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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 April 16, 2012 6:50 AM

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