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Mark Howe Launch report

November 8, 2009

The last launch of the SPARC 2009 season has come and gone…Boooooo. It was pushed a week from the originally planned 10/31 Halloween launch…Booooo. Weather forecast was real sucky….Booooooo. It was windy all day…Booooooo. Did we have a good time anyway? You betcha’!!! While the wind was present all throughout the day, the rain never arrived, so least we were dry. I arrived at the site ~9:15 and setup was extremely easy…especially since it was already done by the time I got there. Joe Cooney (this months’ launch sponsor) arrived earlier than planned and along with Ray (who had spent the night RV camping) had everything ready to go by the time others started arriving. The normal rabble rousers showed up, which included Dave Glass and Marty Weiser, as well as newcomers and a bunch of scouts. I only managed to put up 5 flights, but that was one more than Joe, who had numerous igniter issues throughout the day. First up was my stretched Estes “36 D-Squared”, powered by a cluster of two D12-5’s. This was a departure from my norm of starting with 1/2A motors and progressing up the ladder to larger ones. Boost was fine but the wind caught the 24” chute and took it for a long ride. It was recovered about 10 yards from the cow pen to the northeast…mostly due to the wind dragging the rocket across the newly plowed & planted winter wheat field. I lost a fin…not sure if it happen during boost (it a little wobbly near the top), or during its’ “tour” of the wheat field. Next up was my Estes “Pop-Fly”, a miniature (2’) baseball bat with a ball on top. It flew on a B4-2 with no issues. Third in line was the Sunward “Box Racer”. You’ve all heard of rockets with tubes for fins, well this model has square boxes for fins! It flew on a B6-4 and was recovered close to the pads. Joe chastised my next flight, which was an Estes “Hi-Flier” on an A8-3. Although it was not a true high flier in terms of pure altitude, I believe the height obtained was acceptable for that size motor. Joe really thought I went off the deep end when I pulled out my Estes “Scissors Wing Transport” glider for my last launch of the day. Of the 6 gliders I brought with me I figured this one would have the best chance of working in the windy conditions due to its’ wing design. Alas, the winds were too strong, and coupling that with a poor trim effort on my part since it’s last rebuild, the glide was less than optimal…more like a dive bomber that didn’t pull up in time. No damage was done, so once it’s re-trimmed I’ll try I again. Joe made a huge pot of chile that most fliers and spectators sampled (or in some cases gorged themselves). Joe also performed most of the LCO duties, although Marty and I did take a turn of two while he was away on recovery missions. Taylor, a teen whose been to a few launches this year, started his NARTREK journey, but missed capturing his streamer duration requirement by I believe a scant .61 seconds. Better luck in the spring! We had one large “I” powered bird auger into the southeast of us…the “thud” of impact was heard by all present. Tsolo put a few in the sky, including the first SkidMark motor flown at a SPARC launch…love those motors, but there’s no way they can be used during the Summer months around here… The brothers from Oregon who showed up in their old Plymouth “feather” Duster seemed to have 2 rockets on every rack that was flown…their glider fleet, along with most of mine, was grounded by the weather. I don’t think Ray put up any flights, and neither did PreidentBob who was only on-site for about 1.5 hours. We also had a visit from the newlyweds…Katie & Lou Bragg. The highlight flight of the day hands down was Marty’s Halloween themed “Jack O’Cooney”. Which looked like a squatting skeleton with a Pumpkin head. Check out the pictures on the NWR site. With a head full of candy that was dispersed to the remaining crowd when the chute deployed, it was truly a work of art. Teardown started ~2:20PM and we were all on our way by 2:50. See ya next year!!! Regards, Mark W. Howe (509-981-5200)

Posted by bobble at 1:50 PM | Comments (0)

Marty Weiser launch report

We held SPARC's last scheduled launch of the year today under reasonable conditions. Joe Cooney was our launch director. One of Joe's favorite holidays is Halloween and he was very happy to have signed up lead the launch on Halloween. Unfortunately, some things came up and the launch had to be postponed until Nov. 7. When I heard about this I hunted down Joe's long lost evil twin brother Jack O'Cooney and talked him into coming to our launch to try to make Joe feel better. Jack and Joe finally met this afternoon and I have posted three pictures to the NW Rocketry Image Gallery. http://northwestrocketry.com/uploads/Jack_and_Joe.jpg http://northwestrocketry.com/uploads/Jack_on_the_pad.jpg http://northwestrocketry.com/uploads/Jack_in_flight.jpg The fight was good, but could have used an even shorter delay that the XS that I used in the I284. He broke a leg during landing which is what I was afraid might happen - easily repaired. I had a great time building Jack and most days was wondering if it was legal to have that much fun. Marty

