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KCAR Launch Report: Polar Bear Launch

Launch date and time: February 23, 2008, 11:00 AM.
Launch location: Montieth Field, Pattonsburg, MO

The club held its second launch of the year, this time at a new field (well, new to us at least) up in the great frozen North near Pattonsburg, Missouri. This field is provided courtesy of Michael M. and his family. It’s a pretty nice field of unobstructed pasture land surrounded by other fields of pasture and row crops.

The weather, like last month, was cold but with nice calm winds. So the cold didn’t feel so cold, and the flying was “straight up!”

Michael was there launching when I arrived and interrupted his activity. After breaking out some equipment and getting ready to launch myself, Randall arrived, and more chatting and setting up ensued.

We eventually got around to launching some rockets. Michael had one ready to go when I arrived and was finally able to get in a flight. I had one on the pad and let fly. Randall followed with a good flight. In the mean time Blake was getting set up and having some difficulty with CA not wanting to work in the cold. He did eventually get the glider he’s been working on in the air. This is a concept glider that he’s developed from a hand launch glider plan and is working up to staging the booster. He flew it in single motor mode today, and the glide was truly impressive.

Since the wind was low, and the fields are so big, there was no fear and big motors were the order of the day. I flew the Sprint on a B6 for a terrific flight, and might have gone with a C6 (something I haven’t done for a while) but it managed to land just right even with the snow and break a fin. This one’s a clone, but flies as good as the original. A C6-7 will take it clean out of site! Another Quest B6-4 took the Drifter for a nice high flight, and a matching long walk. Managed to catch a breeze with that flight.

Randall flew a pair of spools back to back. They both went cruise missile mode for some reason, and landed in the snow making some pretty strange and non-angelic marks! Neither suffered damage.

Michael had a similar flight profile with his AstroCam; a long arching flight with an ejection that came very much too late. It was eventually found, but the camera was a total loss, alas.

My Omega, the classic two stage payloader from the wonderous days of yore (mine’s a scratch made clone) experienced a CATO in the form of a blown nozzle right at ignition. It sat there and whooshed and smoked but didn’t move until the C11 in the upper stage was ignited. It then proceeded up the rail and into the air about six feet, then dropped onto the snow with a thud and ejected a moment later. The booster stage is pretty badly charred between two of the fins, but there is little other damage. I was surprised that the inside of the both stages wasn’t cooked by the C11, but there’s hardly even any residue. The jet must have went right down the center of the now hollow D12 below. A MESS form will be filed.

There were many other very good flights. The table below is derived from my flight log and memory, and is certainly not complete nor in any order except by flier. Michael was taking photos; I’ll try to get my hands on a few.

Thanks again for hosting the launch, Michael!

See you next month!

Rockets Flown (Informal Data)
Flier Rocket Motor Comments
Blake Boost Glider ? Flew quite well with a gentle transition and long glide time.
Blake Jared ? Good!

Michael Astro Cam ? Long arcing flight ending in tragedy. Camera completely destroyed.


Randall Large Spool ?
Randall Small Spool ?
Tim Maxi-Alpha D12-5 OK
Tim Big Tangent D12-3 OK
Tim Big Bertha B6-4
Tim Correlian Star Destroyer D12-3 Nice Maden voyage.
Tim Sprint 24 D12-5 High! Separated - yanked the top ring out.
Tim Sprint B6-4 Very high, shattered fin.
Tim Drifter B6-4 Living up to its name; very long walk to retrieve.
Tim Omega D12-0 to C11-5 D12 CATO - blew the nozzle! The C11 ignited and carried the rocket to the top of the rod.
Tim F104 B6-4 OK
Tim Maxi-Alpha D9-4 Took three tries, but we finally managed to light it!

Submitted by Tim Burger, NAR 78486 L1.

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Page created on February 26 , 2008