Launch Report, Bayboro, September 24-25, 2022

As summer begins to come to an end, the fall welcomes another season of rocketry in south eastern North Carolina. Saturday dawned sunny and clear with winds that stayed light and variable throughout the entire day. Temperatures were in the upper 50s in the morning, and only rose to around 75 by mid-afternoon. Sunday was slightly hotter, and much windier. Here is the motor table summary for this weekend’s activities. 


The most important part of any launch are certification flights, and we had five successful certifications this weekend. First up was Eric Peot who was after a Level 1 certification with the Tripoli Rocket Association. He brought along with him a Mac Performance kit that he named LithoProbe which flew on an Aerotech H-100W for a nominal flight. Cameron Brown was up second with a Loc Precision Ezi-65 that he named Sonder. Cameron chose an Aerotech I-300T for power and he achieved his Level 1 certification with no problem. Ben Lewis joined us for a re-attempt at his Level 1 with a newly built 4″ diameter Loc Precision kit that he named You Can Fit a Lot of Text on a Rocket This Long. Ben threw an Aerotech I-366R in his rocket and had a perfect dual deployment flight for his Level 1 certification with the TRA. Meredith Patterson was in search of her Level 2 certification and would not be disappointed. She flew a 2.6″ diameter fiberglass rocket that was named Echo on an Aerotech J-250W for a successful Level 2. Donald Gemmel would be the last person who was seeking certification on Saturday, and he did so by flying his Super Wicked Rocket on an Aerotech I-180W for another successful Level 1. Congratulations to Eric, Cameron, Ben, Meredith and Donald!!

Ralph Malone joined us again and put up one flight on Saturday – his Quicksilver rocket on an Aerotech H-130W with a Jolly Logic chute release set to 400′. Dave Morey comes out and launches with us every now and again, and put up a couple of rockets early in the day. Up first was his Upscale Arreaux on an Aerotech J-460T. I believe Dave had a camera on this rocket, so it’d be nice to see that footage at some point. He later flew a rocket named Big Daddy Cluster on an Aerotech F-51NT and air started four Estes D-12s with a Raven altimeter. 

A few of the regulars were out keeping the range busy on Saturday. Mike Nay flew a two stage rocket (par for the course) hat he calls Double Shot. This particular time, Mike chose a CTI J-760WT for booster propulsion, and an Aerotech J-460T for the sustainer. Mark Peot flew two rockets; the first being Lydia, the Rocket on an Aerotech J-415W, and the second being Cheerwine on an Aerotech K-550W. Mark knows what he’s doing and he took both rockets back home with him. Alan Whitmore flew the largest rocket this weekend – a 7.5″ diameter scratch build that he calls Spork II with a homemade 115mm motor filled with CP5 (copper propellant, 5% aluminum). I counted about four seconds of burn time, and CP5 in this configuration falls somewhere in the 11,000Ns range, so I’ll ball park this designation at a N-2750. This motor put out a wonderfully deep, bass rich sound and bright blue flame with white smoke which took Alan’s rocket to just over 10,000ft. An absolutely spectacular flight. Kurt Hesse has been flying a lot of a propellant called Everclear (due to it’s transparent flame and no smoke) as of late, and he flew his Butt Ugly rocket on three grain 38mm version of said propellant for a nice quick flight. Probably about a H-200 or so. Joe Hill put up his 4″ diameter work horse rocket that he calls Iron Moon on an Aerotech L-1520T, which took it just over the speed of sound and 10,600′.

Abhi Kondagunta flew a project called Chimken Temdy, a version of NC State’s Bojangles inspired rocket that was meant to test out a new motor/fin assembly design on an Aerotech J-420R. Matt Willis brought out his Drago rocket and flew it on an Aerotech J-540R for a nice flight. His daughter, Morgan, joined him this weekend and she flew rocket called Chuffed to Bits on an Aerotech J-415W. Both of these flights were perfect and I’m sure we’ll see Matt and Morgan again. Tom Keith made the trip down to Bayboro and had a few really nice fights. One of which I think may have been the most interesting flight this weekend; a 3D printed yellow cone that was about 2″ in diameter and flew on a A-10 motor. After making a flight profile that wasn’t exactly straight, it tumbled back into the soft, turned farm land. I’m sure Tom has a lot of fun flying that little thing. He later went on to fly his Red Reaper rocket on the new Aerotech J-615T, equipped with an aerospike nozzle, and his Dark Star Mini on the insanely fast CTI F-120 Vmax. Allan Rose had two great flights as usual – his Bandit on an Aerotech I-161W and his Sun Dog on an Aerotech J-350W. Paul Olivieri joined us for the first time and he put up his PML Endeavor on the long burn CTI I-100CL and brought it back home after a long walk. Allen Harrel, Richard Powers, Robbie and Samuel Kirk kept the low power pads busy for most the day Saturday with all sorts of A, B, C, and D powered rockets.

Sunday was much slower, and there were only a few fights. Alan Whitmore started the day out by flying his Red Flag of Mortal Peril on a 4 grain 38mm research motor. Shortly there after, he flew his Astro Mollusk 7 on a six grain 38mm motor with Thing propellant. I speak on this propellant every so often – Thing propellant is a mixture of the left over propellant from several mixing sessions that would otherwise get thrown away. Alan is not one to waste good propellant, so he packs a 38mm casting tube with these scraps and once it’s filled, cuts and cores it. Alan told me that this was the 98th flight of this particular rocket, and the 76th Thing motor. The commercial equivalent of this motor is about $70 in 2022, so I’ll let you all do the math there. 😉 

NC A&T was the only university that we hosted this weekend and they flew a 3″ diameter rocket on an Aerotech H-128 as an interest launch to try and get more students involved in their high-power rocketry program. Robbie Kirk finished out the launch with his 2.0 RI rocket that went up on an Aerotech single use G-74W.

It was really nice to get back out to Bayboro and launch rockets with everyone. I hope those of you that attended enjoyed your time, and I look forward to seeing you in a few weeks. Join us if you can!

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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