Launch Report, Bayboro, March 22-23, 2014

The weather forecast was fairly marginal this weekend, so the usual teeming throng stayed home, but a few of the hardier souls came out to enjoy the wind and the sun.? I am going to try to mention all of the flights, and forego the usual motor use summary.? I?ll list the flyers alphabetically.

Andrew Billin flew his IQSY Tomahawk on a Cesaroni G83 Blue Streak for a fine flight with a very long walk.? Ray Bryant had 3 flights:? his Matrix rode on a Cesaroni H153, the big Super Onyx carried the amazing Aerotech K700W for a very exciting flight, and then his Orange Crush flew on a small 54mm sugar motor that carried it way, way down the field, for a long and athletic recovery.

The big news of the weekend was a flight that had been planned for a long, LONG time.? David Cox has been trying to put his level 3 rocket, the Juggernaut, up more than 10,000 feet.? He has put a variety of 115mm M and N motors in the bird and had technically perfect flights that didn?t quite reach 10K.? This weekend he assembled a 5-grain 115mm motor out of a blue-flame propellant he made himself, and loaded that in the Juggernaut, and got it on the pad and armed by about 11:30 AM.? The rocket rose absolutely straight on about 11 feet of bright blue flame, passed through the sound barrier at about 2.2 seconds into the flight, and coasted on up to 12,203 feet AGL!? David broke the sound barrier, he broke the 10,000 foot mark with a lot to spare, and he did it with a technically perfect flight.? He also had a long and arduous recovery a long way over on the east side of the field.

Eddie Haith was back after a break of a few months, and he stayed busy.? He flew his Red Crayon on a D10, again on a C6, the Athena on a F15, his Orion on a C6, and a Semroc kit whose name I don?t remember on another long-burn F15.

Jim Livingston brought back his venerable I-ROC and flew it on a homemade 6-grain 38mm motor made from the fast-burn propellant formula called ?Jim Scarpine Tribute Blue #4? for a very nice flight and perfect recovery, also a long way down the field.? Did I mention that it was windy?

Steve Polk has caught the bug, big-time, and he was back this weekend to fly 7 on an E18, 9 on and E28, 12 on a G64W and again on a G80, 13 on a cluster of 3 E9?s, and the beautifully finished Saturn Fivish model on 2 F35?s.? It seems that every time I looked up, Steve and his wife were either taking a long hike out to the east or taking a long walk back, carrying a rocket.

It was an absolute delight to see a flyer from the old Whitakers days, Cemil Purut, from Hickory, NC, show up at Bayboro with his son Alexander.? They flew a pair of rockets: Supersonic and the PML Bulldog, on 54mm homemade sugar J motors.? Both of these flights were perfect on the up part, but the Bulldog suffered a little zipper on the way down.? Jim then flew his Aerreux on a very old Aerotech F12.? After a long, hard fight to get the little blister to ignite, it failed again to light the ejection? charge and the Aerreux came in ballistic.

Alan Whitmore flew his workhorse GFI on a homemade 54mm 5-grain K motor made from the ultra-reliable Black Velvet formula.? This one flew to exactly 6000 feet and landed about a mile away, even though the main came out at 700 feet as planned.? Have I mentioned that it was very, VERY windy?? Ed Withers had several flights:? The Magnum Sprint flew on a C6, his Twister rode on another C6, and he managed the flight and safe recovery? of his 2-stage Beta 17 on an A10 to A10 combination.? Everything happened so fast on that flight that I am surprised that any portion of that rocket was recovered.? There are many eyes younger than mine at Bayboro.

Sunday started out so foggy that traffic on the bridge across the Neuse slowed to a crawl.? It was almost impossible to see the front end of your own car.? By 9:30 we could see to navigate, so we drove over to Bayboro and set up the launch pads.? The order of business for that day was to perform and observe a NAR level 2 flight for Sam Christensen.? The sky was cloudy, the winds were high and blowing in exactly the wrong direction, and the humidity was very high.? Unlike Saturday, which was a great day to be outside and flying rockets, Sunday was an exercise in misery.? Dave Morey flew 2 small rockets using the new very small rail buttons and small aluminum rail combination to great success.? When no other NAR members showed up to witness Sam?s flight, he put an H250G in his rocket, called The Dart, to practice 2-stage recovery technique.? This flight was perfect and everything recovered safely.

We have 2 April launches on the schedule before we close up shop for the summer:? Spring WELD will occur on the 12th and 13th of April, and we will go back to Bayboro on the weekend of April 26-27 to finish out the year.

Alan Whitmore
Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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