Here's some of my mid-power projects. Note that 29mm is the BIGGEST motor these rockets can handle.
I made another WAC Corporal, starting with a Mad Cow fiberglass nosecone, which
was the perfect shape, and unlikely to break. I put a 38mm tube in the nose, so it would hold a standard MAWD sled, and put
in a 29mm motor tube. Careful painting made this one beautiful.
150412 - With MDRA at Red Glare - Flew
the new WAC Corporal on an F40-7 to an easy, low flight. The 36" parachute was a little big, but it'll come down faster
with the 38mm controller and cutters installed.
150731 - Aeronaut - Flew the WAC Corporal on a G76 green, at dusk, with
a bunch of blinkies.
150823 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Flew the WAC Corporal on an H165, using a line cutter to open the main at 900 feet.
The motor tossed the rocket off the pad, and ejected the main right at apogee. But the "bang" at 900 feet did not open the
main - nuts! I left a tiny O-ring off the line cutter, and that's where all the gas vented. Still, there was no damage,
so I can't complain.
150823 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Flew the WAC Corporal again on an H238T. The rocket screamed off the pad and kept
going! Ejecting near apogee, I held my breath when the rocket should have cut the main loose at 500 feet. No dice - the
main didn't even fire. Rats!! (Cause: Tumbling descent pulled the wire from the MAWD.)
150921 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Flew the WAC Corporal on an G77, using a line cutter to open the main at 500 feet.
Gentler boost with smaller coast, and apogee ejection of the drogue. I held my breath while the rocket fell. The "bang" at
500 feet was slight, but the main opened instantly! And the rocket drifted way out into the sod. Still, it was successful,
so I can't complain. Great flight!
160702 - With SPAAR at FIG - Flew the WAC Corporal on a G104T. Nice flight to 940 feet, with deployment after apogee and
a gentle landing in front of us.
100515 - Double H-Bomb before first flight.
Double H-Bomb - Two stage, fiberglass, minimum diameter.
05/15/10 - With TCC at Dairy Aire - The Double H-Bomb was mostly prepped when I showed up - I only had to turn on the
Walston, to fly. This I did, and headed out to the tower, which took a bit of doing to locate. I finally got it
located, adjusted, armed, and ready to go. The G104 boosted the rocket out with a waggle, but neatly separated.
And the sustainer arc'ed over. And over. And lit facing northeast, far from vertical. And disappeared on
the G77W. I assembled the Walston pole, and drove to the near vineyard. Nothing. I recorded the position
with the GPS, and drove on. I tried four more times before I got a twitch. Faint, but there.
drove around the vineyard, but got nothing else. Drove back to the original spot (thank heavens I marked this spot with
the GPS), and checked again. Still good. Located the spot perpendicular to the signal and entered with the Walston
in hand. Crossed under 65 rows of vines before I found it. Missing the 'chute, jacked loose fin, and tip broken
off my pretty nose cone. Nuts! But I found it. 3300 feet up, but much too fast for the deployment.
08/06/10 - Aeronaut - I flew the Double H-Bomb on an H238 staging to an H128. Ripped out of the tower, but didn't
air-start. And the booster ejection blew out the motor, not the parachute, so it came in mighty hot. Lovely core-sample,
that one, and the motor slammed into a fin, to boot. At least the sustainer ejected as it was supposed to, and was recovered
The only thing I can figure out - the G-loading separated the connector, because a) there was continuity
on the pad, and b) a 9-volt battery fired the air-start in the camp (as a test).
Well, no one ever said complex rockets
would be easy...
09/17/10 - XPRS - Flew the Double H-Bomb on an H238 staging to an H128. As before, the sustainer didn't light,
and the booster came in (very) hot. Missed Peter's RV "Matilda" by about 3 inches (no kidding), and buried itself
6 inches into the ground. Later, I found the booster 'chute and pistons - with a torn-off Kevlar shock cord - weird.
It didn't light because the e-match wasn't embedded in the Blue Thunder, and didn't start it burning.
- Aeronaut - The Double H-Bomb on an H180 staging to an H128. I was nervous as heck, but the booster ripped the stack off
the pad, and the sustainer lit as soon as the booster burned out, screaming out of sight.
The booster got out a 'chute,
which was unusual, and I was quite surprised when someone said "it came in ballistic". Truly, the booster had come in ballistic,
minus the motor and all the 'recovery stuff, which came down slowly on the 'chute.
The sustainer flew the Walston, which increased in volume near apogee, giving me hope that it was okay. Indeed, it stayed
in the air for nearly 5 minutes, which was a pretty good sign.
I had a good bearing on it, and drove out to get it, pulling the booster out of the playa (and giving the AeroPac folks something
to chuckle about).
The sustainer was beeping out 8900 feet!!! I feel good!!!
"H-Bomb" - 29 mm "Arrow"
02/09/08 - After months of re-building, I had another. Fiberglassed body, and (curiously) un-fiberglassed fins.
Fluorescent Orange, instead of Black/Yellow. Kevlar shock cord, 15" 'chute. Tried flying it on a E28-M (S), but
the rocket cartwheeled as it came off the pad! Found a canted nozzle when the rocket was recovered. Very
little damage, and I'm ready to try again.
03/18/08 - Prepped and ready to go, on an F27-8(R). Triple clear-coated - should be tougher now!
04/05/08 - Snow Ranch. I flew the H-Bomb on an F27-8. Beautiful straight boost and ejection near the apogee.
Gee, the parachute seems to be taking a long time to come down. Maybe because the payload section and nose are missing.
