May 2005 Launch Report
May 14, 2005
We had a nice launch in mostly drizzly weather on Sat. 14 May. Sometimes it was actually rainy (never stormy), sometimes misty, and for a couple of hours in the early afternoon sunny. We had about 25 cars on site and flew 48 rockets on 51 motors. Both were fairly low for a one-day SPARC launch, but the average impulse was quite high at 150 N-s as a few big projects went up in the afternoon.
Models dominated the morning since that was the wettest time of day. Meghan Hogan got off the first launch of the day on her first time to a SPARC launch using a C6-5 in a scratch built tube fin rocket. This was one of the few times SPARC VP Mark Howe did not get the honors. We had a cub scout pack that flew quite a few rockets and 3 or 4 cars up from Pullman for the day. Not sure who was who, but some of the names I don't recognize as regulars were Travis and Justin Young with 7 fights, Brent and Chris Fenton with 4, Ken and Kenny Weaver with 3, and Roy and Robby Andrews with 3. We hope to see many of them become regulars.
Mark Howe and Bryan Schopp tied for the most individual flights with 5 each, Lou Bragg had 4 (including our only two-stage flight), and Joel Philips had 3. David Glass once again had two of the most detailed and unusual rockets - Parking Meter Violation flew on an H180 and 2/3 scale model of the American Rocket Society #2 was a real crowd pleaser on a G75 black jack motor.
Rob Jopson took advantage of the new NAR Jr. L1 certification program to fly his BSD Horizon on an H123 on his 14th birthday. He even managed to pull off an unintentional dual deployment as the nose cone came off at apogee but the chute took a long time to be pulled out by the cone. It is believed that sitting on the pad for 45 minutes in the drizzle as some issues with the launch system were resolved was the main reason for the slow deployment. Welcome to high power Robby.
Jeff Halstead brought out his L3 bird for a shakedown flight on a K700. This is an 11 foot tall Astrobee 350 that he plans to fly at FITs on an M once he does a bit more sanding and painting - it was in magnificent gray primer today. This was a great flight apogee deployment at 1500 - 1800 ft. (I did not catch the actual altitude) and the main at 1200 ft. This should be a very nice L3 cert flight at FITs.
Ray Stoner with help from Mark Howe spent most of the day getting the sustainer for the Club's Nike-Hercules prepped for its shakedown flight. This was an arrow straight flight on a K1100 which is a tribute to the sustainer construction team (lead by Buck) since it is a complex set of fins. The two altimeters reported 1372 and 1343 ft. apogee which is far less than the simulation of 2146 ft. so we had more drag than in the sim since the weights matched. We hope to fly it at FITs on five J350s if club members step forward with the gear needed to load the booster as well as the sustainer.
I had a very nice air start of a pair of H123s after the J350 burnt out in my Skeeter Eater using a timer to light them just after the J350 burnt out. Unfortunately, recovery was by shovel as the altimeter failed to fire the charge at apogee. It appears the altimeter had been damaged when it came in with just the streamer at Mansfield in April. I should have paid attention to my gut when I heard the slightly off sound in the beep sequence. The fin can and chute survived with minor damage so I will rebuild next winter.
Thanks for Bill Minds of Puget Sound Propulsion for coming over to sell motors (and donate a case and motor to the raffle to raise funds to load all five motors in the Club project) and Greg Allen with his PML kits. Both took advantage of the slow day to fly - Greg with Bull Puppy on an H242 (the case is the only MIA I know of) and Bill with his Endeavor on a G77.
The statistics for the launch are:
Total Motors 51
Total N-s 7,050
Motor Equiv. M
Ave N-s/flt 150
Motor Equiv. G
2 Stage 1
3x Cluster 1
Total Flights 48
Total known flights 47
Marty Weiser reporting, 14 May 05