The next-to-the-last scheduled launch of the 2013-2014 flying season occurred on a weekend with almost perfect weather.? Temperatures were warm, the winds were calm, and the skies never had more than a few high clouds.? I just couldn?t ask for better conditions.
Motor use summary?
The most exciting new development of the weekend was the inauguration of the drone age.? Ken Stroud brought a radio-controlled quad-copter on which was mounted one of the new Go-Pro video cameras.? He was trying to record some flights from above, and got a few, from what I heard.? I haven?t seen them yet, so I hope he can post them here. It would be very exciting to watch a rocket launch from a completely new point of view.
Dave Morey had two K motor flights on Saturday:? his Dark Star DD flew on a K550W,? and then he flew the Upscale Starfire on a K661 blue flame motor.? Jim Livingston flew the veteran Viper on a 5-grain 115mm homemade motor rated as an N3500 and packing 15,500 N.s of total thrust.? The up and down parts were perfect.
Ray Bryant brought out a new tumble-recovery design that looked a lot like a lamp-shade.? This ?rocket? was called the Sugar Cone, and first ?flew? on a KN/sorbitol motor cast in a re-used Estes F15 casing.? I use the term ?flew? in its? broadest sense, because the rocket never actually left the launch rail.? A somewhat higher Kn will be necessary for the next attempt.? Ray then loaded the Sugar Cone with a commercial F16 and tried that one.? The rocket was all over the sky, demonstrating that it had the stability of a lamp-shade, also!
Alan Whitmore took advantage of the calm air and clear skies to go for a personal altitude record.? He loaded the Stealth Blue with a 4-grain 76mm homemade motor made from the dead-reliable ?Black Velvet? formula, which worked out to be, in retrospect, an L1297, with 5051 N.s of total oomph.? This flight was straight up, to about 13,500 feet, and the accelerometer data indicated that it went trans-Mach at 2.7 seconds and stayed above 1107 feet per second until 7.2 seconds after lift-off.?? Maximum speed was 1435 f/s (that’s 978.409 MPH for those of us still attached to the English system!).?? The air was so clear that Stealth Blue was visible all the way up and down.
NCSU team 2 had a perfect flight of the Dire Wolf on an L1185, while team 3 brought back the Mothership for a flight with an L1520R that failed to get the main chute all the way open, and experienced some damage.? Steve Polk and Mike Collier were busy all day with a variety of flights in the C to G range.
On Sunday, first time flyer Blake Hesse joined us and made a pair of flights with his G-Force on the Aerotech G64W.? Both flights were perfect.
Team number 1 from NC State showed up on Sunday and flew their V.A.R. (very aggressive rocket) on a Cesaroni N5600.? This project was loaded with scientific and technical packages for collection of a variety of information.?? This flight was preparation for participation in NASA?s college engineering program, which will be held? on the Bonneville Salt Flats this year.? The motor CATO?ed when it came up to pressure, causing a lot of damage to the airframe and the scientific package.
Andrew Billin was on hand Sunday, making flights with his Small Endeavor, Sandia Sandhawk, and Honest John scale models.
We will fly again on the weekend of April 26-27, and then take a summer break from high-power until next September.? Remember, however, that we will be operating a low-power event at the Butner Beef Cattle Research Facility each month this summer.? Consult the low-power summer 2014 schedule elsewhere on this site for details.
Prefect, Tripoli East NC