Launch Report, Bayboro, January 20-21, 2018

The weather in Bayboro was never in doubt for this weekend, but a lot of the flyers in our club live in the central part of the state, and we had between 6 and 12” of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a lot of people were not sure they were going to be able to drive safely on Saturday morning.   However, the temps were very warm on Friday, and most of the hard-core managed to get themselves out and on the road.  Skies were clear and sunny both days, windy on Saturday and very, very calm on Sunday.   Let’s have a look at the motor use summary:

Size Sat Sun Both
C 3   3
F 5   5
G 1   1
H 6   6
I 8 2 10
J 1 4 5
K   2 2
M   2 2
N   1 1
Total 24 11 35


Eli Maybee anchored the upper end of the motor use summary with fine flights of his Litch King  on C6’s and one very nice flight on his Viper with an F27.  Dennis Hill had another C motor flight in a very small Big Dawg that he acquired from David Rushing.  Gordon Cameron has visited Bayboro a few times recently and this month he actually flew a rocket called Majestic on an F15.   This flight was somewhat less than stable, and the Majestic made 3 or 4 full turns before finally exhausting the long-burn F15.  Gordon is one of the old Whitakers hands, and last flew with us about 20 years ago.

The Jordan High School TARC team was there on Saturday, and they made 3 flights with their entry, called Waddle, on the F39 motor.  The data gathered during these flights will help with the modifications they need to make going forward into the national competition.  Thomas Cox flew he new Madcow Formula 38 on an AT G76G.  This rocket was blown out towards the Northeast, after the parachute came out, and was never recovered.  I am fairly sure this was an all-fiberglass rocket, so even if it rains a lot in the next few months, somebody will find it and bring it back in a fly-able condition.

The most important flights at any launch are the certification flights.  We had two successful cert flight on Saturday:  Ralph Reda brought a new rocket called Steeler #1 and flew it on an AT H112J.  Ralph used the Altus Metrum electronics package to bring the parachutes out and recovered successfully.   Lorenzo Shaikewitz flew his rocket called Hope on an I211W for a successful Junior Level 1 certification.   Congratulations to both of you!

Steve Polk debuted a new rocket called Rocket 1, which is a very exact model of the Washington monument (with some fins for stability).  Steve was trying for an airstart, with a central I200W to get the project going, and 2 F40W motors lighting up a few seconds later.  Things did not go exactly as planned, and the F40’s did not light, and the black powder charge blew out one of the sides of the monument, but the parachute came out and brought everything back soft.  Joe Hill brought out another new rocket, the Voodoo Ranger and flew it on an AT I245G, for a fine flight.

You will notice a lack of very large motors on Saturday, and the reason was the wind, which was really quite high.  Everybody was taking long walks on Saturday.   Sunday was an entirely different proposition:  very calm winds and warm temperatures.  The star of the show on Sunday had to be Jim Livingston.   Jim flew his Sea Hawk on a homemade N3400 to within a few meters of the 17,500 foot waiver, and recovered on the field!  This was a magnificent flight, and the recovery was just perfect.   Somewhat later, while your correspondent was recovering the shattered remains of his rocket, Jim flew his extremely up-scale Fat Boy  on another homemade motor, this time in the M range.  Recovery was nominal for this rocket also, but it took the efforts of several people to bring the parts home.  That nose cone was ballasted very, VERY heavy.

Thomas Cox is coming back to the hobby in a big way. On Sunday he certified Level 2 with his rocket called Liberty 4 on a K550W.  This was another text-book flight that worked perfectly.

There are 3 cards in the pile from three different Duke University teams, all coached by Greg Twiss.  The rockets were fairly simple single-stage recovery Nike Smoke  models, and they all flew on the J450 Dark Matter motor.  Each rocket was loaded with a suite of electronic data-gathering equipment, and they were recording air pressure, speed, relative humidity, acceleration, a Geiger counter on one of them, and some light sensors on another.  There were GPS units riding along to help with recovery.  I have not heard any reports about how the data gathering and recording went, but we will hear more in the future, as Greg reports that they all want to come back and fly some more.

Mike Nay is really getting into the two-stage  thing.    On Sunday he had another great flight with his Double Trouble which flew on an I280 in the booster staging to an H112J in the sustainer.  All the parts came home just as planned.

I hope to see most of you at Bayboro on the 24th and 25th of February if the weather cooperates.

Alan Whitmore

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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