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Lou Bragg Launch report

June 15, 2007

Greetings all, WheatChex 07 blasted into the cloudy skies of Deer Park on June 9th and 10th. The trailer arrived about 9:30 AM and we were ready to go by 10:00. Dave Glass had the first flight honors with Mad Maxine on an E15-4. Great flight with good recovery. Things got a bit hairy when Paul Nelson's Eliminator had the E9 motor CATO about 50-100 feet up. It continued burning almost until it hit the ground. Luckily the eject charge burnt up during the CATO so it did not start a fire. Bob Shaw had some impressive flights including his first staged and clustered flghts. Deciding to go big or go home he had a minimum diameter three stage on a C6-0 to C6-0 to C6-7. It lit fine but that C6 just isn't enough to push the stack and it came off the pad crooked and just got worse from there. By the time the third stage fired it was nearly horizontal. It streaked off to the South never to be seen again. Sticking with the small bird big motor philosophy, Bob flew his first cluster. Central C6-7 with three outboard C6-3s. Good flight. Mark Howe had the most flights for the day with 16. He flew everything under the sun, gliders, clusters, staged, regular old boring single motor. Gentry and Justin Schumacher showed up again and flew until they were just about out of motors. Gentry had 11 flights while Justin had 7. SPARC president Bob Yanecek had some great flights including a minimum diameter bird on a G35. Great boost but it was lost in the sky. Bob was bummed most of the day until I came strolling back with his rocket in my hand. He was more than happy. The Phillips family showed up with camper in tow and even had some nice flights. Joel flew some neat AP cluster flights and Matt Myren chose C6-5s to power almost all of his birds. Rob Jopson flew several minimum diameter ETV flights with some recoveries where he walked out in the direction he figured it came down and guess what there it was! Bryon Schopp showed up for a few hours and flew some midpower birds with his grandon Kalib. Even though I was the LD I still managed to get in 7 flights. Most were models but I did take largest motor honors with an Aerotech I-225FJ in Katie's Purple People Eater. Long recovery hike though. Across Wild Rose but I got a ride back from Bob so it wasn't too bad. All in all there were 95 flights on Saturday by 18 fliers burning 109 motors. Largest motor was an I-225FJ. Motor Breakdown: A: 8 B: 17 C: 34 D: 20 E: 15 F: 7 G: 5 H: 1 I: 1 I woke up Sunday with gray skies with the sun desperately trying to break through and give us some awesome weather. There were a few less fliers with a much slower pace on Sunday. We still managed to get 18 flights in and burned 22 motors. Rob Jopson was at it again with Comanche 1.5s and ETV flights aplenty. Dave Glass put up Something Fishy on an I-218R for a great flight and recovery. Marty Weiser showed up ready to fly and put up Beat Stanford on an H97 for a great dual deployment flight. Marty used a streamer for a drouge which had the bird coming in at a touch under Mach 1! However the main deployed with no damage and landed very close for an easy recovery walk. Marty also flew a glider with great trimmings and a motor eater saucer for a loud and low flight. Bob Yanecek put up Mr. Wiggles on an E9-8 for an amazingly straight boost and good recovery. Joel Phillips put up some more AP cluster flights and a two stage Commanche that landed within feet of me while I was out recovering my own bird. I once again took largest motor honors with a J350 in my 4" bird Skeletor. Achieved an altitude of a bit less than 2500 feet with recovery in the fallow field to the north. I had a less than optimal flight with my Estes Partriot on an E9. It rod whipped hard and went West really fast. It deployed and we watched it drop behind the trees to the west way out in the field. Bob and I set out after it and I am just glad Bob took a GPS bearing since we got way off once we got into the trees. I found it a couple hundred feet out in the field. Look for it to go up on an F21 at the next launch. Motor Breakdown A: 0 B: 2 C: 3 D: 5 E: 6 F: 2 G: 0 H: 2 I:1 J: 1 Packed up in the early afternoon and headed home. I am still recovering. Until the next one! Lou Bragg Launch Director

Posted by bobble at 8:00 AM | Comments (0)

