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KCAR Activity/Launch Report: Project Restoration Make & Take-it

Launch date and time: June 29, 2005
Build location: Lord of Life Lutheran Church
Launch location: Shawnee Mission Park
Launch wind and weather: Warm, clear, and mild winds

Launch Area

In the early part of 2005, the club received various requests for demo and launch assistance from schools and other organizations. Many of these requests faded away, a few became a reality, and this one, Project Restoration, became one of the club’s brighter successes.

The builders 1
The kids build the rockets
Photo by Tim Burger
Alison B. contacted us with a request for information about our club and what ideas or resources we might be able to offer. We weren’t too sure about what she had in mind or how we could help. After the exchange of an e-mail or two, and with some discussion between club members on our Yahoo group, we were able to determine that a “Make & Take-it” might be possible. We speculated on how we might arrange for some inexpensive kits and contacted a couple of vendors with requests for quotes and so on. One of the club members, a young gentleman by the name of Robert contacted Quest Aerospace with a request to help. This request found it’s way to Matt Costable’s attention who immediately contacted Alison and myself to find out what the request was about exactly, and to verify that our organizations exist and are ligit.

The project took off from there! Turns out that Matt has spent some time in the Greater Kanas City area, and was already familiar with the Project Restoration. This familiarity was a great help to all concern and resulted in Quest donating all of the kits and motors for the event! Wow! At some point it was necessary to hold Matt back a little and get A6 motors rather than the C’s he initially wanted to send us. You wouldn’t believe how generous and friendly Matt and Quest are!

So, Alison sprang into action (heh, if you only knew how busy this lady is) and found a place to build the models, organized lunch for everyone involved, transporation to launch site and some helpers to assist.

Project Restoration is an organization who’s purpose is to bring kids from the Belasaris area to the US for medical attention and nourishment. This area was under the cloud from the Chernoble accident and need this attention greatly. A noble cause, and KCAR was proud to be invited to play even this small part in the project.

The builders
More kids building rockets
Photo by Tim Burger
The kits that Matt sent us were terrific. Each came in a nice box, had all of the necessary parts and clear instructions. They were equipped with plastic fin units which sped up the build. I must confess that the club hasn’t done too many Make/Take projects prior to now, so we were a little out of our league already. Toss in the fact the many of the kids spoke a very limited amount of English and you have a whole new ball game! I think I can say that we all had a lot of fun, though. Several of the adults there spoke both languages quite fluently, and some of the older youngsters were also very fluent and were a big help which prevented communication from becoming an issue. It might have been a bit better if I’d had a chance to build one of the kits prior to the main event. Fortunately, the kits were tremendous with no little tricks nor bad building problems and went right together in typical Quest fashion.

We all had a nice box lunch when the building was finished, and the time taken for this allowed the glue to dry (somewhat, more on that later). Most of the club members were unavailable in the morning, so it was just Martin, Randall and I until after lunch. Then Randall had to work, but Christian turned up shortly after lunch. We all headed over to the park and began setting up equipment. We did pretty well, save that for some reason only four of the six clip leads were in the box. Well, that would slow us down a bit, and just at this point Alan and Rick called to find out where we were and let us know that they were on their way. So they made a quick stop at the hardware store to pick up a the necessary items needed to fabricate some clips and arrived just as we were getting ready.

The builders
And more kids build rockets!
Photo by Tim Burger
There was a little wind, but by aiming the rods a little, and because we didn’t have huge motors, were able to keep the rockets out of the trees (mostly). We did have a couple of mishaps, though. The first was that one of the rockets had maybe a little too much glue in the motor mount parts which resulted in still wet glue at ignition with the easily imagined result! We also had one motor “let go” resulting in the ruination of the model. Fortunately, we had a couple extras, and Martin quickly made two new models to replace the problemed ones.

The launching itself went pretty well. I handled the pad switches for the first group of six (launching in pairs), then turned it over to some of the kids. Our first countdown sort of fizzled, so we all had a laugh and tried it again with a little more enthusiasm (this time stopping at zero rather than rolling over and starting to count up.) Alan and Rick did most of the pad assistance, with Christian and I filling in as we could. We had plenty of motors and everyone was able to launch at least once and several of the kids sent their models up twice. Just when we thought we were out of motors we found a couple more and our switch switching launch controllers were able to get their models in the air too. (We somehow overlooked holding a couple motors for them.)

This whole adventure was a great deal of fun. I think I can speak for all of the club members that were involved when I say that we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and that the kids did too. They gave us a great big thank-you as we were packing up to go.

The club wishes to give a BIG THANK-YOU to our friends at Quest Aerospace and to Matt Costabile for their help, support, and especially their generosity!

Submitted by Tim Burger, NAR 78486 L1

The girls admire Martin's AMRAAM
The girls admire Martin's AMRAAM
Photo by Tim Burger
The kids man the switches
The kids flipping switches and launching models
Photo by Christian Bruggeman
Look  . . . up in the sky!
Look! Up in the sky!
Photo by Christian Bruggeman
Getting Ready
Getting Ready!
Photo by Christian Bruggeman

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Last updated on May 18, 2006.