November 05 Launch Report
November 14, 2005
The week prior to launch was busy with checking the weather reports. The weather guys really kept us guessing during the lead up to the launch. The best weather report I saw indicated partly cloudy skies with a 30% chance of rain. The worst showed a 70% chance of rain all day. The call was finally made Friday evening to hold the launch, the weather report showed that we'd have rain by 1 or so...
Rained like crazy Friday evening, I don't know when it stopped, but when I woke up Saturday morning, there were bright blue skies...not a cloud in sight, of course I was looking out my bedroom window, so I didn't see the whole sky.
I loaded up the truck and headed for the launch site, when I arrived the only folks on site were some hunters. The looked at me kind of funny as I set up some chairs and my table. The left about the time Marty arrived on site.
Bob and the trailer arrived around 9:45 and setup was quick. A number of people were on site by this time.
By 10:30 the range was setup and I imposed on Marty to hold the flyers meeting. There were already several rockets on the rods awaiting flight. It was an indication of things to come.
There was an unbelievable turnout for a Cold Novemeber day, the model pads were in constant use. If this trend continues, we'll need some more model pads. Bob described it once as a "herd of cows" going out to setup rockets. I didn't get a good count of the number of people that were there, but there were a LOT of kids and their parents on site for the launch.
Flights were steady all day. I know that many had to wait for a pad on the model racks. Luckily there were some of the experienced fliers there to push things into mid and high power occasionally.
I didn't bring any rockets to fly, I decided I just wanted to spend some time with the kids, and observe...I ended up pulling LCO duty most of the day, Marty and Bob spelled me for several racks, Thanks guys!
There were a lot of new faces on site, and some of the regulars (like me) showed up with nothing to fly. Mark Howe and PSP were missed through out the day!
Some of the memorable flights for me:
There were two CATO's of estes motors, not something you often see. Thanks Rich for providing some temperature cycled motors for our entertainment! Unfortunately for the rockets, they didn't survive very well.
There were LOTS of flights on A motors, most of them seemed to be aimed at the LCO table...
There was one of my favorite rockets flown, a quark on an A10, after wishing the young lady that owned the rocket good luck, I pushed the button. I was able to track it to apogee, but the small blue rocket disappeared in the wide expanse of blue sky and nobody saw it come down. Typical quark behaviour. Later in the day somebody located it and it was returned to its rightful home. For a small rocket it was painted beautifully. Glad she got it back.
Marty's Gammon SA-5 made its maiden flight. What a fantastic looking rocket. A J450 was the motor of choice. The boost was prefect, unfortunately the timer in the rocket fired the ejection charge at motor burn out and the chute shredded. The rocket came away a bit worse for the wear, but according to Marty, it'll be an easy rebuild. I can't wait to see it fly again, this time correctly.
We had a Commanche two and a Commanche three flown on the same rack (different pads, one on A one on B) the Commanche two flew beautifully, the Commanche three failed to light the second stage, and I was prepared for disaster, but the rocket tail slid all the way to the ground, two slighly damaged fins were the only damage.
The Coopers flew a scissor wing transport on an A10. The rocket was built and finished 10 years ago, and this was its maiden flight. The 3 second delay on the motor was LONG and it ejected close to the ground. The wing deployed perfectly and the rocket glided the final 20-30 to the ground. It looked trimmed right, so it should be a great flyer on a B motor in the future.
Lou Bragg showed up with a bunch of rockets and had some great flights. The flight of his Stealth on an I211 late in the day was just beautiful. This rocket is always an impressive flight. A J motor is in its future according to Lou. Tag that base, you're ready!
Bryon Shopp was a prolific flyer, as always, with his assortment of Mid Powered estes and scratch built models.
Rich Maes had a flawless flight of his rocket. I didn't hear if he had his GPS system in or not. He pulled away late in the day with the rocket proudly displayed on the bed rail of his truck. I wondered as he left if he had it strapped down.
Joel Phillips had some great flights through the day. His Mean Machine was a very impressive bird, arrow straight and deployment right at apogee. Great flight Joel!
Marty and Bob had a "drag race" of their 38mm Minimum diameter birds, but they did it at different times. No stop watch involved. Dual deployment was a requirement and Marty's rocket fired the charge, but the chute didn't come out resulting in his disqualification. It was a fun concept that I hope we see in the future.
Late in the day, Matt flew his upscale mosquito "I wanna be like you" on an I154, great boost, ejection right at the top and a lazy decent that ended draped over the power lines north of the field. I am sure that Avista will be notified and the rocket will ulitmately come home, but a sad end to a nice flight.
The Colville High School TARC team showed up in force for some practice flights. They flew a kit that they had built on a couple F23 motors, each flight was very slow off the pad, and each flew to just shy of 400'. Not the 800' they had hoped for. They'll go home with some great data to crunch and try to figure out why RocSim lied to them. The Egg they had for a payload survived each flight. The kids were very inquisitive and their instructor was too. I think they got some great ideas for future flights, and future rockets. Best of luck to them in their quest to win.
LeLand McCue flew a 4" PML rocket on an H123 for his successful level one flight. A nice low and slow certification flight that was perfectly executed. Congratulations on your success, welcome to high power!
Marty will compile the motor data and it will follow soon.
A very special thanks to everyone that helped run the launch, in particular those that helped setup and tear down. Many hands make for light work, and the setup and tear down was a quick as any I can remember!
All in all a great launch. It was fun to see and hear the excitement from all the kids that were there.
Motor Stats, courtesy of Marty;
A - 12
B - 22
C - 28
D - 10
E - 4
F - 6
G - 2
H - 4
I - 4
J - 1
Unknown - 1
Total Motors - 94
Total N-s - 5,180
Motor Equiv. - M
Ave N-s/flt - 61
Motor Equiv. - F
2 Stage - 2
3 Stage - 3
Total Flights - 86
Total known flights - 85
Motors/Flight - 1.09
Joe Cooney had the most flights with 10, but the Vanderlips (Mark, Mike, and Matt) had a total to 10 as well. Bryon Schopp and Lou Bragg tied for second with 6 flights each. Lots of folks had 2, 3, or 4 flights. John, Matt, and Marty Weiser had over 40% of the total impulse launched on their 5 fights.