Bob Yanecek Launch Report

June 12, 2007

It was no FITS but I'm trashed (again) after a nice 3 days of rockets. I returned home from the Midway Elementary event on Friday thinking I was packed and ready. So, of course I overscheduled my 'normal' chores and ended up 30 minutes late on Saturday morning for set-up duties. A nice contingent (they looked like a lynch mob to me) was patiently waiting for the trailer to arrive. By 1000 things were set up and Lou activated the waiver. The weather was OK, attendance was light, and activity was steady. It was really fun. Bob Shaw is my latest hero with wonderful florescent minimum diameter rockets in single through triple stage configurations. I felt in good company as he consistently 'lost' a rocket. Two booster sections were recovered (different rockets??) late in the day after Bob departed. Someone recovered a rocket believed to be from Midways launch on Friday. It was a White Alpha with brown dots/spots (do you say creek or stream?) just in case someone from Saturday did launch such a beast. With the unexpected lack of on-site vendor we suffered a bit from motor envy and will attempt to confirm future vendor attendance with more vigor so attendees can be made aware in advance. Lou Bragg served his second term as launch director and things went quite smooth (once we got waivers, flight cards, and wrist bands on-site). Mark Howe was present with his 'regular' array of rockets. He patiently kept his glider fleet under cover until late afternoon on Saturday when conditions really smiled. Mark was ready and soon gliders were EVERYWHERE. Boost followed by baseball style calls of "I have the North one (or the High one, or the little one)" began. Rob Jopson finally found time to do something besides slide down mountains on slick sticks and flew two airframes with a vengeance. Once was a 24mm minimum diameter "ETV" that he flew multiple times on E9-8's. Lost it once but then found it faster than most folks track down a 'known bearing'. His other rocket was a Comanche 1.75 (stock sustainer that's then CHAD staged). Not really stock sustainer as it always held an E9-8 after been boosted by a D12-0. Rob managed to hit Wild Rose after a nice straight boost with only a streamer for recovery. Did I forget to mention there was a distinct breeze? I put up my "GTV" on an Ellis Mt. SU G35-10. What a sweet push that motor gave. Pushed the rocket up to 'nowhere'. I had attempted a 'new' concept (always risky) of attaching an Este's 12" chute to 10' of flagging tape. Of course you always assume success, so since I launched on the same rack as Rob's 1.75 Comanchee, we just figured I was North of Wild Rose (not supposed to be there:-(. I brief search revealed nothing obvious and with multiple tall grass fields in play, I wrote off the rocket and we returned to the launch site. Lou stole Bob Shaw's Hero status when he returned from a close in recovery with my rocket. Thanks to a Pratt Hobbies 'sona-lert', the rocket called Lou in from his recovery effort. Well, Rob and I sure wasted our time searching downwind as the Estes chute stripped and the rocket came pretty much straight back down landing a few hundred yards from launch. The flagging tape was soo twisted up that it looked like silly string. Plenty of strength though so I'll try future flights with a chute-on-a-streamer and see what happens. I too had several "ETV" flights in a 24mm airframe and E9-8 pushes. I switched between streamer and chute recovery options with good flights. One flight had an embarrassing wiggle but on the next flight I changed the name from "ETV" to "Mister Wiggles" and the rocket flew arrow straight.......go figure. The Phillips family showed up for the first time this season and Joel had several nice flights (and one high speed drag separation). Joel is working on an L1 bird and with any luck will certify later this season. The big points came after dark when a nice load of firewood showed up and we totally enjoyed a wonderful evening even with a light spitting of rain. While I absolutely claim that I do not like Anchovies, the Caesars salad that Dave Glass brought to go along with Ann's Dutch oven chili-n-Cornbread was excellent and apparently that salad had mashed anchovy parts imbedded. It hurts just admitting that. If Saturday activity was light, then Sunday was lighter. Still we launched at a very comfortable pace until a bit after 2 when we called 'last rack' and were packed up and on the road right at 3. Bob Yanecek

