Launch date and time: November 20, 2004 11:00AM
Launch location: Tickwood Ranch near Drexel, MO
Launch wind and weather: Cool, but calm with high overcast and the sun peeking through at intervals
The Kansas City Association of Rocketry was blessed this weekend with some of the best weather weve seen for a November launch. Winds were very light, and most of what was sent up came more-or-less right back to the pads. Despite that, we only flew about 30 flights, and our numbers were down with a lot of regulars missing entirely.
Tim & Michael Navickas arrived early in the launch to make the Missouri flights on the two Alpha 40 Project rockets. We havent seen Tim at a KCAR launch for quite a while and it was good catching up on his recent activities. The two rockets flew quite nicely, and we all signed the book. These two rockets are making a flight in all fifty states in honor of 40-years of model rocketry and will be displayed at the Smithsonian when theyve done all that. I spent some time leafing through the book, and found pages of names, launch reports, photos, and a log of all the flights and repairs.
We do have two new level one fliers, though. Jerry Horn went first, using a PML AMRAAM IV equipped with a quick switch mount, PML 3000 altimeter bay and altimeter system. We had walked through the motor assembly earlier in the week, and went through the actual assembly on the field. Jerry carefully tested his e-matches, cycled the altimeter per the instructions and packed the chute and drogue. I was juggling supervision of this while doing the check and launch control duties, but we managed to get through it without too much delay. Tim Navickas was also observing the process, and gave Jerry a tip or two, one of which was to put a piece of tape over the altimeter power slide switch to avoid inadvertently turning on the electronics while doing the final assembly. We eventually found ourselves at the bottom of the check list and went out to the pads to get ready. Jerry had made a very nice launch pad, complete with a rail, from a discarded drum stand, but it seemed a little light to me so I talked him into using the big Yellow Jacket Systems pad. After the photos were all taken, and the video was all shot we counted it down and burned the motor. It was an excellent flight - nice and fast and straight. Both the main and the drogue came out at apogee. I thought I heard the main deployment event near the ground (indicating that inertia had deployed the main) but I was the only person to have heard it. We do know that both charges fired, but we may never know if they fired nearly together (indicating a leak in the pressure bulkheads of the altimeter bay causing the drogue charge to trick the altimeter into deploying the main early) or if the shifting of the cord and parachute forced the nose out. Fortunately, there is no requirement for this for level one flight, and the rocket was in perfect shape at the return and the motor was still firmly in place. Congrats on the level one cert, Jerry.
Dave Lucas followed that action later on in the afternoon with his stretched version of the Initiator and using a more sedate Aerotech H128. The rocket is simplicity itself and using a proven motor (and a wire-tie to ensure the casing didnt kick). The flight was picture perfect! Congrats, Dave!
In the mean time, Mark Bazinet was loosing no time in burning some AP, but had some hard luck with a motor burning through the forward ejection well causing the rocket to deploy very early, and rod whip on a very beautiful upscale Mars Snooper, but he saved the day with a nice flight on his reliable BSD Sprint. The H128-M burned fast and the rocket coasted for a good long time before ejecting just past apogee it was a beautiful flight.
Joe Butin (boo-TIN) also made some very nice flights with his Endeavor and a nicely finished Black Brandt, the latter using the very popular H128. Joe was using an altimeter that performed flawlessly for another very beautiful flight and a short walk; seems hardly sporting!
Dave Buchar and David Lucas flew some gliders with mixed success. These guys are so used to dealing with the wind that they dont know what to do without it!
Darwin May came out from Topeka and flew his G-Force and many Micro-Max motors in a variety of rockets.
I was able to get a couple of rockets ready to fly in between certifications and running the range. The first up was the Revenge on an H128. A nice flight, if not too high. An Aerotech H220-M took up my brand new Sprint H, an upscale to 3.125-inch diameter of the classic Mike Dorrfler design. If I said the flight was spectacular I might be understating it a bit the motor burn was quite short, loud, and the bright blue flame was clearly visible. After the motor burned out, it kept going . . . and going . . . and going . . . ten full seconds worth. It ejected just past apogee and was quite high. Alas, the altimeter was confused by the pressure changes caused by my putting the couplers together and it was beeping 160-feet (using simple motor ejection on this flight). I also managed to fly the Interceptor G one more time on a G64-7; another very nice flight, with a little roll. Ejection was just past apogee, and it drifted pretty far.
