September 3, 2007 Launch (Labor Day)
Labor Day
September 3, 2007

We had a beautiful sunny afternoon for launching, 85°F with moderate humidity and virtually no wind. Justin, Taylor, and I launched several rockets, with only one mishap. Click the pictures for a larger view.

One thing I tried different this time is the use of a 6" ceramic tile as a blast deflector. It cost me all of 39¢ (plus tax). I drilled a hole using my drill press and an appropriate masonry bit, large enough to go over the screw I've added to my launch stand. I am VERY happy with this new deflector; not only does it do the job admirably and even clean up nice, but also it removes the possibility of the clips shorting against the deflector. I plan to upgrade all five of my stands this way.

First up was my Baby Bertha on a B6-4. Excellent flight, good recovery about 40 yards from the stand.


Justin's Patriot ignites!

Next we launched Justin's Estes Patriot on a C6-5. It really got up there this time...


The first return of the Patriot.

... and recovered on the roof of the horse shed:


Justin recovering his Patriot.

Taylor's Cosmic Cobra was next, on a B6-4. The helicopter recovery feature of the nose cone didn't work very well, with the cone flipping up and stalling repeatedly. I'm suspicious that a little nose weight might correct that. The rocket did recover pretty well.


The Tinee launching.

I launched my Edmonds Tinee on an A3-4T next. I added a little weight on one side of the main wing, in hopes of inducing it to turn. Instead, it went into a flat spin when the engine ejected. It did recover okay this time.


My Triskelion returns safely...


... and is recovered.

Next up was my Fliskits Triskelion on a C6-5. This rocket is a real crowd pleaser, turning in one beautiful flight after another. It also has the largest parachute of any rocket in my stable, and I was concerned it might drift, but it actually landed within about 50 yards of the launch stand.


Jaclyn recovered Taylor's Carrot...


... and Taylor is pleased.

Next was Taylor's Carrot rocket on an A8-3. This rocket is made from two sheets of copier paper, wrapped around a mandrel made of expended engines and glued. The fins are from an Estes Sizzler kit, the thrust ring is a section of expended engine casing, and the nose cone is a plastic carrot. Once it was full of powdery candy, now it's a nose cone. Oh... and it flies nicely.


Jaclyn waiting to launch the Alpha.


My Alpha ignites.


The Alpha returns.

I loaded up my 25 year old Estes Alpha with a C6-5 and let 'er rip. It flew almost out of sight (and it's painted black and fluorescent orange just so that won't happen) before popping the chute. It drifted quite a long way, even given the near absence of breeze, but Taylor managed to get to it before it fell out of sight.


Justin's Patriot soars again.

Justin reloaded his Patriot with another C6-5 and launched it again, and this time it recovered perfectly.


Reloading the Cosmic Cobra.

I loaded Taylor's Cosmic Cobra with a C6-3. Wow, did it fly well... much higher than I expected. Again the nose cone flipped and wobbled on the return, but still the recovery was good.

I had remodeled my Black Vulcan with an internal launch lug, and today I launched it for the first time since the remodel. If you review the Tinee again? I removed the weight (since it obviously hadn't helped any), put in a fresh A3-4T and igniter and let Justin fire it off. Well, it did glide nicely... straight into a bean field. I doubt I'll ever see it again; down under those bean plants it's invisible. I looked, I really did, but I could have been standing right next to it and never seen it.


Justin helped me clean up afterward.

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