Launch Report, Bayboro, March 26-27, 2022

              Those of you who elected NOT to come to Bayboro this weekend should congratulate yourselves for prudence and good judgement.   The wind forecast was extremely horrible, and that was exactly how it turned out.  Only the desperate and the incautious made the trip to Pamlico county to expose themselves to that kind of hardship.   The forecast I saw on Friday had the winds on Sunday slightly lower and the temperatures slightly lower, but the wind velocity was reversed, and the temp’s on Sunday were A LOT lower.

              However, some people actually flew rockets, and I don’t remember any rocket that did not (eventually) come home.  Everybody got some good exercise making long walks.  Here’s the motor use summary:

F 22
G1 1
H4 4
I1 1
J  0
L3 3
M 11

              We had one certification flight this weekend.  On Sunday, Greg Hanson came in from the Charlotte area to attempt a NAR Level 3 certification flight with his V3 on a CTI M1400.   The rocket performed flawlessly.  After a flight to 8800 feet, the rocket descended with a reefed 3’ drogue chute to 800’ and put out the main.   The rocket landed less than a mile away, but it was dragged by the main chute through that gap between the woodlot due east of our launch location and Jason Rice’s farm almost to the tree line this side of the on Bay Road.   The recovery team was gone about 1 hour, 45 min.

              The most active flyers on Saturday were Matt Willis and his daughter Morgan and Mike Nay.  [I cannot list the flights in the order they occurred, because on Sunday the clipboard holding the cards was blown off the table and flung the cards into the wind.   A team of alert sprinters went after them, and I think we got them all back, but if your flight has been left out, blame the wind.]  Matt flew the Peppa-Loc IV on the Aerotech H550ST, the Baby Space Dragon on the L1000W load, and Morgan flew the playfully painted Ferbilicious (also my favorite rocket name of the weekend) on an Aerotech K695R.  The Baby Space Dragon led Matt and his son Henry on a merry chase way out due east of the site on past that irrigation sprinkler you can see in the distance with some good binoculars.  They were gone for a full 2 hours.  Mike Nay flew the Wildman Demon on an Aerotech H128W, and the Tree Hugger {world’s densest rocket} on another AT H550ST.   All of these were fascinating flights.

              All the above participants we would classify as ‘incautious’ (along with Alan Whitmore and Jim Livingston) but our academic teams could only be called ‘desperate’.  NASA has an April 4 deadline for qualifying flights to participate in the Student Launch Initiative at Huntsville, AL in late April.  The NC State University High Power Rocketry club made two fine flights on Saturday.  They qualified this year’s rocket – Catastrophe – with the help of an Aerotech L850W, and for some extra practice, flew last year’s rocket – Dream Crusher – on an L 1390G.   The Dream Crusher was built for last year’s competition, but did not fly because of complications of the CoViD-19 pandemic   (fever, severe cough, loss of taste and smell, etc.).

              Those members who have been with us a few years will fondly remember Tommy Harrell’s daughter Natalie, who had flown with us for years, going back to the Whitakers days.  She often baked cookies the night before, and brought them to the launches to delight us all.   Then she phased out for a while to go to college, get a job, get married and have a baby (a little boy named Brennan, I think). And we didn’t see her for a while.  She and Tommy and little Brennan came on Saturday with a huge pile of cookies.  It is a delight to see you again, Natalie!

              New members are always a good sign for any rocket club, and this weekend we welcomed Ian Edgerly, a NAR member.   Ian flew his Estes Ascender, twice, on the Estes F15 to check out the operation of the Jolly Logic parachute release device.  He must have read the instruction manual, because it worked perfectly for him both times.

              The other desperate academic team hailed from Victory Christian Center School in Charlotte, a secondary school team trying to qualify for the SLI competition.  They struggled through more adversity than I have space to list, and finally got off a flight of their rocket Faith late Sunday afternoon.  The flight was uneventful and was recovered in perfect shape as the sun “set slowly in the west”.  Congratulations and we’ll see you in Huntsville!

