2009 - Still more launches with friends
December 5th, 2009 - LUNAR at Snow Ranch
Drove out to Snow Ranch after picking up Justin and Jason, arriving at about 8:30am. It's cold! Not much
wind when we showed up, but it quickly started blowing about 10 mph, which made a chilly day worse.
I LCO'd from 12 to 1:15, which had the only clear patch of sky all day. I didn't fly anything larger than
- Flew Ninja on a 1/2A3-2 - Streamer didn't unfold, but no damage.
- Flew Tuna on an (old) D24-10, with a shortened delay - not shortened enough. Arc'ed over and was briskly heading
towards the ground when it finally ejected. Tore up the 'chute, but no other damage.
- Flew the Talon on a D24-7, and it tore off the pad, straight up. Ejected high and drifted south with me in
pursuit. I couldn't get around a hill in time to see it land, but had a good bearing, and found it easily. Nice
flight, and no damage.
- Flew the small Cobra on 3 x B6-4's. Only lit two, but it still went plenty high, and recovered without breaking
- Flew the big Cobra on 3 x D12-5s (actually, 2 x D12-0's, plugged, and a D12-5 with extra BP. All three motors lit.
Flew great, but spun, as always.
November 22, 2009 - TCC Fresno
Took the whole family, and no one else, to Fresno for the last launch of the year. Got there around 10:30, and
- 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. 1709 feet.
- Flew the Glowworm on an (old) F24-10. Went very high - 2950 ft, and (gasp!) opened the 'chute! Took a long
time coming down, but recovered without a hitch. Yeah!
- Flew the Wahoo on an H-999. I asked folks to try to photograph the rocket in flight, and by golly, Jim N did it!
Though blurry, he caught it just above the launch rod. Too bad the main didn't open properly. No damage, but I'm
disappointed. 3824 ft.
- Flew the Magnum on a J540, air-starting two H-97's. The air-starts worked great, with thick black smoke trailing
after the climbing rocket. Ejection at apogee, and a long fall back to 1100 feet, where the main came out, but did not
inflate. Landed hard, jacking loose two fins, and ruining about two inches of the upper body tube. The culprit?
I didn't re-pack the main after the last flight - it was rolled up in the shrouds, and the burrito bent, but didn't unroll.
Rats! 3152/3132 ft.
- Flew Chelsea's Hyperloc 835 on a B6-4 to a great flight.
- Flew Melissa's Mini Magnum on a B6-4 to a great flight.
- Flew the Tri-Light on a D13-4, to a very high flight. Of course, the Boy Scouts I was drag racing completely beat
me off the pad, and I was teased mercilessly by the LCO.
- Flew the TCC Special on a D13-7 for a great flight.
- 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.
- It was getting late, and we decided to have one last rack of flights. Chelsea flew the Classic on a C6-5.
The jumper tangled in the shock cord, and was not deployed.
- Melissa grabbed the V2 with an E15-10 in it - biggest motor yet. It tore off the pad, and spiraled heavily in the
late afternoon air. Recovery was perfect, minus a few parachute shroud lines. No other damage.
- 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.
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.
See you next year.
We started the long, drive home. At least the kids slept most of the way...
October Skies - October 2009 - Maddox Dairy, Fresno.
Took Jason, Justin, and new attendees Craig W and his son Jake to October Skies - just for Saturday. But it
was ALL Saturday - from meeting Craig and Jake at 6am, and Justin and Jason at 6:30, until we left at 9:40pm, arriving home
at 12:50am. Whew!!
It was foggy and overcast when we arrived at about 9:45, but burned off around 11am. Gorgeous the rest of the day,
with light winds, and lots of sun.
Craig decided he wanted to fly something, and finally settled on a Mad Cow Striker, using 29mm moters. He spent
a couple hours building it, and we discovered that 5-minute epoxy doesn't set if the ratios aren't even. Had to dig
some out and start again, on several fins. Eventually got it right, though...
Here's what we flew:
- I started off with the Ariel flying on an I211W, and two cameras. I was hoping to have it pop up through the
clouds, but I wasn't allowed to fly it until the clouds cleared. Great flight, and nearby recovery. I'll
post the videos when I download and edit them.
- Flew the Talon on a D13-7, for a high, awesome flight.
- Flew the Silver Comet on an E9-6, for a high, cool flight. Broke a fin on landing, though.
- Flew the Der V3 on an E18-7, and it came in ballistic! Smashed the body tube, and tore loose the engine mount. The
culprit - sticky, gooey BP, for one.
- Justin flew the Hot Tamale on an I154 BlackJack, and the 'chute didn't open. Again. But there was no damage.
- 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.
- I flew the Super Crayon on an I357, for an odd flight. Lifted off the pad, but tumbled at about 400 feet, and didn't
eject the 'chute. Busted a fin on landing. Nuts!!
- Craig got his Striker ("WPOD") done, and we loaded a G64-7. Great, high, flight, and a perfect recovery.
- Justin flew his Tomahawk (Phantom) on a G64-7, for a high, great flight.
- I wanted to fly "Die Alpha, Die!" on a disposable 18mm "D", but none of the delays were long enough - 7's, and I
wanted a 10. A moment later, this guy hands me a 18mm reloadable and says "use this". I told him
that I didn't think I would get it back, and he just said "return it if you find it." Well thanks! (I replaced
the BP and igniter.) After several attempts to get it lit, I finally got the D13-10 to go. It tore off the pad,
for a high, twisty flight. At ejection, there was some kind of separation, and then I lost sight of it. Oh
well. A few minutes later, someone hands me the rear body! Broke a fin on landing, but otherwise okay! And
while I was walking the field, I found the nose cone!! (The elastic burned through - just desserts for using 2/3 gram
of BP and elastic.)
- I flew the Bottle Rocket on an F20-4, for a nice flight.
- Unlimbered the big Honest John, and flew it on an I284, for a high, cool flight. Landed a long way out in the field,
though. Jake helped me recover it.
- Justin built an I285R, and we flew the Hot Tamale for another high, great flight. And this time, the 'chute opened.
- As it was getting dark, Craig built a G76G, and we flew his Striker again. Blew the nosecone off, on the pad!