We were expecting a third person to make a certification attempt today, Christian, who was unfortunately called in to work at the last minute. You have to feel for the guy, since he called at least three times during the day to find out how things were going and I had to report that we were having a great time and spectacular weather; what are friends for, right? He called just before we were ready to launch the Sprint H and I put the phone down to let him listen to the sound. The motor had such a short and powerful burn I must have said Oh! or something and when I picked the phone up he said, What happened?! What a flight and he had to miss it feel for the guy!
The club would like to thank the Albertys for letting us use the field again, not just today, but all year. The same thanks go to the Cases for allowing us to keep our equipment in the loft of the barn and tolerating us throughout the year. Also, thanks goes to Jerry, Rick, Colin, Cameron, and Mark for helping get loaded and set up, and to Mark, Dave, and Bob for helping get everything packed up again and loaded on the truck! Much appreciated!
Unfortunately, I neglected to bring my camera to this event, so there are no photos if you have some please make arrangements to get copies to me (either digital, film, e-mail, whatever). Now for the statistics: There were 3 staged flight(s) (7, 15, 23), and 2 clustered flight(s) (12, 21). That would be a total of thirty flights, though I think one of David L.s glider flights didnt get logged. The total impulse for the day falls in the K range.
|1||Mark Bazinet||Mars Snooper||E9-8||Rod whip sent it into pond - damage appears light|
|2||Joe Butin||PML Endeavor||G40-4||Very nice - straight and fast|
|3||Tim Navikas||Alpha||A8-3||Alpha 40 Project - flight for Missouri|
|4||Michael Navikas||Alpha||A8-3||Alpha 40 Project - flight for Missouri - backup rocket|
|6||Jerry Horn||AMRAAM IV||I161-P||Certification flight: successful. Used electronics and dual deployment|
|7||Jeff Erle||Big Boy||D12-0 to E9-8||Cheap and dirty staging Return to top|
|8||Joe Butin||Black Brandt||H128-P||Altimeter dual deployment|
|9||Tim Burger||Flaming Mayhems Revenge||H128-S||Good flight|
|10||David Lucas||Vampyre||C6-3||Squirrely flight|
|11||Mark Bazinet||THOR||I161-M||Rebuilt from before CATO shred. Forward closure burned through at touchhole|
|12||Jeff Erle||Bad Boy||7 X C6-5||Airstarting: 4 to 2 to 1 Arched over and went cruise Return to top|
|14||Tim Burger||Sprint H||H220-M||Cool!|
|15||Jeff Erle||Big Boy||D12-0 to E9-8||Not as good as previously Return to top|
|16||Darwin May||R&W Fujion||MM|
|17||Mark Bazinet||BSD Sprint||H128-M||Good flight!|
|18||David Lucas||HP Initiator||H128-M||Certification attempt: successful|
|20||Darwin May||Critical Mass||MM|
|21||Dave Bucher||Patriot AAM||4 X D12-5||Three lit Return to top|
|22||Tim Burger||Interceptor G||G64-7||Very good flight, lots of drift|
|23||Mark Bazinet||Nomad||D12-0 to B6-0 to B6-6||Return to top|
|24||Darwin May||Space Fighter||MM||Good flight|
|25||David Lucas||B/G||C6-3||CATO! Proxy flight for David Messerschmidt|
|26||Darwin May||Cruise Missile||MM||Good flight|
|29||Dave Bucher||C Rocket Glider||C6-3||Arced over and lawn-darted|
|30||Dave Bucher||C Rocket Glider||C6-3||Much better|
Submitted by Tim Burger NAR78486 L1
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Page created on November 25, 2004.