Launch Report, Butner, June 24, 2017

The silage has been cut from the pastures around Perkins Field, the weather was warm, sunny and clear, and the winds were mild.  A perfect day for rocketry, but, where were the kids?  We went to considerable effort to find a place close to the Triangle to hold monthly launches so that children and school, church and scout groups could have a place to fly in the summer.  But this weekend, only adults showed up.  Eight of them to be precise, and I’ll describe their accomplishments alphabetically.

Jimmy Blackley flew his Mirage, which is getting close to 20 years old by now, on an AT G40W, and it was recovered exactly like it should be, with two parachutes  and a tether connecting the two parts.   Old school!   The G40W sounded like it was getting a little old, also.  It chuffed twice on the pad and flew off with a spitting and sputtering that sounded like the carburetor was poorly adjusted.  None of this drama prevented a perfect recovery.

Chuck Hall brought back his Cobra loaded with 3 B6’s and made another perfect flight.   This was the weekend for clusters, as you will see in the rest of this report.

Joe Hill started his day off with a flight of a new rocket designed as a 1/3 scale model of his L3 certification rocket, which he calls the Shorter Spoon.  The first flight was made on an AT G76G, and worked great.  Later on, Joe flew the Irsay on an F44W for another perfect flight.

Dave Morey had three fine flights.  The first one was a new unnamed rocket that looks a little like a scaled-down LOC  4-29SS that carried 4 A3’s.   3 of the 4 A’s lit and the flight was perfect.  Dave has challenged me to come up with a good name for this rocket, and 2 that occur to me are Four of Hearts, and QuadREDic Equation.   Anybody else have a good name for a red 4-motor cluster rocket?  Dave also flew his smaller Starfire on a C6, and the Defender on 3 x C6’s.   This time, all three motors lit and contributed to the effort.

Eric Noguchi is new to the group and he arrived with a technical tour-de-force.  The first was an eRockets HeliRocktor, the basic helicopter recovery technique.  This worked just perfectly, and created such a drag/lift that even on an A3, it almost drifted off of the field.   Next, Eric brought out a scratch-built design called the RingHawk, which was a glider-recovery device that looked like a ring-fin rocket on the pad, but at motor burnout half of the ring slid forward to the base of the nosecone and the whole device glided down with almost perfect trim.   It was a delight to watch.

David Snow is also new to our group, and he was very busy on Saturday, making seven different flights.  David had four glider flights:  The Delta Katt flew on a 1/2A, and another glider called Robin boosted on an A3.  Another glider called the Manta flew twice on B6’s, and I recall that one of them spit the nozzle out just a few feet off the pad, messing up the flight slightly.   David had a rocket made from an old motor packaging tube, called EBR-I  which flew on a C6, and for the big power flight of his day, flew his Cherokee-D on a D12.  Other than the nozzle popping out of the B6, everything apparently worked just fine for David.

Alan Whitmore took his chances with 2 commercially manufactured motors.  He flew the Mini Red Rudy on a C6, and the Micro Stealth Blue on a B6.  Nothing blew up, so the weekend was counted as a success.

Ed Withers was flying all day long.  He tried the Apogee Heli-Roc on an A3, but something went wrong with recovery, and the airframe didn’t spin on the way down.   Ed flew his new Photon Probe twice, once on a B4 and again on a C6.  Ed also had 2 Goliath’s on site, and I don’t actually know whether the following flights were made by just one of them or a combination of both.  One Goliath flew on a C6, another on a D12, and a third flew on a cluster of 3x C6-5’s.  Two of these flights were recovered with a Jolly Logic Altimeter III, and seemed to work just fine.

It was a great day outdoors, especially nice to see old friends and make new ones, and a special thanks to the NC State University HPR club for providing assistance with parking and registration.

Alan Whitmore

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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