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April 2005 launch report

April 11, 2005

SPARC had a launch on this last Saturday. The weather predictions weren't promising, but it turned out to be a nice day to launch rockets.

I didn't get a really good picture of the launch this time around, I sequestered myself in my trailer and studied for the level two test, passed it then proceeded to prep the rocket in seclusion. As a result, I missed a lot of the action in the morning.

When I arrived in the morning, the trailer was there and mostly unloaded, but there wasn't a lot of activity in the field setting up. I helped the family get the trailer set up and then proceeded to help out on setup, there must have been many hands (although I don't recall that there were a lot of people there) because it seemed that the equipment almost set up itself. I called in the waiver and launch began.

Mark Howe had the first flight of the day but I don't remember what it was...and we had 74 flights in all, Marty will follow up with the motor stats.

Things kept going from there. I was in a blur trying to focus on my level two, so I'll plagiarize a lot from Bob and Mark's reports.

A couple of the flights that were memorable to me;

Bryon Schopp had two catos of a chad staged rocket called Big Betty. Both times the upper stage lit and flew to a nice deployment. I was LCOing for both of them, and it startled me both times. I guess the motors were old and had been through a couple of temperature cycles.

John Hearn's Sylvester, with a quick modification for shear pins. A late deployment had me nervous that the modification had caused a failure.

A couple of flights of an AstroCam, I hope the photos turn out.

Terry Moore-Read flying two versions of a Bullpup.

A viking that went up with fins that disappeared at motor ejection. The body tube burned through.

A Blue Ninja that flew a bunch of times.

A mosquito (?) drag race....phhhhtttt, GONE. I hope they found them.

Most interesting flight of the day, as Mark recalls them:

- Dave L. and his "Lego" fleet of rockets (at least 4), totally built from...you guessed it... Legos! (I think the recovery systems need some work...)

- Harold K. and his J800 flight to over 8K...didn't think that bird was EVER gonna come down. RockSim erroneously had the rocket achieving a much lower altitude...

- Ray S. and his successful L2 attempt using his "nude" (not painted) Quark. I think the rule is that if a rocket has been launched at least twice it needs to get some "clothes" on Ray! ;-)

- Dave L. and his "Ostrich Egg" rocket provided the most excitement of the day, going unstable and spinning into the flight line...ejecting it's motor right smack into the rear compartment of Dave Glass's truck. Thankfully no damage to human or material goods was incurred...

- Lou B. who achieved his L1 cert at our March launch, put his recently acquired achievement to good use by flying a fair number of High Power, as well as mid-power rockets.

- Marty W. who launched a modified Fat Boy on seven D12-7's...lots of smoke and noise from a bunch a D motors!

More thoughts from Bob;

First flight of the year by one of our loaner rockets to a new found rocketeer. We'll be looking for her again in the future.

Marty 'wasted' a nice I motor in a saucer for a very impressive flight. It boosted with a little wiggle and tumble recovered so still some balance analysis in order.

I went the other way and flew a normally slow H97 for a zipping boost in a dual deployment BT-55 airframe to a little over 4200'.

Mark Howe was everywhere; set up, first flight, LCO, flying, visiting, LCO, flying, tear down.

Sign me up for Dave Luders tracking service. I don't think he missed a single flight with optical verification of apogee event.

Terry Moore must like folks finding his rockets so he 'hid' another one out there (yellow Estes Wizard).

The first raffle for the club project was held, 4 prizes were offered, a "yes, I am a rocket scientist" t-shirt donated by the Rocket Bakery (thanks Dave Glass for getting this), a Estes Prowler Kit donated by Mark Howe, an Alpha III kit donated by HobbyTown and a Deltie Airshow kit donated by Ray Stoner. We were able to raise $63 toward materials and motors for the club project.

Winners were;
Dave Luders
Terry Moore-Read
Bryon Schopp
Raymond Jorgenson


I want to say thanks to all that helped setup, tear down, got waivers signed, helped out with the raffle, took LCO duty and RSO duty.

Don't forget the club meeting in a couple of weeks.

Ray Stoner
SPARC President

Posted by ray at April 11, 2005 6:02 PM

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