Red Glare IX

October 22nd-24th, 2010

/ Higgs Farm

2 flights, 7000 N-sec burned

Red Glare is becoming a biannual tradition; I attended in April, and liked it so much I decided to head back in October to fly a few rockets. I shipped a crate to Todd, who picked it and me up on Friday morning, just in time for the launch. Though Friday was a bit breezy, all three days were excellent to fly, and I managed to get two rockets in the air. Ryan and his girlfriend also made it down again; he put one up, and Todd almost prepped a rocket in time to fly it before we had to leave. Thanks to Todd for the logistics support and the motors, Ryan and Caity for being awesome, Darren and his wife for the TERRIFIC hospitality, Diehl/Wadsley for the beer and the fireworks show, and all of MDRA for the fantastic launch.

Flight 1: Little Dragon, Infinity K1700

Shortly after arriving on Friday morning, I unpacked my shipping crate and put together Little Dragon. I had checked batteries and installed avionics prior to shipping the rocket out, so things got off to a quick start. Ryan supplied some BP and Todd had some matches and the motor to be assembled. After buttoning the recovery system up, I borrowed a saw from Crazy Jim to cut the liner for Todd's UltraViolet K motor. The 1750 hardware still hadn't been cleaned from Shake Weight's flight in April, but it disassembled easily and was quickly reloaded for flight. Gary Tortora let me borrow his allen wrenches for final assembly and things were ready to go by about 1 in the afternoon. I waited a few hours for the wind to die down, and put LD on the pad just before sunset. Jeff Taylor donated an igniter, and we were set. The UltraViolet propellant was still a new formula that hadn't been fired but one time in a 240 case, which produced a gentle burn, so we were expecting about a K800 in performance. But it's rocketry, so surprises happen; Neil counted down and hit the button, the motor shrieked to life, and Little Dragon hauled ass skyward at an incredible clip. I missed the liftoff shot; one frame it's there, one frame it's gone! As the motor shut down a second later, I heard Jeff behind me: "Yeah, that was a little faster than a K800!" No kidding! The rocket all but disappeared at burnout, but we were tracking it with the Beeline in the nose. No events made themselves known, but we still had signal several minutes later, indicating that things probably had worked out for the best. We all piled into Ryan's car and took off in the direction of the tracking signal; about 5 minutes later, we located the rocket hanging from a power line on Ell Downes road. Ryan informed Neil, who said they'd get it down the next morning; I was content with that, but a few minutes later, a well-meaning (but unwise) soul pulled it down from the power lines and returned it to the rangehead. Sheesh man, it's only a rocket. After the adventure, LD was recovered and happily beeping out 8337 feet. Thanks to Todd for catching the liftoff shot, too!

Altitude: 8,337 ft

Flight 2: Competitor 4, Infinity M3000

I had shipped my Competitor 4 to Indiana back in January of 2010 with a partly finished repair job following its fast return to earth after the last flight. It sat around my apartment until mid-October, when I realized that I could put it back in the same crate it came here in and mail it to the eastern shore for Red Glare. So after a few days of frenzied filling, sanding, painting, and prepping, it sat ready to go on the pad at Higgs Farm with one of Todd and Ryan's M3000 SuperBlue motors in it. It was ready to fly on Saturday, but a finicky tracker forced us to hold the flight until Sunday morning. I gave it the internet meme name FTFY, since it had finally been fixed after nearly three years. Neil gave a five count and pushed the button, the motor lit up, and the rocket was GONE on a big blue flame. Though there was no smoke grain, the apogee event was visible, and the rocket was returning to earth drogueless. I lost sight of it by the time the main chute deployed, but we had a track on it, and so after getting permission from Tommy to go look in the corn, Ryan, Steve Heller, and I set off after it. We had looked for about 45 minutes when the tracker signal started moving; Heller (out of the corn at this point) called Ryan saying someone had appeared out of the field with my rocket, heading back towards the rangehead. A few minutes later, we had it recovered, beeping out just north of 13,000 feet. Nice flight. Thanks to Todd and Ryan for the motor, Darren for the hardware loan, Todd for the igniter and e-matches again, and Heller for the recovery help.

Altitude: 13,219 ft

Competitor 4 on a Infinity M3000

others: preflight | liftoff

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!