Launch Report, Bayboro, October 28-29, 2023

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:

E 1

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.

Kurt Hesse


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Launch Report, Bayboro, October 14, 2023

Well, we have had a rocky – or rather a wet – start to the season, but at least it got started.  The September launch was totally scrubbed due to the aftermath of a tropical storm and the Saturday launch for this weekend was rained out.  Sunday proved a little more acceptable with low ceilings for most of the day, only breaking late in the day for a couple of higher altitude attempts.

For a summary of the motors flown:

B 1
C 2
F 1
G 1
H 1
I 5
J 2
L 2
Total 15

To start the season, we had the annual “burning of the scraps” where the EX crowd brings in all the off cuts, drillings, questionable propellant, etc. from the past year and it gets burned in a pile.  The pile this year was about average size and was an impressive show. 

Mark Peot had the first flight of the season with Eric the Rocket flying on an I140.  Robbie Kirk had three flights, Baby Bertha on a C6-5, Silver Rocket on a C6-3 and Red and White on a B4-4.  Cameron Brown flew his Bell X1 on a H550 which resulted in an impressive and loud vertical.  Nathan Patvin had two flights of his rocket Carrot on a I161 and a J510.  Sailor Koeplinger flew Changes in Altitude on a J800 later in the day after things opened up a bit for an impressive flight.  Sam Anderson flew Tempting Fate on a J250.  This was a nice flight until the main chute failed to deploy, but resulted in no real damage to the rocket.  Mike Nay flew Rocket (inventive name there Mike) twice, once on a F67 and again on a G77. 

The EX flights for the day were done by Jim Livingston and Alan Whitmore.  Jim flew LZ on a JSTB #4b formula, a fast burning blue, configured as an I400.  Alan flew Astro Mollusk 7 on a six grain I class motor made from a tri-modal variant of Ferric Fudge, a fast burning low metals propellant that is not for beginners… 

For the larger motor flights, Karl Robinson flew his Mac Performance Hyper 54 on a 54mm L805.  This was a minimum diameter rocket that was supposed to go to about 16,00 feet.  There was an issue on the ascent with some corkscrewing and I doubt it went that high.  It came down in the far South East corner of the field.  NC State had their Frankenrocket out for a flight that was a test of some of the upcoming SLI concepts and an interest launch for new members of the team.  It flew on an L1520 and was for the most part successful.  The only issue I observed was a dropped payload rover with no recovery system.

The next launch weather is looking much more favorable as this is being written and I hope to see every one on the 28th.

Kurt Hesse

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Launch Report, Bayboro, March 19, 2023

Once again, Mother Nature dealt us a hand that wasn’t exactly extraordinary for rocketry. Operations were cancelled on Saturday due to rain and overcast skies, but Sunday turned in a wonderful day for flying. The day started out cloudy, breezy and cold, but around noon, the sky opened up and temps rose to a semi-comfortable 55 degrees. Here is the motor table summary for Sunday’s activities. 



We had an exceptional amount of flights in the certification department; six successful Level 1s, and one successful Level 2. I usually talk in some depth about each flight, but that would result in a lengthy paragraph, so I’m just going to list the stats below.

Successful Level 1 Certifications;

  • Christopher Luzzi, Just in Time, Aerotech H-242T
  • Kennedy Anderson, Purple Pointer, Aerotech I-140W
  • Gabriel Valenzano, Splatterbug, Aerotech I-140W
  • Thomas Owens, Tech 20, Aerotech I-140W
  • Lorenzo Botter (all the way from Italy!!), Loc IV, Aerotech I-140W
  • Jonathan Grose, Hi-Tech 45, CTI H-125C

Successful Level 2 Certification;

  • Parker Rhyne, Ugly Dragon, Aerotech K-535W

Congratulations are in store for everyone! Job well done!

Other than the several certification attempts, we had the usual club fliers on site. Jim Livingston started the day off with his Carbon High rocket which took his tried and true White Smoke propellant formula. The designation this time was a L-1100, and took the Carbon High to 4500′ with a nominal recovery. While we’re talking about research motors, Alan Whitmore put up two rockets, both of which came home just fine. The first was his 5 Point 5 on a propellant he calls Alan’s Accidental Achromatic. The motor was a four grain 54mm K and took 5 Point 5 to just under 2000′. The second flight Alan had was in his trusty Astro*Mollusk 7, which took a six grain 38mm I motor filled with Thing propellant. Dave Morey showed up with his 4″ Darkstar rocket, which went up on a classic Aerotech K-550W. While Dave was on site, he oversaw the Jordan High School BOTR team who put up their Taurus rocket on an Aerotech J-500G. Joe Hill brought out his workhorse 4″ rocket that he calls Iron Moon and flew it on a K-550W. Brent Bierstedt had three successful flights – a beautifully done 5.5″ Honest John scale model on a CTI K-670R, a smaller 2.6″ scale model Honest John on an Aerotech G-64W, and a plastic UFO saucer that took an Estes D-12. Our local club member, Robbie Kirk, kept the low-power pads busy with several flights, and Nathan Potvin finished the day out with his Karat rocket which went up on an Aerotech J-500G. 

Our next launch is April 8th and 9th, come join us if you can!

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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