Follow the body, because I can find the nose with the Walston! Hiked a long way, and got it off a hill. Faint
Walston signal from the pad area. Past the pad area. (Gee - doing a lot of walking...) Becky G had it -
nose broken off (damn those urethane 29mms!). Found the pieces! Now I can repair it.... 1400 feet
on the MAWD.
04/29/08 - Completed repairs, and prepped with a G80-10T (old Aerotech).
Note that I've reduced the BP in the G80 to about .4 Grams. Too violent otherwise.
05/17/08 - Changed out the G80 for a RR F60-10. Flew at Dairy Aire toward the end of the (very hot) day. The
delay was too short, and the BP was too much - separation. Lost the 'chute and damaged the forward body tube.
Broke the nosecone, too. The MAWD says 2489 feet!
06/09/08 - Replaced the nosecone, trimmed the payload section, and glassed on a new section. Sanding and filling
now, and trying to get the electronics tray to fit. Note that I had a hell of a time getting the 29mm motor that I used
as a mandrel, out of the repaired forward body. This despite two coats of "no stick"!
06/20/08 - Friday at Mudrock - Flew the H-Bomb on an F27-x, no delay or ejection. It didn't go that high, but ejected
right at apogee, as that's what the Perfectflite told it to do. Busted the tip of the nosecone. Dang!
09/19/08 - Friday at XPRS - H-Bomb on a G77-L with Perfectflight backup. Worked great - 3664 ft!
09/20/08 - Saturday at XPRS - H-Bomb on an H238. Hammered off the pad, and went to 6289 ft, and won both H altitude
and H Bang-for-the-buck contests!
09/20/08 - Saturday at XPRS - #2 - Flew the H-Bomb again on an H268. Really tore off the pad, this time, threw a
turn about 500 ft up, and headed east. Didn't get the sudden increase in Walston tone that means "successful eject".
Signal disappeared too soon. Uh-oh... With a careful Walston scan, I got a very faint signal to the east.
As I headed out there, James D and friend reported that H-Bomb had almost hit them! "Here, take my GPS" - now
that's useful. Drove to the crater. Walston beeping, but the stud is damaged, the antenna really bent up, and
the front 2/3rds of the rocket is shattered. Nuts. Good thing I brought my shovel. Fins can be salvaged.
081015 - Preparing to graft on new, and replace.
090129 - Rear body is grafted, and I'm fabricating the payload section.
090416 - Primed, and painted. Still needs clear coat.
090424 - Complete. Ready to prep and fly.
090619 - Mudrock with Aeropac - Flew the H-Bomb on an F27-P, to 1700 feet. That was high! And a perfect flight.
090731 - Aeronaut - H-Bomb on a G75, with the MAWD controlling. Fast, high flight, which disappeared. Used
the Walston to track...the forward section!! Where's the back? I think it's out on the playa - the shock cord pulled
out. It's out in the playa all-right - in two pieces (right where I repaired it.) 4500 feet, though.
09/18/09 - Friday at XPRS - Flew the H-Bomb on an H128, for a ripping flight to 5614 feet! Took me quite a while
to find the rocket, even using the Walston, with the antenna on a pole.
09/21/09 - Monday at XPRS - Flew the H-Bomb on the Irving USR H320, for a disastrous flight. Got
to the pad about 10 am, ready to go. The motor lit, and immediately burned through the ejection hole, sending the
rocket tumbling. Tore out the shock cord, shredded the 'chute, and burned and zippered the aft body, as it thrashed
around the launch site. Someone laconically responded "Thanks Jerry" (Irving).
11/22/09 - TCC Fresno - After tinkering with it forever, I got the H-Bomb (29mm min-diam of cardboard and fiberglass)
prepped, with the Walston and MAWD. Then I found I did not have continuity! Took it apart, and found I had broken
a wire at the block. Fixed and ran out. It's getting dark! Hit the button, and the home-made ignitor lit
the H180 - yup - a 4-grain motor in a freshly repaired machine. Life's too short! The rocket tore off the
pad, and disappeared to the East, (but mostly up!) No weathercocking this time...I got Walston tones as I walked the
field, and they were strongest East. Then I lost track at about 90 seconds - sounds like the 'chute didn't open up.
Hurridly packed up the car - there was a lot of stuff, and it was getting dark. Got the last of it in, just
Started hunting. No tones at the camp, even with the Walston Pole (telescoping 15' pole). Tried
5 more times - a few were failures, because the settings on the Walston receiver were wrong - (attenuator, channel, etc.).
Started getting frustrated. Kids and wife want to leave.
Tried a few more times, and finally got a faint
signal southeast. (THAT wasn't where I thought it was!!). We drove towards it, and eventually I found it in the
pitch darkness, (glad the attenuator was there). 6833 feet!!!! (And yes, the 'chute was burned shut.). And
no other damage.
This was the last flight for TCC in 2009, and my highest successful flight with a 29mm rocket.
150731 - Aeronaut - H-Bomb on the (thankfully) last US Rockets H330, to 7038 feet!
080517 - H-Bomb on F60 at DairyAire
080922 - H-Bomb at
'08 on H268
081015 - Damaged H-bomb. New n/c. Missing fwd a/f
I got this rocket donated from Discount, when all my stuff got stolen. Such nice folks.
If this is the stretched version, I bet the unstretched version is REALLY short...
100821 - I flew the Blobbo at Moffett for the first time on an E23-8. Nice, high, spinning :( flight that
ejected a little late. Then it hit the parking apron and bounced about 4 feet into the air! No damage except some
roughed up fins...
