Launch Report, Bayboro, November 20-21, 2021

The weather this weekend was once again exceptional for rocketry, giving us very little cloud coverage and moderate temperatures. Saturday started off a little chilly and windy, but the temperature got to a very comfortable 65 degrees around noon. Sunday was a little warmer, but with virtually no winds. Here is the motor table summary for this weekend’s activities.

Motor Saturday Sunday Total
A   2 2
B   1 1
C   5 5
D 1 5 6
E 1 1 2
F 1 1 2
G 2   2
H 3   3
I 5 2 2
J 7   7
K 3 3 6
L 2 3 5
Total 25 23 48

As always, successful certifications are the most important part of any launch. David Vestal joined us again and this time he brought along a 4″ diameter, scratch built rocket that he called Untitled Spacecraft.ork (I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the name of the Open Rocket simulation file for this rocket). David chose the classic Aerotech J-350W for power and had an Altus Metrum Easymini riding along for a textbook dual deploy flight. Congratulations to David on a successful Level 2!!

We had three schools out this weekend – NC State, NC A&T and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. The NCSSM have been working about as hard as I’ve even seen on their rocket B.R.R.D.S. (Best Rocketry Research Determination System), and they finally got a chance to launch, two years after they started building this project (due to the pandemic). The whole goal of this rocket was to go supersonic, 10,000ft +, gather data off of air-pressure sensors that were installed in the nose cone, and get a 360 degree panoramic video. Not long after they showed up on site, they were ready for launch. This was a 3″ diameter thin-walled fiberglass rocket with in-house made carbon fins. They chose an Aerotech L-1000W for power which gave them a 23:1 thrust to weight ratio. The lift-off was almost explosive, and you could tell how excited the students and their parents were by the eruption of cheers and applause. B.R.R.D.S. reached a max altitude of 11,973ft AGL at a top velocity of 997mph or Mach 1.3, with a max acceleration of 26Gs, coming back completely unscathed. Unfortunately, the cameras shut off upon ignition. But, they met most of their goals and deserve some serious credit.

NC A&T came down to launch their rocket AR on an Aerotech H-180W, carrying an Altus Metrum Telemetrum altimeter which gathered some telemetry and took care of the deployment events. Their flight was perfect and I’m sure we’ll be seeing them fly that rocket again soon. NC State’s High Powered Rocketry Club flew two rockets this weekend – the first was a rocket they call That’s Hot, loaded with an Aerotech I-435T. If I remember correctly, they had installed an air-break system with cameras mounted near the brakes so they could have physical video proving whether or not the air brakes worked. Their second flight was with a rocket called Tragedy which flew on an Aerotech K-805G. This rocket was loaded with two cameras, a visual inertial data collection system and a weight simulator. Both of NC State’s flights were perfect, which isn’t surprising. All around, it was a great weekend for rocketry in academia, both from a secondary and collegiate standpoint.

We had our typical hardcore regulars on site this weekend, all of whom got to fly one rocket, if not more. Brent Bierstedt has been patiently awaiting the proper conditions to clear out his sparky motor inventory and had two perfect flights on Saturday. The first was a Loki J-396SF in his Patriot, and the second was a AMW K-1075SM in his Bullpup – both of which were beautifully finished military scale models. Matt Willis put up two projects successfully; his Punisher on a Aerotech J-540R and his Wild Child on an Aerotech H-165R. Robbie Kirk brought out his family and they launched a few rockets together as a unit. Alan Whitmore brought out his Astro Mollusk 7 and put that up on a research six grain I motor, stuffed with Thing propellant. Paul Kramer had a couple outstanding launches on Saturday – the first was his Energizer II on a cluster of 3xI-211s, 2xI-284s, and 2 J-350s, all Aerotech White Lightning motors. These seven motors were all ground started and put out a magnificent orange flame with some seriously dense white smoke. Paul’s second flight was with his HV Arcas on an Aerotech J-800T. Mike Nay flew one of his usual two stage rockets with an Aerotech I-500T in the booster and a CTI J-140WT in the sustainer. Ralph Reda, Allan Rose, Mark Peot and Ralph Malone all had successful flights as well.

Sunday dawned beautifully and gave us a second opportunity to take advantage of the exceptional weather. Richard Powers and Ian Hartshorn kept the low power pads busy, both launching four or five rockets each. Jim Livingston brought out his Sea Hawk and put it up on a research two grain 76mm motor which he designated a K-700 (filled with his white smoke formula). Alan Whitmore flew a new rocket that he calls Five Point Five on a trimodal form of his reliable Black Velvet formula, this one in a five grain 54mm configuration which I’m going to guess came out to be something like a K-800 or K-900. He also flew his Red Flag of Mortal Peril on a four grain 38mm I motor with Thing propellant. Joe Hill and Jim Livingston did another project together; this time Joe brought out his 7.5″ rocket that he calls Short Spoon and Jim provided a three grain 76mm L-1200 that had Ferric Fudge propellant. Mike Nay put up a three stage rocket on Sunday with an Aerotech K-1100T in the booster, a CTI J-425BS in the second stage and a CTI J-357 in the third stage, just utterly impressive. Greg Hanson is a new Bayboro attendee and he flew a 5.5″ rocket that he calls Everest Test on a CTI L-1395BS for a perfect flight. John Allman joined us on Sunday and put up three or four rockets. Brent Bierstedt finished out the day with his 5.5″ Honest John which flew on an Aerotech K-540MS.

As always, I had an excellent time this weekend, and I hope everyone who came out did as well. We’ll be back out in Bayboro on the weekend of Dec. 18th. Come join us if you can!

Joe Hill
Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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