Bayboro Launch Canceled, October 9-10 2021

I’ve tried to wait as long as I could to see if the weather is going to clear up this weekend, and it’s just looking absolutely atrocious for rocketry. The field is going to see a lot of rain, and since we have to park on the field(we’re still backed up in the corner along the deep well), I don’t want to have a whole lot of vehicles driving on the field, potentially getting stuck. We could park along the road, but Paul Farm Rd. sees 2-3 times more traffic than the road we normally park along, and I don’t feel comfortable having everyone set up there either.

So – having said that, I’m canceling this weekend’s launch. Let’s hope the weather is better in two weeks and we’ll try again!

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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Launch Report, Bayboro, September 25-26, 2021

I don’t think that we could have ordered better weather for the first launch of the 2021-2022 season. Saturday gave us clear skies, moderate temperatures, and light winds. You could tell that several eager fliers wanted to take advantage of this weather because we had one of the largest attendances that I’ve seen in quite some time. The weather on Sunday was very similar to Saturday, but slightly windier. We had a total of 74 flights this weekend, and I’ll list the motor table summary below.

Motor Sat. 9/25 Sun. 9/26 Total
A 7 7
B 7 7
C 5 5
D 7 7
E 2 1 3
F 3 3
G 3 1 4
H 8 3 11
I 8 6 14
J 4 2 6
K 3 3
L 3 3
M 1 1
Total 61 13 74

As always, the most important part of any launch are successful certifications. We had three Level 1 certifications on Saturday. Ben Mount made the trip down and brought his Loc IV rocket, along with an Aerotech H-180W for propulsion. This is a great kit/motor combination for a Level 1 certification and Ben’s flight was flawless. Sean Aiton and Mike Pudlo are both NC State students who had successful L1 certification flights as well. Sean had a rocket he calls Sky High, and Mike had a rocket he calls Wish You Were Here (a nod to Pink Floyd). They both chose an Aerotech H-242T motor and each flight was nominal. Congratulations to all!

A lot of the hardcore regulars were on site this weekend and found some time to put up a least one project. Alan Rose flew his Warlok on an I-284W, possibly one of my favorite commercial 38mm motors. He was also able to get his Bandit in the air on an Aerotech I-161W. Mark Peot is a relatively new Bayboro regular and he flew a couple rockets earlier in the day on Saturday, all of which were successful. Joe Hill flew a new rocket; a 6″ diameter 1/2 Little John missile replica on an Aerotech L-1520T. Brent Bierstedt never ceases to amaze me with the finishes on his rockets, and on Saturday he put up his gorgeous 7.5″ diameter, 60lb Patriot on a Loki M-1650 Cocktail motor. For those who don’t know, Loki’s signature Cocktail loads have a mixture of blue and red grains, giving off a fluorescent pink flame with visible Mach diamonds. Brent’s flight was perfect, and he brought the Patriot back home with him. There were several other regulars that joined us – Mike Nay, Robbie Kirk, Ralph Malone, John Allman, and Dan Fritsch to name a few.

It’s becoming more and more common to have not just one, but several universities out at the field. We were joined by NC State and Duke on Saturday, both of whom put up ‘interest’ flights to try and get more students involved in their respective High Power Rocketry programs. Duke AERO flew one of their projects from last year; a two stage rocket with a CTI K-1440WT in the booster and a CTI J-295C in the sustainer. NC State was back with their 81.5 rocket that they’ve been successfully flying for quite some time now. They chose an Aerotech L-1520T for power, and their flight went off without a hitch.

Sunday was much slower in terms of attendance and flights, but that’s pretty common. Alan Whitmore started things out with his Astro Mollusk rocket on a 6 grain 38mm I motor. I happened to notice that he labeled this motor Thing 71. To catch you up to speed – a Thing motor is stuffed with the leftover propellant from multiple mixing sessions. So, this is I motor #71 that would have otherwise just been thrown away. Jim Livingston also flew a Thing motor, and he designated his an I-350. These guys don’t let good propellant go to waste!

Later in the afternoon, Alan also put up Bertrand Brinley’s Beta on a 2 grain 54mm J motor that was stuffed with Livingston White propellant, which is Jim Livingston’s White Lightning clone. Joe Hill was back on site with his Pink Dog rocket, which flew on a Loki J-712B. Mike Nay, Robbie Kirk and Dan Fritsch all stayed busy throughout the day and Ralph Malone finished out the weekend by flying his Quicksilver rocket on an Aerotech H-130W.