100917 - XPRS - Flew the Stretch Blobbo on an F20-7 (loadable), for a high, cool, flight. And the motor, repaired with
Kevlar thread, didn't blow up!
110618 - With TCC in Fresno - The last flight I made was with the Stretch Blobbo on an E23-8. Fast, cool burn and
coast, but the delay was much too long, and it ejected coming down fast. No damage, but a bit nerve-wracking.
120616 - With NARHAMS at Mt Airy - Flew Stretch Blobbo on an E23-8 (6), to a ripping, high flight. Ejected a little
after apogee, but the 'chute came out great, and it landed nearby. Yeah!
140316 - With MDRA at Higg's Farm - Flew the Stretch Blobbo on an F39 to a great flight. Bigger motor next time!
140622 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Flew the Stretch Blobbo on an F35-8(7) for a perfect, high, flight. And someone found
it and brought it in. And I was smart enough to check the RSO table before walking. Today is MY day!
140727 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Flew the Stretch Blobbo on an F24-7 to a high, successful, flight.
150921 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Flew the Stretch Blobbo on an E28-7 for a perfect flight! This is a great motor for
this rocket. And another rocket landed right next to mine, way out in the sod.
151212 - At Tripoli Central Virginia - Flew the Stretch Blobbo on an F24-7 for a high, perfect flight!
|Up-rated Estes Canadian Arrow
- 29mm motor mount, plywood fins, and fiberglassed body tube.
01/20/08 - Flew at TCC on a beautiful day, on an F23-7J. Great flight, except for the delay being too long.
04/29/08 - Prepped to fly at Dairy Aire on a G53-7FJ. Wearing new colors, and looking great!
06/20/08 - Mud Rock - Flew the Canadian Arrow on a G53-7 Fast Jack. Flew great, and a perfect recovery.
09/21/08 - XPRS - Flew Canadian Arrow on an F25-4. Nice and High. Great motor.
10/18/08 - TCC October Skies - I flew the Canadian Arrow on an F20-4W(L), and it blew the forward closure!!! Charred
the inside of the rocket, and ruined my pretty paint job. I am bent! This repair will take some work.
04/16/09 - The new section is grafted on, and I've filled, primed, and filled some more.
05/16/09 - Flew the Canadian Arrow on an F42-8 - first flight after the LMS F20 failed, and fried the inside of the
rocket. A great flight, but it drifted a long way.
07/19/09 - Flew the Canadian Arrow again, on a loadable F20-7, and (whadayaknow) it failed again. Got
50 feet in the air, and the case blew at the forward closure. Little/no damage to the rocket, as the 'chute came out,
and the grain was ejected. But I'm tired of this.
09/17/09 - XPRS - Canadian Arrow on a G79W, for a cool, fast high climb into the haze. Since there was NO breeze,
I just walked towards where I thought it would come out. And it did come out - right in front of me. Very nice!
04/17/10 - TCC at Fresno - Flew the Canadian Arrow on a RoadRunner F45-8. Fast, clear burn, and a long coast to perfect
deployment at apogee. Very nice.
100807 - Aeronaut - Flew the Canadian Arrow on a G54 to a great high flight.
110618 - With TCC in Fresno - Flew the Canadian Arrow on a loadable F20-7, to a high, cool flight. I was tracking
it, I turned to talk to someone, turned back, and it was gone! Luckily, C and others had seen it land in the field,
and the bright pink 'chute was easy to spot. Whew!
140316 - With MDRA at Higg's Farm - Flew Canadian Arrow on an F37,
with a shortened delay. First time this rocket has flown since damaged falling off my rack.
Ejection did not get the parachute out. (I SAW BP all over the masking tape from inside
- should have checked the ejection well...) Came down fast, but survivable - muddy nose cone and dinged body tube -
140712 - NOVAARS at Great Meadows - Flew the Canadian Arrow on an F62-S. The short delay seemed a little long, but
the pink 'chute came out fine, and the rocket flew great.
150921 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Flew the Estes Canadian Arrow on an F20-4 (LMS), and as expected, the delay was very
short - 3 seconds max. Still, the rocket held together, so how bad can it be? Well, if you don't consider a 1" zipper bad...
160220 - With TCV in Culpepper - I then flew the Canadian Arrow on a F40-7, to a high, perfect flight.
Canadian Arrow as originally built
081015 - Burned Up Canadian Arrow
081015 - Bubbled paint from bad F20
Toys-R-Us Crayon Rockets - X 4!
090314 - Flew the 4 Crayon at Snow Ranch, as part of the great Crayon Drag Race: All ours flew on an F42-4, but I
made a mistake and used the Copperhead igniters. When the button was pushed, 4 of the 9 Crayons on the pad launched,
leaving all four of ours on the pad :( . The launch setup had just enough juice to launch one at a time. They
all did a little wiggle just off the rod, and headed in different directions - ejected at apogee, and landed safely.
One tangled a 'chute a little, and two loosened the nosecone bulkhead. Still, great fun.
090418 - Flew three crayons (Pink, Red, and Blue) at Moffett field with LUNAR. First, Chelsea's Pink crayon flew
on a G77-7R - straight up, and flew great. Both the Red and Blue didn't light. Swapped the igniters, and
got the Red Crayon to light, on a G76-10G (that I drilled out to about a 7). Arced off to the south, and someone ran
to get it. Saved me the walk! I replaced the igniter (thanks, Gary D!), and got the old G80-10 (reduced to ~8),
and it tore off to the north. It ejected, (finally), and landed safely.
