We had one very good day for rocket weather on Saturday the 26th, before the rain moved in on Sunday, and I found the flight cards for Saturday the 12th, so I will be delivering two half-reports this time. Let’s start with the motor use summary table, and then go on to hit some of the high (and low) spots.
|Size||Oct 12||Oct 26||Both|
I mentioned the Columbus Day weather in the last report. Not nearly as hot as the September launch, but still unusually warm for October. The wind was extremely calm and this brought out a lot of altitude attempts and big motors.
Craig Anfinsen from Goldsboro returned after a longish layoff, and was busy with some rockets and motors in the G range. Dennis Hill apparently has a huge stash of David Rushing’s old rockets, and he flew two of them on Saturday. One flew on an Aerotech I175J for a perfect recovery, and the other one didn’t manage to get motor ejection and crashed hard. Sam DeLong flew one of his own creations: a scratch-built Bullpup on a CTI I170 for a fine flight
Alan Whitmore’s Red Flag of Mortal Peril flew on a 6-grain 38mm Research motor for a strange, corkscrew flight and a ballistic recovery about 1 ½ miles away. The part of the rocket containing the tracking transmitter was underground, but the old reliable Walston system was able to bring home some of the more important parts of this rocket. It was the 40th flight for this version of that rocket. It will return in some form.
The fine Carolina weather brought a bunch of visitors from the North. Carlos Zapata and Bob Shoner made the trip from the Blacksburg, VA area with their wives for a weekend of rockets and camping. Carlos flew his MAC Hyper 54 and his beautifully finished SA14 Archer, both flights using the Aerotech J415W. Bob also had two very fine flights, a rocket called We Will Prevail used the CTI K711 for a very successful flight, and his version of the Standard Arm used Loki M3000 for another perfect effort. Mike Crupe and his wife made the trip from Altamont, NY to join us this weekend and managed an accomplishment that we have never seen at Bayboro before, and I hope we never see again. The tree lines around our launch site are so far away that we usually go for years between fliers losing rockets in the trees, but Mike managed it twice in one day, in trees at the opposite ends of the field! I only have one flight card for Mike, and I don’t know which particular flight this belongs to, but it reports that the Super Blackfly, a kit produced by his company MAC performance, used the CTI M2020 to find the trees down at the south end of the field in the town of Alliance, or the bear-infested woods to the north of our launch site. The one that landed near Alliance was recovered, but the one to the north is still up in the trees. Another unlucky visitor from the Old Dominion was Chris Aubright from Virginia Beach. His immense 2-stage project, featuring an M2000 in the booster to a K300 in the sustainer, angled over to the northeastern sector of the field, and as of Sunday night I had no information about where it was recovered or what condition it was in. No parachutes were observed.
As usual, a bunch of the local veterans were on hand to fill out spaces at the bottom of the motor use summary. Mike Nay had a nice flight called Door Knob Cluster on a central K780 and air starting two Aerotech smoky Aerotech H112J’s. Alan Whitmore let the Stealth Blue loose on a small 76mm Research M motor for some big altitude, and Jim Livingston flew the Carbon High on a 3-grain 115mm Research full M for another flight in the two mile up region. My favorite rocket names of the weekend will be shared between Bob Shoner’s We Will Prevail and Mike Nay’s Door Knob Cluster.
Two weeks later we were back in Clifton’s corn fields for our second launch of October. The weather was just about perfect. Temperatures had moderated to a more October-like region, and a few high clouds interrupted the sun exposure. The problem was the wind direction, pushing rockets over to the northwest, where lives the closest tree line and some dense, soggy woodsies. Nobody was interested in flying very high, so some of the smaller motors in the box were pulled out and put to good use.
The big news is always the certification attempts. After passing the written test in September, Dwight Respess returned with his Zephyr Block 3 to attempt a TRA L2 flight with an Aerotech single-use J270W. The rocket was recovered in mint shape and Dwight is cleared to spend even more money!
Kim Davis made the long haul from the Winston-Salem area to fly with us this weekend and sent the Maverick up on an Aerotech G53J, and the D-9.2 on an I180W, also from AT.
We always have a lot of our North Carolina regulars on hand doing their things, and I often leave them out of our launch reports because they are always there and, therefore, not “remarkable”. This month I have decided to go encyclopedic on you and mention all the old regulars, in alphabetical order. Fasten your belts and hang on!
John Allman and his wife were on hand celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary and he flew his CC Express on two D12’s, and later put up his Arcas on an Aerotech H195NT. Brent Bierstedt was in a “K” mood, flying the Dominator 4 on a CTI K670, and his medium-sized V2 on an Aerotech K695R. Both flights were near perfect. Jimmy Blackley flew a rocket called Great Father on a somewhat confused motor called an F37W56?. Whatever it was, it flew well.
Mike Collier was as busy as he usually is when he can join us. The Slo-Mo loaded with a D13, the Nike Smoke with an Aerotech F67W, a scratch-built rocket called Childs Play on an AT G40, and the Nike Smoke again using an AT G53FJ. Sam Delong flew his 4” Patriot twice, once with an Aerotech J350W, and again with a CTI J244 white. Eddie Haith exercised his Big Bertha on a Quest D16, the Long Shot on an Aerotech G125, and the 4” diameter Fat Boy on the AT H128W.
The Hill boys were also pulling out the old reliable birds this weekend. Dennis Hill flew Cheap Trick on a CTI J530, and Joe Hill was going for max altitude with Apollo, in the Forge of Vulcan on the Aerotech J350W. Both of those rockets came home in good shape. Jim Livingston flew the Sea Hawk on a Research 54mm K600. Dave Morey made two flights of his smallest Starfire with the Quest D16, followed by a flight of his Defender using three D16’s, and topping of his performance with a flight of the Cluster 10 on ten motors! This flight is a great way to illustrate how I classify clusters and staged motor flights for the motor use summary. Dave had this monster rigged up to fire four AT F51NT motors and two F39T’s on the pad, air start two AT E16’s at two seconds into the flight, and two Estes C6’s at four seconds. All the motors lit, and the Cluster 10 rose to 2441 feet. The total installed impulse on this flight was 413.04 Ns, so this flight is listed among the I motors in the table above. Sixof the 10 motors were reload kits, so Dave is probably still cleaning motors!
Mike Nay flew his Estes Sahara on an H135 [could be either AT or CTI, help me out people! How am I going to learn all the commercial motors if you don’t specify the manufacturer on the flight cards?] and then another of his great two-stage projects in the Double Shot with a Aerotech K535 in the booster and an AT J94 in the sustainer. All of these parts came home safely. Allan Rose flew the Big Cletus on an Aerotech I284W, and the big Condor on a J500G. Alan Whitmore flew his veteran Astro*Mollusk 7 on a Research 8-grain 38mm J motor made from propellants with a ‘diverse’ pedigree. This one set a personal max acceleration record of 78.45 G! It took off in a hurry!
The 2020 schedule should be posted on the website soon. I hope to see you all in November!
Alan Whitmore, Prefect, Tripoli East NC