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Mark Howe Launch Report

November 3, 2008

Here's my personal summary of SPARCs last scheduled launch for the 2008 season. I arrived on-site around 9:20AM, setup was already well under way. I assisted with the rest of the range setup, the waiver was called in, and we were set to go! We had a larger than expected turnout in terms of spectators and fliers throughout the day...I guess everyone was trying to get their last flights in before the looong winter months set upon us. I brought 30 rockets to fly, but only managed to put up half that many. (which is fine, because I now have 15 rockets ready for the first launch of NEXT season). The day started with clear skies, but clouded up by 11AM, and we even had a brief bit of light rain. That being said, the weather was perfect for gliders with very little wind. One third of the rockets I flew were "first timers", here is the complete breakdown: Estes Mighty-Mite SLIVER on a A10-3T, 5th flight - Nothing to write home about...I did manage to lose the cheap plastic motor retention clip (probably why they sold the kit with two clips) ScratchBuilt MARVIN THE MARTIAN on a D12-3, 3rd flight - Marvin of Looney Tunes fame meets the Grateful Dead...good motor choice and a nice flight. Cox HONEST JOHN on a B6-4, 4th flight - One of the 5 model rocket kits COX made before being sold to Estes. Custom TRITON-X on a B6-4, 2nd flight - Dual chute recovery...one of the chutes did not open but no damage. Estes RUBICON on a D12-3, 4th flight - Chute did not deploy fully...damaged one fin on landing. Estes SCREAMING F18 EAGLE on a C6-5, 4th flight - Good motor choice and nice flight. Semroc GYROC clone on an A8-3, 1st flight - Helicopter recovery...descent was faster than expected...need to adjust fin tabs. Estes OUTLANDER on a AT-18mm-RMS-D24-4T, 4th flight - 1st time using the D24, great push with chute at apogee...the recommended "C" motor for this draggy rocket is woefully inadequate/underpowered. Estes INVADER clone on a 1/2A6-2, 1st flight - Also known as the "flying pie plate" glider. Barely got off the rod...needs at LEAST a full A motor. Flis FRICK & FRACK 2-stage saucer using a B6-0 & C6-0, 1st flight - low altitude staging, nice spin (aero-brake) recovery. Will probably use two C6-0's next time. Estes HI-FLIER on an A8-3, 2nd flight - Nothing special... Edmonds TWIN THUNDER gliders on a D12-3, 3rd flight - Gliders were nicely trimmed, especially the one that held the expended motor casing. Estes PORTA-POT-SHOT on a C6-3, 3rd flight - Chute didn't open, no damage. This is a consistent problem due to minimal packing area. I will remove the chute and turn this into a TUMBLE recovery rocket. Flis DECAFFINATOR (with parasite glider) on a D12-3, 1st flight - 6-foot rocket made out of foam cups. Good flight, glider flew well. Estes ASTROVISION on a B4-4, 1st flight - Video was 23sec long (13MB in size). Over half of the video captured was looking skyward after the ejection event, so I'll use a C6-5 next time. You can view the video on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uTdI4Gxj9Y Kudos to all who assisted with range set-up and teardown. Joe Cooney was launch director and did another outstanding job. There were at least 5 different LCO's throughout the day so nobody seemed to be overworked. Was glad to see that Robo made it one day after having the titanium screws removed from his leg. We even had a visit by the clubs founder, Kirk Mohrer. Marty, Ray, Lou, Jeff, and Hans flew at least one high power bird each, maybe more. There was a nice sampling of kits, scratchbuilts, and kit bashes flown. Dave Glass flew his phenomenal Goddard Hoop-Skirt, and tried CHAD staging for the first time. Other than that, things are kind of a blur already... See everybody next year! Maintenance note...the relay on pad A1 was not functioning and will need to be looked at in the spring. Best regards, Mark W. Howe

Posted by bobble at 9:18 AM | Comments (0)

