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Alan Roberts June Launch report

June 15, 2011

The following is my launch report for the Midway Elementary School Launch on Friday 6/10 and the SPARC launch on Saturday 6/11. Friday 6/10 It was such fun to see the kids and their rockets for the Midway Elementary School launch. Boundless energy and excitement is the best way to describe things. For those of you that have not attended this event before, you really should put it on your “to do list” and tap into some of that youthful energy.
I managed to get in 3 flights all off the rails. My first flight was a LOC –ISIS flying on a F40-9T. I was rushing to get the white and black checkered paint job done after work this past week to poor effect. The white base coat was fine but the masking job was less than perfect and then the black came out of the rattle can like syrup so the result was rocket that I named “Bad Paint Job”. Of course any paint job looks good from a distance so it looked just fine to me on the pad. The flight was uneventful with a good straight boost on a green flame and deployment at apogee. Recovery was easy but the paint job looked just as bad as it did before the flight. My second flight of the day was my red and white Binder Design Excel flying on an H180W with a medium delay. This is the same bird and motor that I did my level 1 on last year and is named “Just a Level 1”. The flight was a clone of my level 1 flight with about 2,300’, apogee deployment, and recovery close to the pads (did I say how much I like no wind when flying high power). My third flight was my LOC Hi-Tech flying on a G78-7G. I have flown this one previously on G and H motors. Its yellow paint job (with primer grey fin can) lends it the name “Screaming Yellow Zonkers”. The flight was straight and true again however the deployment was a bit shorter of apogee than I would like to see. I brought my BBQ out in my utility trailer so folks could cook dogs and burgers with a few lessons learned: • Burgers and dogs are popular so perhaps we need a BBQ at future launches • Too many people in the back of my utility trailer overbalances it with things (including the BBQ) moving quite quickly • Joe Cooney is faster on his feet than he looks (see above) • Tomatoes prepped for hamburgers that hit the ground clean-up just fine (also see above) Saturday 6/11 As previous reports have mentioned the skies were not cooperative at the start of the day but we had good intel being relayed from Ann Yanecek who was watching the radar loop at home and keeping us focused on the nice weather behind the storm cell that had us questioning our sanity at the start of the day. It turned out that the radar loop was correct and the day turned beautiful with very light winds and all around favorable rocket conditions. My first flight of the day was the second flight of the aforementioned LOC ISIS named “Bad Paint Job”. This time I bumped the motor up to a G40-10. Once again the poor paint job did not hurt the performance as the flight was straight and high. The delay was probably about a second too long and while the rocket was recovered fine, there was slight damage to the fin can coupler where the recovery harness quick link hit it with some enthusiasm. It’s an easy fix (certainly easier to fix than the bad paint job) and given the rocket’s willingness to flight straight and true I may just put a small H in it for the October launch. My second flight was my LOC Hi-Tech, “Screaming Yellow Zonkers” on an H128W with a medium 10 second delay. This rocket really likes an H and so this flight was straight, high and true and, thanks to light winds, a “breeze” to recover. For my third flight I brought out my Comanche 3 with a D12-0, C6-0, C6-7. This is the third time that I have flown it with the full stack and I was hoping to keep my string of recovering all parts alive. The rocket roared off the pad and out of site. Fortunately for me I had good eyes on the ground with Ann Yanecek. recovering the main booster from the wheat, Bob Yanecek. recovering the second booster from close to the pad and Mark Vanderlip keeping his binos glued to the main rocket. For the longest time he was the only one with an eye on the main rocket until finally it got low enough for us to hear and see the gold mylar streamer with rocket firmly attached. Thanks to all for keeping the recovery streak alive on my Comanche 3! Saturday was great fun with a wide range of rockets from everyone. It seemed like we had quite a few more high power boosts than in recent past launches. Perhaps it’s my imagination and if so don’t tell me because either way I sure enjoyed the roar and power of those big motors. It was great to see some new folks at the launch and of course all of the old classics . . . . . I'm referring to the rockets of course. Great job to Bob and Dave for co-launch director duties. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Alan

Posted by bobble at June 15, 2011 6:54 AM

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