Ross Ohmen's Rocketry Obsession
29 mm Projects
Model Rocketry History
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The 99K Project
98mm Project - Level 3
54 mm Projects
38 mm Projects
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13 - 18 mm Projects
My Launches - 2018
My Launches - 2017
My Launches - 2016
My Launches - 2015
My Launches - 2014
My Launches - 2013
My Launches - 2012
My Launches - 2011
My Launches - 2010
My Launches - 2009
My Launches - 2008
My Launches - 2007
My Launches - 2006
My Launches - 2005
My Launches - 2004
My Launches - 2003
Lessons Learned
Additional Rocket Stuff
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Here's some of my mid-power projects.  Note that 29mm is the BIGGEST motor these rockets can handle.

Sky Dancer - A special rocket for M, as she works so hard at ballet. Made with help from Dawn R, who cut and installed the graphics.

180218 - With MDRA at Higgs Farm - Next, M launched her new Sky Dancer on an F62. Many folks commented on the cool vinyl appliques, and the rocket looked terrific on the pad. The rocket jumped off the pad, with some rod whip, but climbed straight, arc'ed over, and ejected on the way down. (Glad I removed 2 seconds of delay!) The 'chute opened completely, and the rocket landed on the range for a perfect flight.

180304 - TCV at Culpeper - About this time, we discovered that my Jolly Chute Release was dead, and would not hold a charge. I borrowed one (thanks, Jeff!) and headed for the pads with M's Sky Dancer on a G54. The rocket climbed rapidly off the pad, and climbed high into the sky, arc'ing slightly into the wind. At apogee, the ejection charge fired, and the laundry came out, the 'chute reefed. It fell to 200 feet, and the parachute snapped open. (I gave a huge sigh of relief.) The rocket landed on the range to our right for a perfect flight.

180318 - MDRA at Higgs Farm - Next was M's Sky Dancer on a F52-8(6). The rocket climbed rapidly off the pad, and climbed high into the sky, arc'ing slightly into the wind. At apogee, the ejection charge fired, and the laundry came out. Landed across the creek for a perfect landing. Nice.

180325 - With TCV at Battle Park - We started with M's Sky Dancer on an F40-7(6). The rocket climbed rapidly off the pad, and climbed high into the sky, arc'ing slightly into the wind. At apogee, the ejection charge fired, but the parachute didn't come out. Our hopes for a late deployment were in vain - the rocket landed roughly in the near field, where it got dirty, but didn't break anything. We'll take it.

180414 - Red Glare with MDRA at Higgs Farm - Next came M's Sky Dancer on Cesaroni 24mm x 6 Grain G117-11 White. The rocket zipped off the pad, and climbed high into the sky, arc'ing slightly into the wind. At apogee, the ejection charge fired, and the laundry came out - held shut with a Jolly. Just like my HoJo a moment before, the rocket went rapidly downwind as it fell, and really took off when the parachute opened at 300 feet. It (also) landed way out in the field across the creek, and we had a search to find it - EVERYTHING in the field had the same red and white chute! We found it, but we had a long walk.

180414 - Red Glare with MDRA at Higgs Farm - M decided to fly her Sky Dancer again on a G138-12 - a 156 N-sec "G", about 40% more powerful than a regular "G". It tore off the pad, and became a speck, way up over the crowd. (Good thing we had other young eyes watching it.) M had a good track on it all the way down, and saw the 'chute snap open at 300 feet, way across the creek. She found it, after quite a hike into the freshly-turned field. Super cool flight!

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Tiny Pterodactyl

I had a yen to make a 29mm semi-high altitude rocket that I can fly on F's and the occasional G. I always liked this design, but haven't had one since I wiped out my full-sized version at BR.

A note about the paint - C designed it, and 5 other terrific designs. So proud of her.

170121 - NOVAARS at Great Meadows - Ended the day flying the new Tiny Pterodactyl on an F20-4 SU, straight into the clouds. I didn't see it come out, and was told it had landed behind the flight line minutes ago! (The cloud deck is officially "not fun".)

170408 - LDRS with MDRA at Higgs Farm - I started out with the Tiny Pterodactyl on a G54, which chuffed a few times, and roared off the pad. The rocket ejected at apogee, but separated, with the nose and body falling together towards the field. At 200 feet, the Jolly opened the 'chute, and the nosecone made a gentle landing, unlike the rear body, which thumped in. I needed the Walston to find the rocket, in a field of 8" grass - a harbinger of things to come. No damage, but resetting the shock cord will be fun...

