Friday, August 01, 2008

Launch Report 2008-9 - NARAM 50, day 7

Location: Great Meadows, The Plains, VA (NARAM-50)
Weather: Mid-80s and very humid, mild wind
Total flights: Today - 9 ; YTD - 97
Total motors: Today - 11 ; YTD - 120

I got out at the crack of dawn so I would miss rush-hour traffic and start launching early. This was a short day with the sport range closing at 1PM. Nick (EMRR) also arrived early so we immediately prepped the Backdraft. This rocket uses a retro rocket motor that is timed with slow burning fuse. We knew it would take some extra 'spaining and that it would be best to try it before the range got busy. It was great finally meeting Nick after 8 or 9 years of helping on EMRR and to actually fly some rockets together.

The two big events of the day were almost getting kicked off the range and catching a rocket without having to take a step to do so. Now, that requires some 'spaining...

My Flights:
  1. Heavenly Hobbies Backdraft on an E9-4 and with a C11-3 retro motor - The first flight was with a 6" fuse that should give around a 12 second delay. The boost was high and the booster ejected on cue. The retro motor went off while the rocket was still high and the parachute ejected 3 seconds later. The high ejection made for a long walk. The rocket was recovered sans nose cone.
  2. Heavenly Hobbies Backdraft on an E9-4 and with a C11-3 retro motor - Nick aquired and bored-out a replacement cone. We loaded up more motors and this time Nick cut an 8" piece of fuse (~16 second delay). The up direction was the same. I lost the sustainer until the retro motor fired at about 50'. The rocket rose about 25" (WAG) and recovered nicely. This was awesome, but had a pucker- factor of 10. Then the PA directed the sport range to not let us fly another rocket until we had a pow-wow with El Presidente. It was hard not to take note of the recovery and nobody warned the contest range. Anyway, Trip reviewed the rocket and the flight and merely told us not to fly it again. He was mostly worried about the retro motor igniting near or on the ground due to the possibility of a grass fire. Made sense. It appears a 7" section of fuse would be more prudent. Even though this flight worked perfectly, there wasn't much safety margin.
  3. Upscale Cluster Bomb on a Roadrunner F60-4 - Nice smoky exhaust. Ejection was a bit late (the motor seemed more like a -6).
  4. The Launch Pad Rapier on an F39-6 - Fast and high for this size rocket. It drifted into a neighboring field. An unknown young rocketeer scaled the fence and got it for me.
  5. Semroc V2 on a B6-4 - After Tuesdays flight, I did a quick camo paint job. Flew great anyway :)
  6. Model Minutes XFLR-7 on a D12-5 - Nice flight, tangled 'chute, no damage.
  7. Big Dipper Daddy on a D12-5 -Nice boost, late eject.
  8. Estes Helio Copter on a B6-4 - The chute came loose and the rocket came in parallel to the ground and came right to me and I caught it!
  9. Art Applewhite Stealth D5 on a D5-P - This time it arced over and was headed down under power. Love that whirr.