Launch date and time: May 10th, 4:00PM
Launch location: Clardy Elementary, North Kansas City
Launch wind and weather: Warm and Windy!
Much to KCAR club members delight, the Science Club at Clardy Elementary invited us to help with their rocket launch again this year. The weather didnt look too promising a repeat of last year which was postponed a week but the wind wasnt too high and it wasnt raining so we went ahead with the launch.
Randall arrived first and communicated with Mrs. Dailey and then started checking the wind and field. The wind speed and direction dictated our location this year to be down in the corner almost directly against the trees. We normally launch from the area just past the parking lot. Randall and I began carrying equipment down to the selected location, and set up in an area that had been mown recently.
Setting up went quickly and we had some time to rip the pages of the recovery wadding apart, and to separate the motor plugs, and so forth. Randall also launched a spool rocket to check our pad location against the wind and ensure we had everything hooked up properly. Nice flight, and we judged the trees and wind pretty well. The new controller uses a 5-Ah gell cell and its small size earns it no respect until it actually does something. Small though it is, it packs plenty of punch. Randall even commented on its power.
Soon enough, a group of kids came running down the hill. Some of the kids parents also came to see the launch. We talked a little, and found out that most of the kids had flown a rocket before, but a few hadnt so we went over the reason for the wadding and what it is despite what it looks like. We had some problems with this for some reason today, its hard to get wadding into a skinny body tube without jamming it in. We next discussed motors, what they do, and how to get an ignitor into one along with the plug. This step went a lot better and faster than the wadding. We have learned from our experiences in the past about the motor hook shorting out the ignitor leads and were able to prevent that little problem; we had just a couple of misfires.
As in previous years, I enlisted a volunteer with pretty handwriting, DAngela, to assist with logging the fliers names. As a reward, she was the switch-switching-launch-controller-extraordinaire much to the envy of many of her classmates. She was very good at it, selecting the pads in the correct order and holding the launch button down until the rockets were in motion. The log that follows is the result of her work Thanks DAngela! And she managed to get in a flight or two as well!
The location does look close in the photos, doesnt it? There is a largish gap directly over the pads, and the angle was set to fly the rockets Northward somewhat anticipating the wind carrying them back to the hillside behind the controller. This worked pretty well; most of the rockets did land on the hillside but a couple fell a little short when the wind slackened a bit. We also had what we thought was a motor CATO but it turned out to be the motor hook either caught or trapped by the stand-off clothes pin. As far as I know no rockets were lost.
New this year for this group was a big pile of Estes trackers. While we were prepping models, Mrs. Dailey and her crew were measuring off the distance for the trackings stations. The trackers are the Estes single-station altitude type, but she had them tracking from different angles to improve accuracy. We were calling off our countdown as loud as possible so that the trackers could hear and be ready for the launch. I also noticed the stations getting a crew switch-out and Mrs. Dailey reports altitudes tracked in the 90-meter range.
All-in-all, it was a good day on the range! Hope the kids had as much fun as Randall and I, and they ask us to come help again next year!
Submitted by Tim Burger NAR 78486 L1 (photos too).
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Page created on May 31, 2006.