Saturday, September 26, 2015

Launch Report 2015-9 (NARHAMS)

Location: NARHAMS, Mt. Airy
Weather: 70's, 10+/- mph, cloudy
Total flights: Today - 7; YTD - 65
Total motors: Today - 7; YTD - 76
Motors by class YTD: MMX-2; A-4; B-4; C-21; D-6; E-11; F-19; G-7; H-2

Water rocket flights (not included in the totals above): 6

It was quite windy but the direction was fairly favorable. That is, rockets would stay away from the evil trees but the vector was towards the ball field/pavilions/parking. I ended up scrubbing several flights.

My main goal for this launch was to try out my Tree Rescue System. The target in this case was the Saturn V, SA-666, which was lost in August. I'm happy to say I was successful thanks to my wife and one Mike Kelly. My wife lent much needed hands and Mike suggested pulling in a direction that broke the snagged branch. He also did the pulling but I think the key was the direction. It only three shots to snag the proper branch and the process was successful. Based on what in theory is 100' of paracord, I estimate the rocket was 43' up. I'll put the details of the process all the way at the bottom of this post.

My Flights:
  1. Tiny Tim Smoke on a C11-3 - nice flight
  2. Alaska Paper Model Works Paper HoJo on an C11-3 - Due to the wind, is was suggested that I use a smaller motor. So, I ditched the planned E12 in favor of a C11-3. It had flown on an E12 and D12 and I was a little nervous about the C11. It was a low flight and ejection was late but the 'chute did open in time. I was adjacent to the LCO table and actually caught the rocket!
  3. First Flight Semi Sonic on an A8-3 - nice enough
  4. Estes GBU-24 Paveway III on a B6-4 - nice
  5. Half Spool Jack-o-Lantern on a C6-0 - cool
  6. First Flight Corn Roc on a C6-3 - Well, this is my theory: One lug broke off and the 2nd one bound on the rod until it broke off.  The it nose-dived and flopped around. I need to replace the lugs (will try epoxy and will poke small holes in the non-porous surface). I also need to work on the tip of the nose cone section.
  7. Half ASS-tron SuperRoc on a C6-3 - nice with a longish walk
As usual, there are photos.


This is how the recovery device works:
  1. Knot the fishing line and tape to an arrow.
  2. Insert the arrow. I really could use a string in the pouch to mate with the arrow nock.
  3. Aim, shoot, recover the arrow.
  4. If you shot over the proper branch disconnect the  line and reattach it to some kite cord. If not, disconnect the arrow, reel the line in and go back to step #1. I got it on the third shot.
  5. Here's where it helps to have more hands. Reel the fishing line and kite string in. One set of hand reels the fishing line in and one makes sure the string is reeled out. This could be done with one set of hands but it would be more tedious.
  6. Unhook the kite string and tie it to the paracord.
  7. Reel in the kite string, pulling the paracord over the branch. More hands were useful here too!
  8. Once you have both ends of the paracord, start shaking and yanking.
I thought the rocket was getting lower, but that didn't initially make sense since the branch was only lower when I was pulling. It turned out the elastic shock cord was rotten and as I shook the branch, the cord slowly stretched out until all the rubber was broken. As mentioned above, I was getting nowhere until Mike suggested pulling backwards against the direction of the branch. It snapped and I got the rocket back. It's in poor shape but I will rework it.