Sunday, October 10, 2010

High Power Rocketry magazine, September 1999 (featuring a rocket Safari and MDRA history)

Yesterday, I pulled out a random back issue of High Power Rocketry...and it was one of my favorites.  This is mainly because of the features on the 'Safari' launches. I also found a report from Maryland Tripoli's May 1999 launch.  More on these later. The other featured articles in include:
  • Kimberly Harms' "Out of Harms Way" (also featured in the Crash and Burn special issue) - This is a set of tips on HPR flying with a safety angle.
  • One of Ed Miller's excellent articles on "Rocket Art Part 3, Color Coats" - Ed wrote a long series for HPR mag, continued in Extreme Rocketry (now out of print), and IIRC is now in Sport Rocketry.  I say 'excellent' mostly due to the results displayed.  Ed uses airbrushes and automotive paints so much of the content is lost on me.
  • A report on Thunder in the Desert Southwest regional Sport Launch 1999.  This southern New Mexico launch featured some large HPR birds made from foam and remains an inspiration to this oddroc-eteer.
Three 'features' are dedicated to reports from the 'Safari' launches - a set of indy  launches that were held in the Black Rock desert.  I read about these in my nascent HPR career and couldn't put the issue down.  They offer a good look at what it is like to camp out and launch in the Black Rock desert and featured cool projects.  These included lots of research motors, including three micrograin flights. I still drool over the 2" diameter, 6.5' long, 29 lb, steel rocket.  Not that I'd ever fool with zinc/sulfur motors but how could you not love an L18,523!  Since the micrograin prep area was a mile from the launch site, I'd say they respected this volatile mixture.  There was also an attempt at a clustered, staged hybrid project with three Hypertek J205's in the booster and three AeroTech J211's in the sustainer. The dual stage version failed on the pad but the sustainer was saved and later flew successfully. (The rocket owners, Sue McMurray and Becky Green are featured on the cover.)

There is also a fairly long launch report on Tripoli Maryland (before there was a MDRA) by Bob Utley.  Several currently active MDRA members are featured, including Neil McGilvray, Dave Webber, Kathy Gilliand, Fred Wallace and, of course, Tommy Higgs and his 'Road Kill Cafe'.  Neil was slumming it back then with mere 'K' flights.  Dave logged flight 100 on his Tuber.  I don't know what Tuber's flight count is now, but it hit 220 flights at this past July's launch!  Kathy was already flying colorful rockets and Fred certified Level-3.  In addition, then prefect Dave Bullis set history with MDRA's first 'N' flight.  This launch was 6 months before I first headed to the Eastern Shore and got my Cert-1.