171001 - BRR at Michaels Farm Airport - I next flew the Tiny Pterodactyl on an old F20-4. After chuffing a few times, it lit with a roar and climbed off the pad on a tower of smoke. It didn't go very high, but ejected just after apogee, and landed out near the back of the field. Nice.

180218 - With MDRA at Higgs Farm - Next, we loaded the Tiny Pterodactyl on the rail with a G104. The motor lit instantly, and threw the rocket high into the afternoon sky, where it ejected at apogee. A long drift across the field - pretty to watch. Another passer-by found it and retrieved it for us. Thanks!

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WAC Corporal

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.

160918 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Flew the WAC Corporal on a single-use 4x29mm (H115?) Aerotech DMS motor. Tore the rocket off the pad and it drifted way into the sky. Ejected near apogee, at the limit of what I could see. As the rocket had a Jolly Logic Chute release, I didn't expect to see much until 400 feet, but I saw parts flashing. And separating. The shock cord had parted, probably because I added extra BP to the ejection well - way too much for the 2.6" BT. At 400 feet, the 'chute came out, and the nosecone drifted across the recovery field, landing at the end. (Thank heavens it didn't come out at apogee - it would have drifted to Delaware!!). The rear body came down in a flat spin, and made a 1-point landing (seriously) in the field - one fin buried in the sod, holding up the rest of the rocket. With a stress bulge and missing paint. Sigh.

170211 - With BRR at Owens Farm - Quickly time for one last flight. Put the Jolly 'Chute Release on the WAC Corporal, made a G53-7FJ, and put it on the pad. The G easily lifted the rocket into a spinning climb, ejecting at apogee, around 1000 feet. The Jolly opened at 400 feet, and the 'chute came out just fine, taking the rocket out into the cornfield. A great flight to end the day.

170312 - With TCV in Culpepper - I found a truly ancient H220T, and realize the WAC Corporal was just the right rocket to fly it in. I configured it as dual deploy, with the MAWD providing drogue-less apogee separation, and a "line cutter" to deploy the 'chute at 500 foot. Who cares if the delay grain is compromised? The rocket roared off the pad, and made a perfect flight to 2840 feet, where it separated, and fell. Right at 500 feet, the main snapped open, and the rocket settled to the east near (but not IN!) the trees. A perfect flight. (One weird thing - the wire from the apogee charge was completely gone - not even a shred of it left in the altimeter.)

170820 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - It was getting late, so I grabbed 4 rockets and went to the pads, starting with the WAC Corporal on a G77R. Easily lifted the rocket to about 1000 feet, and this time the Jolly did it's job, opening the 'chute at 300, and landing nearby. Nice.

171015 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - I next flew the WAC Corporal on a G77-7. The rocket ripped off the pad, and climbed high into the cloudy sky, ejecting at apogee. Right at 200 feet, the chute release let go, and the main opened fully. The rocket drifted right over the flight line, and landed in a grassy patch on the right side. Very nice. 1114 feet.

180120 - With BRR at the Owens Farm - Next, I flew the WAC Corporal on a G138, and the Jolly Chute Release. Holy cow that thing left in a hurry! And climbed forever. And finally ejected at apogee, at the limits of my vision. And fell forever. The 'chute snapped open at 300', but by then it was well down-range. It landed just before the treeline - retrieved with a long walk. Nice! (Later found out that the G138 is a 98% G, almost an H!)


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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 G79W. 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.

I 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 without problem.

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.

150731 - Aeronaut - Flew 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!!!

170915 - XPRS - I next grabbed the Double H-Bomb and headed for the range. The H268 threw the stack into the sky, and drag separated as desired. A second later, I saw a puff of smoke in the sustainer's trail, but no ignition on the sustainer. The ancient H180 had failed to light, despite a vigorous igniter. Everything ejected as it was supposed to, and landed safely, but I was disappointed. The sustainer still went 4785 feet! Get rid of the old motors, and don't use them in mission critical flights!


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110220 - Stretch Blobbo

Stretch Blobbo

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 - With TCV in Culpepper VA - Flew the Stretch Blobbo on an F24-7 for a high, perfect flight!

161029 - With TCV in Culpepper VA - Flew the Stretch Blobbo on an E16-4 to a perfect flight.