Joe Cooney Launch report

The last launch of the season is now in the books; weather was good, flying was better. Not sure how many people showed up, but for a time there were a few parked two deep on the flightline. Thirty-three flyers accounted for 109 flights. There were 123 motors flown with a total impulse of 4406 ns. Motor usage is as follows: 2(1/2A’s), 6(A’s), 16(B’s), 29(C’s), 34(D’s), 18(E’s), 6(F’s), 8(G’s), 1 (H), 1(I) and 2(J’s). There was a great mix of flyers, from first time flyers, to seasoned veterans with several decades of flights under there belts. First flight of the day honors went to William F, who just received his first rocket, an Estes “Blue Ninja” a few weeks earlier. Last flight of the day and a surprising winner of the most flights flown went to Mark Howe, congratulations Mark. I will be better prepared this coming spring. Personally I barely got enough rockets into the air to tie for second with 12 flights. I actually had twelve and half if you count the CATO I suffered on my Mean Machine Flight. Half the rocket actually did fly, although the other half stayed on the pad and no recovery was evident due to the burning motor fragments also soaring through the air. That was not worst part of my flying day though; Marty had to bail me out with homemade igniter to get my 29mm Fat Boy, aptly named “Heaven Help the Fool” off the ground. I also took several attempts to get my toilet plunger rocket named Antwerp’s Placebo (The Plumber), off the ground. Left my New LOC Aura in a tree and lost the sustainer section of my CC Express. I did manage several good flights during the day, my Storm Caster named Smokestack Lightning flew straight and true on an E9-8 and I spent a considerable amount of time pushing the launch button at the LCO table. A local scout pack came by to put there well crafted Quest Aerospace Courier Rockets in the air. They really know how to put the FUN into rocketry; I am not sure how many eggs were purchased, but I have a good idea none of them left the field intact. Michael M, gets credit for the most original idea on how to break an egg. After an unsuccessful attempt to break an egg lofted from his Red Streak, he sent the next offering up with an Open Canopy, basically the egg was the nose cone. Much to shouts of joy and leaping in the air, it was apparent the egg suffered the same fate as good ole Humpty Dumpty. It was great seeing the scouts having so much fun breaking eggs. Dave and Doug Powers wore out the pads with an impressive 16 launches between them, Doug accounting for 12 of them up. I have personally never seen so many gliders put in the air during one launch. They racked up half of the 10 Glider flights flown during the launch. All of the flights seemed to just float endlessly, except for the Trans-wing glider flight, which was just too underpowered for a good separation. Marty Weiser and Mark Howe accounted for the other 5 glider flights. Marty managed to put up 6 flights; his “Fat Boy?” a 3” upscale, with an impressive 7x24mm motor cluster. Although all seven motors lit the flight was less than stable and landed hard in the field to the left. According to his flight card he also managed to launch his first mid power rocket. I am assuming he has launched this bird before, or maybe he just skipped that whole Mid-power scene and went straight into High-Power. Mark Howe steadily launched rockets all day; however he seemed to get most of his flights in while I was looking for one of mine or trying to figure out how to get that LOC Aura out of the tree. I only saw a few of his birds fly. The most impressive flight I saw had to be the Flis Kit “Decafeinator” a very large Styrofoam Coffee Cup rocket with a parasite glider attached to it. Great boost and recovery, the glider flew perfectly winding tight turns in the sky till gravity took over and grounded it. I just want to know who flies an Estes “High Flier” rocket on an A8-3. I would have shoved a C6-7 in it at the very least, maybe a D21-7 for fun, but then again Mark probably takes all his rockets home after the launch is over. I am not sure how many I have lost in the few years I have been flying them. Ray Stoner brought out Charm, an upscaled Estes “Quark”, for an exciting J285 flight, Charm was recovered just short of Wild Rose Rd. He held the title for Largest Impulse flight until Lou Bragg unleashed his Binder Stealth on a J350. This was also the only dual deployed flight I remember seeing. Lou had several other flights that day and easily flew the highest total impulse (740 ns) of the day with only 4 flights. President Bob gets credit for the best recovery, his “Please go Away” rocket was returned on the back of an ATV, driven in by a neighbor from down the road. Better luck next time Bob. Before I finish I would like to extend a welcome to our newest Club Members. I would also like thank all those who helped out with the launch; both set up and tear down as well as all those who took turns at the LCO table. I would have to say the launch was a great end to a memorable flying season. I will be busy this winter building and finishing some new rockets, as well as repairing the ones I broke this year. I look forward to seeing all of you April 11, for our first scheduled launch of 2009. Have a Fun winter. Joe Cooney

Posted by bobble at 9:16 AM | Comments (0)

2008 launch season is complete

November 2, 2008

Conditions were fantastic on Saturday November 1'st when we had our final launch of the season. Check back here for launch reports and data about next season over the next few weeks. president bob

Posted by bobble at 7:10 AM | Comments (0)