Discovered that I had left out the delay grain, and the BP went off! Luckily, the fuel grain didn't light, so we loaded
the delay grain, put in more BP, and tried again. Worked fine! Great high flight, and a walk to get it back.
As evening fell, folks brought out fireworks, which was VERY cool. When it was very dark...
- I flew the Ariel on a Cesaroni I190 Sparky, for an high, excellent flight. Despite the calm conditions, there was
enough wind to put the rocket WAY out in the field. A long, tiring walk.
- After walking right by our camp (I was really tired, and Justin and Jason had taken down the Easy-Up), we agreed that
we'd fly the Io on a G76G. Craig made the motor, with copious advice from me, and everyone in Alan T's camp! Eventually
got the motor built and lit. Surprise! That flame is red! (Sneaky Jake substituted a G71-7R.) The
Io tore into the sky. At least we were smart enough to angle the rod into the wind. Still landed out in the field,
for the last long, tiring walk of the day.
I was really beat. We packed up the stuff and headed out. Heartfelt goodbyes, and I was sad to leave.
Dang near 1am when I got home!
Here's other stuff we saw:
- Alan T launched N-Rage on an M1939 on a straight, high, flight. Ejected the parachute at apogee, and it took
forever to come down. Finally, Alan grabbed his truck, and we headed for it. (We should have left much
earlier, as it was drifting to the north). We came to a ditch, and had to proceed on foot. Rod
L drove up and we got a ride the rest of the way. The rocket was way out in a grape field, much farther than I thought.
10,200 feet, and a nice flight.
- George T flew a cardboard, naked rocket on a J350, and it tore itself to shreds! George also crashed two other rockets,
for a bad day...
- Winternational flew at dusk on an M1315 for a high, soaring flight. Heard ejection at apogee, but the rocket was
not recovered! No tracking!
- Saw a Nike Smoke fly on an M1297, for a great flight.
- Gene E flew his Mag Max (a 7.5" Mini Mag) on a J540 to a great recovery on a stars-and-stripes parachute.
- Someone punched a hole in Jack's trailer with a hobby rocket coming in ballistic!
Thanks to TCC and What's Up Hobbies for a great launch! Can't wait for the next one.
10/3/09 - Newark Guerilla Rocket Launch
Got up early and took the girls to the soccer field, where we met Neerja, Steve P, Stevie P, Jim S, Jack S, Himanshu,
Preshant, Craig W, and Jake W. The soccer field was in use, so we went to the wilds. Here's what we flew:
- Flew the Talon again - this time after adding 3/4 oz shot to the nose, and moving the CG forward a full caliber.
Used a D24-10 again, (shortened by about 2 seconds), but using an old delay element (add about 3 seconds...). Tore off
the pad, and kind of circled/wandered around about 700 feet up. Ejected very late, but deployed successfully.
Later, broke a fin in an accident. Nuts!
- Flew the DerV3 on a D12-5, and didn't have a clean 'chute - broke a fin on landing. Nuts!
- Quark on a 1/4A3-3. Despite more weight on the rear fins, still came in ballistic. Lost, until Himanshu stumbled
onto it. That's good luck!
- Flew Melissa's mini Magnum on an A8-3 to a good flight.
- Flew Chelsea's mini Hyperloc on an A8-3 to a good flight.
- Flew the Walrus (garage sale rocket) on an A3-4 to a nice flight.
- Flew the Ninja on an A3-4 to a nice flight.
- Flew the Tinee on an A10-3, which transitioned into a great, straight glide. Went way out into a field, and Steve
P retrieved it. Gotta put some turn in this thing!
- Flew Wacky Wiggler on a B6-4, to a good flight.
- Flew the new Quest Intruder (naked) on a B6-2. Survived a high-speed deployment.
- Jim S flew his plastic Patriot on a C6-5 to a high flight.
- Flew the Double X-Ray on a B6-0 to a B6-6, to a high, successful flight.
- Melissa flew her Magnum on a B6-4 to a high flight.
- Chelsea flew her Hyperloc on a B6-4 to a high flight.
- Flew the Big Daddy on an F22-7FJ, to a perfect flight.
- Flew Silver Comet on an E30-7 to a very high flight.
- Ended with the Upscale Cobra on 3 x D12's, to a high, perfect, flight.
We happily retired to a buffet restaurant for breakfast, and were home by noon. What a fun day!
September 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st, 2009, with AeroPac, at XPRS, Black Rock
Beautiful conditions for flying, with bright sun, diamond-sharp clouds at night,
and friends to enjoy AP with. Looks like I flew 37 rockets!!!
Thursday 9/17/09 - Drive and arrive day.
Left about 6am, and headed out towards Stockton. Lost the Upscale Cobra from
the roof rack on Highway 5, when a bungee cord broke. It flew off the top of truck, landed on the road, and slid onto
the median strip, as the guy behind me swerved to miss it. Just scrapes and a bent body tube - I was lucky. Picked
up the Big Jake around 11, and headed out. Stopped on the playa around 2, and launched a bunch of little stuff.
- Silver Comet - Great flight straight up on a D12-5. Caught it!
- Gold Bug - 1/2A6-2 - Unstable up, then stable down!
- Quark - Stable up AND down...
- Tinee on an A10-3. A (somewhat) straight boost, for a change, and transition
at the top, leading to a straight glide away from me. Nice to see this fly well, for a change. No wind helps....
- Alpha ("Die, Alpha, die!") on a C6-5 - flew fine.
- Orange Bullet - A3-4 - Didn't eject the streamer, and came in hard.
- Mace - 1/2A3-4 - Didn't eject anything, and came in ballistic!
- Beta on an A10 staging to a 1/2A3-4. Great flight!
- Nike Smoke - Unstable on B6-4!
- HoJo - High, but parawad on a B6-4. Broke fin.
- Mini V2 on an A10-3 - Nosecone separation.
- Ninja - Flew great on an A10-3.
- Arrow BT-20 - High flight on C6-7.
- Alien Space Probe - The C6-3 didn't open the 'chute entirely, and it landed hard - breaking all three
Drove the Big Jakes to the West End. Parked next to the Hagens, and started
setting up camp. Discovered to my great ire that I had lost the adapter, motor, and reload from the Honest John on the
Went for a dip at Frog Pond.