170129 - With TCV in Culpepper VA - 12. Flew the Stretch Blobbo on an E16-4, and actually got it to light on the first try, and work! Lifted the rocket high into the afternoon sky, ejected a hair before apogee, and drifted out into the field. Nice flight.

170521 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - After many pad / preparation woes, I finally got the Stretch Blobbo on to the pad, and got the E16-7(5) to light. The rocket hissed off to the left, and ejected going sideways. The Jolly didn't get the 'chute open, and the rocket hit the sod hard, jacking loose a fin and banging up the body tube. Rats!

171217 - With TCV at Battle Park - The final flight for me was the Stretch Blobbo on an older F52-11, shortened to 8 seconds. Ripped off the rod, and did a couple spirals as it arc'ed into the sky. Ejected a little after apogee, high up, and drifted back to the left as it fell gently. Nice flight!

180414 - Red Glare with MDRA at Higgs Farm - While it was getting late, I still had the energy to fly a few more rockets, so I took the Stretch Blobbo with it's F40-7 to the pads. There's not too many fliers now, so we quickly got on a 1/4" rail and launched. The white flame easily lifted the rocket up and over the crowd, where it drifted until it popped out the nosecone at apogee - the Jolly kept the parachute shut. By now, the winds were strong, and easily took the rocket out over the creek and into the field, where it made a gentle landing. ANOTHER long walk to retrieve it. But still happy it's in one piece.


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My minions found this Tootsie Roll Bank at a garage sale, and I turned it into a rocket. It's about 3" in diameter, with four clear plastic fins, and 4 oz of lead in the nose to keep it pointed in the right direction. It flies on E-G 29mm motors.

171217 - With TCV at Battle Park - Flew the new "Tootsie" on an E23-5. Easily lofted the rocket on a fast, straight path to about 500 feet, and ejected right after apogee. The 'chute came out properly, and the rocket landed near the pads. Yes!!

180218 - With MDRA at Higgs Farm - After several igniters, I finally got Tootsie's F20-7 to ignite. The rocket climbed slowly off the pad, and made good altitude before arc'ing over. And plunging to earth. And slamming into the field. No ejection. Retrieved by a passer-by, it's been shortened by 10 inches. (The ejection well was empty - just not enough oomph in the old BP to eject anything.) Rats.

180325 - With TCV at Battle Park - Flew the freshly repaired "Tootsie" on an F20-7. The first copperhead didn't light it, but I had a homemade igniter that fit, and it did light it. Soared off the pad, and arc'ed into the wind across the field. Ejected a little after apogee, and got the 'chute out and open. Found a little zipper in the new (thin and soft) cardboard of the repaired part. Weirdly, the daisy-chain in the shock cord didn't even get stretched out - must have gotten held up. A quick repair.

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 - sigh.

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... Dang!

160220 - With TCV in Culpepper - I then flew the Canadian Arrow on a F40-7, to a high, perfect flight.

161211 - With TCV in Culpepper - I flew Canadian Arrow on an F37-M to a slow, easy flight and ejection. I can use more Newtons and higher thrust in the future.

170521 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - While stunned from the ballistic impact of the Razorback, the LCO moved to the Canadian Arrow, and the F40(?) actually lit. (Two Copperheads wouldn't light it - one of my igniters did.) The rocket staggered off the pad, and climbed to about 600 feet, before ejecting going down. The Jolly didn't release the 'chute properly, and the Arrow landed hard on the sod. The (weighted) nosecone punched a hole and stood there, but there was no damage to the rocket, and the 'chute did open on the field. Just needed more time...

180318 - MDRA at Higgs Farm - Finally got the Canadian Arrow to light it's G53-10 FastJack. It tore off the pad and climbed straight up and out over the range. Coasted a long way up, but ejected at apogee, and drifted back to us. Right at 400 feet, the Chute Release let go, and the 'chute snapped open. Landed right in front of our camp. Very nice!

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Canadian Arrow as originally built
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081015 - Burned Up Canadian Arrow
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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! 
  1. Flew Melissa's Blue on a G76-7G.
  2. Chelsea's Fuscia on a G71-7R
  3. Mom's Yellow on a G104T-M, and
  4. 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 -
  1. Towards the late afternoon, we drag raced three Crayons.  Mine (Red) had an H238 for a great flight, straight up.
  2. Melissa's (Blue) Crayon had a G64-7 (white) for a long walk into the field.
  3. 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).
  1. Melissa's (Blue) arc'ed north on it's G80-4T SU motor.  Ejected close to apogee, and came down fine.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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 pains.