That's 7 flights, and 6 of them have done the Mantis Dance (?), bending 45 degrees and bulleting off into the distance.
I'll try rail buttons.
090516 - With TCC at Dairy Aire - Jason agreed to retrieve the Red Crayon on a G71R-7. I missed the flight, but he
said it did the "Mantis Dance" again - came off crooked, and he had to walk a while to get it...
090719 - With TCC in July - Flew the Red Crayon on a G77-4R (Loadable), for a great, straight, flight from a rail.
That's all this design needed.
090801 - With AeroPac at Aeronaut - 4 Crayons in a drag race!
- Flew Melissa's Blue on a G76-7G.
- Chelsea's Fuscia on a G71-7R
- Mom's Yellow on a G104T-M, and
- My Red on a G77-7R.
They roared off the pads at almost the same time - mine lagging a little. Mom's was down first, and Chelsea's was
last, mine was behind the flight line - but where is Melissa's? Out on the playa? Oh crud - no ejection -
the front half is toast. Nuts. Well, the rest looked good. Quick fix, though.
090920 - XPRS - Flew the Red Crayon on an H165, for a nice flight.
091122 - TCC Fresno -
- Towards the late afternoon, we drag raced three Crayons. Mine (Red) had an H238 for a great flight, straight up.
- Melissa's (Blue) Crayon had a G64-7 (white) for a long walk into the field.
- Chelsea's (Fuscia) Crayon had a G71-7 (red), for a long walk into the field, as well.
100213 - With LUNAR at Snow Ranch - Flew the Yellow Crayon on a G76-7G, for a high, arc'ing flight. (Naturally -
I used the launch lugs, instead of the rail buttons.) Flew great!
100515 - With TCC at Dairy Aire - I wanted to fly something safe, so I loaded my Red Crayon on the rail. The G77R-M
came to pressure fine, but the rocket raced off the the west, just as someone yells "Fire!!" The previous sparky launch
started a grass fire, and I was closest. So I start stamping out the fire, and trying to watch my rocket, while burning
the hair off my legs. I'm stamping, and searching, and hurrying ('cause folks are waiting to fly), and grousing, and
scanning, and thank heavens I got a bearing, and got the fire out - my second of the day. Retrieved the rocket after
a long walk.
100821 - At Moffett with LUNAR we drag raced 5 crayons (one was Karl B's).
- Melissa's (Blue) arc'ed north on it's G80-4T SU motor. Ejected close to apogee, and came down fine.
- Mom's (Yellow) went a little west on it's G78-7G SU, and ejected over Hanger One. We held our breath,
hoping it wouldn't hit and get hung up, but it landed in the yard, behind a fence. Dave R got it the next day.
- My (Red), and Chelsea's (Pink) still sat on the pad. I put new igniters in. Mine lit the G76-7G, and
arc'ed south. Ejected at apogee, and landed a ways down the runway.
- Chelsea's still sat on the pad. Could not get the G77-7R SU lit. Substituted an F50-4, which quickly hoisted
it off the pad, to a gentle flight overhead. By now, the wind was blowing pretty well, and it landed pretty far south.
120616 - With NARHAMS at Mt Airy - Flew Red Crayon on a Roadrunner F60-4, which ripped that big rocket off the pad! Too
bad the 'chute didn't inflate... But it missed the sidewalk by a few feet, and sustained little damage. 'Chute was burned
shut - probably as a result of moving across the country, and not being re-packed.
121013 - With MDRA at Central Sod Farm - M decided that the late afternoon was the right time to drag race our Crayons,
and her Blue one sure beat me off the pad - my Red one didn't light. The G76-7 easily boosted the Crayon to about 900 feet,
and it ejected right at apogee. No 'chute, but a grass landing meant minimal damage, plus the "glory of the win" eases all
121013 - With MDRA at Central Sod Farm - Ended with Red Crayon (thoroughly lost the drag race - needed 3 igniters.). Ripped
off the pad on the G76-7, and did a big looping spiral to the left. Ejected way out over the field, and slowly landed in the
distant sod. I had a long walk to get it.
140412 - With MDRA at Higgs Farm, Red Glare 16 - Launched the Red Crayon with 2 paratrooper bunnies on a G53-7. Fast, high
flight, with a bunny ejected at apogee, another a few seconds later, and no parachute for the crayon! "Worried too much about
the bunnies", opined the LCO, and he was right. Still, no damage to the crayon, and I eventually got both the bunnies back
140515 - With JPMS - Launched the Red Crayon on an F22-5 (BlackJack), which (also) did not have enough thrust off the pad.
Arc'ed toward the houses, and ejected just after impact. Bent up the tube, but minor damage. Nuts!
140727 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Flew the Red Crayon on a G64-7 to a high flight, and didn't get the 'chute to open
again. The chutes on the Paratrooper bunnies opened just fine, and they drifted way down the field, and out of sight. The
Crayon tumbled in and landed on the sod. No damage, but mystifying - I used extra BP...
141018 - With Blue Ridge in WV - Launched the Red Crayon on an F40-4. Roared off the pad, and ejected at apogee. The
'chute was slow to open, which was probably a good idea in all that wind! Great flight.
141113 - At JPMS with friends
- Flew C's Pink Crayon on a G104-M (shortened), to a fast, noisy flight. Ejected right at apogee and drifted back to us.
150412 - With MDRA at Red Glare - Drag raced the Crayons. In a startling turn of events, my Red
Crayon flying on a G77R-M ripped off the pad, while M's just sat.