Just before nightfall, I flew:
- 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!
Steak for dinner - yum!
Friday 9/18/09 - Big fly day.
- Flew the Wahoo on a J420 for a booming flight to 7722 feet. Ejected the main
at apogee, and took a while to come down. Then I couldn't find it, using Walston. Took me a great deal of
hunting around the desert to find this, as well. No damage!
- Flew the Tang on an I49, after getting a new nozzle from Karl B. Went about 4725 feet, with a slight
wobble off the pad. No damage, but another long hunt using the Walston.
- 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.
- 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.
- Flew the Magnum on a K550 and 2 H97's. Unfortunately, the airstarts didn't light, and the Magnum coasted to 3697
feet unassisted, which looked very high. Deployed right on time, but the streamer wrapped around the shock cord.
Main deployed right at 1100 feet, and gently lowered the rocket to the ground. Nice!
Friday Night (9/18/09 ) - Fly and LCO:
- Flew Io on a G61, for a cool, high flight. Thanks to the young couple who
retrieved it, so I could continue LCO'ing.
- Flew the Ariel on a I180 Sparky Cesaroni load, for a high, noisy, sparky flight.
Two DVR gumcams on board. Very cool!! But it tore off the nose section! Recovered the next morning. Repairable,
but I'll need more strength there. (Note that the Gumcams videotaped just about nothing. The downward saw the
sparky burn - that was it.)
Saturday - Rest, LCO, and "get sandy"
Didn't fly much this day. Did repairs, LCO'ed during the busy 10-noon shift, and had
to hide when the wind started blowing sand. Went to Frog Pond mid-afternoon to get out of the dust storm. Came
back in the afternoon, and flew:
- Big Cobra on 3xD12-5 - very nice!
- Little Cobra on 3xB6-4 - very nice as well, but the high wind broke a fin! Nuts!
- At the same time, I flew "Tuna" (4-fin Fat Boy, with one yellow fin) on a D13-4. Looping flight
and safe eject, but the heavy wind broke 2 fins on landing. Nuts!
Sunday - Fly rockets and pack.
- Flew the Pulsar at XPRS on a J275, in the afternoon. High, soaring flight
to 3939, and ejection was right on time. Great flight. Unfortunately, the deployment tried to zipper the exposed
coupler, and really squished it. Damaged retaining ring (from being dropped in the garage) was tough to remove, but
came off with Mike and James's muscle. (A replacement ring fit without effort.)
- Flew the Red Crayon on an H165, for a nice flight.
- Flew the new Talon on a D24-10, for an unstable flight. Phooey.
- Flew the Viking on a D9-7, for a great, high flight. Kinda twisty, but cool
Flew the Wahoo on a J570! (After all, that's what I came here to do...)
Rocket tore off the pad, and went straight up. Then it separated and rained down parts. Nuts!!! Forward
body threw out the main at 500 feet, so no damage there. Found the shock cord, streamer, and (oh crud) Walston antenna
behind the equipment trailer. Got a bead on the Walston, and quickly found that. Only missing the rear body and
motor. Started searching southwest of the launch site - after all that's where I last saw it, coasting up. Looked
and looked, with binoculars. No dice. Went back to camp dejected. Informed by Jeff R that he had already
found the body, and returned it! Of course, he found it in the southeast - I was searching in the wrong place.
Glad to get it back.
The damage - a torn open eye-bolt, a broken
shock cord, and broken Walston antenna (and I have a spare.)
culprit was drag-separation. Pin it, next time.
- Flew Super Crayon on an I218, which didn't eject the 'chute. Busted the tube. Nuts!!!
- Flew Der V3 on an F24-10, for a nice flight.
- After replacing the aft adapter, Aeropack retainer, 38/600 case, and I435 load (lost on Hwy), I flew the HoJo on a replacement
set, and had a booming, very cool flight, with ejection at apogee. Parachute opened right on time, and the rocket gently
landed 1/4 mile to the south. Very nice!!
- Late afternoon, I flew the HoJo Montana on an old I161. It angled off the pad, and augered in!
Brought the remains back to the camp, and suddenly realized I I had not put in BP in the ejection well. Gahhh!!!
Sunday Night -
- Flew the Io on a G76G, for a great flight. Threw out a red cyalume stick on
a streamer, which I didn't see at all. While walking to the flashing rocket to the south, I came upon the streamer
- very cool!!
Monday 9/21/09 - Research Day
- Flew Agent 99 on a P8900, staging to an N2177. All did not go well.
We took a long time to get the rocket prepped and loaded on the rail, but finally,
it was ready to go, and we pushed the button. Here's what happened.
At about 2 seconds into the booster burn, the piston fired and ejected the sustainer.
This didn't go far, as the booster was chasing it at 9 g's. The sustainer tipped over, and all heck broke loose.
The sustainer motor lit, the rocket separated, and the motor sky-wrote all over the place, raining down parts. The booster
continued climbing, arc'ed over, and came in on a partially deployed parachute, hitting very hard.
The damage report:
Both booster tubes are heavily damaged and unusable. At least one, and possibly
more booster fins are bent and unusuable. ISC appears fine. Don't know about the 'chute. Dave's Walston
broke (antenna stud), but the rest of the electronics are okay.
The sustainer broke a quick link, bent fins, and possibly other damage. Tore
off my HP Walston, and removed the batteries. Luckily, it stuck around, and was silent, but not lost. Found one
battery. Electronics appear okay.
It's fixable, but the new tubes are not cheap. At least the motors worked
as expected. (Except a late report says the "P" case is toast. Gaahhh!!!!)
Here's a link to a slo-mo of the liftoff.
- 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 burned through the ejection hole immediately, 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).
I was fried, and very ready to go home. I helped clean up a little, then hitched
the porta-potty for the long drive home. Against my better judgement, I tried to stretch my gas to Nixon, and arrived
with about a cup of gas in my tank. Not smart, but I made it. Filled, and headed for Sparks, where I returned
the porta potty. Headed for home, arriving about 8:15. Tired, but very glad to be home.
Other cool stuff I saw:
- Candycane-striped "Euphoria" (12" diam, 22' long) fly twice and perform well. Lots of 'chutes.
