Tripoli East NC kicked off the 2019-2020 season with a big crowd, lots of welcome new faces, and a lot of action on both days. The heat was absolutely punishing, with many folks getting semi- heat-shocked and dizzy after just one or two long walks for recovery, depending on the size of the rocket and how far they had to walk. A glimpse into our future.
I’ll insert the motor use summary, and then we’ll get down to some details.
As you can see, this was mainly a high-power event, but there were a few very interesting low-power launches.
The most important events at any launch are the certification flights, which I will address in alphabetical order. John Allman had a successful NAR L1 certification flight with his Arcas flown on the Aerotech H195NT. Abhi Kondagunta had a fine flight with his new Stinger on an Aerotech H220T, and Meredith Patterson then used the same hardware to make a perfect L1 flight in her Shockwave using the Aerotech H180W. Matt Willis then made a very successful flight in his Zephyr using the Aerotech H100W. Congratulations to all of you and welcome to High Power!
Sam Taylor brought one of the new Estes Multi-Rok kits, which can be flown in a variety of configurations. He made one flight as a single-stage with glider using the Estes B6, and then later on as a 2-stage with a C6 staging to a B6. Since the total installed impulse of these 2 motors adds up to the D range, this launch is listed in the “D” category for Saturday. Allen Harrell was perfecting his 2-stage skills with his veteran Cow-Cow, in one instance a B6 staged to an A8, and later with a B6 staged to C6
Charlie Moss and Randy Regan traveled south from SEVRA-country to fly with us on Saturday. Randy flew his 32mmDD on an E20 with some interesting deployment and GPS electronics. Charlie had a few flights, topped by a small explosion in his Vulcanite 2 using the CTI G250 V max motor. This little motor produces almost incomprehensible acceleration. Chris Gillham had a few flights with his Purple Hoser rocket on the F15 and F18 motors. Dennis Hill flew the Unimatrix Zero on an AT K550W for a superb flight.
Jim Livingston’s Carbon Hi is back from a lengthy repair session and flew on a homemade L850. Except for a broken nose cone tip, that flight was perfect. Both Joe Hill and Brent Bierstedt chose the reliable M1297W for flights on Saturday. Brent had one installed in his Patriot, and Joe had one in his L3 cert rocket, Short Spoon.
The North Carolina State University High Power Rocketry Club has used the September launch to hold an interest-raising field trip for potential new members, and this years event was especially well-attended: There were about 40 State students on hand, working on an attempt to take the rocket that the club built 3 or 4 years ago, the Vesuvius, and fly it on a homemade M motor, made by the students under the supervision of Alan Whitmore. The flight was absolutely perfect and recovered very close to the flight line. The rocket weighed 53.2 lbs on the pad, and flew to 5341 feet.
Sunday was a little hotter, and we all had to take special precautions to stay hydrated and seek shade whenever possible. It was also even calmer, so with no wind at all, the biting flies came out of the woods and started chomping on bare flesh. Shades of Whitakers. The lack of wind also meant that those folks who were going for altitude saw their rockets fall straight down, very close to the launch pads. I’ll try to address all of the flights on Sunday.
The Hash family was on-site again, helping young Phillip get introduced to rocketry. Phillip flew his Bandito on an Extes 1/4A3. This flight was noteworthy for one reason: this is the first 1/4A motor flown at Bayboro since we began flying here in September of 2007. We have seen 1/8A’s and 1/2A’s through O motors, but this is the first 1/4A!
Robbie Kirk was back again on Sunday, flying the Wizard on an A8, the Cherokee E on A D12, and the Star Orbiter on an F12. All came home intact. Jim Livingston flew his venerable I-Roc on a homemade 38mm I motor. Joe Hill had 2 fine flights before the heat got to him: The Voodoo Ranger flew on a homemade I motor, and then Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan on an Aerotech I1299N. Both were extremely fast burning motors.
Mike Nay flew the 2-stage Double Shot, staging a J290 (?) to an Aerotech I327. Sam DeLong had two very fine flights, one in an Extreme Wildman using the CTI K490Green, and then his Vulcan on a L1395 blue.
Two EX motors wrapped up the weekend. Kurt Hesse flew his Performer 98 on a 4-grain 54mm K motor made from the CP4 blue-flame formula and Alan Whitmore flew his Spork II on a homemade 115mm M motor mixed up from Jim Livingston’s white-smoke formula. Both of these flights were very successful.
Join us again in October if you can. We are flying on 2 weekends in October, 12-13 and 26-27.
Alan Whitmore, Prefect, Tripoli East NC