to a club launch and loaded it with a K540 sparky motor. We also loaded the CamPod on the side and mounted another camera on the pad. Everything was prepped and we moved away for the launch.
The PPE launched immediately upon ignition but suffered a motor tube breach just after it cleared the pad. The motor exploded into the rear body tube, destroying the rocket in a very spectacular manner. Fortunately the PPE had already gained enough speed that all of the debris was thrown up into the air instead of down toward the ground. The explosion was so spectacular that the other rocketeers at the launch gave us a round of applause.
The breach occured just below the CamPod mount and the explosion was powerful enough to sever the CamPod's two 3/4" Velcro mounts. The CamPod survived the explosion and was thrown clear of the disintegrating rocket, free falling to the ground with no damage. The rocket was not so lucky and was a total loss.
|Launch pad view.|
|Nose cam view.|
|Tail cam view.|