Those of you who opted to not make the trip last weekend, didn’t miss a whole lot. The weather was absolutely atrocious for rocketry. When I left Raleigh Saturday morning (at about 4:45am), there was a slight drizzle and it was very breezy. That drizzle continued for the entire trip down east, and did not stop until about 11:30am. Only the hardcore regulars showed up, and even then, only a few stuck around. Sunday was slightly better at best, and we got in a couple more flights than we did on Saturday. Here is the motor table summary.
For about the first two hours of the launch, most of the people who showed up enjoyed conversation with one another due to the low cloud deck. It was very apparent that no one was going to try and fly a rocket in the type of weather we were dealt on Saturday. As time went on, there were very few breaks in the clouds, and we launched rockets when we could. Jeff Goldstein was up first with his Scarab 54 rocket that was loaded with a homebrew H-191 motor, filled with what he called ‘slow green’ propellant. If there’s one thing that overcast days are good for, it’s providing a nice background to compare the exhaust flame of rocket motors against. Jeff’s homebrew motor put out a really nice, bright green flame. Paul Kraemer made the trip all the way from Charlotte and put in the majority of the flights we had on Saturday. First up was his No Name II on a CTI J-600RL, second was his HV Arcas on a Aerotech long-burn K-185W, third was his 5.5″ diamater Big Nuke on an Aerotech boost-sustain K-455NW, and fourth was his Quadraphonic on a cluster of two Aerotech G-75FJs and two Aerotech G-77Rs. I gotta say – seeing the red flame of the G-77s cut through the black smoke of the G-75s was really cool! Joe Hill flew his Motor Holder rocket on a central CTI H-255WT with two outboard Aerotech G-40s, but failed to light the outboards. Sophia Harrell finished out the day with his Sophi rocket on a B6-2.
Sunday started out virtually the same as Saturday, minus the rain. Once everyone got out to the field, we all just putzed around until the cloud deck was high enough that we could launch a few rockets. Jim Livingston was up first with his LZ rocket, which took a 38mm six grain I motor with ‘Thing’ propellant. When the button was pushed, it was very apparent that this motor had a lot of Livingston White propellant in it. Ralph Reda joined us again and put up two flights; his Nike Zeus on a longburn CTI I-100, and his Aerotech Initiator on a Aerotech F-52C. Alan Whitmore flew one rocket on Sunday named Extended Irene on a 29mm 6 grain H motor that had Thing propellant in it. Alan likes to say that these motors are filled with propellant from a good neighborhood, which is very true! Robbie Kirk, our New Bern local, flew one rocket, which took an Aerotech E-11J motor. Lexi Tucker has now been to every launch this season so far, but flew her very first rocket this weekend. She prepped Joe Hill’s Yersinia Pestis rocket, dual deployment and all, with one of the G-40Ws from Joe’s Motor Holder rocket that didn’t ignite from the day before. Everything worked perfectly, and she seems pretty intent on going for her L1 certification soon.
Hopefully we have better weather at the next launch! We can control a lot of variables, but mother nature is not one of them. I’m also working on the schedule for our 2023 season, so keep an eye out for that soon.
Prefect, Tripoli East NC