150412 - With MDRA at Red Glare - Finally got a new igniter in M's Blue Crayon, and it ripped off the pad on a G78G-7 (single
use). Another nice flight.
150517 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - M and I drag raced our Crayons (mine Red, hers Blue), on G motors, for a very cool
result. They both lit and took off at the same time. Mine, on a G76-7 raced west, and drifted back along the length of the
150517 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - M's Blue Crayon flew on a G138-7, but went straight up, and away from the flight line.
Unfortunately, it headed for the trees, and I didn't get a good line on it. I was loaned some scrubs to cover my legs (Thanks!),
and headed into the forest. The canopy was 70 feet up, and I saw no sign of the Crayon. I looked for 10 minutes, then admitted
I was stumped. (And the 40-foot club picker pole would not have helped a bit...) Fortunately, Toys-R-Us still sells crayons.
150606 - With Tripoli Pittsburgh - Drag raced the Red and Yellow Crayons on G76-10(7)s, and M won (of course). I'll blame
it on the Copperhead. Still, they both looked great in the sky. M recovered hers in the mowed trail going through the field.
150606 - With Tripoli Pittsburgh - My Red Crayon climbed smoothly on the G76 and ejected at apogee, drifting to the left
of the range. Landed way down in the thick grass, *too* close to the forest. Whew!
150607 - With Tripoli Pittsburgh - We drag-raced Crayons again, this time on F40s. This time, my Red one got off first,
climbing in an arc towards the flight line (the wind was blowing away from us, today). Ejected close to apogee, and drifted
into the tall grass.
150607 - With Tripoli Pittsburgh - M's Crayon climbed off the rail after mine, but flew straighter. A parawad at apogee
meant a hard landing, but deep grass and a tough design meant no damage.
160220 - With TCV in Culpepper - M and I drag-raced our Crayons on F40-7's. I felt pretty confident, because I had a new
igniter and she had a Copperhead. Of course, mine didn't light, and hers soared into the sky, but didn't get the 'chute out!
It fell sideways the whole way down, but got the chute out just before landing, clearly visible, on the hill. Nice!
160220 - With TCV in Culpepper - Last up was the Red Crayon, which had indeed burned the igniter. I took the motor apart,
and it looked like the igniter had come through the top of the F40-7, and didn't light the slot - just marked the top. The
little Aerotech igniter igniter replacement did the job, but the F40 sure failed. The rocket barely climbed off the rod, blew
off the nosecone, and fried the inside of the tube as it landed on the ground in a heap. The delay grain burned through, and
the forward closure was burned like a nozzle, and greatly enlarged. Repairable, but a hassle. Nuts!!
160409 - With TCV in Culpepper - Decided to drag race the Crayons, using old F20-4's. Mine barely had to strength to lift
it, and it had barely enough steerage to keep it straight, even though I used an 8' rail. Ejected near apogee, but the 'chute
never inflated. No damage, but a drag...
160409 - With TCV in Culpepper - Melissa's Blue Crayon lit on the next igniter, and flew much like mine. Except hers inflated
Picture of a Crayon's clear plastic (Lexan!!) fin
090314 - 4 Crayons on the pad at Snow Ranch - First Flights
07/19/09 - Red Crayon on G77R-4 at TCC
080604 - Ranger in Purple
Ranger - Purple 38mm body rocket with 29mm motor mount.
09/20/03 - Flew on a G40 at XPRS to a high, great flight.
12/29/03 - Flew at MDARs on an H128, to 3770 feet! Took two minutes coming down at 30 ft/sec!
05/07/2005 - Snow Ranch - Flew the Ranger on an F23-7, to a disappointing, low and arcing flight.
07/17/05 - Flew Ranger on G40-7 at TCC, for a great flight. Tried to zipper the tube again! Right where
I patched it last time! Next flight - there's a bumper on the shock cord there...
05/06/06 - Snow Ranch - Flew the Ranger on a G38-7, (the sibling of the one that blew up and tore up the Io years ago).
No problems, but it does decend fast on the two chut combo.
05/13/06 - Night launch at Lunar - Flew on an F20-7 - Tilt into the wind was a mistake - the rocket weathercocked
badly, and headed out over the rodeo stadium. Saw an event, but not much more. Several folks got a bearing on
it, and I set out after it. Had to climb barb wire to get into the rodeo area, and I was without hope, but I spotted
it in the back of the land, and walked right to it. The big parachute didn't open, but the small one did. Other
than some chipping, it wasn't damaged. Whew!
08/04/06 - Aeronaut at Black Rock - Flew the Ranger on G40-10 - Great flight - high and straight.
09/22/06 - XPRS at Black Rock - Flew on a G54M - 29/100 hardware. Nice flight.
09/24/06 - XPRS at Black Rock, again. Flew on a G40-7 - Nice flight.
10/13/06 - at TCC on an F40. Flew okay.
12/02/06 - LUNAR at Snow Ranch - Flew the Ranger on a G64-10, after a long wait. Straight, high, flight, and perfect
03/03/07 - LUNAR at Snow Ranch - Ranger on a G33-7 - Great flight on a long-burn "G".
04/21/07 - TCC Fresno - Flew on a F62 - Great flight, and recovery. And I didn't have to walk for
08/02/07 - Aeronaut with AeroPac, at Black Rock - Flew the Ranger on a G75 full "G". Went a long way on that baby.
Arc'ed a little into the wind, but only came back a little! Not much wind up there in the early AM .
