This January launch was not particularly well-attended, probably because of the dubious weather forecast. But we did have about 6 hours of good flying weather on Saturday, and those who did make the trip had a good time. I only recall 2 CATO’s, and they were both black powder motors, not commercial or homemade composite motors.
Because we only had 19 flights, I will mention all of them, organized alphabetically by flyer’s last name.
Mike Collier made good use of his time, flying his Delta V on an Estes E6, the lovely Orion Star on an Aerotech E18W, and his Blue Phoenix Jr on the AT G53FJ.
One of our newest members, Justin Freeberg, brought his Batman back to Bayboro for a couple of high-energy flights, one with the CTI I216 and the next one with the very fast CTI I540. Allen Harrell was back with his grand-dad Tommy, and they were both busy until the rains came. They flew Allen’s Red Mac on a B6, the Broadsword on an Aerotech single-use E15W, and the newish staged version of the Cow-cow on 2 C6’s. I know that one of the C6’s CATO’ed, and at least one more of Allen’s motors. Cow-cow is a rocket that Allen and Tommy has been flying since approximately when Allen learned to talk, so he must be a little disappointed. However all the parts were recovered, and grand-dad will probably work some of his magic on the wreckage.
Like a lot of our flyers this weekend, Kurt Hesse brought a rocket capable of 2.5 mile altitude, looked at the cloud cover, and decided to put something a little smaller in the motor section. This month it was a 4-grain 54mm EX motor made from the blue-flame CP4 formula. The flight was successful, and we all got to see how vivid color-flame formulas can be on cloudy days. This was an unusually pretty blue.
Joe Hill brought out his very stout K-Rocket and flew it on a Loki I405 for a very fine flight, and then Joe put up the new Short Stack on the AT H180W. More people should fly H180’s: I love that motor! Jim Livingston is another experienced flyer who decided that the biggest motor in the box was not necessarily the wisest choice for these clouds and this wind direction, and installed a 75mm L1000 EX motor made from BV5 in his Carbon Hi. This combination ended up around 3500 feet above ground level, if I recall correctly, at that was just about exactly where you wanted to be on Saturday.
The most important tasks on everybody’s mind on Saturday were the full-scale shake-down flights made by 2 of the Senior Space Design teams mentored by Dr. Chuck Hall of North Carolina State University. Team 1 (or 2 [long story]) flew the Lil’ Chuck on an AT J500G, and Team 3 flew the Explorer I on an AT J420R. Both rockets used the Missileworks RRC3 and the Stratologger SL100 to handle deployment events, both were resounding successes, and both underscored what I said above about colored-flame propellants on cloudy days. Both flights were perfectly executed, and that made a lot of us very happy!
Robbie Kirk crossed the river from New Bern to take his TRA level 2 written exam, and scored a perfect 50/50. Good work Robbie, now pick out your L2 motor, and get ready to spend even more money. Ralph Reda flew his Initiator on an Econojet F27, and this one chuffed enough to make the ejection early, but I think that one came home intact. Then Ralph made another flight with his Steeler 1 on the AT H242T. Fred Schaffer flew his 3” Dark Star on a CTI J244 quite late in the day, but flight and recovery were just about perfect, albeit a little “damp”.
Anthony Ware is a new flyer who has been waiting patiently through all this bad weather lately to make a NAR level 1 certification flight. All the elements finally came together on Saturday, and he flew his Nuke Pro Maxx on the extremely brassy Aerotech H283ST. Flight and recovery were perfect, so let’s all welcome Anthony to High Power. Later on, Anthony flew his IQSY Tomahawk on the AT G40W single-use motor for another well-executed flight.
That was Saturday. A fairly heavy drizzle moved in about 3:30, and flying closed down for the day. I stayed over in New Bern for the evening just to get out of the house for a while, and about 4:00 AM on Sunday it rained so hard that the pounding of the water woke me out of a sound sleep. By the time I got up at 7:30 the rain had stopped, but there was standing water everywhere. I got to Clifton’s farm about 9:30, and the sun was just coming out. The ditches were as full of water as I have ever seen them. At the point where I usually back the club trailer across the ditch on New Ditch Road, the water was just about 4 inches from the road bed. I had to wait until about 11:30 before the access dried out enough to pull the trailer out. The wind increased all day, all over eastern North Carolina. My Ford F150 pickup truck is pretty heavy and stable, but I was getting blown from lane to lane all the way home, and every time I looked at the dashboard temperature gauge, the temp had dropped 1 or 2 degrees. I guess it must be January.
I hope to see a lot of you next weekend at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.
The Central Scrutinizer