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 - fun!!

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. Great flight!

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 field.

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 the 'chute.

161029 - With TCV in Culpepper - Flew the Red Crayon on an ancient F40-4, to a disastrous flight. The motor chuffed a bunch of times, then barely lifted the rocket off the near rail. It then flopped over (thank God AWAY from us!) and streaked into the ground. Bent up the nose cone and mashed the body tube. I was lucky it didn't burn correctly, because the delay grain never burned!

170121 - NOVAARS at Great Meadows - Next, we drag raced the Crayons on F40-7s, and (of course,) M's Blue Crayon got off the pad while mine burned the igniter. The delay on hers seemed to last forever, but the 'chute came out about 100 feet up, and opened fully. Whew!

170121 - NOVAARS at Great Meadows - After replacing the igniter, (and shaving down the delay element,) my Red Crayon soared into the clouds and ejected at apogee. (I'm guessing, as I couldn't actually see it.) Perfect flight.

170326 - With TCV in Culpeper - M and I now tried to drag race Crayons on F40-4's, with predictable results. Hers lit first, and climbed normally, ejecting at apogee and drifting into the field. Mine never lit, even with a new igniter and all the pyrogen on the grain. Rejected...

170409 - LDRS with MDRA at Higgs Farm - M and I now drag raced the Crayons on G64-10's, with predictable results. Hers lit first, and climbed out just ahead of mine. Her "Blue" turned into the wind, and ejected at apogee and drifting back towards the flight line, and settling 30 yards from us.

170409 - LDRS with MDRA at Higgs Farm - My Red Crayon lit just after hers, and climbed straight into the sky, did a tail-stand, and ejected. Naturally, it drifted a long way in the breeze, and we had to cross the whole field and a line of trees to get it from the next crop field. Luckily, the parachute sat on top of the plants, and it was easy to find, with our careful tracking.

171001 - BRR at Michaels Farm Airport - I next flew the Red Crayon on an ancient F40-4, which chuffed briefly, then climbed in a stately roar out over the field, ejecting at apogee. The parachute fully inflated, and the rocket gracefully settled into the field ahead of us.

171015 - With MDRA at the Sod Farm - Melissa and I then tried to drag race the Crayons on G76G-7s. For once, my Red Crayon lit, and her Blue Crayon didn't. A high, straight (overhead) boost, with apogee deployment, meant that I had a long walk out into the field behind the flight line. At least it wasn't in the trees.

171202 - With BRR at Oakland Church Field - Started off launching M's Blue Crayon on the G76-7G that we could not get lit last time. With some motor cleaning and a new igniter, the motor lit instantly, and tossed the big rocket high into the sky. Ejection is right on time, but the 'chute didn't get out. The rocket landed on it's side, but the grass prevented any damage. Whew!

180218 - With MDRA at Higgs Farm - We next attempted a drag race with our crayons. My Red Crayon lit slowly, but the G79 caught and threw the rocket high into the sky, where it ejected at apogee. The 'chute lowered the rocket gently for a soft landing across a culvert. Nice.

180218 - With MDRA at Higgs Farm - M's Blue Crayon did not launch with mine in the drag race. She needed another igniter to get the G64-7 to light, and it climbed into the sky to eject at apogee. The 'chute came out completely, and the rocket landed gently on the range. Very nice!

180318 - MDRA at Higgs Farm - I could not find a second 29mm motor to drag race our crayons. I realized, however, that we could use a Cesaroni 6x24mm motor with an adapter. We purchased a G145 (Pink) from Animal Motor Works, and used that in M's Blue Crayon. We didn't drag race, because a) I had a copperhead, and b) I wanted to see this thing fly. Holy cow! That rocket ripped off the pad, and soared high into the afternoon sky. Ejected at apogee when it was a speck, and fell - no parachute. I prayed as it fell, and at 300', the 'chute snapped open - just lucky, I guess. Landed gently across the creek. I'll take it!

180414 - Red Glare with MDRA at Higgs Farm - We raced crayons with G77R-10s, and of course, M's Blue Crayon got off first. It arc'ed towards the flight line, and over the crowd, ejecting on the way down - (of COURSE 10 seconds is too long!). The Jolly held the 'chute shut, even after it released at 400 feet. It plopped onto the field in front of us, and the grass prevented any serious damage. We've had bad luck with the Jolly + silk parachute combo...

