Saturday, August 19, 2006

Launch Report - 2006-8

Location: Great Meadows, VA (NOVAAR)
Weather: wind 0-10 mph; 85 degrees; mostly sunny
Total flights: Today - 7 ; YTD - 59
Total motors: Today - 7 ; YTD - 72

Once again, this was a great launch day despite the weather service giving a 30% chance of rain. I did leave at about 3PM, so I guess their prediction could still have been correct. I met and chatted with Rocket Jones as well as several others (also see his launch report - I hope that case turns up, bro). Even though NARHAMS was holding the inaugural launch of their new launch site, I saw four of them out there today. Other than my flights, which I'll detail below, the two most interesting flights I saw were: a rocket glider that the pilot managed to repeatedly hover facing into the wind; and a balsa boost glider that came into the parking area hot. The latter hit a windshield of a car, but lucking the only damage was to the glider. For some reason, the car's owner had the hood up, so when the glider re-kitted itself, most of the pieces went under the hood and into the engine compartment.

I had a great day flying with only one minor fix being required to one rocket. In no particular order:
  1. My Hat of Death flew on an F12. About 3/4 of the way into the boost, the engine somehow came free, the hat stopped in its tracks, and the motor kept going. Upon inspection, I noticed the delay liner was almost totally gone. I suspect that pressure blew through the ejection charge port, pushing the motor out. I will most likely file a MESS report once I think about it a bit more. Someone suggested that in the future I put a piece of card stock inside the charge well to block that port. I actually have done this many times, but failed to do so today. No harm no foul as I found the casing.
  2. The Whirlygig-24 flew on an E9-P. The boost started straight up but then it turned into the wind. It managed to begin spinning for the return trip. I have a launch pic below.
  3. Fourth time was a charm for my Aqua-Lander on a B6-4. This time it went up and came down completely as planned.
  4. Now I'm getting into my new rockets. Ringer flew nicely on a G77-4 with apogee-perfect ejection (it was modified from a 10-second delay). Despite the up swept fin tabs, one of them broke off. Easy fix. I got lots of nice comments on the design and the purple metallic paint job.
  5. El Tubo Loco also flew nicely. I supposedly modified the G64's 7-second delay to a 4-second delay, but it stayed closer to the original value. The 48" chute made sure the tube fins were un-damaged.
  6. The AquaBottleBat flew on an F39-4. This motor was sufficient and ejection was close to apogee. This rocket's going to get a G77 at the next launch.
  7. My favorite flight of the day was the Mirror Image Shuttle pop-pod rocket. The altitude was perfect - high enough to satisfy but low enough to see the operation of the gliders. The ejection was nose-cone down and the gliders came off nicely. They proceeded to make tight circles around the main body as it came down. One landed a bit before and one a bit after with both being about 25 feet away. I was ecstatic.
The photos (click 'em):

Most of the fleet:


Mirror Image
in 3 pieces (stars added around the gliders):

Self portrait: