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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 November 3, 2008 9:18 AM

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