Launch Report, Bayboro, February 22-23, 2014

The weather was almost perfect this weekend, with temperatures in the 60?s for both days, and extremely calm winds for Bayboro.? Both Saturday and Sunday had long periods in the morning where the winds just disappeared, and flights to extreme altitudes were falling straight back down into our laps.? But, all of you fans of high winds need only wait for next month, because March is coming!? I?ll stick the motor use summary in here, and then get down to some details.

Size Sat Sun Total
B 1   1
C 4 2 6
D 5   5
E 1 1 2
F 6 7 13
G 7 1 8
H 4 2 6
I 1 3 4
J 2 1 3
K 3 2 5
N   1 1
  34 20 54

One of the coolest projects of the whole weekend was a kit that I have never seen before: it is called the MIRV and it was flown by Matt Raymond, from Jacksonville.? The MIRV is sort of a 2-stage rocket, but, after the single B6 got the whole thing moving, it staged to 3 different A10?s in 3 different identical rockets of triangular cross-section [at least I think they were A10s, the writing is not clear, and I can?t find the A10 designation in my list of motors].? The ensemble worked perfectly and Dennis reports that there were rockets all over the place.? All recovered intact I believe.

There were quite a lot of student teams on hand this weekend, working on their several projects.? There was a TARC team called TMSA, coached by Tanner Lovelace and including Bram Lovelace, Maryam Abkar, Malcolm Kemp and few other folks.? They flew their Shadow Phoenix Zero several times and the results seemed to be very gratifying.? The Durham Area Rocketry Team (DART) from the NCSSM was also back with their rocket called BOTR Rocket, which carried a pod that will eventually contain a robotic rover.? We also had 2 teams from NCSU finishing up their dual deployment trial flights.?? Team 2 had a perfect flight and recovery on their Frankenstein, while Team 3 had a flight of their BAMF that did everything right, but a loop of shock cord wrapped around the parachute and prevented a soft landing.

The Best Rocket Name of the weekend prize goes to Steve Polk for a new project he has built to explore very high speeds, and which he has named Soup or Sonic.? The last flight of that rocket was on a G80 (in a 8 ounce rocket!!).? I don?t actually know whether that one was recovered.

Tanner Lovelace flew his Drago on a motor that I had heard about but never actually seen in action:? the Cesaroni G250.? This little 29mm bullet uses Cesaroni?s V-max propellant formula and it is plenty exciting!

Jim Livingston brought out a rocket that had not flown for about 10 years, back in the Whitakers days, his 6? diameter V2.? He used a homemade 54mm K motor with a slow burn profile for a stately and beautiful flight.? Dave Morey flew the Sinister 38 on a J740G, airstarted 2 I225FJ motors, and, two seconds later, airstarted four G motors that added another line of black smoke.? It was a magnificent flight, as usual.

Sunday was a little bit warmer than Saturday, and several people who were not able to join us on Saturday came out and flew a bunch of rockets.? Ray Bryant flew one of the ESTES F15 black powder motors in his Lil Nuke.? The F15 produced a barely-adequate amount of thrust for this particular rocket, but the burn was very long for a BP motor.

The Jordan High School TARC team was there on Sunday, and they made a few very successful flights of their egg delivery vehicle, called the American Eagle.? Their coach, Jeffrey LaCosse,? made a pair of flights with his Arcus-Falcon carrying a video camera.? Perhaps, if the video turns out well, he will share a clip with this site and we can all see the pictures.

The second-loudest flight of the day was made by Ray Bryant, who put up his Mega Mean Max on a J381 Skidmark.? The ground was still soggy from Friday night?s rain, and no fires were started.

Not all of the weekend?s endeavors had happy endings.? Two very ambitious collaborative projects came to unhappy ends in quite different ways.? Ken Stroud had built a very stout minimum-diameter rocket for 3? motors, called Ole Yellow, and Ray Bryant made a very fine sugar motor in a 5-grain 76mm case which spec?ed out to somewhere in the big K range.? This rocket had a fine lift-off and powered flight which veered off to the South, but no parachute was spotted and it has still not been found.

A little earlier, Jim Livingston launched his Carbon High, another rocket that has been around in various forms since the Whitakers days, on an N motor made by Alan Whitmore from the Ferric Fudge recipe of extremely fast-burning, smokeless propellant.? This flight was perfect up to approximately 750 feet above the ground, when the motor CATO?ed and destroyed everything but the nose cone, the main parachute, the altimeters, 3 fins, and the external snap ring on the motor.? Ouch!? When you push the envelope, sometimes the envelope pushes back.

I hope you can join us at Bayboro for the weekend of March 22-23.

Alan Whitmore
Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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