Posted by bobble at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

Mark Howe launch report

I only made day-1 of the 2-day SPARC WheatChex launch, but it was definitely worth it! I arrived around 9:15 on Sat, The 4th car on-site (D.Glass, R.Jopson, and another vehicle had beat me). With no club trailer in site, I began to wonder if I had the right weekend! A few calls were made and we were assured that B.Yanecek was "on his way". He arrived about 10min later and set-up began in earnest. D.Glass was the first off the pads...he brought a nice array of scratch-built birds, as usual. He even found time to repair his Robert Goddard "Hoop Skirt" rocket (which I think is a 1/4 scale model of a 1929 vintage). It's always a treat to see Dave's creations fly...(and he makes a mean "ceaser salad" too)! For the third time in as many launches, I came with no rockets pre-prepped for the launch. I did bring a large "box-o-rockets" with me, however, and managed to put all of them up into the sky except for my small 13mm powered glider...which broke after the wind that was present for most of the day caught the glider on the pad and broke the nose. Seeing that as an omen, I waited until much later in the day to attempt additional glider launches. I managed 16 flights for the day...not bad for not having anything pre-prepped, and even managed some stints at LCO & RSO. The large number of flights was basically due to the small motors I was using (due to the wind) and thus relatively short recovery times. I placed five 13mm motor based rockets up, with the best of the bunch being an old Estes "Little Joe II" kit. Five 18mm rockets followed. My "Klingon Battle Cruiser" lost a fake outboard engine pod on landing, but thanks to some fellow racketeers it was found in short order. The FlisKits "Tres", with the canted 3-motor cluster of C6-5's, shattered a balsa fin on landing...the second time it has done so in 4 flights. Both rockets are repairable. I flew a 2-stage "Hercules" in which the booster failed to ignite the sustainer. The sustainer came in ballistic with the nose completely buried in the dirt. To my surprise the rocket suffered absolutely NO DAMAGE! Next I moved on to models that were powered by the Estes "Mighty-D". A Maniac/Executioner on a 15' streamer, a SeaHawk SM3, and an Estes V2 (which flew off pad B2). By this time it was around 6PM and I noticed that the ever present wind had died out...it was the calm before the storm and I took advantage of it to get my gliders in the air. First up was a 18mm dual glider by Edmonds Aerospace named the "Twinsee". A low altitude boost on an B4-2, but they still managed to tickle the edge of the wheat field. Next up was another Edmonds kit called the Ci-Ci 2-stage. It's another dual glider combo, but uses 2 stages with a 12" gap between motors. I decided on a B6-0 for the bottom stage and an A8-3 for the upper. Both gliders landed downrange outside of the wheat field. Last to go up was my Edmonds "Gemini Thunder" gliders. Another dual glider setup that uses a 24mm motor (D12-3). They boosted straight as an arrow...and took off on paths that were 180 degrees opposite of each other! Jim Jopson recovered the one to the south, while I waited for the range to open so I could retrieve the one to the north. As you can probably tell I really enjoy the Edmonds gliders...he generally makes an upscale (called thunder) based kit for every normal sized glider he creates. Easy assembly, minimal trimming, and unique designs make his kits a favorite of mine. Things wound down and it was time to put on the feed bag. Great Cornbread Chile, Ceaser Salad, Brats, Burgers, Chips, Chicken, etc...kept our spirits high even though the anticipated/dreaded "drizzle" began to commence form the skies. I headed out around 8PM with a full stomach and pleasant memories...wishing I could return for Day-2 but knowing that other obligations awaited me. Bob and Ann, Lou and Katie, Jim and Rob Jopson, and a few of the Phillip's clan came prepared to spend the night. Though the number of people were not up to my expectations on Saturday, I think it was largely due to the various graduation ceremony's/parties going on over the weekend. People came and went throughout the day. The Schopps arrived with their grandson in tow, but left mid-afternoon to hand him off to his other grandparents. Larry Waldman and his 2 sons made the trek from Missoula again, and this time brought a few rockets with them to launch. Those among the notable "missing" were the Stoners, Weisers, Moore-Reads, and Joe Cooney (who I'm sure would have given me a run for the $$$ in the # of flights category). Can't remember too many flights other than my own, but I do remember Joel Phillips putting up a number of mid-power flights, and Lou Bragg putting up some high power. There was one CATO of an Estes motor...not sure if it was a "D" or an "E". Kudos to Bob Shaw for finding my small 13mm X-Ray in Emerson's wheat field, and to all of those who helped to track my gliders... Lou did a another fine job as Launch Director, and a good time was had by all. Thanks! Best regards, Mark W. Howe

Posted by bobble at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)