Launch Report, Bayboro, September 25-26, 2021

I don’t think that we could have ordered better weather for the first launch of the 2021-2022 season. Saturday gave us clear skies, moderate temperatures, and light winds. You could tell that several eager fliers wanted to take advantage of this weather because we had one of the largest attendances that I’ve seen in quite some time. The weather on Sunday was very similar to Saturday, but slightly windier. We had a total of 74 flights this weekend, and I’ll list the motor table summary below.

Motor Sat. 9/25 Sun. 9/26 Total
A 7 7
B 7 7
C 5 5
D 7 7
E 2 1 3
F 3 3
G 3 1 4
H 8 3 11
I 8 6 14
J 4 2 6
K 3 3
L 3 3
M 1 1
Total 61 13 74

As always, the most important part of any launch are successful certifications. We had three Level 1 certifications on Saturday. Ben Mount made the trip down and brought his Loc IV rocket, along with an Aerotech H-180W for propulsion. This is a great kit/motor combination for a Level 1 certification and Ben’s flight was flawless. Sean Aiton and Mike Pudlo are both NC State students who had successful L1 certification flights as well. Sean had a rocket he calls Sky High, and Mike had a rocket he calls Wish You Were Here (a nod to Pink Floyd). They both chose an Aerotech H-242T motor and each flight was nominal. Congratulations to all!

A lot of the hardcore regulars were on site this weekend and found some time to put up a least one project. Alan Rose flew his Warlok on an I-284W, possibly one of my favorite commercial 38mm motors. He was also able to get his Bandit in the air on an Aerotech I-161W. Mark Peot is a relatively new Bayboro regular and he flew a couple rockets earlier in the day on Saturday, all of which were successful. Joe Hill flew a new rocket; a 6″ diameter 1/2 Little John missile replica on an Aerotech L-1520T. Brent Bierstedt never ceases to amaze me with the finishes on his rockets, and on Saturday he put up his gorgeous 7.5″ diameter, 60lb Patriot on a Loki M-1650 Cocktail motor. For those who don’t know, Loki’s signature Cocktail loads have a mixture of blue and red grains, giving off a fluorescent pink flame with visible Mach diamonds. Brent’s flight was perfect, and he brought the Patriot back home with him. There were several other regulars that joined us – Mike Nay, Robbie Kirk, Ralph Malone, John Allman, and Dan Fritsch to name a few.

It’s becoming more and more common to have not just one, but several universities out at the field. We were joined by NC State and Duke on Saturday, both of whom put up ‘interest’ flights to try and get more students involved in their respective High Power Rocketry programs. Duke AERO flew one of their projects from last year; a two stage rocket with a CTI K-1440WT in the booster and a CTI J-295C in the sustainer. NC State was back with their 81.5 rocket that they’ve been successfully flying for quite some time now. They chose an Aerotech L-1520T for power, and their flight went off without a hitch.

Sunday was much slower in terms of attendance and flights, but that’s pretty common. Alan Whitmore started things out with his Astro Mollusk rocket on a 6 grain 38mm I motor. I happened to notice that he labeled this motor Thing 71. To catch you up to speed – a Thing motor is stuffed with the leftover propellant from multiple mixing sessions. So, this is I motor #71 that would have otherwise just been thrown away. Jim Livingston also flew a Thing motor, and he designated his an I-350. These guys don’t let good propellant go to waste!

Later in the afternoon, Alan also put up Bertrand Brinley’s Beta on a 2 grain 54mm J motor that was stuffed with Livingston White propellant, which is Jim Livingston’s White Lightning clone. Joe Hill was back on site with his Pink Dog rocket, which flew on a Loki J-712B. Mike Nay, Robbie Kirk and Dan Fritsch all stayed busy throughout the day and Ralph Malone finished out the weekend by flying his Quicksilver rocket on an Aerotech H-130W.

I had an absolutely amazing time this weekend, and I hope everyone that attended did too. Thank you to everyone who served as RSO/LCO or simply lent a hand when they could. We’ll be back out in Bayboro on the weekend of October 9th, and I hope to see you then!

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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