Mother Nature once again looked after us, yielding perfect weather for flying rockets last weekend. The temperature on Saturday was in the mid 70s with very little surface wind and stayed that way for most of the day. Sunday was a little hotter, and winds were higher, but everyone who came down to the launch site made the most of each day. Here is the motor table summary for last weekend’s activities.
We had some wonderful certification flights this weekend – the most important part of any launch! Up first in the certification department was Ian Edgerly. Ian brought out a 4″ diamater rocket that he calls New Horizon and put it up on an Aerotech H-242T for a perfect NAR Level 1 certification. Mike ‘Mr. 2, Sometimes 3 Stage’ Nay took the time to prep just ONE rocket, that was ONE stage last weekend for his Level 3 certification! After the majority of the Tripoli East NC regulars grilled him on his checklist, Mike shoved an Aerotech M-1297W in his 5″ diameter Blue Iguana and had a picture perfect flight to about 8200′. Ralph Reda was also in search of his Level 3 certification and he was not going to be let down. Ralph built a beautiful 7.5″ diameter Patriot replica and it went up on a CTI M-1160G. After a lengthy burn time, Ralph’s rocket recovered successfully and he certified without issue. Congratulations to Ian, Mike and Ralph!!
The normal suspects were on site and everyone stayed busy launching at least one rocket, if not more. Mark Peot opened the launch with his rocket that he calls Cheerwine with an Aerotech K-480W. I really like this motor, it’s a full K with about 5 seconds of burn time. Mark also brought out his Lydia the Rocket which went up on an Aerotech J-540R. Matt Willis flew two K motors on Saturday – the first was in his Honest John (Aerotech K-805G), and the 2nd was an Aerotech K-375NW in his Drago rocket. The K-375NW is really cool! This motor fits the 54/2560 hardware and is filled with ‘Boost-Sustain’ type grain geometry. When the motor comes to pressure, the aft most grain acts like the booster of a two stage rocket, burning faster Aerotech calls this Warp-9 propellant) which leads to a high average thrust right off of the pad. The rest of the propellant is Aerotech’s classic White Lightning, which has a much slower burn rate. The total burn time of this motor is 6 seconds with 300lbs max thrust for 0.5 seconds, dropping down to about 90lbs for the rest of the burn.
Alan Whitmore and Kurt Hesse show up in the research department, both flying six grain 38mm I motors. Kurt chose a propellant type called Everclear (low metals, so an almost transparent flame with very little smoke), and Alan flew a Thing motor (filled with all sorts of propellant from various mixing sessions). Both flights were nominal. Allan Rose flew a pair of Aerotech I-284Ws. One was in his Warlock rocket, and the other was in his Skyraider rocket. I enjoy watching Allan’s flights because they’re always in large diameter, short rockets which lead to a loud, low and slow lift-off. Brent Bierstedt stayed busy on Saturday with four flights – his Patriot on a F-22FJ, Tomahawk on a K-550W, Honest John on a G-125T, and Der Red Max on a J-180T. Phew, I think the last time I got four flights in on a single day was back in Whitakers when I was about nine years old and had the energy to do such a thing. My hat is tipped to you, Brent! Dave Morey joined us again and flew some rockets that we’ve seen several times before. His 3″ upscale of Aerotech’s Arreaux on a J-415W, and his Big Daddy Cluster on a central CTI F-79, air starting four D-12s in two separate sequences. Speaking of clusters – Paul Kraemer brought out some spectacular cluster rockets. Paul’s first flight was with his Energizer II rocket which had a central J-570W surrounded by six CTI I-540s. The second was his classic King Viper III which was loaded with three J-315Rs. The bright red flame against the super clear blue sky was really something. Very nice!! Joe Hill put his 4″ diameter Iron Moon rocket up on a L-1390G for a nice high flight, Ralph Malone flew a Loki I-405 in his Sudden Rush rocket, and Richard Powers kept the low power pads busy.
Sunday was much slower and we only had seven flights. First up was Alan Whitmore who had a five grain 54mm K motor mixed up with JSTB #4B (Jim Scarping Tribute Blue). This is one of my favorite formulas that Alan mixes. It’s very aggressive, and puts out a beautiful blue flame. Brent Bierstedt flew a 8″ diameter V2 on an Aerotech M-1780NT which really took off nicely. Jim Livingston flew his trusty Carbon High on a four grain 75mm L motor that was stuffed full of his Livingston White propellant. Joe Hill flew his Pink Dog rocket on a K-550W and lost track of it after the motor burned out. Thankfully, his tracker took him straight to it, and Pink Dog was about a mile straight out from the pad, a direction completely different than the surface winds were blowing. Nick Pyrtle brought out a minimum diameter rocket that he plans on tickling the waiver with for a test flight. This time it went up on a small I motor, and everything functioned perfectly. He plans on flying it at the end of the month on a K-1275R to almost Mach 2 and 17,500ft. Brent Bierstedt finished out the launch with a beautiful 2.6″ scale model of the JayHawk missile on H-242T power.
We have a launch next weekend (10/29-10/30) and I hope to see everyone out at the field, weather permitting. As always, join us if you can!
Prefect, Tripoli East NC