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Jeff Halstead launch report

April 17, 2012

The good weather was a first in the four-plus years I have been April launch director. Where in past years we have huddled in either Ray’s or Jim’s RVs sipping coffee and eating doughnuts while waiting for poor weather to break, Saturday’s launch day dawned bright, beautiful and relatively warm. Saturday morning’s ideal weather made for excellent launch conditions. The skies were blue and there was little or no breeze. In about 2 ½ hours, we had 74 flights. The motors burned broke down into the following impulses: A – 6 B – 10 C – 18 D – 21 E – 16 F – 5 G – 4 H – 4 I – 3 J – 1 We had numerous successful clusters and stagings. We closed down the range at 2:30 due to wind and the threat of rain. Unquestionably, the highlight of the day was the unveiling of the new launch system Joe Cooney built for the club. While we had a few launches delayed due to a bad battery, Joe’s launch system worked flawlessly. Thank you so much Joe! During the launch, we passed the hat for donations to reimburse Joe for the $800+ he spent on materials for the new launch system. The consensus was that a donation of $25-30 from each club member or frequent flier was a reasonable request (which is basically a second dues assessment this year). We would ask you to send your donation this week to our club president: Bob Yanecek 5056 B Swenson Rd. Deer Park, WA 99006 I would like to thank all of you who assisted with LCO and RSO duties and help with set up and tear down of the launch system. With numerous helping hands, all of this went smoothly. SPARC’s next launch will be Saturday, May 12. We hope to see you all there! Jeff Halstead April Launch Director

Posted by bobble at 6:12 AM | Comments (0)


Mark Howe launch report

April 16, 2012

In my efforts to assist in kicking off the SPARC 2012 flying season I managed to put 8 rockets in the air. I arrived on site at 9AM to an expanding number of cars along the flight line. The GSE was almost completely ready to roll by the time I showed up. The field was in great shape, although it could have been a bit damper around the high power pads... . Weather/wind in the morning was very calm so I took advantage of it to get some gliders into the air…nothing too large this time around! First up was an Edmonds Tinee on a 1/A3-2T. It’s a very small rocket glider that managed to perform a nice big loop in the air before settling in for a respectable glide on such a small motor. Second up was an Edmonds Ecee on a A3-4T. It was more of a “dive bomber” than a glider, and I’ve had mixed results with it in the past. Came in a bit hard but sustained no damage. 3rd in line was an Estes Trans-Wing Super-G on a B6-2. It’s an old boost glider kit in which the wings are supposed to spring open to twice their length after the glider separates from the boost pod. Unfortunately only one wing opened after separation and it spiraled to the ground like a bird who had been shoot in the wing. 4th up was an Edmonds CiCi boost glider on a B4-2. It’s slightly larger than the Tinee. It also performed a loop during flight, though this one took place much closer to the ground. That was it for my gliders as the wind started to pick up a bit. Next up was an Estes Venus Probe (minus the alien landing pod) on a C6-3. The landing pod was lost at a FITS launch a number of years back, and was replaced with a nose cone from an Explorer Aquarious kit. There was nothing special about this flight. #6 was an Estes Skywinder on a C6-3. It uses helicopter recovery and performed flawlessly. I’m really partial to Gliders, Helicopter, and “odd-ball” type rockets. #7 was a Custom S.L.V. on a B6-4. Nothing special about this flight either. Last up at #8 was an Estes Silver Comet on a D12-3. By the time I launched it the wind had picked up and I regretted using the 24” chute. Recovery was made about 100 yards from Emerson’s house. It was my longest walk of day…but I can’t complain as others trekked much farther for their rockets. I always enjoy Dave Glasses creations and he didn’t disappoint with his “Hey Dude, Where’s your nose cone”; a new bird for this year named “Well do ya, Steampunk?”, and some of his other goodies. I won’t go into much detail regarding other flights, except to say there were plenty of them, with results ranging from very successful to lawn darts, and one motor CATO. . One of the more “excitable” moments of the day came from a “sparky” motor on the high power pads. Even with all of the rain this past week the sparks managed to start a few small fires that were quickly brought under control by the club. I enjoy those motors immensely, but you have to be very cautious with them. With the wind coming up and clouds looking nasty to the North we decided to tear down the range around 2:15. General conversation about the day’s launch and the upcoming scouting event next week were discussed. It will be interesting to see the results from the flight cards. The over/under estimate was 75 flights, but I think it’ll end up being closer to 100. There were at least 6 high power flights, most likely more than that. Kudos to Joe Cooney for his excellent work in upgrading our GSE over the winter. The new controller and range boxes turned out very nice and worked well. That’s it for now…see some of you next week and others hopefully in May! Regards, Mark W. Howe