Posted by bobble at 6:15 AM | Comments (0)

Joe Cooney launch report

Final Launch has concluded for 2009 and despite a bad weather forecast, the early morning hours were clear skies and winds to 10 knots. Set up began on a whim at around 0800 hrs and Ray & I were mostly finished when the first cars started to show by 0845. All together we had 18 fliers accounting for 55 flights. There were also numerous spectators and a local Boy Scout Troop on hand. Actually that was a lot more people than I expected based on weather reports. I got the launch started with my Fly it before You can Buy it, clone of the Estes Super Neon XL, named “Bright Side of the Road”. It flew nicely on an E9-6. Due to technical difficulties beyond my control, I was limited in the number of flights I had. I tried to get my Mean Machine clone, “The Pride of Cucamonga” flying on an F39-6, but all I got was no go. Four times I tried and four times I failed, Marty helped me out with an Igniter and the 5th time she climbed high in the air. Longer walk than it should have been, since I walked by it and spent 35 minutes looking for it further out than it was. But it was recovered. My second flight wound up being my CC Express clone named, “CC Rider”, broken fin on the booster taped in place, flew nicely on C11-0 to C11-7, thanks to Brandon for Recovering it for me. My forth and final flight, yes final flight was my Lil' Alien Space Probe named, “Born Cross Eyed”. So much for flying I think the winds got the best of me and I just didn’t want to walk. Actually it might have been the two bowls of chili that slowed me down, I am not sure. Mark Howe finally got the best of me, although I had to sponsor an “I motor” flight as the owners cert lapsed I don’t take credit for it, actually the flight was nice, but the recovery was swift and fast and straight down. No chute! So Mark, with your paltry five flights I will give you all winter to bask in the glow that once again you are the “King of the Launch Pad” and on November 7, 2009 you out flew me. One of Boy Scouts, Darien K. had one of the nicest Big Betty’s I have seen, painted Gold it really shown both times it was flown. Tyler P brought out one of my favorite rockets, the Estes Storm Caster. He flew it three times the last being on an E15-7. It hopped several times while trying to come up to pressure and then it was off to the races. Dave and his brother Doug amassed 11 flights between them accounting for the last rack of the day. Sorry Mark, but Dave notched six flights so although you beat me fair and square; you came up just short on the most flown. I am not sure you can get credit for flying the Estes Hi-Flier aptly named “Can’t Come Down” on an A8-3. That really should be the “not quite so hi-flier” or maybe I just barely cleared the rod and should land really close to it. Tsolo threw a few in the air and if my memory is correct he used the first “Skid Mark” motor at a SPARC launch. I was out recovering my rocket and missed it. The highlight of the Launch has to go to Marty for his Halloween Themed rocket he named Jack O’Cooney. I am not sure, but I didn’t really see any family resemblance to the Cooney clan. A little know fact in the old country my name would have actually been O’Cooney. Marty’s skeleton creation was sent aloft on an I-284 complete with Red Hot candies in the Pumpkin Head. He flew nicely for the first half of the flight and than flipped in the air before gravity took over. The 4 second delay punched the 6 foot 12 inch chute out halfway to the ground. Perfect landing was followed by Marty chasing old Jack across the field as the chute was billowing in the wind. Marty thanks for the laughs that was certainly one of the best launches I have seen. Well that wraps up our final launch, thanks for all those who helped both set up and tear down. I hope to see all of you next year. Oh, and Bob sign me up for the October 30, 2010 launch date. I will definitely finish my Halloween rocket by then. Heck it has only been three years in the making and I only have two fillets left and paint. That shouldn’t be a problem. Joe Cooney, Jack O’Cooney’s normal twin brother

Posted by bobble at 6:01 AM | Comments (0)

2009 Season is over

November 7, 2009

Our last launch of the season is now complete. Stay tuned for details on next years launch schedule. Thanks to all annual members for your support. Special KUDOS to our launch directors this year. Joe Cooney has once again stepped up to be Halloween launch director for November 30, 2010. As before, any current member in good standing who wishes to serve as Launch director on the date(s) of your preference will have their 2010 dues waived. This offer ends 12/31/09. president bob

Posted by bobble at 4:24 PM | Comments (0)