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Launch Report: January 2002 "Polar Bear" Launch

Launch date and time: January 12th, 2002, 11:00 AM.
Launch location: New Mark Middle School, Kansas City, MO

This was an informal BOYL (Bring Your Own Launcher) launch. The temperature was pretty good (for January), but the wind made things a bit tough.

We had two new rocketeers fly with us, and a visitor from Wichita. Between gusts we managed to fly quite a few rockets. Dan flew some Micro-Maxx stuff, a Skywinder, a Tazmanian Devil, and his Pencil rocket. Unfortunately he lost my Astron Space Plane on the roof of the school. His Vaughn Brothers Buzzard experienced a motor failure. The Estes A8-3 boosted the rocket straight up, but the delay and/or ejection charge failed to ignite, so it streamlined in. It hit the driver’s side window of his car. There was no damage to the glider or the car, and he has plans to rebuild the booster.

Theo Asir, whose wife thought he was crazy (until he told her about the guy who came here all the way from Wichita for this launch), managed to make it out to the field. Theo’s Estes Fat Boy tried to fly on a D12-5 but tumbled as soon as it left the rod, despite passing the swing test.

Tim Burger started out with the venerable old Holverson Tangent on an A8-3. Not much of a flight, really, doubt it made 100 feet. He tried it again with a B6-4 in it, and sent it up. Much better, but lots of drift. Some of the other rockets were drifting clear to the tree line on the East end of the field. Next Tim put a D12-3 in the brand spanking new Super Bertha. To minimize drift he used an 18-inch ’chute, but it still managed to drift into the parking lot. The rough landing shattering one of the fins but the damage wasn’t severe. He flew the Tangent once more, and then stuck a D12-5 in the recently refit Maxi-Alpha. Nice flight, lots of drift, but no damage. The wind caught the ’chute and started dragging it. The ’chute was a 24-inch one with a huge spill hole.

Since the Wichita club didn’t have polar bear launches Mark Elzinga decided it was time for a road trip to KC for some rocketry since our launch happened to fit into his schedule. He had the longest recovery of the day, with an Estes Fat Boy that drifted out of the field and into someone’s front yard. Mark mentioned that he enjoyed the launch and hopes to make it to Spring Fling.

Portions of this report provided by KCAR members Theo Asir, Tim Burger, Dan Kirk, and visitor Mark Elzinga.

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Last updated: October 27, 2004