Turkey Shoot 2002

November 29th-December 1st, 2002

/ Jean Dry Lake

4 flights, 1440 N-sec burned

Though it had rained all night the day before the launch, a hardy few souls made it out to the playa for some muddy flying. (This was the first of many launches at which I did donuts with Erik and David Gates in their Suburban... the mud made it more fun.) Small stuff flew up to the cloud deck on Saturday, but when the weather cleared on Sunday, the rangehead was mobbed with fliers. Of course, we got stuck in traffic coming home Sunday night, but it was worth it!

Flight 1: Graduator, AT G33

With a low cloud ceiling, but no wind, I figured a dramatic flight would be a slow, dark, smokey motor in a big, draggy rocket like the Graduator. When the light rain had let up, the rocket was racked and ready to go, and so we were first off the pad. The boost was gentle on the G33. After burnout, it popped the chute a little early. No big deal- I wouldn't have to walk as far. The new X-form chute with a swivel brought it right back down next to the pad. A perfect flight for such a glum day.
Graduator on an AT G33

others: preflight

Flight 2: Lil Nuke, AT F21

I picked up a package of F21Ws from RocketSilo - they were fairly inexpensive, and their thrust profile would allow for decent flights of heavier rockets while staying beneath the cloud deck. Though it was raining, I hid under the LCO EZ-UP with Les Derkovitz, friction fitting the first motor into the 'Nuke with a LOC MMA-1. I took it to the pad with a Copperhead in it, and Les called out the count. The motor lit right up and sent the Nuke perfectly straight into the sky on a crackling white flame, with ejection just before apogee. Nice flight!

Flight 3: Lil Nuke, AT F21

Well, the motors came in a two-pack, and the last flight was way cool, so I figured I might as well do it again. This flight essentially duplicated the first -- fast, high, and loud. Not a bad deal for a $9 single use F motor!

Flight 4: Arcas, AT J415

After the L1000 flight, the Arcas went into hibernation. We didn't fly it for a while-- weather, new projects, and launch schedules saw to that. But I was itching to put her back up in the air. My chance came at the Turkey Shoot in November of 2002. We had a J415 waiting for something, and this was a perfect motor for this rocket. Prep was fairly easy and relaxed, due to the massive fog at the launch site on Sunday morning. And she was ready to fly by the time the fog lifted. We put her out on pad 11, and armed altimeters, installed igniters, and snapped photos. Nadine took a photo of me standing next to the rocket too. Back at the rangehead, John Pretto called out the count and off she went. A perfectly straight boost and coast was marred when the main deployed at apogee. This was due to a bug in the ALTACC. You see, if the ALTACC's drogue charge loses continuity at ANY TIME during the flight, it immediately fires the main. Geeze. We stuck the MissileWorks drogue charge very close to the charge of the ALTACC. The charge must have sympathetically fired at apogee, and voila, no drogue continuity. There goes the main chute. This was confirmed after looking at the ALTACC data, and it showing that it was in "Main Only" flight mode. Huh. Go figure. The way to fix this would be to mount a 10k resistor across the drogue terminals whenever flying a dual deploy rocket. If the igniter loses continuity, it still reads continuity on the circuit. Oh well, it was no big deal, I just had to walk a little farther. It was a great flight.

Altitude: 4,745 ft

Arcas on an AT J415

others: preflight

I like to design, build, and fly rockets. PostFlight started as a project to help me keep track of them. Now I've opened it up so you can follow along, too.
I fly with:
Indiana Rocketry, Inc. MDRA
Hey! What are you doing down here? The rocket stuff (yea, it's © 2017 David Reese) is up there!