2022 Launch Schedule for Bayboro, NC

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The Bayboro schedule for 2022 is as follows:

Jan. 22nd/23rd

Feb. 26th/27th

March 26th/27th

April 16th/17th (rescheduled from April 9th/10th)

April 23rd/24th

Sept. 24th/25th

Oct. 15th/16th and 29th/30th

Nov. 19th/20th

Dec. 17th/18th

Launches start at 10AM. Arriving earlier and helping with equipment setup is always appreciated.

Joe Hill
Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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Launch Report, Bayboro, April 23-24, 2022

It’s been quite some time since Mother Nature has given us the type of weather we received this weekend. Saturday’s forecast gave us almost completely clear skies with temperatures hovering in the upper 70s, and virtually no surface winds. Sunday started out basically the same as far as the clear skies and temperature went, but the winds were a little higher. I’ll list the motor table summary below for this weekend’s launch.

A1 1
C2 2
D2 2
F 11
G 11
L2 2
M3 3

Matt Willis was the first to go on Saturday and set the bar for flying rockets early with his Space Dragon rocket (his original L3 build that we’ve been seeing a lot of recently). He chose an Aerotech M-1315W for power and the Space Dragon had a nice climb to about 11,500ft AGL or so. He later flew his Zephyr XL on an Aerotech J-250W for a nominal flight. Brent Bierstedt brought out two rockets on Saturday – his 54mm minimum diameter Mongoose which had a long, slow ride on the classic Aerotech I65W, and his 4” diameter Nike Smoke which had the opposite type of flight on an AMW K-670RR. Ralph Reda hauled out a stout 7.5” Loc Precision Patriot and put that up on a CTI L-851WT. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe this was a test flight for his L3 certification that he plans on going for in the fall. Mike Nay shot par by flying a two stage Nike Tomahawk with an Aerotech L-1170FJ in the booster and an Aerotech J-340M in the sustainer. Nick Pyrtle got bit by the HPR bug in a big way and after getting his Level 2 certification just last weekend, he skipped all the in-between stuff and went straight to flying an L motor. Specifically, he chose a CTI L-935 Imax to stuff in his 3” Cloud Maiden which took it to slightly over 12,000ft. Nick’s got everything figured out with that rocket, and he brought it back without a scratch. The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics joined us again on Saturday and brought with them a scratch built 4” diameter rocket that they call Phoenix. An Aerotech K-1103X was chosen for propulsion which delivered a nice, fast flight to just shy of a mile. The electronics performed their duty and the NCSSSM brought Phoenix back home and I’m sure we’ll see that rocket fly again. Allan Rose kept the range busy with three flights, as did Richard Powers, Mark Peot, and Robbie Kirk. Joe Hill went for a personal altitude attempt on Saturday with his 4” diameter rocket named Iron Moon. This time he chose an Aerotech M-1500G for power and Iron Moon achieved an altitude of 13,244’.

Last weekend, we had four successful certification attempts, and this weekend we had FIVE successful certifications. Excellent! Ana Vestal was the first to go for a certification attempt on Saturday. She flew her Loc IV rocket named The Unicorn on an Aerotech H-219T for a successful Level 1 certification. Up next was Alex Laughrey who was also going for a Level 1 certification. She brought along her rocket 13 Voices and chose an Aerotech H-219T for the motor. After a quick boost, the parachute came out right on time and Alex achieved her Level 1 certification as well. Jeff Regester made the trip down to Bayboro and was on a serious mission to get not only his Level 1 certification, but also his Level 2 certification. Jeff brought out his 4” diameter rocket named Level 2 (an Apogee Components kit) and put it up on a CTI I-255 for a successful Level 1 certification. He then aced his Level 2 written exam and put the same rocket up on an Aerotech J-250W for a perfect flight. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen someone get their Level 1 and Level 2 in the same day. Awesome! Jack Sommer was the last to go on Saturday, and he was also after a Level 2 certification. Jack chose an Aerotech J-315R for his attempt and his rocket Lucid Daydreams had a perfect flight. Congratulations to Ana, Alex, Jeff and Jack!!!

