The weather this week was fantastic for flying rockets. We had a lot of sunny, clear skies, dry conditions, and moderate temperatures. Saturday afternoon the winds calmed down considerably and there were a couple of higher altitude flights that landed very near to the pads. It was a far cry from the last two attempts to launch.
For a summary of the motors flown, I have listed cluster flights as total installed impulse and two stage flights as separate motors:
For Saturday we had a fair number of flights from the flyers that attended. I will list them in no particular order. Paul Kraemer had one of the more enjoyable flights of the day with his Septuple on a seven-motor cluster consisting of a K270W and six H180W motors. Everything was ground started and the flight was quite spectacular to watch.
Richard Powers did three low power flights, Baby Bertha on a D16, Patriot on a D-20W and Big Bertha on a C5-3. The first two of these are composite motors with substantially higher thrust than the typical black powder motor and that was apparent in the flights.
Dave Morey flew his Velociratpor on a J401FJ for a nice flight. Later, Dave tried to fly his Formula 98 on an older H268R and air starting two H180’s. Unfortunately, the older red motor was felling cranky and refused to light properly, sitting on the pad, and just chuffing for a very extended time and causing significant damage to the motor mount area of the rocket and some recovery gear.
Ralph Malone flew Sudden Rush on the Loki I405 and his Plum Crazy on an H123. Brent Bierstedt flew Bandit on a G64 and Nike Smoke on a K550. The K550 is a very nice motor to watch. Nathan Patvin flew his Carrot on a J510, and Sailor Koeplinger flew Changes in Altitude on an I435T.
Jim Livingston was flying EX as usual and had a nice flight of LZ on an approximate I300 “thing” motor. Later in the afternoon Jim also flew Carbon High on a motor he lists as an L1600 (but possibly an M). This went to a good altitude, at eight to nine thousand feet and landed extremely close to the pad considering the altitude.
Saturday afternoon was the time to fly high. Mike Nay flew his Double Nike, a two-stage rocket on a J760 in the booster with a J295 in the sustainer. The booster worked well but the electronics failed to detect motor burnout and light the sustainer. Mike also flew Little John on a J415 for a nice flight.
Nick Pyrtle flew Fever Pitch on a K1499 and Hyperion on a L2200. This latter flight went to about 13,000 feet and apparently the main chute deployed at apogee or at least near to it. The rocket finally came down in the little “tree island” almost directly East of the launch pads. It was eventually recovered with the help of a tree climbing specialist.
Sunday was very lightly attended and not busy at all. Katherine Jackson flew Hi-Flyer on an E30 and Riptide on a C6-5. Both flights were nice.
We had two more flights that were higher altitude, and both landed near the tree line at the eastern edge of the recovery area. That is a good long hike if you have never tried to make it. Mike Nay flew Double Nike again on a K828 Black Max staging to a J295. This time the sustainer lite and it was a nice flight to about 8,00 feet. The sustainer came down in the brambles just short of the eastern tree line and by the time Mike got the rocket and got back to the flight line, he looked like he had been tied up in a bag with a few angry cats. That’s dedication.
Nick Pyrtle takes the altitude title for the launch with his Ardent Hawk that flew on a K375. That motor is a dual thrust design with 1300N of thrust for the first half second or so followed by 3.5 seconds of 375N of thrust before tailing off at about 5.25 seconds. Nick’s flight went higher than expected, to 17,002 feet as reported by the altimeter on the rocket, not much short of our waiver limit of 17,500 feet. It too landed near the eastern tree line, but not in the bag of cats.