180414 - Red Glare with MDRA at Higgs Farm - My Red Crayon lit it's G77R-10 a moment after M's, but didn't arc towards the flight line - just went straight up and to the left. And arc'ed over, ejecting on the way down. The Jolly held the 'chute shut until 300 feet, when it snapped open. It thankfully went past the encroaching forest and landed out in the field for a 15-minute walk to retrieve. Better than in a tree.

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4 Crayons, ready to fly
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Picture of a Crayon's clear plastic (Lexan!!) fin
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090314 - 4 Crayons on the pad at Snow Ranch - First Flights
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07/19/09 - Red Crayon on G77R-4 at TCC
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080604 - Ranger in Purple

Ranger - Purple 38mm body rocket with 29mm motor mount.

030920 - Flew on a G40 at XPRS to a high, great flight.

031229 - Flew at MDARs on an H128, to 3770 feet! Took two minutes coming down at 30 ft/sec!

050507 - Snow Ranch - Flew the Ranger on an F23-7, to a disappointing, low and arcing flight.

050717 - 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...

060506 - 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.

060513 - 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!

060804 - Aeronaut at Black Rock - Flew the Ranger on G40-10 - Great flight - high and straight.

060922 - XPRS at Black Rock - Flew on a G54M - 29/100 hardware. Nice flight.

060924 - XPRS at Black Rock, again. Flew on a G40-7 - Nice flight.

061013 - at TCC on an F40. Flew okay.

061202 - LUNAR at Snow Ranch - Flew the Ranger on a G64-10, after a long wait. Straight, high, flight, and perfect recovery!

070303 - LUNAR at Snow Ranch - Ranger on a G33-7 - Great flight on a long-burn "G".

070421 - TCC Fresno - Flew on a F62 - Great flight, and recovery. And I didn't have to walk for miles.

070802 - 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 .

070915 - 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.

071118 - 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.

080919 - XPRS - Flew the Ranger on a G104. Nice.

090118 - 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.

090517 - 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 flight.

090731 - 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.

100501 - 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!

100918 - 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.

170326 - With TCV in Culpeper - I next grabbed the Ranger, loaded with an F52-8, and headed for the pads. The Blue Thunder lit and tossed the little rocket way up into the clouds, where it quickly re-appeared and landed near us for a perfect flight.

170805 - Aeronaut - As I was still tied up with the DeadPoole, I asked some of the teenage boys who came with Tim, to fly some of my rockets. First was the Ranger on an F37-M, which flew to a low, perfect flight. Recovered with a car, as there was wind!

171217 - With TCV at Battle Park - I next flew the Ranger on a G25 moonburner. It needed two igniters and several chuffs, but eventually lit and boosted the rocket high into the sky, arc'ing away from us. It ejected at apogee, but threw out the 'chute, which was probably for the best - the rocket drifted back towards us, but still far enough away for a good walk. 1357 ft, and 4.5 seconds of burn!


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20170225 - Aerotech Mustang

Aerotech Mustang

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!

161029 - With TCV in Culpepper - What could possibly go wrong with flying the Mustang on a single-use F20-7? The boost was fine - not too high, with a slight arc into the wind. Then the motor ejected, and there was a separation. Because the parachute hung in the air, I thought the rear body had come loose - it was the other way around. The nosecone came loose, and the rest just hung in the air, and drifted across the field. Sigh.

170312 - With TCV in Culpepper - The second igniter lit the Mustang, and the F20-7 lifted the rocket high into the southeast sky. The parachute came out right at apogee, and the rocket slowly drifted down near the shooting range. My first time on that part of the property, I was glad the shooting was over, and surprised to find the parachute stuck in the bottom 4' of a tree, instead of the top. Nice flight.

171028 - With TCV in Culpeper - I tried to launch the Mustang on an older F20-7, but three igniters wouldn't light it. I made an F40-10, and this worked on the first try (even though it was 5 years old). The Jolly released the 'chute at apogee again, and I had another long walk into the field to retrieve it.

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F-Bomb #2

Made the replacement, so I could fly small rockets on huge motors at Black Rock.