- Mike Brest got 37,000 ft out of his 2-stage "M" bird, but heavily damaged the booster.
- "Gladys" went to about 48,000 ft, and was GPS-tracked by Charlie.
- Vern K flew three "-fire" rockets, narrated by "Kate", a synthesizer.
- A giant Estes Sprite (1.25" thick fins!) tried to fly on an "M" and 3 "J"s, and lit only the Js.
Not enough altitude for the 'chute to inflate, and heavy damage.
- Space Mouse correctly lit stages 1 and 2, but 3 broke the sustainer, and sky-wrote.
- Lots of two-stage altitude attempts, most of which failed to light or stage properly.
- Dave R's Quantum, which did stage properly, and went to 13,000 feet.
- Giant, glowing "thing" on night launch. Worked okay.
- Several other sparky motors at night. Always cool!
- James D flew his 4" min diam Mongoose to 39,000+ twice, on N1000s.
- Cliff flew HIS Mongoose to 37,000.
- Jim B flew his Intercepter E on an E11-3 - nice flight.
Stuff I learned.
- Be ready with the Walston when altitude flights are launched. Get a direction while the thing is
in the air.
- Putting BP in motor-eject rockets helps recovery.
- Sun River and What's Up Hobbies for making the big drive.
- The 99K team for a great attempt.
- Aeropac for a great launch.
July 29th, 30th, 31st, and August 1st and 2nd, 2009 - Aeronaut, with AeroPac at the Black Rock
Took the family and went out to Black Rock in an RV we got from Modesto. As we took the van as well, we both did
an awful lot of driving. We spent the night in Sac, then left for BR at 9:30am Thursday. A big shopping trip in
Reno left us broke-er, but full of stuff to live on. We stumbled into the launch site around 5pm, just in time for a
violent, short, wind storm. Flying tables, awnings, and EZ-ups, and especially, sand. Thankfully, the storm blew
through quickly, so we were back to enjoying ourselves in no time.
Friday, 7/31/09, dawned calm, clear, and hot - perfect weather for the 99k flight. Too bad we had repeated GPS
spoofs/drop-outs, as well as discontinuities in the sustainer, and a bad ignition wire. No luck.
Here's what I flew, when we weren't baking:
- Ranger on a Roadrunner G80-10. High, soaring flight to 2413 feet, and easy recovery just by the west end of the
- 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.
- Flew Small-time Gangsta on an E9-8. Went high - I managed to spot it on the way down - falling (too) fast. It
landed nearby, with no damage, other than a missing parachute! Whew!
- Flew the Lightnin' on a D12-0 staging to an E9-8. Roared off the pad, and arched into the wind. Burned forever,
and then coasted forever. Very high eject, and a long walk to get it back. Great flight!!
- I flew the Super Crayon on an H148 for another great high, soaring flight. And this one had a perfect recovery!
- Flew the Viking on a C11-7, and it needed all the delay! This thing goes high! Ejected and landed just fine.
- In keeping with the "small rockets big motors" theme, I flew the D-Dart on an E9-8, for a high, but thoroughly visible
We ended around 5, and fled to the Frog Pond for a dip.
On Saturday, 8/1/09, we got up a little later, and flew:
- 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.
- Flew Melissa's Tinee on an A10-3 - Blew the nozzle!.
- Flew Tinee again on another A10-3. Arched over backwards, and ejected just before landing. Gotta figure
- Flew the big V2 on a D12-5. Great, vertical flight, and ejected right at apogee.
- Flew the Wacky Wiggler on a B6-4 - not a big separation, but enough so there was no damage.
- Flew the Sharpie Marker Rocket on a C6-5. Nice flight,and the paratrooper came out too!
- Flew the Starhawk on an F39-12. Thoroughly expected to loose this one forever - it's a small rocket on a huge motor.
Eventually got the motor lit, and it tore off the pad - disappearing. Completely lost sight of it. A few minutes
later, someone reported that it was found to the east and behind the flight line. Hurray!
- Flew the (shortened) Glowworm on another E18-7, with just an altimeter (no Walston). Went a long way up, straight
up, no fishtailing. Didn't see it come down, but others did. Burned up parachute, but no damage.
- Almost flew the Enterprise 98 on an M1845 at Mudrock - just ran out of time!. But I had plenty of time at Aeronaut.
After fixing an arming problem on the backup (the board was moving), Darryl, Travis, and I drove out to Pad B and put it on.
Darryl made sure I didn't put in the igniter until it was armed!! Backed up, and lit it. It roared off the pad
on a beautiful blue flame - straight up. And disappeared in the cloudy sky. After 20 seconds or so, I heard a
sudden change in Walston tone, that meant apogee ejection. Settled down to a 4+ minute wait, while it fell 17,000 feet. Right
on cue, Darryl hears an ejection charge, and thirty seconds later, another one - the backup. He spots it just above
the horizon, and I spotted it just as it landed - no damage!! We raced over and got it - 18,235 feet!! And a perfect
- 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.
In an unusual turn of events, we were flying rockets until 6:15pm. No dust storm (early).
It waited until later. We were hoping to do a night launch, but rising winds prevented us from flying. Nuts!
The next morning, we hurridly packed and left around 10am. We dumped at Love's in Wadsworth, and washed the RV in
Ripon, dropping it off at 7:30. I drove home, and we arrived at 9:40pm. An exhausting day, filled with sun and
Here's some other things I saw:
- An "N" sugar motor that didn't blow up! (Recovery failed, but not the motor.)
- A second sugar motor that didin't blow up! (I thought sugar motors HAD to blow up!)
- Jonathon DuB flew his 3" rocket on an M1297 - or, rather, tried to. It blew up, I'm sorry to say...
- Aaron S also blew up a rocket (Motorbreath), on a large, 3" motor. Burned up everything aft of the av-bay.
- Dave R flew Quantum on a J800 staging to a K550 - great flight!
- Tim G and Steve A tried flying Spider again, but they sadly had an ejection at motor burn out, which shredded the payload
'chute, and destroyed spider again. I'm so sorry...
- Steve A tried launching a spin-stabilized rocket. He'll need to work on his upper-stage ignition techniques.