Sunday dawned sunny and breezy, but the breeze was welcome because by about noon, we were approaching almost 80 degrees. If you have ever been out to Bayboro, you’re aware of how it’s almost impossible to hide from the sunshine due to how wide open the field is. Attendance was much lower, but those who attended had just as much fun as they did on Saturday. Mike Nay got things going with his Pink Lady rocket which went up on an CTI K-360WT. Mike later flew his 2.6” diameter Blue Iguana rocket on an Aerotech K-550W for a nice high flight. Brent Bierstedt came back out on Sunday and flew his 4” Little John on a CTI I-303 and his 2.6” Patriot on an Aerotech F-51T. Ben Mount came down from Cary for the first time since the beginning of the season to put up his Loc IV on an Aerotech G-125T which turned in a perfect flight. Kurt Hesse flew the only research motor of the weekend in his 54mm diameter rocket that he affectionately refers to as Butt Ugly. The motor was a three grain 38mm motor loaded with Everclear propellant, which probably ended up being something like an H-150 or so. Joe Hill was back with his Voodoo Ranger rocket which went up on a Loki J-320R and knocked on the front door of a mile. Richard Powers closed the season out with his Baby Bertha on an Estes C6-5. 

And just like that, another season has come to an end for Tripoli East North Carolina. I had an excellent time getting to fly rockets with you all, and look forward to doing it again beginning at the end of September. Come join us if you can!

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

Posted in Launch Reports | Comments Off on Launch Report, Bayboro, April 23-24, 2022

Launch Report, Bayboro, April 16-17, 2022

This weekend was a perfect testament to how you really don’t know what the weather is going to be like until you arrive on site, regardless of what the forecast looks like. Friday night’s prediction for the weekend yielded low winds on Saturday, but an 80% chance of showers and considerable cloud cover. While the cloud cover was true, it didn’t rain at all on Saturday and we got in a full day of flying. The sun even showed its face later in the day. Sunday’s forecast was partly cloudy with moderate winds, but it was mostly sunny with very high winds(for rocketry anyway). Below is the motor table summary for this weekend’s events.

B1 1
D1 1
L4 4
M1 1
N 11

We had a very busy day in the certification department on Saturday, which is always the most important part of any launch! Nick Pyrtle made the trip down from Greensboro and brought along a finely finished 3″ Wildman kit. After passing his Level 2 written exam, Nick put up his rocket Cloud Maiden on an Aerotech J-350W for a nominal flight. Abhi Kondagunta was in search of his Level 2 certification as well and he brought along a 2.6″ diameter rocket that he called Uh.. Bee?. He chose a single use Aerotech J-250W for power and Abhi had a textbook dual deploy flight. Mike Pudlo was the third person looking for a Level 2 certification and he would not be disappointed. Mike flew his rocket Wish You Were Here on an Aerotech 38mm J-420R for a perfect flight. J.W. Mason was the last person to go for a certification flight on Saturday. He decided to go on the slightly more extreme side of things with a minimum diameter Loc Precision rocket loaded up with an Aerotech H-242T. After a long walk, J.W. brought his rocket home for a successful Level 1 certification. Congratulations Nick, Ahbi, Mike and J.W.!!!

