Launch Report, Butner, July 28, 2018

The second low-power launch for the summer of 2018 was held at the Butner Beef Cattle Research Facility last weekend, and the event was a complete success.  The primary purpose of these summer launches is to get children and their whole families involved in rocketry, and this Saturday certainly filled that order!  I’ll put in the usual motor use summary table, and then list some particulars that stuck in my mind.

Size No.
1/2A 1
A 12
B 28
C 11
D 2
E 2
F 3
G 2
Total 61

Very clearly a “low-power” event, but that’s why we were there.  Boy Scout Troop 399, from the Creedmoor Road section of Raleigh, was on hand this weekend, and some of the people I will list here are members of that troop, but a lot of families showed up all morning long, and Dave Morey and I were busy all day with helping kids get rockets put together and loaded on the pads, so I don’t actually know who was with what group.

Kohen Smith was on some kind of mission this weekend, flying his rocket Dragonite a total of nine times on A and B motors.  His dad told me that they just flew every motor they had in the box!  Family members are in evidence:  Brenner, Conlan, and Dempsey Lewis were active all morning, as were Connor and Tucker Pernell.  Edison and Huxley Sava were very active in the A and B range all morning, as were Riley Barnes, Dominic Higgins, Ethan Braun, Colten and Caden Pendergrass, and Mark Shephard.   Allen Harrell came with his Granddad Tommy and Aunt Natalie, and flew two rockets with C motors, a C to C staging attempt that suffered a booster CATO, and two very fine F motor flights.

Several adults were there with some very creative rockets and flights to the limits of what the field will hold.  Albert Oldenburg flew his Cirrus Dart on an F25 for a very nice flight and recovery.  Mark Hartmann has become a Butner regular, and this Saturday he flew his Barracuda on an E23, the Mustang on an E16, and his Screaming Mimi on an Estes D12.  All recovered intact.  Paul Short came with a few old veterans.  He flew his Hyperloc Mini on an A8, and a very old Estes Twizter on a B4.

Dan Fritsch filled out the bottom row of the motor use summary with a flight of his Highjacker on an Aerotech G64W, and finished up the day with a flight of his Madcow Sport-X on a G138T.   Both flights used to Jolly Logic chute release device to good effect.

Eric Noguchi had three very entertaining low power flights this weekend.  The one with the smallest motor (1/2A)  was the Fliplock, a boosted glider with folded wings that unfolded at apogee.  Unfortunately, one of the wings came off under boost, and the glider came in hard.  The Slipstream is a very thin rocket with big fins that flew on an A8.  The mode of recovery is interesting:  when the motor burns out, the rocket glides backwards and lands horizontally.  Eric also brought his Vortex,  which uses helicopter recovery, and this one flew beautifully on a C6.

Join us again in Butner on August 25, for the last official summer launch, and then we return to the wide-open windy spaces of Bayboro on the weekend of September 22-23.

Alan Whitmore, Prefect, Tripoli East

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Bayboro/Butner commercial motor use summary

Here is the combined summary of commercial motor use at Bayboro and Butner since the beginning of the 2014-2015 flying season.   I have included a graph for those of you who like visual information, and an EXCEL spreadsheet for those who like the actual numbers,  I hope you enjoy the data!!   I would like to draw your attention to several points and invite your comments on the ncrockets mailing list

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1.  The 230+ C motors will surprise no-one, but the fact that there were almost as many F and G motors flown (even though all the data from Butner are included here) is significant.   The F and G motor classes are traditionally for advanced younger flyers and those seeking experience for moving into high-power.  This indicates to me that the Bayboro group has a healthy group of people who are advancing within the hobby.

2.  There are some errors in the list.   For example, there are three F16’s listed in the flight cards, and the F16 is a 32mm diameter boosted glider motor, and none of the rockets involved was a glider.   Also, several of the motors listed on the flight cards are not on any of the lists of commercial certified motors and were flown by people who are known not to fly EX motors.   Typo’s get made, especially by people who are working hard to get a rocket prepped and on the pad and holding on to the flight card for dear life while trying to keep it from blowing away.

3.  Designation duplications.   I’ll give you a very good example of this problem:   There are 33 “G80’s” listed on the flight cards.    Aerotech, Loki, and CTI all make motors that are designated G80, and they all use different propellants.   Twenty of the 33 people who flew G80’s did not specify which G80 they were flying.

4.  Bayboro is one of the very rare launch sites at which more L motors were flown than M motors.  The L motor is usually the neglected step-child of the high-power range.   Essentially no-one who is planning to make a level 3 certification flight bothers to check out their rocket with an L motor, and most L2 flyers tend to stick with J or maybe K motors.   The reason for this almost certainly involves cost:  L motors usually cost a little more than half of what an M motor costs, and for most commercial motor buyers, that’s a lot of money.  The main reason that Bayboro sees more L motors than M motors is that a lot of University teams who are trying to make qualifying flights for SLI and IREC events use the L motor to deal with their heavy payloads.  The Bayboro club is privileged to host a lot of college (and high school) rocketry teams.

5.  Remember that a lot of the Bayboro experience involves homemade EX motors, which are not listed in this submission.   The graph of commercial motors used is almost perfectly normally distributed on the upper side of the G range.   If you put in the EX motors, the graph kicks back up at the top end with a LOT more K, L, M, and N flights (and double the O motor flights!).  A preliminary examination of the data shows that more K, M and N EX motors were flown at Bayboro during this interval than commercial motors of the same size.

Alan Whitmore

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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May 19, 2018 Butner launch is cancelled

The NC State Aeronautics teams need to use the field all weekend in order to prepare for a competition in June. So, we must cancel the Butner launch this Saturday. We will try again on June 23.

Dave Morey

 

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