ROC August 2004

August 14th, 2004

/ Lucerne Dry Lake

2 flights, 1103 N-sec burned

With high clouds, visibility would be tough. But there was little wind, so flights were landing nearby, and it was definitely worth it to put up a few flights.

Flight 1: Quasar, AT I161

Considering how well the first flight went, I decided to step the rocket up slowly in power each flight, hopefully stopping before I shred the bird. The next logical step in the sequence was, of course, a 3 grain motor. I had recently acquired an I161W, so it seemed like a perfect combination. I had the rocket loaded up the day before, so in the morning I took the rocket out to the pads, installed the igniter, and it was off on a nice white tail of flame. Ejection was a little early but close enough to apogee for my tastes. The rocket deployed the R4 chute and came down 200 yards away with a little bounce. Unfortunately, as I picked up the vehicle, I noticed that the motor mount was a little more recessed into the tube than it was when I started. Upon further inspection back at camp, the entire front end of the Kwik-Switch motor mount broke off (darn brittle phenolic) and as such the KS motor mount is now useless. No big deal, I'll just use regular adapters. Besides, now I have no excuse not to put a K185 in the bird...

Altitude: 3,340 ft

Flight 2: Inspector Gadget, AT J275

Well, after the nice first flight, I really wanted to get Inspector Gadget in the air again. As with all my other projects, various conditions popped up that prevented this from happening. I finally resolved to fly IG again at the August 2004 launch, whether the weather was good or not (wow, that sounds kinda weird). I loaded it up the night before with the ARTS (hoping for a flawless performance to clear its name) and a J275W. We headed out to the range early, and after putting up the Quasar, I loaded IG onto the rail. I walked back, Rick O'Neill counted down, and hit the button. IG took a moment to pressurize, then instantly lifted off the rail arrow-straight, heading for the sky. After burnout, I completely lost track of the (relatively thin) tracking smoke against the cloudy sky. We all heard a pop, indicating that I either had a drogue chute or I had kicked the casing and the vehicle was coming in ballistic. A quick glance out to the range confirmed that it was the former of the two -- my dad was tracking the bird with binoculars, and was still looking up after a long while. Eventually, IG returned to 777 feet (I thought it was a funny number when I programmed the ARTS... go figure) and deployed the SkyAngle main chute right on time. Beautiful flight and recovery, just a short distance away. I can't wait to try it with a J415!

Altitude: 6,225 ft

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!