July 13, 2008 Launch

After waiting seemingly forever for (a) decent weather and (b) all the hay and wheat to be mowed, we finally got our chance. Taylor, Justin, Jaclyn, and I all got in some launches, and for the most part we were very satisfied. All of my rockets which got launched had never been launched before. Click the pictures for a larger view.

First up was Justin's Estes Patriot, on a C6-5 (at his insistence). The flight and deployment were picture-perfect, but then it drifted clear off our field and behind some brush. We looked later but did not find it.

I had some trouble with the launch controller right after this launch; it took me three battery changes (the last being a return to the original battery) before I got the controller to work again. I'm suspicious of a wiring fault; I'll tear it down sometime before the next launch and check it thoroughly.

Next was Taylor's Estes Cosmic Cobra, on a B6-4. This wasn't part of the first "rack;" I loaded it while waiting for Justin to look for the Patriot. The flight and deployment were perfect... and the rapidly-spinning nose cone almost hit me as I stood beside the launch controller.

Next we launched Taylor's Quest Screamin' Demon on a B6-4. This rocket really flys! There was some rapid spinning on the ascent, but the deployment was perfect and the recovery was good.

At last, I got to launch one of my own... my New Centurion, on a single B6-4. This is just about the smallest single engine that should be used on this rocket... but it did deploy and recover just fine, with the baffle working perfectly.

Another of mine was next: My Pharos, on a single C6-5. The flight was beautiful, with a slow liftoff that Tracy caught on camera. I had the pad tilted just a bit due to wind, and at that moment the light breeze almost died... and the rocket drifted into the trees... and threaded the needle... and landed in the grass. Whoo. So I straightened the pads before loading the next rack. This rocket deploys rather late on a B6-4, but a simulation indicates that it would be rather early on a B6-2. I guess next time I'll have to use a C6-3.

So we loaded up another rack:

Next up on the stand was Justin's Quest Flash, on a B6-4. This battle-scarred pink and black rocket turned in another excellent performance, and lost another fin on landing. I'm out of spares, so we'll have to make the next fin from scratch.

Taylor's dark red and orange Estes Star Dart flew next, on an A8-3. We were all surprised how high it went. Deployment was picture-perfect, and the rocket recovered about 50' from the launch stand. No damage was evident.

Jaclyn's Estes Hi Flier (the metallic blue one) flew next on an A8-3, turning in a good flight. It doesn't go as high as Taylor's Star Dart due, I'm certain, to the nose weight I had to add to make it stable. The shock cord separated from the body again, but not until it was almost on the ground. The extra thrust ring I glued in to hold the shock cord came out completely. Not sure what we're going to do with this one next to fix it...

My Alpha X was next, on an A6-4. This is truly a perfect engine for an Alpha-style rocket, with deployment right at apogee. I was a bit nervous about this one, considering my poor results with rear-deployment rockets, but it worked great.

We loaded up another rack:

Next to launch was my Sunward Star Watcher, on a B6-4. This fat and rather heavy rocket needs a bigger engine... a B6-4 is just barely enough to get it up there. Note that I added the recommended noseweight to the rocket to compensate for the X-Wing fin layout. I plan to put it up on a C6-5 next time.

Taylor's Estes Wacky Wiggler launched next, on a B6-4. It only broke into about three pieces at ejection. I need to work with this one to get it to deploy right... it's a real balancing act trying to keep it loose enough to pull apart, yet stiff enough to fly right. But this was its first flight, and I'm sure we'll get it worked out.

Justin's Estes Hi Flier (the blue and white one) went up next, on a B6-4. This was a high, fast trip. Deployment was good, and it was recovered without damage.

My Dash went up next on a 1/2A3-4T. This is a good engine for this rocket, which I'm afraid might just disappear if I'm not careful. Next flight I'll risk an A3-4T. I have to friction fit the engine in this rocket, and I almost overdid it... getting the expended engine out was a bit of a production.

First up on the next rack was my Semroc Lil Ivan on an A8-3. I put a chute in it, and evidently wrapped it too tight with wadding; the nose cone blew and the chute came out but it never deployed. However, the rocket appears undamaged. I'll do a more careful job packing it next time.

I had exchanged the engine mounts and reloaded my New Centurion with a pair of B6-4 engines. Ignition was perfect, so simultaneous that I thought only one engine had ignited. The flight was quick but still not too high. The chute didn't unfold at first, and I was afraid it would hit hard and be damaged, but at almost the last moment it unfolded and the rocket landed gracefully.

My Phoenix on an A3-4T. This is a pretty big rocket to launch with mini-motors... it didn't fly real high. However, it was a nice flight with a good chute deployment, and Taylor caught it in the air.

My Semroc Astro Jr. was next, on an A3-4T. This was a decent flight also. I'll try an A10-3T next time.

The last "rack" was a single flight: my Custom Galileo, on an A8-3. This is the second Galileo I've built, having lost the first in a weedy lot on its first flight. This time was better, with the rocket landing within 100' of the stand.


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Last Updated 07/16/2017