- Tony A flew his 50-pound Ex rocket successfully.
- Mike B flew Pencil on a K375 demo, to 16,000 feet!
- Others weren't so luck - the K375 blew up two other rockets...
- Darryl and his family for making it fun for the kids.
- Discount and Sun River for doing the big drive.
- The 99k team for giving it a good try. See you at XPRS.
Sunday, July 19th, 2009, at TCC Fresno
Hot as blazes out in Fresno this day. Arrived solo at 10:15, and they were just getting the first flight off.
I unpacked my sunshade, and I:
- Flew the Ariel at TCC on an I357 with 2 cameras, and Rick Miller's homemade GPS tracking system. Awesome,
fast, soaring flight, ejecting a little before apogee. No wind at the upper altitudes, but a little at around a thousand
feet, made for a little walk. Both cameras say they are working!
Got the video home, and both DVRs worked perfectly.
I will need to edit these recordings with an editor, though - too much time between launch, and recovery.
Link to downward-facing video
Link to sideward-looking video
- Flew the Red Crayon on a G77-4R (Loadable), for a great, straight, flight from a rail. That's all this design
- 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.
- Flew the Super Crayon on an H148. Tore off the pad, and went much higher than I expected. Yellow rocket
really disappeared in the hazy blue sky. Saw it eject, and almost lost sight of it. The parachute would not inflate,
and it hit at an angle. Thankfully, no damage - probably due to the fiberglassed fins. Whew!
- Fat Boy ("Tuna - 'cause it's got a yellow fin!") on a D13-7, for a big, looping, flight. Ejected at the top, for
a great flight, and another hot walk.
- Flew the Tang ("Like the fruit drink - Hey, it's orange!") on a G69 Warp 9 end-burner. Great soaring flight to 1400
feet (where it disappeared), but the main popped at 700 feet, where we could see it. Long, hot walk to recover, but
no damage. So hot and dry I thought I wasn't going to make it back.
That was it - I was done. Too many long, hot walks in the sun. Quickly drank a ton of water, packed in a hurry,
and left. I was tired when I got home, but felt great about the good flights. On to Aeronaut!
June 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st, 2009 - Mudrock, with Aeropac, at Black Rock
Had a wild MudRock, with awesome highs and discouraging lows.
The whole launch was iffy, as there was thunderstorms and rain on the playa all week leading up. Got the "Go" call
on Tuesday - kinda late!
I was in Pinecrest until Wednesday of the Mudrock week, and rather than drive back to Hwy 5 or 80, I went up and over Sonora
Pass (9600 feet!), with Rocky (my truck) loaded to the gills. Then, instead of going North on 395, I went South
twenty miles, and picked up a lonely road to Hawthorne, Walker Lake, and Fallon Nevada. A pretty drive, I hurried to
get to Sparks and Sani Hut by 5pm. Pretty scenary, that I had not seen before - but it looked an awful lot like Wadsworth,
Gerlach, and the road to Black Rock.
Got to Sparks (at 4:50pm!), and discovered that there was no unit for me to pick up. Nuts! Got a motel room
nearby and chilled out.
The next morning, I got a call that the unit was ready, and by 11, I was on my way to the playa. Arrived at about
2, and set up. Gorgeous conditions. Set up next to Tim and Travis G, who were great playa mates all weekend.
Helped set up a bit, then went off to Frog and Trego with Tim. How nice to relax in the water.
Friday dawned early, clear, and very calm. Here's what I flew:
- Magnum on a Cesaroni J295 (Thanks to Jonathon DuB for the case loan) with 2 x H97's at the top. Great flight with
majestic take off, long burn, and great airstarts. At apogee, the mylar streamer I had loaded tore off instantly, and drew
all the attention. The rest fell the way it was supposed to, and opened the new, big, main at 1100 feet.
Great, slow, decent and gentle landing. Several compliments about the airstarts!
- Flew the H-Bomb on an F27-P, to 1700 feet. That was high! And a perfect flight.
- Flew the Viking on a C11-5. Went high, and recovered without a problem.
- Flew the Arrow BT-20, on a C6-7, and it was unstable!
Finished up LCO'ing at noon, but it got windy and started blowing, so I took a crew to Frog Pond.
Saturday dawned clear and calm, and I got busy flying:
- Flew the Alien Space Probe on a C6-3, and (of course), the parachute didn't inflate. Busted a number of legs.
- Flew the Arrow BT-20 again, and the (ancient) C6-7 blew up!! Nuts!!!
- 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!
- Wahoo on a new Aerotech I59 boost-sustain motor. Eight-second burn! Great, high flight to 5600 feet!
The MAWD data suggested the parachute came out at apogee - no wonder, as I had a strong signal for a long time.
After my shift at LCO from 10-noon, I flew a few things, but the wind and rain started coming up, and we were
done flying for the day. Went to Frog and Trego, and were lucky to get back! Rain made the playa a mess, and Rocky
had to struggle through the muddy surface to get back to camp.
|090620 - Ariel on Pro38 I180 Skidmark
Despite the rain, I "got over myself" enough to make noise for, and get a night launch.
- Flew the new Io strobe payload with a G76-7G. Took two igniters, but it roared off the pad, for a nice flight.
Discovered that the parachute was a little small for the additional weight, and the rocket came down a little fast.
- Flew the Ariel on a sparky Cesaroni Pro38 I180 3-grain. SPECTACULAR shower of sparks, and bright, white light boiling
off the pad. Ejected at apogee, and came down gently. Great flight!
Here's a link to the Ariel night sparky video.
Dried out my bedding as best as I could, and went to bed.
Sunday dawned clear and cool, with lots of mud, but thankfully no rain. No wind, either. Here's
what I flew:
- Bottle Rocket on a G54-S, for a great, vertical flight. Bounced on the landing, and ended upright!
- Flew the Upscale Cobra on 3xD12's, for another great flight! And this one stuck the landing on 2
fins!! Two fins stuck in the mud, and the parachute and shock cord made the third leg. Eerie and very cool!!!
That'll never happen again.
Tried prepping the Enterprise for an M1845 flight, but ran out of time. Got out to the pads just as they were putting
them into the trailer. Nuts. Aeronaut.