09/15/07 - With Aeropac at XPRS - Flew the Ranger on an H220. Another huge motor/small rocket combo. Used
a Walston and a Perfectflite to help recovery. Ripped off the pad, and disappeared. Saw an event at apogee, but
no 'chute. Dang! Eventually found with the Walston. Slightly burned 'chute (burned closed, of course), and
a cracked fin. Rats.
11/18/07 - The TCC Thanksgiving Launch - Flew the Ranger on a G104. Great flight, and apogee eject. Drifted
a long way on the 'chute, and had trouble finding it in the alfalfa. It was farther away than I expected.
09/19/08 - XPRS - Flew the Ranger on a G104. Nice.
01/18/09 - TCC Fresno - Flew on an F62 for a high, hissing flight. Very nice, and the landing hit my truck!
Would have landed in the bed if the shell wasn't on.
05/17/09 - TCC Dairy Aire - I flew the Ranger on one of the LMS F20-7's. I was nervous, as I had two LMS failures
last year, one of which roasted my Canadian Arrow. This one didn't fail, and easily boosted the Ranger to a high, straight
07/31/09 - Aeronaut - Flew the Ranger on a Roadrunner G80-10. High, soaring flight to 2413 feet, and easy recovery
just by the west end of the flight line.
05/01/10 - Snow Ranch - Flew the Ranger on a G104 to a high, soaring flight. Ejected right at apogee, and
drifted all the way across the river - again. Good thing John was there, and gave me a ride back. Thanks!
09/18/10 - XPRS - I was getting desperate to fly something in the Altitude contest, and my choices were getting slim.
At 4:20pm (contest closed at 5pm), I decided to fly the Ranger on an H250G, with a long delay - I just happened to have one
built. The rocket tore off the pad, and disappeared to the South. I had a good Walston tone on it, and set off
to find it. Got it back to the contest zone with 50 seconds to spare! (Sorry, Dave R, I WAS going a little fast...)
5220 feet was enough to win first place, and a nice Fat Man kit.
130804 - Aeronaut - I raced back to camp, and grabbed the Ranger, and a pre-made H165R. I
yelled not to close the range - I've got a rocket! Could not find the Jolly! Dang! Still, it was a great
flight, and settled slightly west of the LCO.
140622 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Flew the purple
Ranger on a F22-7, to a low, arc'ing flight into the sod behind the flight line. Not enough time to eject - ejected
after burying the nosecone in the ground. (I'm done with this motor...). Tough construction and repairs meant
minimal damage - a few cracks and paint chips. Nuts.
Purchased as part of a garage sale, this rocket is tough, simple, and pretty-bulletproof. The engine retention and thrust
ring keeps fliers from putting in engines that are too big.
151212 - At Tripoli Central Virginia - My neighbor agreed to drag race Aerotech kits, and I used my Mustang on an F26-9FJ.
My opponent selected an F52-8T, which tore off the pad before mine even lit. Not fair. Still, the Mustang climbed straight
into the blue sky, ejected at apogee, and gently drifted back and into the field. I needed a good walk to get it back, but
it was worth it!
Alan T and I turned a pointy nosecone on his lathe, and this is the rocket that resulted.
100806 - Flew the WAC Corporal on it's first flight - on an F40-7. Great boost and coast, but the arc'ing was too much,
and the ejection zippered 1" of the body tube. The landing broke one of the surface-mounted fins, as well. Phooey.
100917 - XPRS - Flew the WAC Corporal on the other F20-7 (loadable) for another high, cool, flight. When I approached it,
I see that half the nosecone is gone! When it ejected, it slammed back into the BT (which has been freshly fiberglassed to
a razor-sharpness), impaled itself, and broke in half! Fixable, but weird...
120819 - With MDRA at Central Sod Farm - Flew "WAC Corporal" on an F26-7 SU, which I replaced the BP - far too little
BP. The nosecone came off, but the 'chute didn't get out. Came in ballistic, and crunched the tube. The balsa nosecone had
another break - the tip was broken off, and lost. (Note: I was using a siren, and it came off and landed nearby. Silly
- I had JUST seen it do the same thing to someone else.)
Alas, the crunched tube finished the rocket. Too bad - it was cool!
(By the way - next time - TTW fins, no balsa nosecone...)
100806 - WAC Corporal before first flight.
080604 - F-Bomb in the usual Fluorescent Red-Orange of high-fliers
"F-Bomb" - 29mm min-diam, un-fiberglassed, with Apogee 29mm nose-cone.
1/19/08 - Flew on a C11-5 at TCC Fresno Nice boost, with some spin, and ejected at apogee. Broke slender Kevlar
shock cord, and had to use Walston to recover the nosecone. The Perfectflite altimeter says 453 feet. Paint fluorescent
orange and try for more altitude next time.
3/18/08 - Re-painted, and triple clear-coated. Almost ready to go!
04/26/08 - Flew at Newark on a D12-5 to 1046 ft Nice!
05/17/08 - Flew at DairyAire on an E18-10 to 2447 ft. High!!
08/02/08 - Saturday at Aeronaut - Flew F-Bomb on an E23-8. Arc'ed a bit, and disappeared. Found with Walston.
09/21/08 - Sunday at XPRS - Flew the F-Bomb on an F39-12. This little rocket disappeared when the motor lit.
Found using the Walston - partial 'chute open slowed it down, but still hit hard. Lost the motor and adapter!
Nuts! Also lost the bt20 nose cone I was using to close up the avionics bay. But no avionics lost. Weird.