Posted by bobble at 6:50 AM | Comments (0)


Joe Cooney launch report

A short launch report for the first launch of the year. I woke up early and packed the car with two boxes of rockets and a few larger ones sitting on the side. My goal was 10 or more flights and I figured I would get out to the launch area early. I figured I would be the first one there but alas Jim Jopson brought the motor home out the day before. Somewhere amongst the conversations I managed to put three birds in the air. I started with the Lil Raptor on an E9-8 and then to Finders Keepers (BT-80 upscale Baby Bertha) on an E9-4. Both flights landed south of the field. The last one sent up was a scratch built Goonie Bird, designed after the Star Ship Nova from the early 1980's on a D12-3. Somewhere in there Jim was nice enough to make BLT's for breakfast, not a bad way to start the morning. The porta potty guy showed up and relocated the porta potty form Wild Rose to the south end of the field where it was needed. Bob showed up shortly after my last flight and we started to set up the range. With new equipment all located all over the trailer, it was a bit of a search to find everything. By that time the flightline was getting crowded and there were more than enough people setting up, so I snuck away and finished prepping the I161 for my 4" Upscale Baby Bertha named Morning Dew. I also prepped my 1965 Centuri Javelin which I was going to use for a first flight on the equipment. No go on the Javelin, but the Upscale Baby Bertha on an I161 screamed off the rail shortly after 10:00 am and the flying season was underway. The weather was great Sunny and warm for most of the day with calm winds all morning. Two racks later and the Javelin finally got airborne on an 1/2A6, although the the ejection charge seemed more powerful than the motor. Next up was my Mean Machine clone named Pride of Cucamonga on E9-4. A little super glue and my Centuri Thunder Rock clone was ready to fly on an E9-6. Both flights recovered easily. After repairs from the October land shark flight my Two Stage scratch built Rip Roar inspired bird named, Stronger than Dirt was prepped and ready to go. A D12-0 replaced the C11-0 form October failed flight. The Boast was okay, but the rocket separated before the upper stage lit and consequently arced over as gravity took over from thrust and she nosed in just pass the road into the field. Thank God for soft dirt as the rocket survived intact, minus the motor mount that was ejected on impact. That should buff right out though. My last flights were the Alien Space probe on a C5-3, nice boost, though I melted the chute together so it landed a little hard and dislodged one of the landing legs. My last flight was Orange Tango Jam on a H210 Redline motor. Nice bright red flame and away she went. Recovery was to the east as winds had picked up by then. I helped look for a lost rocket and by the time I got back the clouds rolled in. We cleaned up the range and gathered around talking. A very nice first launch, even though it ended a little early. Thanks to the Launch Director, Jeff Halstead for kicking off the 2012 flying season, couldn't have asked for a better day. Joe Cooney

Posted by bobble at 6:45 AM | Comments (0)


April Launch concluded

April 14, 2012

Sure was a good day for rockets. Clear skies, calm to moderate winds, great crowd, and lots of rockets. Joe Cooney's new launch controller was piece of beauty, and it worked ;-) Stay tuned for a count of how many motors we burned and hopefully a few launch reports. Next launch is scheduled for Saturday May 12'th with Mark Vanderlip as your launch director. president bob

Posted by bobble at 4:10 PM | Comments (0)