Here's some other cool things I saw:
- Charlie W flew his big Arliss rocket, and got his level 3 and Arliss-certified. Great job!
- Daryl P flew his "Luck Runs Out", on 2xJ350's, airstarting 2xI200's. He also had a camera. Talk about complex!
While it took a long time to get this lit, eventually, it flew, and flew well!
- Saw James D fly his Mongoose on an Aerotech N1000 to 42,000 feet. Wow!!
- Saw a beautiful DG&A Armageddon get destroyed with a home-made red motor. Too bad.
- Saw Jonathon DuB have a great launch of his 2-stage rocket on a K550 staging to a K185(?). The air-start worked
great, but he had a complete recovery failure of the sustainer. Too bad.
- Saw Dick H fold his Firestorm 54 in half with a K695. "In the old country, our airframes didn't do this..."
- Saw Steve K tear a hole in the sky with his Goblin on a J315R. Cool flight.
- Saw/heard Justin L turn his Wildman into a sock puppet with a ballistic recovery.
- And, I won Vaughan Brothers King Blobbo in the Raffle!
Here's a link to Tim G's Mudrock video he assembled.
Special thanks to:
- Jack G of What's Up, and Jim of Discount Rocketry, for making the big drive, setting up, donating to the raffle, and staying
when conditions were miserable.
- Aeropac for having a launch, even when conditions were iffy.
- Tim and Travis G for being good company, and rescuing 1000 pieces of my camp that wanted to blow away.
- The Paris's, for dinner and good company. Come to Aeronaut!!
May 16th and 17th, 2009 - Dairy Aire - TCC Fresno
|Jason (with Hot Tamale), Ross and Justin (with Phantom)
I had a terrific, but hot, launch. Two day of little rockets (70 boy scouts and 4-H'ers) and big rockets (10
M rockets on the pads at once), and 13 of my own flights. It was in the high 90's both days, and walking the fields
was hot work. Additionally, (biting) flies and little black bugs that ignored "Off" made the evenings a little more
Justin and Jason came with me, and we had a nice time. Just a little too hot for "Jolly". But we did listen
to "Austrian Death Machine", a heavy-metal take-off of ARNOLD, which provided many good laughs.
Here's what we flew on Saturday, 5/16/09:
- Unlimbered the Magnum, and flew it on a J415, air-starting 2 H-97's. And it worked really well!! Both the
air-starts lit, the main stayed in until 1100 feet, and deployed quickly when ejected. Bad news, though - I broke a
few shrouds lines, and the 'chute filled-and-collapsed until it hit the ground. BUT NO BROKEN FINS. 3428'/3398'
repairs: a) chipped nosecone, b) shifted timing board, and c) replace the parachute. Not bad.
- Flew the brand new Pulsar on an I284W, with motor eject. Great liftoff and coast, except the blue rocket disappeared
into the blue sky!! Good thing the red parachute was very visible. Great flight!
- 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.
I saw a lot of that this weekend - a light breeze didn't weather-cock the
rockets, but they sure drifted once on the parachutes.
- About this time, Justin prepped and flew the Hot Tamale on an H123, for a great flight.
- I flew the Star Hawk on a D24-7, which tore off the pad, and ejected perfectly at apogee. The streamer kept it from
drifting far, and the mylar was sure visible.
- I flew the V3 on an F24-7, which boosted that thing waaay up, and ejected right at apogee. That made for a very
long, hot, walk.
- As it was getting late in the afternoon, we decided to launch one last set, and take a break. Justin launched his
Pitt Bull on an F42-8, and couldn't find it!
- I launched Tang on an H123, which ejected the parachute at Apogee. Rats! Drifted a long way, but at least
there was no damage. 2698'
- 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...
- I flew the D-Dart on a D9-7. Or at least I tried to.
BANG! I blew up the motor. Blew up the motor???
With a D9?? Well, I added two (or three) slivers of Blue Thunder to get it going, and they all lit (and that's a lotta
surface area), and the motor has a small nozzle, and there's an igniter there as well. And it overpressurized the case.
After about 8pm, it was dark enough to launch some night rockets.
- I flew the Ariel on an H220, with the famous problem strobe. It worked great on the way up, but went out at
ejection. Nuts!!! Can't see it at all. Or retrieve it. Later, I found that the strobe was working, it was
just up in the nose...
- I flew the Tri-Light with a load of blinkies. (First, I found that most had dead batteries, but what did you
expect?). Got 6 that worked, and got the rocket on the pad. Launched on a D13-4, and it disappeared.
starting to see a trend here. Lost rockets.
Luckily, Ariel, Tri-Light, and Justin's Pit Bull were all turned
in to Lost and Found.
The next day, Sunday, I flew:
- Wahoo on an ancient I154J. It hissed off the pad, and coasted out of sight. Managed to pick it
up on the drogue chute. Right at 700 feet, the main fired. No main chute. I'm telling myself "This won't
hurt, that's fiberglass, and an Acme Fin can", but I'm still nervous. And I was right - no damage. And no parachute!!
I forgot to replace it after the rebuild. :P 3554'
- Justin prepped and flew the Hot Tamale on an I161. Very cool!! And boy is that pink chute visible.
- Justin also prepped and flew the Phantom on an old G80-10. Nice boost, but the delay was probably closer to a "15".
Nice tail-slide, though. Ejected close to apogee, and drifted forever. Justin wore himself out getting it back.
- I flew the Cobra on 3 x D12's. They all lit instantly (thanks to the new launch system!!!), and the rocket ejected
at apogee. Very nice!
- Lastly, 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.
We were beat, and darn ready to leave. We packed up and left around 11:30am, before it got stupidly hot.
Other cool stuff we saw and did.
- We saw 10 "M" rockets on the pad, and they were launched individually, which took forever.
- One of these "M"s was Alan T's Supernova, which flew terrific, and almost wrapped a power line.
- Another "M" was a Fat Man on an M2400 (with 7 pounds of lead in the nose). Shot off the pad, and flew great!!
