ROC April 2008

April 12th-13th, 2008

/ Lucerne Dry Lake

3 flights, 1882 N-sec burned

With spring in full force, temperatures were mild and skies were clear for the April ROC launch. Over the course of two days, I burned my first Mojave Green motor, had a great campout, and put up the Arcas on a SPR reload. Both days turned windy in the afternoon, but not after a significant number of rockets had taken to the skies.

Flight 1: LOC IV, AT H250

Mojave Green had just debuted, and I quickly picked up a 29/240 and 38/360 reload of the hot new propellant. Since I flew my first-ever Redline reload in the LOC IV (the H210R), I figured it'd be appropriate to do the same thing with the Mojave Green. At the end of a five-count, the rocket ripped into the air atop a brilliant green flame, studded with Mach diamonds. The rocket was spinning like mad; either the flight speed was so fast that asymmetric airflow was producing a significant roll torque, or the act of ripping a button off as the rocket was leaving the rail really messed things up. Either way, the LOC IV was hell bent on getting as much altitude as quickly as it possibly could. COOL MOTOR! Ejection at apogee was nominal, and the rocket came to a soft touchdown (really far away, mind you) under a SkyAngle chute.
LOC IV on an AT H250

others: recovery

Flight 2: iROC, AT I245

With the winds beginning to pick up (and seeing how far away the LOC IV had landed on its last flight...) I elected to keep my next flight a little lower. I wanted to put the I245G in something lightweight (like my Vulcanite), but I ended up using the iROC instead to keep the altitude reasonable. This turned out to be a good thing, as it still drifted a half mile away! The boost was snappy, though the peak altitude was a little low, and chute deployment was on time. A nice, quick flight on the new propellant.

Flight 3: Arcas, PPL K325

Chris, my dad, and I had decided to stay the night and get a few rockets in the air the following morning at the Perchlorathon, and also watch Brent Dougherty fly his "Predator" on a huge cluster. Chris and I spent the evening coring and assembling a SPR reload for the 1400 case to fly in the Arcas; prep was leisurely and burning the red propellant scraps under the stars was fun. Sunday morning was clear and calm; we had the rocket on the pad by 10:30 and we were ready to go. SpartaChris counted down and hit the button, at which time my camera battery simultaneously died. LAME. Luckily, Matt Minjarez was on site with his 20D and totally awesome 70-200 f/2.8 lens, and grabbed a beautiful series of shots of the flight. Since the propellant was loaded with Sr(CO3)2, the burn was lovely and slow, and the red flame was awesome, eliciting comments from all present. The boost was nominal with a clean motor shutdown, and recovery went as-planned; Chris chased down the rocket with ease. Thanks dude :)
Arcas on a PPL K325

others: preflight | liftoff

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