Once again, fortune was shining on Tripoli Prefecture #65! Two days in a row of perfect rocket weather. Temperatures rapidly warmed into the lower ‘70’s, the sky was clear and sunny, and the winds were very calm. On Sunday we had some high clouds, but the temps were mild and the winds stayed essentially dead calm until about an hour after we finished flying. We might have used up all our good luck for fiscal year 20-21, but let us remain hopeful. The fabulous weather brought out a lot of flyers, even as CoVid-19 continues to run wild in the US of A, but everybody wore their face coverings and cooperated with all the safety guidelines. As a male in his ‘70’s, I want to send my sincere gratitude to everybody for such aware and considerate behavior.
Let’s look at the motor use summary and then go over some of the important points of Saturday.
As always, the certification flights were the high points of the whole weekend. Sebastian Lindquist made a successful Tripoli L1 cert flight with his Formula 38, a small rocket with small fins. This was going up on a long-burn H90 for a “pop-at-the-top” recovery and carrying no tracker device. This was one of those attempts that tend to disappear at Bayboro, but every young eye on the premises was on this flight, and Sebastian brought it home in perfect condition. Later that day, Mark Peot flew his Lidia with the Aerotech J350W for a perfect TRA L2 certification flight, and then on Sunday Brian Respess flew an unnamed rocket that was wearing only its primer coat on an Aerotech H135W for another fine qualifying flight. Congratulations to all of our new flyers!
We had a big group of “new” Bayboro flyers, by which I mean people who have only begun to attend our launches since we started our 20-21 flying season under pandemic conditions. This list includes Dorsey and Teddy Delavigne, Paul Kraemer, Heath McPherson, Barry Kinnison, and Mark Peot. Some of these people have been in sport rocketry for a long time, but have never been to Bayboro before, and others are just starting out. They were busy on Saturday and having a lot of success.
The old-timers were also out enjoying the great weather. Brent Bierstedt, John Allman, Allen Rose, Matt Willis, Jim Livingston, Tom Keith and Dennis and Joe Hill were putting rockets on the pad as fast as they could. I also managed two flights on Saturday.
Mike Nay brought back his latest exercise in complexity, called Triple Play. This was a 3-stage complex project using an Aerotech K805 in the booster, a CTI J285 in the second stage, and a CTI I216 om the third stage. When I say “complex” I mean that there were 5 separate flight computers on board, which all had to be armed by Wi-Fi, 3 GPS units, and parachutes in each section. It weighed 19 lbs on the pad and stood 12 feet tall. All three stages ignited on time, but there was a failure of some component of the chute deployment in stage 3, and that section came in ballistic.
Jim Livingston flew his Carbon Hi on an EX 115mm M motor, and it managed to get itself significantly off-vertical before it reached apogee. The main chute opened over to the west just north of Clifton’s house, and it spent the night in the trees. There is a high-tension power line running through a cut just east of the Paul house, and it interferes with reception using the Walston receiver, so the rocket was not located until Sunday morning. Jim, Joe Hill, and Mike Nay put in 3 hours of heroic effort in the woods Sunday morning, and all the parts of that rocket eventually went home with Jim.
I have attempted 2-stage rocket flights before, and I know how hard they are. Even a maestro like Mike Nay can only get it to work after a lot of tries. Matt Willis flew his first 2-stage attempt on Saturday, and it worked perfectly the first time. He flew a Terrier-Sandhawk model using an Aerotech H550ST in the booster, and staging to a CTI G79ss in the sustainer. Very impressive.
The team from NC State University High Power Rocketry Club flew their subscale model for the NASA Student Launch Initiative competition for a successful qualifying flight. The rocket is called Chicken Tendy and is painted in an exact replica of the Bojangles Chicken type-face and colors. They gave it a fine ride on an Aerotech I435T.
Sunday started with some clouds, but the winds were calm and patches of sunlight began to show through as the day progressed. I think I can remember every flight in their approximate correct order.
The first rack of the day saw Brian Respess check out his L1 rocket on a G74 to see how it handled, and Robbie Kirk flew his Stretch Iris on an Aerotech H250G. Both flights did exactly what was expected. Then, Kurt Hesse and Alan Whitmore loaded up 2 EX motors on the next rack. Kurt flew his Shiny Diner on a 38mm small I motor made from CP4 and Alan flew the Generic Four Inch on a 54mm small K motor using a magnesium blue-flame formula. Successes all around.
Joe Hill made a fine flight of his Iron Moon on a 3” L motor made by Jim Livingston that appeared to be made from the Ferric Fudge recipe. Mike Nay flew his Blue Iguana on a long-burn CTI K261, and the low thrust of that arrangement sent him on another off-vertical trajectory. Mike knows his GPS, and with that and persistence, he was able to rescue the Iguana from a swamp about 3 miles away to the north. Then, Brian Respess make the successful L1 cert flight that I described earlier.
Sunday finished off with Robbie Kirk flying Red Checkers on an Aerotech H165R, and Alan Whitmore giving the Astro*Mollusk 7 a wild ride on a 38mm I motor called ‘Thing 65’.
Stay safe, keep your holiday gatherings small, and join us again in December if you can.
Prefect, Tripoli East NC