Demonstrator 2B was ARCA's first rocket. It was launched on September 9, 2004 for the Ansari X Prize Competition. The program was reopened at the beginning of 2009, for the Google Lunar X Prize competition, as this rocket became the second stage of Helen rocket.
Demonstrator 2B was a single stage reusable rocket, made entirely from composite materials.
DEMONSTRATOR 2B - TECHNICAL DATA
Diameter over fins (m):
Launch weight (kg):
Sea level thrust (kgf):
Max. predicted altitude (m):
DEMONSTRATOR 2B LAUNCH
September 1st: ARCA team arrives at the Cape Midia AFB and begins unloading the launch complex equipments.
September 2-3: Launch complex assembly;
September 4-6: Technical team training, procedures rehearsal;
September 7: Press visit at the launch location. 90 journalists from four countries visited the launch site;
September 8: Launch attempt postponed due to fuel feed system malfunction. The main fuel pipe was pulled-out from the tank, as it wasn't securely connected. The launch was postponed for the second day.
September 9: Demonstrator 2B was designed to be launched at maximum 9 miles/h (15 km/h) wind velocity. On September 9 the wind speed was 31-37 miles/h (50-60 km/h). The launch team performed the flight simulations and it was clear that the rocket will fly out of the safety area allocated by the Air Force. The only option was to limit the engine running time. This was done by fuelling the rocket with only 19.8% of the total fuel amount. Furthermore, by reducing the quantity of fuel, the rocket would have a higher launch acceleration making it less sensitive to high wind at take-off. The new launch approach was communicated to the Air Force and the launch approval was obtained.
Demonstrator 2B was launched at an altitude of 4000 ft (1200 m) and a maximum flight speed of 420 miles/h (680 km/h).
The event was covered live, becoming one of the best media covered event from the Ansari X Prize Competition.