Launch Report, Bayboro, March 25-26, 2017

Weather Saturday:? warm, sunny, winds out of the southwest and ?brisk?.? Well, maybe a little more than brisk, maybe a little like ?fierce?.? Close the tops of your tool boxes or they will blow off the table kind of windy.? But this is Bayboro, right?? Wind is the sea we swim in.? How ?bout a motor use summary?

Size Sat Sun Both
C 1 1
D 1 1
E 1 1
F 4 1 5
G 5 2 7
H 6 6
I 4 1 5
J 5 5
K 2 1 3
L 4 4
M 1 1
N 1 1
All 33 7 40


I am going to bring the certification flights and the ?preparation for certification? flights right up front, and then pick and choose among the other flights in increasing order of motor size and point out a few things that interested me.

CJ Lucas equipped his 4? Nike Smoke with a standard altimeter and two-stage recovery arrangement and powered it with the Aerotech J500G, and the flight was simply perfect, earning him the NAR level 2 certification.? ?Cade Brinkley has built an L3 project, which is almost finished (only needs a paint job) and he is one of the few people to take my advice about flying your L3 rocket on an L motor before you attempt the big deal, to see ?how the parts work?.? On Saturday, Cade flew his rocket on a 3-grain homemade L motor to about 1800 feet altitude, and we all got to see how the deployment charges worked and how the parachutes came out, and how the parts lined up under the main ?chute and a pile of other useful information.? The flight was perfect, and we all look forward to seeing Cade go for the L3.

Eddie Haith was back again working with a lot of motors in the lower range of the power spectrum.? Eddie was having some problems with Estes F15 motors that were delivering A LOT less power than advertized.? His 2-stage Estes Ascender just barely cleared the launch rod with the first stage, lay down flat on the dirt, and then fired up the second stage, creating the classic ?land shark?.

Dan Fritsch made two flights with his Starheel on the Aerotech H100W DMS motor.? One of them fired the ejection charge before the motor quit burning, and the other worked perfectly.? I wonder what the difference was.? Allan Rose has a new rocket called Big Cletus which he flew on an Aerotech I284W.? I wonder if Allan is a reader of James Lee Burke?

Our various academic teams had a fine weekend.? The Jordan High School TARC team had two flights of their rocket on the F39 motor, and got some valuable altitude/flight duration data.? Jordan H.S. also has a team entered in the Battle of the Rockets (BOTR) which will be fought at a site in Maryland this spring.? ??Their rocket, called Green, was flown on an Aerotech J500G, and the flight looked perfect to me.? NC State had 2 Senior Design teams in attendance, flying rockets designed to carry and deploy a ?cube-sat? package that was intended to deploy under its own parachute.? Both teams were using the AT L850W.? The first team to fly, Hall?s Heros, and the second team, 200 Proof, had flights that worked extremely well, with a few small problems.? The phrase is ?teachable moments?.

Jimmy Blackley showed up late in the day to fly a rocket on the sparky J396, on some freshly plowed bare earth.? Charles Long had the only two K motor flight on Saturday.? He flew his Mud Puppy on a Lokl K960 and followed that with a flight of the Fire Breathing Turtle on a CTI K360.

Kurt Hesse is getting into the homemade propellant thing and building up a big data base of performance figures for the blue-flame propellant called CP4 (4% aluminum, black copper oxide).? He flew the Shiny Diner on a 4-grain 38mm, and his Performer 98 on a 3-grain 76mm motor.? Jim Livingston had an exemplary flight on his venerable Viper on a 4-grain 115mm N2711 motor made from his white-smoke formula.

Sunday was a LOT less windy and the wind direction was a lot better than the forecast predicted, Sunday was an almost perfect rocket day.?? Just not very many people.?? I can list all the flights:? Charles Long made 2 flights, the first on his Delta IV using a CTI G131, and the second in his new rocket ? Bad Penny ? on a Loki G70.? Both flights worked very well I recall.? Gordon Cameron came down from Elizabeth City to fly his Star Orbiter twice, once on an E16 and then on an F16.? Gordon was using the Jolly Logic chute release device, and it failed to open up on the second flight, resulting in a slightly crumpled rocket.

Sunday was a day for very strange, unexpected recovery system failures.? Jim Livingston flew his 6? diameter Seahawk on a homemade K500 and although both 4 gram ejection charges fired, the shear pins did not shear.? Some fin damage.? Chuck Hall flew his 4? Patriot on a 38mm homemade I motor, using the rare Entacore altimeter that had been performing flawlessly for him for more than a year.? For some unknown reason, the altimeter failed to fire either charge, with predictable results.

Alan Whitmore flew his Red Rudy on a homemade 76mm M motor to about 7100 feet, to a safe recovery.? As a footnote, this was the 40th flight for Red Rudy, and it has never flown on a commercially manufactured motor.

For those of you traveling to LDRS in Maryland this year, travel safe and have a good time!? I hope to see you all at Bayboro on the weekend of April 22-23 for the last launch of the High Power season.

Alan Whitmore

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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