FSR Spring Fling Rocket Launch, May 18, 2024
FSR Spring Fling Rocket Launch
May 18, 2024

I was able to attend the Fairfax Society of Rocketry's regular Spring Fling launch for the first time. In fact, I gave in at last, paid my dues and joined the club. The weather was beautiful, but windier than we would have liked, with wind speeds of 10 MPH and above at the start of the festivities. Despite that, the turnout was pretty good and it was very comfortable on the field.

Mo' Skeeter Ready, Ignition, Return

For my first launch I loaded up my Mo' Skeeter on pad 1 with a B4-4, and as usual this rocket turned in a pretty flight, weathercocking somewhat into the south wind and then landing under parachute fairly close to the launch stand. Another perfect flight from my favorite flier.

Screamin' Demon Ready, Ignition, Return

Next up I decided to go for a couple of streamer recovery rockets. I prepped and loaded my Screamin' Demon with a B6-4 on pad 1, and my Bandito clone on pad 2 (see below). The Screamin' Demon flew as it usually does, going up fast and high and falling quickly under its long yellow streamer, landing without damage.

Bandito Ready and Return

Bandito Almost Down

As I said, I loaded my Bandito clone on pad 2 with an A8-5. Despite the small engine it went up fast to a fairly decent altitude; the streamer detached at deployment, but it fell sideways to the ground and was only very slightly damaged. I had hoped to fly it with a B6-6 also but decided not to go on with that, given the visibly poor condition of the Kevlar shock cord leader on that rocket. I could repair the defects, but I think I'll retire this one and build another, more authentic-looking clone instead.

New Centurion 1x18 Ready and Ignition

My fourth flight was my New Centurion, on pad 4, flying with the 1x18mm engine mount on a B4-4 engine. I had mismarked the flight card for this rocket; the B4-4 has too long of a delay for this rocket. It weathercocked rather fiercely, flying into the only tree on the property, suffering some minor damage to the nose cone. It then fell to the ground sideways before ejecting. Despite all this the rocket had only minor damage.

Pharos Ready and Ignition

Having used too small an engine with too long of a delay on the New Centurion, I decided I had to be bolder. I prepped my Pharos on pad 3 with a C6-3 engine. It weathercocked to the south, not as sharply as the New Centurion, but it flew over and past that same tree before deploying its large shiny parachute and then drifting directly back into the tree. Pharos then hung there as the parachute danced in the breeze, clearly visible but out of reach.

Pharos in the Tree

If you don't lose them sometimes, you're not flying them.

New Centurion 2x18 Returning

Still, boldness had worked somewhat, so I went forward in that vein. My sixth flight was my New Centurion again, flying from pad 4 with the 2x18mm engine mount on a pair of B6-4 engine. This was a much better flight, with less weathercocking and a nice landing in the expected recovery area.

Ultimatum Rigging, Ready, Go!

Ultimatum Returning

I had ignition trouble at the last Forgottonia Rocketry Society launch with my Ultimatum; see that page for details. As a result of that event, there were two unburned B6-4 engines in the Ultimatum already, so I added a third and rigged the igniters very carefully, loading it up on pad 7. The launch was textbook perfect, the flight much straighter with less weathercocking than some of the others, and it was recovered with no damage.

Ultimatum Firing 2 of 3, then Returning

That last launch went so well that I once again prepped the Ultimatum, this time with 3xC6-5 engines. I did my best with the igniters, loaded it upon pad 7 again, and waited with anticipation for the launch. For some reason launches off of pad 7 were being very delayed, but then the engines ignited and the rocket turned in another flight much like its first. It turned out that only two engines ignited. Despite this fact, and a long drift far out into the field, the rocket was recovered with no damage.

Out of the last three launches, Ultimatum has consumed 6 engines. If it was a 2-cluster that would seem good, but of course it isn't.


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Last Updated 05/19/2024