Tripoli Indiana July 2010

July 17th-18th, 2010

/ Purdy Sod Farm

5 flights, 473 N-sec burned

The two-day July launch was a hot one, with heat indexes over 100 degrees and ridiculous humidity. We had the most epic thunderstorm I've ever seen on Saturday night (as in, trees got blown over), which was cool. I put up five flights over the course of two days, stopped only by a forest landing of the Norad on Sunday afternoon. Despite leaving a rocket on the field, it was still a good weekend of rocketry.

Flight 1: DarkStar Lite, AT G64

My first flight for the weekend was my DarkStar Lite on a G64. Prep was fast and the DSL was on the pad for the first mid power flight of the day. Liftoff was quick and straight on the White Lightning G motor, however about 2/3 of the way through the burn, a loud CRACK was heard and the motor quickly dropped to almost no thrust. I figured it had blown the nozzle or something. As a result, the 7 second delay was a little long, but the chute eventually deployed for a safe recovery. Post-flight inspection showed a significantly enlarged nozzle throat after the burn when compared to other post-firing G64 nozzles; I'm guessing there was a molding defect or something in this particular one. A successful flight, if a bit more exciting than usual!
DarkStar Lite on an AT G64

Flight 2: Doorknob, AT F40

The Doorknob had flown well on the F reloads for the 29/40-120 case, and since I hadn't flown it since last year, it seemed like a good next flight. Prep was leisurely as I demonstrated the reload system to a new flier, and it was soon back out to the pad. The Copperhead got things going right away and the Doorknob took off on a beautiful flight, arcing downrange slightly and really picking up some steam during the burn. Ejection was just past apogee, and she bounced down on the sod to some applause from fellow fliers. Thanks guys :) (I really need to put an H in this...)
Doorknob on an AT F40

others: landing

Flight 3: DarkStar Lite, AT G71

Well, I didn't want to leave the DSL with one underperforming G flight for the weekend, so I decided to roll the dice and use my last G71 for another flight. The previous time I used this reload (June 2010), the delay was incredibly short. This time, all went well, and the DarkStar went on a nice quick ride to about 2000 feet on the red load, with ejection at apogee. Vic Barlow was nice enough to chase it down in the beans for me, guided by the beeper I had installed. Thanks man!

Flight 4: LOC IV, AT G53

With a lower cloud ceiling and gustier winds on day 2, I decided to fly as low as possible. The G53 is barely a G motor, but the FastJack propellant still gives a nice kick off the pad to pick up heavier models. I put it in the LOC IV for a nice 1000 foot flight. Ejection was so spot-on at apogee that the pullstring beeper didn't even activate; luckily, it landed just past the edge of the beans, making recovery simple.

Flight 5: Norad, AT F40

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. The day was getting on and my motor stash was getting low, but not many people were flying rockets, so I decided to put something up to entertain myself. The Norad on an F40 would be marginal, but it'd still fly. I spent a few minutes carefully adjusting the angle on the pad to keep her out of the beans. After a 5-count, ignition was slow, but eventually the motor lit and the rocket climbed off the pad. Ejection was way late, and it quickly became apparent that she was landing in the forest upwind of the beans -- too much angle! I watched helplessly as the chute landed amongst the upper reaches of the canopy. Gus and Brian made a valiant effort to get the rocket down, however at the end of the day, the Norad still sat well out of reach, with its locator beeping incessantly. Hopefully it'll come down in one of the storms so I can get my motor hardware back...
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