Friday, May 02, 2014

Launch Report 2014-5

Location: King Farm
Weather: 64 degrees, mostly cloudy, winds 5 to 10 with occasional lulls
Total flights: Today - 7; YTD - 35
Total motors: Today - ; YTD - 33
Motors by class YTD: Water-7, MMX-1, A-3, B-2, C-6, D-5, E-6, F-7, G-2, H-1

Today's launch was mainly to test fly the Manatee with its spiffy mechanical ejection mechanism. Since it was windy, I kept the pressure down.  Both flights drifted a fair distance close to areas that could have people recreating.
  1. 400ml, 80 psi - Boost was too fast to track I saw it only after the 'chute was coming out. FAIW, a video is attached below. Towards the end you can see it drifting down.
  2. 400ml, 60 psi - The flight was lower as would be expected. Ejection was a bit late and because of the variability of the wind, it drifted almost as far. When I inspected the aftermath, I noticed the button on the timer was loose and it came off in my hand. I don't know if it was bumped on the pavement or if it was coming loose before, which possibly could have affected the recovery timing.
I was quite pleased with the launches and will reattach the button. The StratoFins Clark launcher works great! Lessons learned: Two sets of hands helps in prepping this rocket (many thanks to my lovely wife for helping out!); the prep is way too complicated to go solo with my grandson; setting the timing accurately is really tough; the ejection timing is not that critical; the 20" 'chute is too big; and, this would really scoot at 120psi!

My other aim was to assess my other two water rockets for use with the grandkids. Both have been modified since they last flew.

I flew my 12 oz bottle with Quest fins off the Quest launcher. It flew twice with 50ml of water at both 40 and 80 psi. The latter was more pleasing and still didn't go too high or too far. This will be a good one for our local common area.

\I also flew my Hydro1L off a 3/16" rod using rubber stopper fitted with a tire needle. It flew three times with 100, 200 and 300 ml of water. With this, launch occurs when it is good and ready. It looked like at around 50, 50, and 40 psi, respectively.The middle flight had the best performance and this too should work well in our common area.