Saturday, December 17, 2011

Launch Report 2011-8

Location: Higgs Farm, Price, MD (MDRA ESL-163)
Weather: mostly cloudy; high was 41; wind 10+ mph
Total flights: Today - 5; YTD - 62
Total motors: Today - 8; YTD - 80

I broke my standard rule of not flying when the temperature isn't 50 degrees or so.  I wanted to see if my FatBoy29, which I thought I had lost at Red Glare XI, had been found.  Plus, I had a magazine to pick up from Bob and the Flaming Christmas Tree of Death was itching to be flown.  It was cloudy on the drive over but, as I turned off of US301, the sun was out!  Well, it didn't last long and the brisk wind made it nippy.  Nevertheless, I accomplished all three of my goals :)  I was shocked at how many rockets live in the lost and found trailer.

My flights:
    1. Flaming Christmas Tree of Death on 4 x E9-4 - The boost started fine but it quickly weather cocked.  This was pretty much expected because of the huge fin surfaces.  It was on the way down as the motors ejected and the kluge parachute mechanism didn't work.  I assumed it would be a pile of junk but, to my amazement, the only damage was to the foam Santa, who was impaled and squashed (see photo below).  Videographer extraordinaire Peter Abresch caught the flight and should submit it to the MDRA gallery.
    2. Hat of Death on an G64-P - In the oddest...er...flight of the Hat, the G64 hopped out leaving the rocket on the rod.  The front closure burned through, which caused the motor to eject. The motor spun wildly and landed about 6 feet from the pad.  Both closures are dead, the case is iffy, but the Hat itself was undamaged.
    3. TLP Rapier on an F24-7 - The rocket boosted with the wind and I anticipated a very long walk.  Luckily, the delay was quite long and I had reefed the 'chute.  Thus, the walk was tolerable.
    4. Quest MLAS on an Estes C6-3 - Nice flight but one fin cracked.
    5. Estes BLU-97B Cluster Bomb on a D12-5 - Nice flight.  With the weather cocking, the delay was a little long.  Even with the wind, it stayed on the main field.