- An "M" powered hybrid V2 got about 400 feet off the pad, and blew up. The forward part ejected at apogee, and landed
- James Dougherty and Jack Garibaldi drag-raced 4-grain "M"s - an M1939 in James's Patriot, and an M2000 in Jack's Nike
Smoke. Jack was slightly faster coming off the pad, but both flights were amazing.
- Another "M" blew up on the pad.
- Saw Frank K fly one of his (get this) 18mm "G" motors. That's right - an 18mm "G300+". Burned in about 1/4
second, and threw his model into the air, and ejected right at apogee - using motor eject!! I inspected it later - it
was about 15" long!!! And he had a 13mm version as well!!
- Cliff launched his SA-2(?) on a D12-0 to D12-7, and lost sight of the sustainer. Rats - that was a pretty model.
- I was LCO from 11 to noon. I burned through about a hundred launches - I was on a mission, and it felt great. Wish
I had taken better care of my Asst LCO/Pad Manager - he worked like a dog to keep me going.
Thanks again to the TCC folks for a terrific launch, and the vendors for showing up. See you all again soon.
April 18th, 2009, with LUNAR at Moffett Field.
04/18/09 - With LUNAR at Moffett Field. Many, many folks came to fly. When we got there at 9:30, there was
alreay 110 people there!
Flew three crayons (Pink, Red, and Blue) at Moffet field with LUNAR, and a couple other things.
- 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). Arc'ed 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) in the Blue Crayon, 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.
- Launched the Streamer Duration rocket on an A3-4. The crinkled stramer blocked the nosecone from coming out, and
it came in ballistic. Nuts.
- Flew the big V2 on a D12-5. Ejected at apogee, and separated. And the parachute was tangled. Came down
fast, but no damage.
- Flew the Star Hawk on a D12-5. Great, high, flight. The silver streamers were very visible, and it landed
right nearby. Cool!
The long lines got to me, and we called it a day.
Thanks to LUNAR, Moffett, and ther volunteers for making this a fun launch.
April 6th, 2009 - With LUNAR at Snow Ranch
Excellent day flying with Jason and Justin at Snow Ranch. Clear skies, little wind, if any, and 150 folks enjoying
the show. I did 2 hours of LCO, from 10-noon, and could have done more! I had a great day.
Here's what I flew:
- Flew the Gold Bug on a 1/2A6-2. Finally got this to fly straight!!! The secret? Solder in the forward
part of the engine. Worked great!
- Flew the D-Dart on an E18-10. Booming, high flight, with a long decent. Landed right nearby. Excellent!!
- After two hours of LCO, I flew the Viking on a C11-5. High, soaring flight, but no parachute deploy. I thought
"Oh well, Mylar", and watched the descent. At 100 feet, something separated. Very odd. Recovered the rocket,
and found the forward airframe had burned in half!!! Somehow, a spark got lodged in the forward body, and the rushing
air convinced it to burn through the whole body. That's a first.
- It took some (more) work, but I finally got the Der V3 to fly on an F12-5. The secret? Not pyrogen - just
made a big POP when it lit. No, the secret was a sliver of Blue Thunder, in the slot next to the igniter. Lit
like no ones business, and burned, and burned.... Ejected right at apogee, for a great flight.
- Flew the Star Hawk on a D9-7, for a high flight. Of course, the Mylar parachute didn't open. But, no damage.
- Flew the Ariel on an I161. The launch rod was too narrow, and the rocket came off sideways, and headed for the hills.
Oh crud, no tracking gear. I hurried up the hill, and was surprised to find the rocket on the far side of a bowl/meadow.
Completely visible, just far away. Took a bit of walking, but an easy recovery. Lesson: Use rail
- Last flight, 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.
Here's some other stuff I saw:
- Kevin M flew Bruiser on a K, and air-started two smoky Cesaroni 38 x 2 grains. Very cool!
- Aaron got his hands on an F101-15, and flew it in a min-diam BT50 rocket ("Don't Blink"). And, he got it back!!!
- Dave R flew Quantum on a J460 to an I284, for it's 25th flight!
- Lots of Estes Intercepters.
- A Mustang Drag Race.
- Justin and Jason flew Phantom on an H238 - screaming flight, followed by a big coast. Great flight!
- An Army Hawk on a J1499.
Too soon, it was time to hit the road.
Thanks again to LUNAR, Justin and Jason, and the Orvis Family for letting us use the site. See Snow Ranch again in
December. (Well, I hope earlier, but it's doubtful.)
March 14th, 2009 at Snow Ranch, with LUNAR
Took the family, Melanie, Justin, and Jason out to Snow Ranch for a day of sun and Rockets. As this is my "birthday
launch", I kind of had free reign.
As this was the backup day (last Friday was too wet), the crowds were smaller, and we were flying quickly, all day.
Here's what I flew:
- Flew the Magnum on a J415, and 2 x H97 airstarts. Well, I had a few issues:
* The LUNAR launch system
would not light my Microburst igniters. I had to try 4 times to get that thing off the pad!
airstarts did not light, despite my test the previous night. Maybe it was bad igniters...
The apogee charge worked great, and the nosecone stayed on until the main fired at 1100 feet. The main did not inflate
until 300 feet above the ground.
* The 7' parachute was just too small, and the rocket hit hard, breaking
one fin, and jacking loose another.
- Flew the HoJo Montana on a G67R. Great flight, but it ejected a little early - guess I cut a little deeply into
the delay grain. Still, a fun flight, with me calling signals for the launch - but I called "touchdown!" too early...:)
- Flew the 4 Crayons, 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.
- Flew the Cobra on 3 D12s. Lit two of them, and staggered into the air. At ejection, the nose section tore
out, and the rear body came in ballistic. Core sampled, and buckled the rear body. Nuts!!
- Tired of all this failure, I decided to launch the rebuilt (big) Honest John on an I285R. Great, soaring, flight,
and apogee ejection. But, when I recovered it, not one, but two fins have been jacked loose. Double Nuts!!!
Well, that's as much punishment as I can stand for one day. We went home.
Here's other stuff I saw:
- Saw Gene E get his Level 3 with a big rocket on an M1315. His big parachute sure let his rocket down softtly.