170129 - With TCV in Culpepper VA - 5. While I could not get the Mustang to fly (igniter didn't do the trick), I decided to try the new F-Bomb on an E16-7. THAT one wouldn't light, either, so I added a new igniter, with additional Blue Thunder slivers. And it blew up. Blew the forward closure through the rocket, and the rest of the motor out, lifting the rocket 1/2 way up the rod. Dang!!! (I suspect the Blue Thunder sliver fell into the nozzle and plugged it. Let's not do that any more, okay?)

170916 - XPRS - I next flew the little F-Bomb on an F62-L, and was very disappointed to see the fly-away launch lugs stick to the rocket, and cause it to tumble towards the flight line. No serious damage, but very disappointing.

180218 - With MDRA at Higgs Farm - We next loaded a bunch of rockets, starting with the F-Bomb. The E23-8 blew immediately - ejected the parachute on the pad, and dropped the parts in a heap. I found I had left out the delay element O-ring. Sigh.

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170225 - Majestic after a few flights and repairs.

Estes Majestic

160805 - Aeronaut - C asked for a big rocket from the vendor, and we got an Estes Majestic, which flies on 29mm black powder motors. An hour of building, and we were ready to go. We got some F15-6's, and the rocket jumped off the pad, and tore into the afternoon sky. Ejected right at apogee, and drifted back to us for a perfect flight.

160806 - Aeronaut - Chelsea flew Majestic again on the other F15-6, and it was unstable! And it broke a fin. Drat!

161001 - Added about 2 oz of shot and epoxy to the nosecone. That should do it!

161029 - With TCV in Culpepper - Flew C's Majestic on an E23-8 29mm RMS to a perfect, high flight, that landed right by us. Nice!

170211 - With BRR at Owens Farm - I launched the Estes Majestic on an E16-6, to a soaring flight and apogee ejection. As the flight was nearly vertical, the drift took me way into the cornfield, with the tall stalks.

170805 - Aeronaut - Next, Trav flew C's Majestic on an old E16-7, to a modest, nearby flight. Perfect apogee ejection, and close landing.

180325 - With TCV at Battle Park - I put the Estes Majestic on the pad with an E16-6, which tossed the light rocket way into the sky, and into the wind. It ejected at apogee, and the 'chute opened fully. Drifted across the field, and was returned by a nearby flyer. Thanks!

The Graveyard

"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 in time. 

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!

160806 - Aeronaut - I decided to fly the "H-Bomb" on the ancient Ellis Mountain I-70, and it went BOOM! Blew motor and rocket all over the place, but the altimeter is beeping out an altitude ("16 feet"), and the tracking gear still works. M and I picked up the pieces, and life goes on.


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080517 - H-Bomb on F60 at DairyAire

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080922 - H-Bomb at
XPRS '08 on H268

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081015 - Damaged H-bomb. New n/c. Missing fwd a/f

WAC Corporal

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...)

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100806 - WAC Corporal before first flight.
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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.  1500 ft.!

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 feet.

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!

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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.
  1. 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!
  2. 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. 

    I fiberglassed the fins.  It turned out okay - the fins are much less clear, but they are an awful lot stronger.  Next time, use high-strength plastic.
  3. 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 paid off.
  4. 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!
  5. 10/19/07 - October Skies at TCC Maddox Dairy.  Flew on a G33-5(4) - Great flight, with a tight spin.
  6. 11/18/07 - Thanksgiving at TCC Maddox Dairy.  Flew on an F62 (M, shortened to an S).  Great flight again.   Pictures.
  7. 02/09/08 - Flew on a G54 at Snow Ranch.  Spun hard, but flew fine and recovered without error.
  8. 08/01/08 - AeroNaut - Flew the Bottle Rocket on an F50-4.  Nice!
  9. 10/18/08 - October Skies - I flew the Bottle Rocket on an F20-4 - Nice.
  10. 12/20/08 - Lunar at Ames - Flew well on a F25-4.  Landed on the concrete with no damage!
  11. 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)
  12. 06/21/09 - Mudrock - Flew on a G54-S, for a great, vertical  flight.  Bounced on the landing, and ended upright!

    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.
  13. 10/17/09 - October Skies - I flew the Bottle Rocket on an F20-4, for a nice flight.
  14. 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!!
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Bottle Rocket on F62 at Fresno 11/18/07
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071118 - Bottle Rocket under 'chute
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In the May 2009 Extreme Rocketry magazine!
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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. 

I also 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!
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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 fine.
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 Research 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!

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The little one in front is the Wasp.