Launch Report, April 28-29, 2012

This weekend marked the last launch at Bayboro until the crops have been harvested in September.? A lot of flyers from Virginia and North and South Carolina decided to take advantage of the opportunity to get in some rocket flying before the summer.? The weather was not ideal:? On Saturday the wind was brisk and blowing in exactly the wrong direction ? towards the huge field of winter wheat planted to the west of our customary launch site.? We moved the pads a few hundred feet farther away from the wheat, but a few people had long walks in the green stuff.? On Sunday, the wind was a lot calmer and shifted over to out of the Northeast, but the field was in light fog all morning and it was not until the early afternoon that the fog and cloud ceiling began to lift a little.

We were fortunate to have a new family from the SEVRA group join us for the weekend.? Tom and Becky Devlin came from Virginia with their son Collin and his friend Skyler Schoemaker.? Tom had a great flight with his Liberty 2? on an Aerotech H220T and Becky flew her Blue Phoenix jr on one of the longer-burn J180T motors that also performed very well.? Later, Tom flew his Crayon loaded with a bunch of wrapped candies and we were finding those all day Saturday and Sunday.? The kids loved it!!? Collin and Skyler filled up the low-power pads with a lot of flights in the A through D range.

Joshua Harding has built one of the little Wildman jr kits and flew it on Sunday with the amazing Aerotech H999 motor.? The lift-off was shocking, and it must have jerked the battery out of the holder or turned off the arming switch, because neither the main or the apogee charge fired.? By some fantastic stroke of luck for Joshua, the rocket without propellant was balanced so that it came in horizontally and landed a few feet into the wheat for an extremely soft landing.

Johnny Hoffman built an upscaled version of the Art Applewhite Scimitar, a modified pyramid shape, and tore it to little pieces on an Aerotech I218R.? That is a very stout motor, with a big kick off the pad, and the poor Scimitar was just not up to the task.

Ed Withers has been visiting and watching for a few months, and this weekend he brought out a few models that he has had on the shelf since 1982.? One of these fine old models fell victim to forward seal failure in an old ESTES motor, but Ed showed that he has not lost his touch.

I woke up at the motel in New Bern on Sunday morning and I looked out at the Neuse river.? The fog was so thick I couldn?t see the other side of the river.? Not good.? After a leisurely breakfast we rolled on out to Bayboro to have a look at the weather situation.? Calm winds, pleasant warm temperatures, and a ceiling of maybe 200 feet.? Most of the tree-lines were just gray blurs.? Oh well, lots of time to set the equipment up at a restful pace, and then gather and chat with friends.?? Eventually the clouds lifted, more people started arriving, and we ended up having a fine day with lots of flights.? Lets look at the motor use summary:

Size Sat Sun Total
A 3 6 9
B 2 1 3
C 3 4 7
D 1 3 4
E 1 1 2
F 2 2 4
G 1 3 4
H 4 1 5
I 1 1 2
J 2 1 3
K 4 4
L 0
M 1 1
? 20 28 48


Pretty good balance for an all-commercial motor weekend.

Warren English and Mike Collier were especially busy on Sunday.? Warren flew 2 K?s, a J, an I and 2 G?s, and helped Vivienne get off a few low-power flights, all on one day!? Mike was filling up the low-power pads as usual and had one extremely fast flight of his Mars Snoopy on a pair of Aerotech D10?s, a flight that reminded my that we need to put these little AT composite single-use motors out at the mid-power pads ? that one was WAY TOO LOUD for the closer low-power launch pads.

Warren?s daughter Vivienne and Tommy Harrell?s grandson Issaiah were both there on Sunday having a real good time running around screamin? and hollerin? and just having a grand time, and also flying a lot of rockets in the A through D range.

Dave Morey dazzled us all again with not one but two perfectly executed cluster flights with airstarts.? First, the Big Daddy Cluster flew on 3 E30T?s and airstarted 2 E20W?s.? A little later Dave flew the Evil Queen on a Loki J820 starting on the ground, followed by 2 I225FJ?s and 2 G53?s a little later.? Both were recovered perfectly.

Your correspondant actually flew 2 commercially manufactured motors on Sunday!? I purchased a Cesaroni K445 for the Generic Four Inch which took it to 6332? on an almost perfect flight, and later in the afternoon I flew my little Jaguar on a D12.? This one landed in the wheat, but Tommy Harrell walked in and picked it up before I could walk across the road.

Johnny Hoffman worked on the hybrid GSE all Saturday and half of Sunday, but all the work paid off.? He launched the 43 pound Turn It On, on a Hypertek M1010 that just seemed to burn forever.? It burned long enough to use up 4.63 liters of nitrous and soar up to 12,132 feet above the ground.? Mr. Walston?s amazing device brought the bird home safe and sound.

That?s it for Spring 2012.? I hope to see all of you back at Bayboro on the weekend of September 22 and 23.? Watch this site and the nc-rockets users group for more news as the date gets closer.

Alan Whitmore, Prefect, Tripoli East NC

This entry was posted in Launch Reports. Bookmark the permalink.