- Saw Justin fly his Hot Tamale on an I218R. Great, straight flight, and apogee eject, but the parachute would not
inflate. Slammed into the ground, and broke one of his fins. Double nuts!!! (But it didn't come loose:)
- Saw Cliff fly his big gliders on his rocket on an I115(?). The shuttle-like gliders circled beatifully, and worked
- Suzie P's Goblin flew on an I, but threw a hard turn at 500 feet.
Thanks again to LUNAR for a great launch.
February 21, 2009, with TCC in Fresno.
I picked up Justin and Jason, and
was at TCC around 10am. They were still setting up, and there was haze/clouds, 2-5 thousand feet. (These
clouds stayed all day.)
There was maybe 50 folks there
– walk-up-and-fly all day.
I ended up flying about 9
rockets, and Justin/Jason flew 4 more flights.
As far as mud goes, little was
“sticky”, but much was “wet”. Thank heavens I had my galoshes.
The alfalfa was about a foot high,
and ate rockets. Tracking gear was a good idea for small rockets.
I had an off day:
Flew the HoJo Montana on an H123,
and had a successful, though wiggly, flight.
Flew the Fat Boy on a D13-7, with
no ejection. Shredded the tube on “landing”.
Flew the Upscale Cobra on 2 x D12-0,
and 1 x D12-5. Only one of the motors lit - climbed off the pad, and crashed by the pad. Dang low-power systems
with skinny wires!!!!
Flew the Glow worm on an E18-10.
It fish-tailed like crazy on the way up, and was hard to spot on the way down. Thank heavens for the Walston –
1406 ft. But it threw out the motor!!!! I'll never find it in the alfafa...
Flew the Bottle Rocket on a G33-5
(old). Great flight! This is the right motor for this rocket. Somehow, I managed to tear loose a fin
Launched my sweet little Estes/clone Mark 2 into
oblivion on a B6-6. Just never saw it again! Nuts!
Flew TCC Special on another D12-5.
Great, high, flight, but the parachute did not open. Kinda "stuck" the landing in the muddy earth, but nothing broke.
Flew the F-Bomb on an E23-8, to
2114 ft! Recovered far away, with a burned-up ‘chute. Again – good thing I had tracking gear.
Flew the Io on a G80-7 (old).
Great, high, flight, that somehow jacked loose a fin! Rats!
Justin and Jason flew:
1) Phantom (IQSY Tomahawk) on a G80-7 (old).
2) Pit Bull (Loc Onyx) on an F62-M, for a nice
flight. We agreed that that 12” ‘chute is just a disaster waiting to happen…
3) Had one very cool flight with the “Hot Tamale”
- based on the redwood-turned nosecone that Alan, Justin, Jason, and I lathed. Used an H242, and it leaped off the pad,
coasted to about 1000 feet, straight-up, did a “flip-turn” to point down, and ejected shortly after that.
Landed without error, but the tip of the nose cone broke off (as we knew it would). Still, it was a great flight.
4) Phantom again, on a G104. Nice!
Other stuff I saw:
1) James D flew his 4” Nike Smoke on a K2045 Cesaroni, (VMax), and it chuffed
once and ripped off the pad. Recovered a ways away, undamaged, though some folks swore they saw pieces…
2) That was so much fun, he flew it again on a J1599. Equally cool!
3) Saw a Performance Rocketry 54mm min diam tear off the pad on an I218 R(?).
Got out of there, and got
home before the rain hit.
Hell of a drive, but nice folks
make it worthwhile.
Sunday, January 18th, 2009 - TCC Fresno at Maddox Dairy
Had a wonderful day with TCC Fresno at Maddox Dairy. While a little overcast on the trip down, the skies were mostly
clear,and the 40 of us there had a terrific day of flying. The haze on the horizon did get in the way, a little.
Here's what I flew:
- Flew the new HoJo Montana (a football mounted on a 38mm min diam with Acme fin can), on a G67R. Nice, high boost,
and ejected at apogee. Unfortunately, the rear body tore out the shock cord, and it tumbled in. No other damage.
One comment: "At least it didn't spiral in!"
- Flew the regular HoJo on an I285R, to a nice, high, flight. But bad news: the rocket was swaying widely under
the big pink 'chute, and slammed into the ground, jacking loose one of the fins. Nuts!
- Flew the Magnum on a J415, air-starting two H97s. After a terrific, initial boost, all did not go well...
First, the air-starts didn't start. Not even a puff.
Then, at apogee, the separation charge threw out
the main - even
with pins holding it shut. Thankfully, there was no wind, and the
big yellow, white, and black 'chute inflated perfectly.
The rocket landed without damage, but I found
that one of the main
charges didn't blow! (Thank god for redundancy, and I'll
to figure out why that happened...)
that 1) The timer battery was out of holder.
Fixed with zip-tie.
Also found that the
wire to the MAWD main charge that didn't fire
had completely bare wires leading to the charge.
- Flew the Ranger on an F62-M. Great, hissing flight off the pad, and the ejection was a little early. Rocket
drifted right back, and hit my truck! It would have landed in the bed if the cover wasn't on!
- Flew the Io on an H123. Fast, high, and very cool.
- Flew the Ariel on an I357, for an awesome flight!! High, fast, and very cool also!
- Lastly, flew the D-Dart on a D13-7, which had been shortened. Still too long! Ejected on the way down.
But safe, and nice.
We flew until 4pm, and they were still flying when I left! Other cool things I saw:
- Shawn Stephen's massive black "old-school" thing.
- James Dougherty's rocket tearing off the pad and arc'ing south...
- Several unstable level 1 attempts.
Thanks again to TCC Fresno for putting on a terrific launch. May all your launches be as good.
Saturday, January 17th, 2009, with LUNAR at Moffet Field.
I had a brief period of time when I could fly at Ames, this day - one hour.
I know it was going to be tough, because the parking lot was full at 9:30 when I showed up, and there were 90 people
there - mostly Cub Scouts and thier parents.
After a long wait in line, I got up to the front, and flew:
- Star Hawk on a D12-5 - very high.
- Mini V2 on an A10-3. Parachute didn't open, but it landed in the grass - okay.
- Edmonds glider on an A10-3. Arc'ed over, and didn't eject the motor - second timeI. Landed okay. Nuts!
I had another appointment, and I had to leave. Also, the crowds were getting to me.