Launch Report, Bayboro, November 18, 2017

Saturday was a superb day for rocket activities except that the wind was a little high.  That is really not a factor at Bayboro, it just means that we walked a little farther to get our rockets back.  I’ll leave off the motor use summary for this month and just hit the high spots, in order of increasing motor size.

Jacob Usher and Andrew Katz were gathering data for a high school science fair project, and they were comparing the results of one or more altitude simulation software packages with the actual attained altitudes, as recorded by a small altimeter.   They had two rockets, the Sightseer and the Liftoff, and they flew both on 3 B6 motors and 3 C6 motors.  They were recording wind speed, temperature, and atmospheric pressure at the moment of each flight, so they should have a lot of data for their analysis.  That adds up to 12 flights, all successful, and a lot of running after rockets.  Nice work!

Allen Harrell flew 3 of the 4 remaining C6 motors in his Cow-cow and Red Max.  Dennis Hill flew the other C6 in an old rocket he acquired from David Rushing, called the FireFlash.

Robbie Kirk was obviously “batting for the cycle”, making successful flights in the E, F, G, and H range.   Dan Fritsch, Dennis Hill and Steve Polk were also flying rockets in the F through H range.  Steve gets this month’s Best Rocket Name award with his Adult Supervision Required, which flew on an Aerotech H180W.

For some reason, perhaps related to the wind, a lot of rockets that might have been launched on J or K motors, made very successful flights on I motors.   The I motor was clearly the recurring theme for the November launch this year:  Charles Long flew his extremely robust Blue Toad on a Loki I350, and the new MECO on a Loki I405.  Kurt Hesse flew the lovely Shiny Diner on an Experimental 4-grain 38mm I motor made with the Cu4 blue-flame formula.   Ralph Malone made another great flight with his EZI-65 with the green-flame I245G.  Dan Fritsch flew his Mad Cow Super DX3 on an I357T.  Dennis Hill brought a new rocket made from spare parts found in his workshop, which he dubbed the SP-3, and flew it on an I284W.   There was some deployment difficulties, if I am thinking about the right rocket, but the damage was minimal and SP-3 will be back soon.  Alan Whitmore flew the Astro*Mollusk VII on a homemade 6-grain 38mm I motor made from a low-metals formula called ‘CATO 1’.  And finally, to wrap up the I motors for the weekend, the NCSU High Power Rocketry Club flew their 2017-2018 subscale model, Very Nuts II, on the Aerotech I435T.   The main parachute on this project came out at apogee, so the students from State had one of the longer walks of the weekend.

NC State’s Senior Design team #3, headed by Matthew Lampe, flew a small, ridiculously complex rocket called BMER on an Aerotech J420R, for a perfect flight.  This one flew fairly late in the day, and the students were coming back with the rocket right at sunset.  Ralph Malone flew his Sudden Rush on an AT J350W, but anything that flies on the J350 is sudden!  Joe Hill flew a new rocket called Deus Deceptor on a J570W, which is even suddener.  Mike Nay tried out the J270 in his EZI-65, and the flight and recovery were just fine.

Charles Long flew his Big Nuke on the Loki K960 White motor, and Charles and David had one of the more involved recoveries, way over yonder.  Andrew Eulberg made the trip from South Carolina to attempt some altitude not available at the Camden field.  He brought a slim rocket called the Javelin which he had loaded with the long-burn Aerotech K250.   This rocket was on a great flight until one of the fins came off and it began to cork-screw.  The rocket broke in half, with the front section including electronics bay, coming down under drogue, and the motor and remaining fins continued on under full power.  That portion has not been recovered yet.

Joe Hill flew his L3 rocket, Short Spoon, on the lovely Loki L1487 Blue motor, and recovered it safely.  The big event on Saturday was the flight of Jim Livingston’s venerable Viper on a homemade 115mm full M motor, made from his white-smoke formula.  Slow, stately takeoff, LOTS of smoke and noise, and a perfect recovery over to windward, in a place where very few rockets were coming down.   When a rocket weighs 106 lbs, the wind can’t do much with it until the main parachute comes out.

Sunday was a heartbreaker.   Clear skies, warm temps, and a wind that was so bad it was hard to stand up straight.   One of the NCSU Senior Design teams was planning to fly on Sunday, but they have been pushed back to December.   I hope to see you all there for the weekend of December 16-17.

Alan Whitmore

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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