I had an absolutely amazing time this weekend, and I hope everyone that attended did too. Thank you to everyone who served as RSO/LCO or simply lent a hand when they could. We’ll be back out in Bayboro on the weekend of October 9th, and I hope to see you then!

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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Launch Report, Bayboro, May 24/25 2021

Once again, Mother Nature challenged us with some exceptionally bad flying conditions on both Saturday and Sunday. There was a massive storm that moved in from the southwest that only gave us about a half of a day’s worth of flying on Saturday and Sunday was partly cloudy, but super windy. Having said that, everyone that attended took advantage of last weekend of flying at Bayboro. Below is the motor summary.

Motor   Saturday 4/24 Sunday 4/25          Both
B 1                               1
C 1                                1
D 2                                2
E 1                                1
F             1                                   1
G 1                                1
H            2 3                                5
I              6 4                                10
J              3                                   3
K             1 1                                2
L 3                                3
Total        13 17                            30

Allan Rose started things out Saturday with his SkyRaider rocket by putting it up on one of my personal favorite 38mm Aerotech reloads – an I-284W. Alan Whitmore flew his rocket that he calls Bertrand Brinley’s Beta on a homebrew 2 grain 54mm motor filled with Livingston White propellant. If I remember correctly, I believe the name of this rocket was inspired by Brinley’s book Rocket Manual for Amateurs, a nonfiction written in 1960. Jim Livingston threw his LZ899 up on a ‘back of the bench’ 38mm I motor. If you don’t know what that means, these types of motors are filled with leftover propellants from all sorts of separate casting sessions. This one turned out to have mostly Jim Scarpine Tribute Blue #4B, my favorite! Matt Willis joined us again and flew his Back 2 Basics rocket on a CTI J-354WT. Brent Bierstedt sent his 54mm minimum diameter Mongoose for a 9 second trip on the classic Aerotech I-65W. Joe Hill put up his 4″ all fiberglass work-horse rocket, Iron Moon on an Aerotech K-1050W, Mike McKeon stayed busy and got in 3 perfectly successful flights, and Mark Peot got in two perfect flights.

Sunday started out cloudy with light rain, but by about 10AM, the clouds broke and the wind really started to pick up. Pete Vorenkamp came out for the first time, not only as a spectator, but as a brand new Tripoli member. Pete has basically never flown or built a rocket prior to joining us. Most people start out with an Estes rocket and black powder single use motors with motor ejection, etc… not Pete. His first rocket, a 54mm Mac Performance Scorpion, was built for dual deployment and even had onboard GPS. The Scorpion’s first flight was on an Aerotech G-64W reload. All electronics worked right on time, and Pete had a textbook dual-deploy flight. I’ve gotta say, that’s an incredibly ambitious dive into this hobby, and Pete had it all figured out first try. I’m sure we’ll be seeing him at another launch. Way to go, Pete!!

Joe Hill was back on Sunday and flew his Voodoo Ranger on a Loki I-405W, Abhi Kondagunta launched his Stinger on an Aerotech I-218R, Alex Thomas brought out his Zephyr and put it up on an Aerotech I-245G, and Robbie Kirk flew his 2.6R3 on an Aerotech H-238T. Greg Hanson is a new Bayboro regular and he brought his Yellow Submarine out, stuffed it with an Aerotech K-805G, and it went out of sight very quickly. Robert Jennings joined us for the first time and flew a beautifully finished Saturn V on an Aerotech E-30T.

We were joined by 4 universities on Sunday – NC State, NC A&T, UNC-Charlotte, and Duke. NC A&T have been working extremely hard on their project, Pizza Planet and it definitely showed. They were the first to launch, and they chose an Aerotech L-1420R for their rocket. Pizza Planet took off, and when the main parachute deployed, the students let out an eruption of cheers, rightfully so. They have really come a long way in a short period of time, and they deserve a lot of credit. UNC Charlotte brought back the same rocket that they’ve been flying over the last couple of months and flew it on a CTI L-935IMAX motor for a great flight. NC State flew their That’s Hot rocket on an Aerotech I-435T, which I believe has flown several times before. The students from Duke decided to try a two stage rocket that was full of all sorts of electronics for various things with a CTI K-1440WT in the booster, staging to a CTI J-295C. All systems performed nominally and Duke brought back their entire project.

And just like that, another season at Bayboro is over.. While this season was undoubtedly different than any other season we’ve ever had, I think it’s safe to say we all took as much advantage as we possibly could to fly rockets. Thank you for following the COVID restrictions we have in place as well. I hope everyone has a great summer, and come join us in the fall if you can.

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC




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