Friday, April 13, 2012

Flight report 2012-2 (updated)

Location: Higgs Farm, Price, MD (MDRA Red Glare XII, day #1)
Weather: Clear blue skies, high in the mid 60's, wind started at around 10+ but calmed late in the day
Total flights: Today - 6; YTD - 6
Total motors: Today - 12; YTD - 12
Motors by class YTD: C - 1; D - 4; E - 4; F -1; G - 2

The skies were nice and clear and the temperature was comfortable enough. Unfortunately, it was a a little too windy until around 4:30PM. The day started badly with major problems with my first three flights. However, the next three were good and the day ended on a high note (see logs below). The launch was well attended but the lines were mostly non-existent.  There were lots of big projects. There was a 'P', and 'N' and several 'M's: A cool 8" lance Beta upscale, Nick DeBrita's 1/6 scale Mercury Redstone, and Momoko's Cherry Blossom Express were a few of them. The 'P' powered Little John was the best of the bunch. You gotta love a launch that you can feel in your chest.

Interesting story:  The field was very dry and, as a result, sparky motors were banned today.  One big rocket CATOed and ejected the motor along with 2 or 3 burning grains, each of which started a fire.  Immediately, a huge group of MDRA'ers ran out to put them out.  As it turns out, Maryland's Eastern Shore is under a fire watch and both the local sheriff and fire marshal were on-site when this happened.  They were very impressed with the response to the fire and stated that they were confident in the safety of our launch operations.  Very cool.

My Flights:
  1. Flaming Christmas Tree of Death (Christmas in April on flight card) on 4 x E9-4 - Since the lawn dart on its first flight, I jury rigged a 'chute cannon.  I thought the 'chute was snug enough to stay in the downward pointing cannon...but it wasn't.  It came out and tore off right after ignition.  The Tree had the same flight profile as before but, once again, survived.
  2. F-104 Starfighter on a G138-4 - The G138 should have had enough grunt for this rocket, but it began flying horizontal at about 30'.  It flew into the adjacent field and lawn darted in a cloud of dust.  It is a total loss (see photo below).  
  3. Landshark 3.0 on a G64-6 - This was previously dubbed True Blood due to the pointy white nose cone. Now with a stubby cone that was made from a piece of 3" tube. The boost was good but the delay was too long.  It landed about 40' up in a tree behind Tommy's farm house.  I got help in retrieving it with MDRA's long pole.  Unfortunately, this took it toll on the rocket and its 'chute.  Mucho rework required.
  4. Lime Stiletto on an C11-3 - I went with a small motor due to the wind.  Ejection at apogee and a short walk
  5. Hat of Death on an F24-P - Nice flight with a lot of weather cocking.  
  6. Flaming Christmas Tree of Death (Christmas in April) on 4 x D12-3 - I just had to try again once the wind calmed down.  This time, I added a piece of masking tape over the end of the 'chute cannon.  This boost was fairly straight and the 'chute came out at apogee.  Success!  The shorter burn with more impulse was exactly what was needed.
(If viewing my main page, click to see the photos:)

Lost and Found

Flaming Christmas Tree of Death (Christmas in April)

Lance Beta upscale

Neil LCOing (as usual)

MDRA's new speaker tower (1 of 2) - Made the PA (and music) much better!



Steve Bayak and Dan Michael's humongous FatBoy

Dan has lots of toys.

Tommy's Road Kill Cafe

Cool dual ring fin rocket on an away cell.

Rockets were landing nearby all day.  Here's Momoko's rocket over our SUV.


The business end of the 'P' powered rocket.