              Why is Alan writing the launch report again? I hear you ask.   The event is past and I can finally let the cat out of the bag.   Saturday was Dennis Hill’s 70th birthday, and all of his kids, including our prefect, Joe Hill, wanted to throw a surprise party for him, so Joe asked me to run this launch for him. When you see Dennis again at a future launch, be sure to wish him a happy birthday and congratulations for finally reaching actual ‘adulthood’.

Alan Whitmore

Old guy

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Launch Report, Bayboro, February 26, 2022

This weekend’s weather was rather brutal for rocketry, but the die-hard Bayboro rocketry enthusiasts showed up and made the best of it. While the temperatures weren’t the coldest we’ve experienced, the consistent 15mph winds made the ‘feels like’ temperature much lower and exceptionally difficult to stay comfortable. We didn’t even bother with trying to fly anything on Sunday as there was a 100% chance of rain, and the temperatures were hovering in the low 40s. Here is the motor table summary from Saturday’s events.


As always, certifications are the most important part of any launch. John Lindquist joined us on Saturday and flew his Loc Precision 4″ Hyperloc 835 on a Cesaroni I-216CL with an 11 second delay for a Level 1 certification attempt with Tripoli. John’s rocket was equipped with the Jolly Logic Chute Release and had a picture perfect flight. Congratulations John, and welcome to high power!! Tommy and Alan Harrell were on site with their Black Leader rocket, which flew twice – the first flight was on a CTI G-57CL and the second was on a CTI G-126WT.  Mark Peot made the trek down and flew two rockets, both of which were perfect. First was his rocket named Lydia the Rocket on an Aerotech J-540R, and the second was his Orion rocket on an Aerotech J-540DM sparky motor. We’re beginning to see Sebastian Lindquist at launches more and more often, and this time he brought along a rocket named 2″ Airmail X1 which flew on a CTI H-295SS for a nice, fast flight.

Most of the regulars made the trip down to Bayboro despite the weather conditions and flew at least one project, if not two. Mike ‘two stage’ Nay(I just made that up) flew his Double Shot two stage rocket on a CTI J-357BS to an Aerotech J-180T for a wonderful flight. Blue motors in overcast conditions are always cool because you can really see the violet-blue flame against the clouds. Mike later flew his Estes Sahara on the classic Aerotech G-80T. On the topic of two stage rockets, Joe Hill put up his Terrier-Sandhawk two stage rocket on the highly regressive Loki I-405W to an Aerotech H-112J for a nominal flight. He also flew his Motorholder rocket on a central H-210R with two Enerjet G-74W outboard motors. Brent Bierstedt brought out his beautifully finished Honest John which flew on an Aerotech G-64W. Dennis Hill had 3 flights on Saturday. First up was a tribute to his favorite band, Cheap Trick. This rocket is outfitted in black and white paint (Cheap Trick’s signature colors), and has some really cool Cheap Trick decals on it. He flew it on a Loki I-377CT for a perfect flight. He later flew his Wac-Corporal rocket on an Estes B6-4, and one of David Rushing’s old Big Bertha rockets on an Estes C6-5. Kurt Hesse got the research flights going and flew his 54mm diameter Shape Shifter on a 3-grain 38mm H motor filled with Everclear propellant. Alan Whitmore followed Kurt’s flight with a research 2 grain 54mm J motor in his Astro-Mollusk 6 rocket.

We had two universities join us this weekend – UNC Charlotte, and NC A&T out of the Greensboro area. UNC Charlotte flew their project Draco on an Aerotech L-1390G for a nice, loud flight. The green flame really popped against the cloudy sky, beautiful!! They had their scientific payload tethered to their payload section, which would take images upon descent. I believe one of the sections had the main deploy at apogee, but they got the whole project back unscathed. NC A&T flew their Aggie Comet rocket on an Aerotech L-1520T, which turned in a perfect flight. A quick shout out to NC A&T’s rocketry team/department – I get so excited every time they join us because they have come so far, so quick and do a great job every time they fly something. They’re working exceptionally hard, and it shows. Love to see it! 

