Launch Report, Bayboro, October 22-23 2016

From the editor: This October launch report from Alan got lost in the shuffle and is out of order with previous ones. Sorry for the delay.

The first October launch at Bayboro was rained and blown into oblivion by hurricane Matthew on the weekend of October 8 and 9.? Our friend Terry, who shows up at the launches on his 4-wheeler to assist with rocket recovery, reports that on Saturday that weekend, there were wind gusts up to 75 MPH on the field at Clifton?s farm.? In addition, there was about 9 inches of rain that weekend.? Not especially good “rocket weather?.

But, two weeks later we were back under clear, blue skies with moderate winds.? Allow me to insert the motor use summary, and then we?ll get down to cases.

Motor Sat Sun Total
? A 1   1
B 4   4
C 1   1
D 1   1
E 1 1 2
F 6   6
G 1   1
H 1 2 3
I 1 4 5
J 1 2 3
K   2 2
L   1 1
M 3 2 5
Total 20 14 34


As always, the certification flights will occupy? front center stage.? Richard Harris has been working on his L3 project for almost a year, and on Saturday he decided to put this one up.? It is a 6? diameter Hyperloc 1600 kit fitted out with an Aerotech M1350.? The flight up and the recovery sequence were perfect, but the rocket landed about 1.9 miles to the South (the wind was steady at 10 knots and gusting up to 20 at that time) and spent the night in the beans.? Rich and Frank Schnieder were back early Sunday, and they found the rocket, in perfect condition, before noon.? It was a pleasure to sign the paperwork on that project.

Phill Ash flew the smallest motor of the weekend, an Estes 1/2A3, in a scratch-built copy of the Big Bertha, scaled down to 1/2A size.? Allen Harrell came with his grampa to fly his Cow-cow on B6-4?s for several flights ( I have 3 flight cards, but I think there were more flights).

There is a recurring problem that I have seen at every launch I have attended lately, all over the southeast US of A:? the problem of getting the smallest Aerotech single-use and reloadable motors to ignite.? Phill Ash had this problem with many attempts to get the D10 to light up, and Trevor Leggette was working in a science project involving the same motor (AT?s F26J) in three different rockets, flown multiple times.? Lots of frustration all around, and some unwarranted aspersions cast on the club?s launch equipment.

Another big moment was the first flight of a homemade motor by Chuck Hall.? Chuck machined the casing, the nozzle and the forward bulkhead, and cast up the propellant in my basement.? The motor was a 4-grain 38mm I motor made from the blue-flame formula called ?CP3?, and he used it in his Patriot.? The flight was perfect and the recovery was spot-on.

The High Power Rocketry Team from NC State University needed an early-season project to build up some experience and interest among all the new members of the team, so they decided to dust off a rocket that the 2011 team left in the shop, fix it up with new electronics, new recovery apparatus, and fly it on an M motor.? There were a few hold-ups and problems that were all valuable learning experiences, and the rocket finally flew.? The rocket was a little heavy for an M motor, but it deployed the parachute and was recovered safely.? When you think about it, a safe flight on an M motor for the first team effort is an amazing accomplishment.

Frank Schneider brought out a new all-fiberglass rocket that he wants to use for some extreme altitude flights, and he gave it a shake-down cruise with a CTI M1450.? All the events occurred when they should, but the winds were ?brisk?, shall we say, and the rocket landed a long way away.? This one also spent the night among the soybeans, but was also recovered on Sunday morning.

The weather on Sunday was even nicer!? The winds were about half of what they were on Saturday, the sky was crystal clear, and the temperature was warm.? T-shirt weather in late October!

Mike Nay made a successful NAR level 1 cert flight, using his EZI-65 and a CTI H97 I-max motor.

Joe Hill introduced a new rocket, which he calls Pee Dee.? He started things off with an Aerotech I284W and everything worked fine.

Alan Whitmore had two flights on Sunday, both to the mile-high territory.? Bertrand Brinley?s Beta carried a 3-grain 54mm J motor, which burned with no smoke and no flame, which made for some very curious lift-off photos.? Then, the rebuilt Stealth Blue flew on a 2-grain 76mm K motor.? Both rockets put the laundry out at exactly the right time and were recovered easily.? ??Jim Livingston flew his 7.5? diameter V2 on a 54mm K500 (white smoke) to a perfect apogee main deployment and an easy recovery.? Does anybody know why V-2 models always wag their tails and cone around after burnout, no matter how straight the fins are?

Kurt Hesse had another fine flight of his Performer 98 on a homemade L motor and Chuck Hall flew his Extended Little John II on an Aerotech M1550R.? Both flights were perfect.

One of the last flights of the day took most of the day to set up.? Johnny Hoffman likes to come up from South Carolina to do his higher hybrid flights, and on Sunday he loaded up his Hi Tek Red Nek with the Hypertek M1010.? It took more than 3 minutes to fill it with 5.4 liters of nitrous oxide.? When it finally got fired up and took off, it CATO?d at about 1000 feet up.? I have never seen a hybrid CATO anywhere other than on the pad, so this was unusual.? The APCP motors and the hybrids use very different chemistries and physical arrangements, but when they blow up, they both make a LOT of noise.

Alan Whitmore

Prefect, Tripoli East NC


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