Sunday, May 17, 2015

Launch Report 2015-3 (MDRA)

Location: MDRA, Price, MD (ESL-203)
Weather: high in low 80s; drizzle turning to mostly cloudy to mostly sunny; ground level wind non-existent; upper level wind highly variable
Total flights: Today - 6; YTD - 18
Total motors: Today - 6; YTD - 18
Motors by class YTD: MMX-2; C-5; E-5; F-3; G-6; H-1

Water rocket flights (not included in the totals above): 6

The weather report was iffy but I decided to go out anyway. It was drizzling slightly up until about 10 AM, but it stopped and there wasn't any standing water (except for some in the irrigation ditches). The flag on the field was totally still and stayed that way all day. I thought I was safe but the upper level wind was angled towards the trees. Several rocket ended up going in, including my venerable NCR Archer. This was the 21st flight of this 17 year old bird. RIP old friend.

My Flights:
  1. Whirygig24 on an E12-4 - A crowd pleaser as usual.
  2. NCR Archer on a H135-6 -  The up-part was great but it was lost, along with my new AltimeterThree. D'OH!
  3. PML Small Endeavour on a G69-6 - The boost had some wiggle near max-Q, or slightly thereafter. I have no idea why, as it typically doesn't do that.
  4. Quest MLAS-S on an F15-4 - Very nice flight...and it stuck the landing.
  5. Sirius SS Centris on a E12-4 - As with many winged rockets, the Cestris tried to fly. The 4 second delay should have been short but it was still flying parallel to the ground when it ejected. I guess that's basically apogee.
  6. Estes Ventris on a G74-6 - Very nice flight.
Here are my photos from the day.

Friday, May 08, 2015


Lightning research using rockets isn't new, but the results are always cool. Here, scientists from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) are imaging the thunder, not the lightning. (via)

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Launch Report 2015-2 (solo water rocket)

Location: MoCo Agricultural History Farm Park
Weather: calm, hazy, 80 degrees
Total flights: Today - 0; YTD - 12
Total motors: Today - 0; YTD - 12
Motors by class YTD: MMX-2; C-5; E-3; F-2

Water rocket flights (not included in the totals above): 6

After seeing a post by Chris Michielssen, I decided it was time to fly a few water rockets. My first launch site choice was full of workers. The second was full of toddlers. Then I remembered the Agricultural History Farm Park. Plenty of room and hardly any car traffic. It is perfect!

Due to a brain fart, I didn't use enough water the first two flights, although that didn't make much of a difference.


  1. AquaShuttle 400mL @ 80 psi - The flight was successful despite it's low altitude. While it was low, it wasn't slow - one of the pressure fit fin units came out under boost.
  2. Un-named 2L backslider 400mL @ 90 psi - This is set up to have water ballast, although I didn't use any. This was just fine as it is stable without it. I really winged the backsliding analysis and, as a result, it came in nose first and fast. Stubby backsliders are harder than long ones.
  3. FTC-1 400mL @ 90 psi - This is a nice flier and comes down parallel to the ground.
  4. Quest 1L water rocket 100mL at 90 psi - Good flight but I didn't see the up part, just the landing.
  5. Quest 1L water rocket 200mL at 90 psi - On the larger water volume, the rocket headed off at a steep angle. On the Quest launcher, less is more.
  6. Hand held water rocket adapted for the Quest launcher - I don't know the rocket's volume but used 2 capfuls from a filler that came with a modern version of this rocket. It pressurized super fast..I turned on the pump and pulled the cord as soon as I got to it. This time, it flew fairly nicely.
My photos of the launch (includes a shot of the rocket from flight #6.)

ABORT! (photo added)