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Mark Howe WHEATCHEX launch report

June 6, 2010

Joe Cooney, the launch director for the event arrived at the site ~8:30 on Sat with trailer in tow. I arrived next about 8:50 and Joe already had ¼ of the range setup. We got busy and pulled the rest of the gear from the trailer. At 9:15 Alan Roberts pulled in as Joe headed back to his house to pick up the connection for the PA system. Alan and I finished getting things connected and tested as people slooowly stared arriving…I was a little wary of small initial turnout, but the crowd got better as the day progressed.
The entire Hollenbeck clan showed up for most of the day. Bryce recently graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott AZ, where my oldest just finished his freshman year. I hadn’t seen Bryce in over 4 years. He managed to put up a couple rockets. He and his family seemed to enjoy watching the numerous flights and talking rockets. Bryce’s dad Mark, a teacher, gave SPARC fliers to his students awhile ago, as his class is going to be launching the models they built at school next week. Some of the students showed up and had a great time seeing some of the larger rockets take to the sky. It’s always nice to see some fresh new faces mixed in with the regular crowd, an there were plenty this time! The Phillips family arrived and spent the night in their camper. Joel and his young side-kick Matt put a number of birds in the air. Joel even took a turn or two at performing LCO duties, which was also done by Joe, Marty, Dave Glass, and myself. Emersons’ (our gracious land-owner) daughter and her son dropped by for a hour and two, and Nate was able to get at least one “ROCK-IT” (an Estes kit) up. Three different people had ROCK-IT kits at the event. Chris, an Air Force buddy of Joe who assisted with the large BSA event at the fairgrounds two weeks ago also came out for the day and helped Joe fly his large collection of rockets. Everything from model thru high-power. They even managed to blow-up one of Joe’s taller models when an E9 motor decided to push it’s thrust out the side instead of through the nozzle.  Dave Powers had some nice stable (and a few unstable) flights on various scratch built and kit models. Dave Glass launched his “Mini-Hooper” and “Nike Bozo” to great fanfare. Lou Bragg played with mid & high power flights all day, and Marty flew his “Mama Raccoon” on an H something or other. Tsolo was on-site for most of the day and put up some flights on some “odd-rock” type models. On the downside the Egans failed in their 2nd attempt for a L1 certification with another motor issue…back to the drawing board! I can’t remember all of the flights as there were too many to keep track of, especially since I came with the majority of my models un-prepped. Bob made an appearance for a few hours but did not fly, and Ray showed up late basically to perform courier services (drop-off and pick-up). He and Bryce did spend a bit of talking about the “research” aspect of rocketry. It was truly great weather for launching…lots of blue skies with some clouds mixed in…temperature not too hot or cold. I managed to fly 9 times, strictly low-power with the exception of one mid-power flight: • First up was an Estes Skywinder on a C6-3 with Helicopter recovery. • 2nd was a Custom Inc. Interpanetary Shuttle on a C6-3, The rocker is very heavy for its’ size and the resulting altitude was surprisingly low for a “C” in this diameter model. • 3rd was a Custom Inc P.O.N.G. on an A10-3T. It uses a ping-pong ball for the nose and tumble/small streamer recovery. • 4th was a Custom Inc S.L.V. on a B6-4 with a 12” chute. • 5th was an Estes ROCK-IT on a D12-5…it was painted with stone textured paint and recovered on a 24” chute • 6th were my Edmonds Gemini dual gliders on an un-rated A10-3T motor. Almost lost them in the wheat to the West of the launch area. Thanks to another Mark and Bob for assisting in their recovery. If you like gliders, Edmonds is the way to go! • 7th was an Estes Broadsword which was CHAD staged with a D12-0/D12-5 combination with chute recovery • 8th was an Estes Helio-Copter on a C6-3. The main body comes down on a small chute while the nose cone sprouts blades and helicopters down. The strange this about this model (I have two of them) is that the nose is pointed up towards the sky with the blades below it as it descends to the ground. • 9th and last was my stretched (to 44”) Estes 36 D-squared. It flew on a cluster of two D12-5’s. For some reason the chute did not deploy after it left the body tube. All of the fins broke off upon landing but it’s an easy fix. I wasn’t able to make today’s (Sunday) portion of the launch, but look forward to seeing the final stats from Joe, who always directs a great event. Regards, Mark W. Howe

Posted by bobble at June 6, 2010 2:48 PM


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