02/21/09 - TCC Fresno - Flew the F-Bomb to 2114 feet on an E23-8. Burned 'chute made the rocket come in fast,
but it still went a long way down range. No damage other than the 'chute. Thank heavens for the Walston.
06/20/09 - With Aeropac at Mudrock - Flew the F-Bomb on a F52-11, to 4622 feet. Had a glitch in the Walston
that made recovery tough - intermittant in the cord. Signal sure disappears when the rocket lands. Very high!
09/18/09 - XPRS - Flew the F-Bomb on an F40-10, to 4425 feet. Thought
is was way away, while in reality, it was close. Too much hunting! Nice flight, though.
11/22/09 - At TCC - Flew the F-Bomb on an E23-8. Went
high and fast, but the parachute didn't open - burned shut. A long walk, but recovered without damage. About 1800
04/17/10 - TCC Fresno - Put the Walston in the F-Bomb, and loaded it on the Estes pads.
When the F26-9 lit, it tore off the pad, and headed north. The delay looked long enough, and there was an event at apogee.
I got an increased signal, that faded south, then suddenly cut off at about 3 minutes. (Sounds like I got the 'chute
out.) No more signal - just like the H-Bomb flight last November. Was mounting the Yagi on the Walston pole, and
just getting ready to drive when someone called me - Gary D had found my rocket and brought it back! Awesome - saved
me a drive and hunt. Perfectflite 15K says 5040ft!
100531 - STOLEN
Bottle Rocket -
After seeing all these nifty Crayon rockets ($6 at Toy 'R' Us) converted into rockets, I told E to look for a similar
prop. At the next garage sale we went to, she found it: a big, plastic baby bottle "bank". It's
just what I wanted!!
Well, transforming it into a rocket wasn't so easy. Had to add fins, nose weight, nose-cone mounting,
and internal structure to hold the motor. Here's briefly what I did:
a) Bought acrylic for the fins, and cut to shape, with tabs agains the motor tube.
b) Put rings and the motor retention on the motor tube, and temporily mounted the main CRs.
c) Glued the fins to MMT, through slots in the clear plastic BT and rear structure.
d) Reinforced all fin joints with gussets of epoxy.
e) Glued in the main CRs, with paper next to the clear plastic to act a "milk".
f) Weighed out 4 oz of lead shot, and put it into the nose, along with a shock cord, imbedded in epoxy.
All up weight - about 17 oz - kinda heavy, but this is not an altitude bird.
- 05/18/07 - EX day at Dairy Aire - TCC Fresno. Flew it on an F37 Med-Short. It flew well, but broke a
fin on landing. Dang!
- 06/xx/07 - Mudrock - Flew on a G54. Great flight, and the "S" delay was the right one. High wind
broke all three fins on landing. Dang!
Well, I'm starting to see a pattern here. The Acrylic is just too
weak to handle landings, even with a 36" chute. And it's going to break on a hard flight, too.
the fins. It turned out okay - the fins are much less clear, but they are an awful lot stronger. Next time, use
- 07/19/07 - Lockheed entertainment - Flew the Bottle Rocket on an F62, with an (M) delay element that had been drilled
out .21". (Was .45"). Ejected near (but before) apogee, and hung around on big silk 'chute. Landed in the
parking lot. Dang, that's gonna bust a fin or three. BUT IT DIDN'T. No damage - guess that fiberglassing
- 08/05/07 - Aeronaut - Flew on a G79W (RMS) - Great flight - went high, but spun a bit. The clear BT was
damaged by the charge, which blew out a section. Easy fix, and no damage to the fins. Yeah!
- 10/19/07 - October Skies at TCC Maddox Dairy. Flew on a G33-5(4) - Great flight, with a tight spin.
- 11/18/07 - Thanksgiving at TCC Maddox Dairy. Flew on an F62 (M, shortened to an S). Great flight again.
- 02/09/08 - Flew on a G54 at Snow Ranch. Spun hard, but flew fine and recovered without error.
- 08/01/08 - AeroNaut - Flew the Bottle Rocket on an F50-4. Nice!
- 10/18/08 - October Skies - I flew the Bottle Rocket on an F20-4 - Nice.
- 12/20/08 - Lunar at Ames - Flew well on a F25-4. Landed on the concrete with no damage!
- 02/21/09 - TCC in Fresno. Flew on a G33-5 (old). Great flight - this is the right motor for this rocket, if
they made them any more. Somehow, I managed to tear loose a fin. Rats!
But I got a full page in Extreme
Rocketry!!! (See Picture)
- 06/21/09 - Mudrock - Flew on a G54-S, for a great, vertical flight. Bounced on the landing, and ended
Discovered that a fin was broken, at the Newark launch (10/3/09), and repaired it by removing the fiberglass
on putting on more. Looks fine.
- 10/17/09 - October Skies - I flew the Bottle Rocket on an F20-4, for a nice flight.
- 01/02/10 - LUNAR at Snow Ranch - Flew the Bottle Rocket with an F50-4, that also went into the clouds. I heard
the ejection, and the parachute opened entirely for a nice recovery, and it stuck the landing!!
100531 - STOLEN
Bottle Rocket on F62 at Fresno 11/18/07
071118 - Bottle Rocket under 'chute
In the May 2009 Extreme Rocketry magazine!
081022 - Big Daddy with 29mm motor tube.
Upgraded Estes Big Daddy I bought a Big Daddy from a fellow rocketeer, then ordered the Piestrak
(sp?) upgrade kit, with ply fins, ply rings, and a 29mm motor mount. Tough, and it looks great painted.