Even though the weather was rough this past weekend, it was still nice to see everyone nonetheless. Join us at the end of March for the next launch if you can.

Joe Hill

Prefect,Tripoli East NC

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Launch Report, Bayboro, December 18-19, 2021

The weather this weekend was decent at best, but anyone who attended the launch on Saturday made the most of it. There was an almost predictable pattern of cloud cover and sunshine, with winds often gusting as high as 20mph; the threshold of surface wind speed that is allowed before not allowing rockets to fly. Sunday offered a full 100% chance of rain, so we didn’t even bother and no rockets were flown. Here is the motor table summary for Saturday’s launch.

E 1
Saturday 12/18/21 Motor Usage

Certifications are always the most exciting part of any launch we host, and we had three successful attempts on Saturday. Jack Sommer was the first to go, and he was looking for a Level 1 certification with TRA. Jack brought along a 4″ diameter Loc IV rocket and chose an Aerotech 38mm H-219T motor for power. Jack’s flight was textbook and he achieved exactly what he was after. Caitlin Bunce was the second to go, and she was after a Level 2 certification with NAR. Caitlin’s rocket Nebula 3.0 was equipped with an Aerotech 38mm J-500G. After a quick boost, Caitlin’s rocket deployed its chute right on time and she is now successfully certified L2. This rocket also served as a UNCC test vehicle for another flight later in the day on the same motor. The third and final certification flight was attempted by a Bayboro regular, Tom Keith, who has been flying with us for some time now. He brought along his rocket Force Majeure, which literally translates from French to ‘Superior Force’. Tom chose an Aerotech 54mm J-540R for impulse. His rocket had dual Altus Metrum Easy Mini altimeters which did their job perfectly. Tom’s flight was nice and high and he also left the field successfully certified Level 2 with NAR. Excellent job, and congratulations to Jack, Caitlin and Tom!!! Well done.

A few of the hardcore regulars were on site, especially in the research department. Kurt Hesse flew his Shiny Diner on a three grain, 38mm motor that had CP4 propellant mixed up in it. CP4 stands for ‘copper propellant, 4% aluminum’, and it gives off a nice blue flame with light white smoke. I’m going to guess and say that this was designated something like a H-250 or so. Jim Livingston flew a rocket we’ve been seeing a lot of lately, LZ, on a homebrew I-427 filled with his Aerotech White Lightning clone that he calls Livingston White. Jim also flew his Sea Hawk on a four grain, 76mm L-1200 that had the same Livingston White propellant in it. Joe Hill brought out his 6″ diameter half scale replica of the U.S. Army’s Little John missile and flew it with an Aerotech 75mm M-1780NT for a nominal flight. Brent Bierstedt put his 4″ Mega Der Red Max on a Loki J-396 Spitfire, which was nice and noisy. Dennis Hill joined us with his SP-3 rocket and flew it on an Aerotech H-135W. SP-3 stands for ‘Spare Parts 3’, because he doesn’t let perfectly good rocketry parts that are laying around go to waste! NC A&T made the trip down and put up their project, Aggie Comet on the potent bite of an Aerotech 75mm L-2200G. John Allman, Allen Harrel, Daniel Knowler and Ralph Malone also joined us and kept the pads busy. 

Dave Morey came down to Bayboro and flew a few projects. The first of which was his Upscale Arreaux on an Aerotech 54mm J-415W; my favorite commercial J motor of all time. He also brought out his complex Cluster 10 which houses ten motors! This particular flight had six Aerotech F motors (2xF-62FJs, 2xF-51Ts, 2xF-39Ts), two Estes F-15s, and two Estes C6s. The total impulse of this flight yielded 424.82Ns, so it’ll go in the ‘I’ category in the motor table. Dave also flew his ‘Defender’ on a cluster of three C6-5s. 

Although we only got one day of flying this weekend, I still enjoyed my time and I hope everyone who attended enjoyed it as well. We’ll be back on the weekend of January 22nd, so join us if you can! 

Joe Hill

Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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