QCRS June 2010

June 5th-6th, 2010

/ Walcott, IA

3 flights, 1480 N-sec burned

This was my first launch with QCRS at their Walcott site, about 4 hours from my apartment in West Lafayette. Tim and Crazy Jim were on hand with the Wildman trailer and Mega DarkStar loaded up for LDRS. It was great to meet everyone, finally, and fly at "the crown jewel of launch fields". Though the weather was overcast on Saturday and breezy on Sunday, I still got in three flights and had a great time.

Flight 1: Norad, PPL H140

Since the wind was blowing right towards a creek, a house, and a bunch of trees, I elected to keep my first flight low for the day. The Norad was the weapon of choice on two grains of the third version of my blue propellant. I attached a keychain cam to capture the flight, but unfortunately managed to reset it as I was taping it to the rocket on the pad. (Better planning next time.) The flight was great -- big, bright blue flame and nice and straight up. Ejection was heard at apogee and the main popped a short while later for a soft landing just to the east of the field. Good flight!

Altitude: 2,254 ft

Flight 2: Norad, PPL I280

The skies were beginning to open up, so I decided to fly again. I had packed two sets of deployment charges the night before, and loaded two motors, so all that was left to do was replace the spent consumables, check the battery voltage, and put the Norad back on the pad. This was a similar propellant configuration to that which I flew at Ash Grove back in March, but with smaller cores for more total impulse. The liftoff was quick and clean, with an epic flame separation. The rocket flew straight up into a big blue hole, but became invisible at burnout since I didn't include a smoke grain. We heard ejection at apogee again and waited patiently for the rocket to return to 400'; when the main fired, it was spotted just a few hundred yards up the road, making a safe recovery. I also got the on-board video to work -- check it out!

Altitude: 3,324 ft

Norad on a PPL I280

others: video

Flight 3: Little Dragon, PPL J300

The skies were clear on Sunday at Walcott, but the winds were up, and I wasn't sure what motor to put in the Little Dragon, which had been prepped since March. I had a 4 grain of Blue v3 to fly, but that motor would require coring the propellant, disassembling and cleaning the 4 grain case from yesterday, and reloading it. The 54mm 1050 case was already prepped and ready to go with three grains of propellant (that still needs a name) left over from the Talon P motor, so (twist my arm) that's what I stuck in the rocket. After Kevin Kremer flew his N motor, I quickly loaded LD on the pad, armed the altimeter, and turned on the camera. Liftoff was sporty, since I had cored the motor to 3/4" instead of 5/8", and the rocket quickly disappeared from view. I had given up hope of a visual track, but the Beeline kept sending out reassuring pings, informing us that apogee deployment had occurred; the only question was, where? I began searching the skies downwind frantically, hoping to catch a glimpse of the rocket under main, when suddenly we heard a loud POP and I wheeled around -- there was the rocket, main deploying, about 100 feet upwind of the pad. It bounced down in the beans planted on the sod for an easy recovery.

Altitude: 5,084 ft

Little Dragon on a PPL J300

others: video

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.
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