06/07/08 - Lockheed Young Astronauts - Tried to fly this rocket on an E16-7(s). First the Copperhead failed to
light it, then the Firstfire Jr plugged the nozzle and it blew! No damage, but a fair amount of frustration. And
"Bang!!!" is always bad for your nerves.
06/14/08 - Got another shot at redemption. Flew it again on an E16-7(s), this time with LUNAR at Moffett, wearing
black paint but no decals. Flew easily to 600 ft, but the 'chute tangled, and it landed in the weeds. No damage.
08/02/08 - Aeronaut - Flew Big Daddy on an F40-7. Nice flight, but it broke a fin on landing. That's why
my designs have forward swept fins!
10/18/08 - October Skies - Flew Big Daddy (with a larger 'chute), on an F40-7. Booming flight and high eject.
Long drift into the orchard. Good eyeballs got me a vector, but I had to jump a ditch, and got a little wet (didn't
fall in, though...). Found Big Daddy, and the front of Mike P's missing rocket...
4/4/09 - LUNAR at Snow Ranch. I flew the Big Daddy on a G64-10. This was extreme flying, and I knew
it was going to go high. And it did - hammered off the pad and coasted until I could only see the tracking smoke.
Ejected at apogee, and drifted back. Landed nearby. Found a slight zipper in the body tube.
found another thing I've never seen before. The motor would not come out of the rocket. I finally pried
it out, and found a bulge in the case! It nearly blew in the rocket - discolored and bulged, but not blown.
08/1/09 - Aeronaut - Flew my last flight of this launch with the Big Daddy, on an F20-7. Perfect, straight
up flight, tail-stand, and ejection with close landing. Very, very nice.
10/3/09 - Newark - Flew Big Daddy on an F22-7, to a high, smokey, perfect flight.
10/17/09 - October Skies - I flew my Big Daddy on an F40-7, and Justin flew his Bulldog on an F20-4 in a drag race.
We lifted off at the same time, and diverged. Both recovered beautifully, but we gotta get a bigger 'chute in his Bulldog.
01/02/10 - LUNAR at Snow Ranch - Getting around quitting time, we flew the Big Daddy on a G54-M, for a high, soaring
flight. Awesome, straight, flight to over a thousand feet, and perfect recovery. We had to hike over a hill, and
down the other side - no damage on the recovery. Nice!
100213 - With LUNAR at Snow Ranch - Flew the Big Daddy on a G64-10 for a high, booming, flight. Definitely needed
all the delay, as it was still going up when it ejected! Long, long fall. Very nice!
100531 - STOLEN
100213 - Big Daddy on a G64-10 at Snow Ranch
Besheeba Budd - Big Bertha's bigger sister. This was a kit I got at a "going out of this hobby"
sale, and re-worked, pulling out the aluminum motor mount, making a new 29mm motor mount and rings, and re-painting.
Other than that, it's the same;)
05/15/10 - With TCC at Dairy Aire - Decided to fly the Super Big Bertha on an E16-7 (5). I tried three igniters,
and it wouldn't light. I finally added some Blue Thunder, and got it to light. And it instantly threw out the
'chute. And zippered the body. Dang!!
100531 - STOLEN
Wasp - 29mm minimum diameter "Arrow".
In the course of building the "Arrow" series, I decided to build a 29mm version of this rocket. Features:
1) 2oz fiberglassing
2) Fiberglassed Plywood fins
3) Perfectflight MAWD with 9v battery, (tight fit!)
4) Engine eject, with option for apogee-deploy with MAWD.
This is rocket can fit 29/360 engines!!
7/18/04 - Flew first time at Fresno with an ancient E15-7. Did not eject until it lawn-darted, bending the body
tube and ruining a great paint job. Repairing.
09/26/04 - Repaired all the damage. Flew again at XPRS - Great flight on F21-8. Reached ~1900 ft, and recovered
05/07/05 - Flew at Snow Ranch on an F21-8 again, and had another great flight to ~1800 feet. Recovered fine.
07/17/05 - Flew at Fresno on an F50-9. Huge, fast flight to ~2200 ft. Chute wrapped around shock cord, so
the rocket came down fast. That was good, because the swivel tore open!
07/21/05 - Flew at Livermove on an F23-7BJ. Went ~1100 ft on a nice flight. Note that I removed the swivel.
Next flight: XPRS on a G80-10! Or more!
11/18/05 - Flew at TCC on a G80-10. Huge flight - ripped off the pad, and coasted forever, except the chute opened
early! Tore off the chute, and it fell into the grape orchard. Used Walston to find it. Damaged nosecone
had to be replaced.
07/15/06 - Flew at Lunar with an F37-L, with MAWD eject. Separated at Ejection, but landed without damage.
09/24/06 - Flew at XPRS with an H238, and MAWD ejection. Huge, fast flight, ripping off the pad. Didn't
see anything after that, but had a fix with the Walston gear. Retrieved pieces from the desert - the rear separated,
and the tube broke on landing. Recovered the av bay, and the MAWD said we went 5154 feet! Now to repair...
02/20/07 - Extended the body tube, and repaired the break, both with fiberglass. Fitted an Ellis Mountain I69.
Now that's a large motor. Primed and sanded. Gonna need new colors.
05/18/07 - Flew at Dairy Aire on Desearch Day on an F40-7. Lit badly, and headed for the orchard! Saw a deployment,
but couldn't find it in all those trees! The owner's son assured me it'd show up, though. Dang! It looked
great in the new paint, too!
The little one in front is the Wasp.