DART Club Launch, 8/31/2003, Fiesta Island
Sarah and I have been away from the hobby for a few months, as I worked my tail off on some remodel projects around the house. Today was my birthday however, and the remodel was very nearly done, so it was off to the flight line!
We arrived a bit late, at 9:30am. The wind was still mild on the ground, but was a bit faster about fifty feet up. The rods were already angled into the wind and any rocket with any tendency to weathercock showed it off dramatically.
Still, we had a great day. I'll be flying again this Thursday with a group from work. Can't wait!
I had all of our rockets with me today, but the range was more crowded than usual. So we got in five flights. The good news is that three of them were maiden flights for new rockets. That's always exciting, to me.
Wyvern, maiden flight
The Wyvern is a custom tube-fin design of mine. I'll have patterns and instructions up on this site in a couple of weeks. But, as this is my first all-custom rocket, I was pretty nervous. I'd done my due-dilligence, spin testing it while fully loaded with the heaviest engine I planned to use (a C6-5), but you never know.
The Wyvern boosted beautifully on a B6-4! Nice a straight, with only minor weathercocking. I was surprised at that, given the tube fins, but I'll take it. Altitude was low, and ejection was late, so maybe a B6-2 would be a better B engine. C6-5 ought to be just about right, but maybe a C6-3. The rocket kicked the engine out, but not before pushing out the 12" mylar parachute. Perfect recovery, and lots of compliments on the design.
Unnamed custom "star fighter," maiden flight
This is another custom design of mine - a 13mm star fighter design featuring rear ejection. Pics to come soon on the Fleet page. I launched it on a 1/2A3-4T. The boost was nice, but on recover the rear-ejection pod failed to pull the streamer out past the cellulose wadding. The nose dive into the ground only scuffed the nose cone, however, and she'll fly again. I'll try it without wadding at all next time. But I think I'll be redesigning this one to use more standard nose ejection in the near future.
Estes Mini-Shuttle clone, maiden flight
I sent up the Mini-Shuttle on a B6-4 for her maiden flight. It weathercocked a great deal, a ejected a bit late while still horizontal. Like the Wyvern, this model would probably fly better on a B6-2. However, the streamer deployed just fine and the model was recovered with no damage.
Estes Gyroc clone, third flight
A very nice, straight boost on B6-4. This rocket goes VERY high on this motor. You really have to keep your eyes on it. It weathercocked into the wind, ejecting over the far left end of the flight line. The helicopter recovery kicked in perfectly, and the winds carried it all the way to the right end of the flight line. Probably 200 yards of drift. I'm (happily) surprised at how much the spinning slows this little rocket down.
Wyvern, second flight
Well, this one didn't go so well. For my last flight of the day I wanted to test the Wyvern on a C6-5. The good news is that the boost was totally stable. The bad news is that the rocket kicked the motor again. This time only the nose cone deployed, the parachute lodged in the front of the body tube. The resulting core sample crunched the front five inches of the body tube. I'll have to shorten the tube, rebalance it (probably more nose weight), and try to retrofit an engine clip. The revised design drawings and build instructions will include an engine clip as well. I had those engines in tight, but not tight enough I guess.