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KCAR Launch Report: November Sport Launch

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 we’ve 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 haven’t 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 they’ve 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 didn’t 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 don’t 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 didn’t get logged. The total impulse for the day falls in the ‘K’ range.

Flight Log
Flier Rocket Motor(s) Comments
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
5 Mark Bazinet Initiator G64-7
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 Mayhem’s 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
13 Darwin May G-Force G64-4 Cool!
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
19 Darwin May SR-71 MM
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
27 Darwin May Tomahawk MM
28 Darwin May UFO MM
29 Dave Bucher C Rocket Glider C6-3 Arced over and lawn-darted
30 Dave Bucher C Rocket Glider C6-3 Much better

Flights by Rocketeers
Flights Rocketeer(s)
Darwin May
Mark Bazinet
Dave Bucher
Tim Burger
Jeff Erle
David Lucas
Joe Butin
Jerry Horn
Michael Navikas
Tim Navikas
Rockets Making Multiple Flights:
Flights Rocket Rocketeer
2 C Rocket Glider Dave Bucher
Big Boy Jeff Erle
Totals by motor:
Motor Number
Micro Max 7 0.88
Total MM’s: 7 0.88
A8 2 4.64
Total A’s: 2 4.64
B6 2 8.66
Total B’s: 2 8.66
C6 11 97.02
Total C’s: 11 97.02
D12 7 117.88
Total D’s: 7 117.88
E9 3 83.61
Total E’s: 3 83.61
G40 1 113.74
G64 3 356.40
Total G’s: 4 470.14
H128 4 716.00
H220 1 215.41
Total H’s: 5 931.41
I161 2 700.00
Total I’s: 2 700.00
Total: 43 2,414.24 (K)

Submitted by Tim Burger NAR78486 L1

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Page created on November 25, 2004.