We had some regulars join us and they were all able to get in one flight, if not more. Matt Willis put his original L3 rocket Space Dragon on an Aerotech L-850W. This was a relatively slow lift-off, but left behind a beautiful column of dense white smoke. He later flew his Punisher 3 on a CTI I-345WT for a nice flight. Mike ‘Two Stage’ Nay did something completely unlike himself on Saturday to the likes of which very few have seen.. He flew a single stage rocket! He called this project Prometheus 3 and put it up on a CTI J-380SS. Mike later fulfilled his duties as ‘Mr. Two Stage’ and flew his very reliable Double Shot rocket on a CTI K-780BS to an Aerotech K-185W which hit 13,000ft and change. Mike clearly has some seriously reliable GPS units in his rockets, and knows how to use them because he always gets every bit of his rockets back.  Joe Hill put up his 3″ Mac Performance rocket that he calls Pink Dog on a CTI K-570C for a nominal flight to just over 11,500ft. It’s always nice having Brent Bierstedt on site because he brings out some of the most beautiful rockets that I’ve ever seen. Brent had three flights – first was a two stage Terrier Black Brant loaded up with an Aerotech H-242T in the booster and a CTI H-133BS in the sustainer. 2nd was his 6″ Bullpup on a AMW K-1075 sparky, and 3rd was a 6″ Black Brant on an Aerotech M-1297W. All of Brent’s flights were perfect and he brought home each individual rocket. Dennis Hill came down to fly with us, and brought along a modern version of his very first model rocket, a Centuri Wac Corporal, which went up on a B6-4. Robbie Kirk and Sebastian Linquist also joined us and kept the range busy with several flights. 

We had two universities on site Saturday, NC State and NC A&T. NC A&T brought their Aggie Comet rocket that we’ve seen fly several times now, which is always a pleasure. They chose an Aerotech L-1520T for propulsion. I love that motor because of how percussive it is, and it’s always cool to hear the sound echo off of the woods behind the flight line. NC A&T had a nominal flight and I’m sure we’ll see Aggie Comet fly again in the future. NC State flew a couple projects – first up was That’s Hot on an Aerotech J-825R and second was Catastrophe on an Aerotech L-850W. I believe there was a slight issue with the recovery of Catastrophe, but nothing serious. I’m sure the students will take that project back to the lab and have it fixed up in no-time.

Sunday morning gave us constant 18mph winds, and it only got worse as the day went on. That didn’t keep a few hardcore rocketeers from flying though! Mark Peot brought out two rockets and despite the high winds, flew anyway. The first rocket he put up was called Cheerwine and it flew on an Aerotech DMS J-435SW, and the second was his Lydia, the Rocket on an Aerotech DMS K-535W. Paul Kraemer flew his Downscale Ultimate on a central G-145BS with three Aerotech E-30Ts, all lit on the ground. He later flew his No Name II on a CTI I-255RL. Robbie Kirk returned to the field on Sunday and put up a few rockets as well.

Duke University brought out a 5″ diameter carbon fiber rocket that they rolled themselves and planned to fly it on a CTI N-1800W. This was to be a test flight for their Space Port attempt which was expected to see 30,000ft AGL. Unfortunately, there was a forward closure issue with the N-1800, and the motor CATOed almost immediately. The Duke team is very resilient, and I’m sure they’ll have another project ready for Space Port.

For those of you who have ever helped set up or break down launch equipment, you’re no stranger to the cumbersome hand cart in the trailer that was built in the late Cretaceous period, about 70 million years ago. High power rocketry and Tripoli East NC was in its infancy when we used that cart.. I have finally disposed of it, and it no longer plagues the people who volunteer their time with range set up. May it rest in pea’ – just kidding, I couldn’t be more happy to have that thing out of the trailer.

We have one more launch of the 2021/2022 season next weekend, and I hope to see you all out on the field.

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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Launch Report, Bayboro, March 26-27, 2022

              Those of you who elected NOT to come to Bayboro this weekend should congratulate yourselves for prudence and good judgement.   The wind forecast was extremely horrible, and that was exactly how it turned out.  Only the desperate and the incautious made the trip to Pamlico county to expose themselves to that kind of hardship.   The forecast I saw on Friday had the winds on Sunday slightly lower and the temperatures slightly lower, but the wind velocity was reversed, and the temp’s on Sunday were A LOT lower.

