Our second October launch in 2017 was similar to the first launch (see previous report) in that it was a half-good weekend. The weather Saturday was just about perfect: a few high clouds in the morning that disappeared later in the day, and then some extremely high and fluffy clouds moved in. Temps were in the 60’s in the morning and warmed to the low ‘70s later in the day, the wind was in the wrong direction, but calm by Bayboro standards. Sunday was just foul, and I managed to get the trailer pulled off the muddy field and parked at Lionel’s house by 10:00 AM. There was just a drizzle when I hooked up the trailer, but one of the tropical storm bands of rain moved in while I drove up 306, and I dropped the trailer in rain so heavy I couldn’t see the back of Lionel’s house.
This was a great weekend for seeing old friends. The biggest surprise was seeing Stewart Whiteman, who has not been to an event in Bayboro for at least 5 years, maybe more. Stewart came to re-certify L1 in TRA, and made a perfect flight with a rocket called Rudd on an H148R. Dave Hash always helps out with the Astronomy Days events every January, but we hadn’t seen him at a launch in a few years, so it was a delight to see him back in agriculture-land. David Cox was back for his second launch of the season, making several flights in the E through H range.
We were also privileged to see another successful flight on Saturday, when Joseph LoBuglio used an Aerotech H128W for a perfect flight in his Arcas for a NAR level 1 certification.
This is the season when our academic teams bring out their projects for preliminary performance analysis. The NC School of Science and Math TARC team, led by Sahil Sethi, brought a rocket called Halo, that they flew twice on Aerotech E28s. The details are not recorded, but I recall that deployment was safe in both flights. Lorenzo Shaikewitz is leading another TARC team from Jordan HS and they flew a rocket called Waddle three times on the AT F39, for successful, informative flights. The Jordan Rocket Team also brought out a rocket called Dark Matters that they plan to enter in the Battle of the Rockets. This one flew on an AT J500G for a perfect flight and recovery. For some reason, the lander did not manage to fall out of it’s deployment bag, so that aspect needs a little work. Somewhere in all the other student flights, NCSSM student Jennifer Wolfe flew an Estes Maxi Alpha Three just for fun on an AT F24, for another perfect flight.
A bunch of the regulars were back doing what they do well. Allen Rose, Chuck Hall, Kurt Hesse and Dave Morey all had excellent flights. Dave Morey nailed another one of his spectacular air-start extravaganzas: loading up hi Loc IV with an AT I245G, followed up by 3 Estes E9s, and then 3 D5s 2 seconds later. At least one E9 blew up and some of the D5s may have lit, but it is had to tell from the ensuing fire and damage in the motor airframe. When I add up the total impulse of all seven motors, it still classifies in the I range, so this flight is listed among the I motors in the motor use summary.
Jim Livingston was very busy on Saturday, making three flights on homemade Research motors. The H-Roc flew twice on 6-grain 38mm I motors, one was a mixture of a little of this and a little of that, and the second flight was made with the extremely exciting “Jim Scarpine Tribute Blue #4” propellant. Then, later in the day, he flew his 7.5” diameter V-2 on a 5-grain 54mm K motor made with a white-smoke propellant. All three flights put the main parachute out at apogee (by design), so Jim did a LOT of walking on Saturday, for a man of his age. Also in the Research area was a spectacular motor failure by your correspondent, in which a 4-grain 54mm K motor blew out the forward bulkhead at ignition, destroying 90% of the Generic Four Inch, a rocket that has been around for 13 years and would have made its 69th flight, if it had stayed together. The design is just too good to abandon, and you will see Generic Four Inch II at some future launch.
The big deal of the weekend was a joint endeavor by Dennis and Joe Hill, who flew a beautiful scale model of the Honest John on an Aerotech L850W. This rocket actually needs more motor than the L850, because the HJ laid over coming off the rail like it wanted to play like a real battlefield nuclear weapon and go destroy one of farmer Rice’s barns or something like that. It got to about 35 to 40 degrees off vertical before the power band really came alive, and it continued straight at that angle. Max altitude somewhere around 2180 feet.
I hope to see all of you in November…..
Alan Whitmore, Prefect, Tripoli East NC