Turkey Shoot 2005

November 25th-27th, 2005

/ Jean Dry Lake

3 flights, 6239 N-sec burned

Turkey Shoot had become a tradition by this time. We'd do turkey on Thursday evening, pack up the truck, and drive to Vegas in time to wake up on Friday morning for some hardcore research flights. The small crowd and relaxed atmosphere made it one of my favorite launches of the year. 2005 was no exception, and I was ready with two L flights. SpartaChris, Speedyweez, and Strudleman also came out and had a blast putting up a few flights of their own. Awesome, awesome launch.

Flight 1: Competitor 4, Kosdon L630

I had prepped the Competitor 4 the night before in the hotel room. Unfortunately, while prepping, I had bumped the nose cone tip into the ceiling, which caused it to shatter (yay gelcoat!). I figured with an L motor behind it, it wouldn't really matter, the rocket would go in the general "up" direction. The other issue was that I hadn't quite finished the avionics bay, so I stole the altimeter board from my Apache, stuffed a towel in the payload section to act as a spacer, slid the board in, and put the main chute in the booster. Boom, done. And it added stability margin to boot! I was ready to go as the first flight of the morning, and after some confusion getting the leads to the pad sorted out, we were ready to go. Kendall called out the count quickly and off we went on the 3 grain L motor. The motor burned smoothly for almost 5.5 seconds, providing a gentle ride up. At apogee, the R9 chute appeared, and the rocket came gently to rest in the bushes just off the lakebed. Nice first flight!

Altitude: 10,314 ft

Flight 2: Arcas, Kosdon L850

This was the tenth flight of the venerable Arcas, and it was to be on our favorite motor for it -- the slow load for the 2550. I had spent all day after the Competitor flight hanging out and chatting with people at the launch, so prep was a bit of a race against the clock as the sun set. Just as the sun crossed the top of the ridgeline to the west of the lakebed, Gordon counted down and hit the button. The L motor lit right up and the Arcas flew off the rail and into the darkening sky. As it crested the ridgeline, the sun's rays illuminated the smoke trail and airframe, making it look like a shooting star. COOL! The drogue appeared at apogee and the main off in the distance at 1000 feet, for an easy recovery near one of the access roads to the lakebed. Another great flight. This rocket is now officially an old battlehorse!

Altitude: 9,840 ft

Flight 3: LOC IV, AT H238

A front was beginning to move through the launch site, and the winds were up. This particular H238T had been sitting in my box for a long time, and I wanted to burn it before all the ferrocene migrated into the delay grain. It'd be perfect in the LOC IV in this breeze - high thrust, short burn duration to punt it into the air. The boost was fast and straight (even with the wind), but on recovery a fin popped out when the wind torqued it. Oh well, a little epoxy and it was good as new.
LOC IV on an AT H238

others: preflight

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