              However, some people actually flew rockets, and I don’t remember any rocket that did not (eventually) come home.  Everybody got some good exercise making long walks.  Here’s the motor use summary:

F 22
G1 1
H4 4
I1 1
J  0
L3 3
M 11

              We had one certification flight this weekend.  On Sunday, Greg Hanson came in from the Charlotte area to attempt a NAR Level 3 certification flight with his V3 on a CTI M1400.   The rocket performed flawlessly.  After a flight to 8800 feet, the rocket descended with a reefed 3’ drogue chute to 800’ and put out the main.   The rocket landed less than a mile away, but it was dragged by the main chute through that gap between the woodlot due east of our launch location and Jason Rice’s farm almost to the tree line this side of the on Bay Road.   The recovery team was gone about 1 hour, 45 min.

              The most active flyers on Saturday were Matt Willis and his daughter Morgan and Mike Nay.  [I cannot list the flights in the order they occurred, because on Sunday the clipboard holding the cards was blown off the table and flung the cards into the wind.   A team of alert sprinters went after them, and I think we got them all back, but if your flight has been left out, blame the wind.]  Matt flew the Peppa-Loc IV on the Aerotech H550ST, the Baby Space Dragon on the L1000W load, and Morgan flew the playfully painted Ferbilicious (also my favorite rocket name of the weekend) on an Aerotech K695R.  The Baby Space Dragon led Matt and his son Henry on a merry chase way out due east of the site on past that irrigation sprinkler you can see in the distance with some good binoculars.  They were gone for a full 2 hours.  Mike Nay flew the Wildman Demon on an Aerotech H128W, and the Tree Hugger {world’s densest rocket} on another AT H550ST.   All of these were fascinating flights.

              All the above participants we would classify as ‘incautious’ (along with Alan Whitmore and Jim Livingston) but our academic teams could only be called ‘desperate’.  NASA has an April 4 deadline for qualifying flights to participate in the Student Launch Initiative at Huntsville, AL in late April.  The NC State University High Power Rocketry club made two fine flights on Saturday.  They qualified this year’s rocket – Catastrophe – with the help of an Aerotech L850W, and for some extra practice, flew last year’s rocket – Dream Crusher – on an L 1390G.   The Dream Crusher was built for last year’s competition, but did not fly because of complications of the CoViD-19 pandemic   (fever, severe cough, loss of taste and smell, etc.).

              Those members who have been with us a few years will fondly remember Tommy Harrell’s daughter Natalie, who had flown with us for years, going back to the Whitakers days.  She often baked cookies the night before, and brought them to the launches to delight us all.   Then she phased out for a while to go to college, get a job, get married and have a baby (a little boy named Brennan, I think). And we didn’t see her for a while.  She and Tommy and little Brennan came on Saturday with a huge pile of cookies.  It is a delight to see you again, Natalie!

              New members are always a good sign for any rocket club, and this weekend we welcomed Ian Edgerly, a NAR member.   Ian flew his Estes Ascender, twice, on the Estes F15 to check out the operation of the Jolly Logic parachute release device.  He must have read the instruction manual, because it worked perfectly for him both times.

              The other desperate academic team hailed from Victory Christian Center School in Charlotte, a secondary school team trying to qualify for the SLI competition.  They struggled through more adversity than I have space to list, and finally got off a flight of their rocket Faith late Sunday afternoon.  The flight was uneventful and was recovered in perfect shape as the sun “set slowly in the west”.  Congratulations and we’ll see you in Huntsville!

              Why is Alan writing the launch report again? I hear you ask.   The event is past and I can finally let the cat out of the bag.   Saturday was Dennis Hill’s 70th birthday, and all of his kids, including our prefect, Joe Hill, wanted to throw a surprise party for him, so Joe asked me to run this launch for him. When you see Dennis again at a future launch, be sure to wish him a happy birthday and congratulations for finally reaching actual ‘adulthood’.

Alan Whitmore

Old guy

Posted in Launch Reports | Comments Off on Launch Report, Bayboro, March 26-27, 2022