Tripoli Indiana June 2010

June 13th, 2010

/ Purdy Sod Farm

6 flights, 525 N-sec burned

It was a MUGGY day today, with temperatures in the high 80s. However, I'm never one to turn down a launch, and for our first launch of the season at Purdy, things went really well! I got six flights in the air before the clouds rolled in.

Flight 1: DarkStar Lite, AT F40

Since there was a high cloud deck and beans were close by, I elected to keep it low for the first flight, with the DarkStar Lite on a white F motor. Prep went fast and I loaded up on the second rack of the day, next to Vic Barlow and his BBX. The Copperhead chuffed out, but luckily Brian Perry came to my rescue with a FirstFire, which got things going right away. I hadn't brought my camera out yet, but Ed Beheler got a great launch photo (and recovery photo, too) - thanks man! The delay was a little long (-7 was all I had), but recovery deployment was nominal and I landed on the sod just uprange of the pads.
DarkStar Lite on an AT F40

others: recovery

Flight 2: Norad, AT G71

I decided to break out the camera for the first time at Purdy and fly it on the Norad. I had a G71 with a 7 second delay, which should have been perfect for the vehicle. After another Copperhead-induced false start, the Norad was off fast on a bright red flame. However, almost exactly one second after burnout, the ejection charge fired, blowing the chute out early and causing general mayhem. Everything held together, with the exception of the nose cone loop breaking and the chute getting a nice new spill hole. The drama made for some great video, though, with the rush of the launch quickly transitioning to eerie silence as everything comes to a dead stop. Thanks again to Ed Beheler for another great launch pic!

Flight 3: Norad, AT G64

I couldn't go home with only THAT flight to remember, so I reloaded my case with a G64W and put the Norad back on the pad. The first ignition attempt didn't go so hot (1 for 3 with Copperheads at this point) but after scraping the sides with a knife to remove any microshorts and hooking the leads up as close to the nozzle as possible, I was vindicated with a successful ignition. The Norad boosted straight and HIGH, and held together at deployment for a nice, soft landing on the sod. Gus Piepenburg grabbed my camera as I was walking back from recovery and snuck a shot in, too.

Flight 4: Screech, AT E16

Since it was a calm day, I elected to burn up my last E16 reload in the Screech. The last time I tried this combo, a stuck igniter combined with rod whip to send the rocket in all sorts of directions across the sky. This time, with a big piece of Thermalite to get things going, ignition was relatively prompt and the rocket left the pad with some authority. It arced over the flight line and deployed just past apogee, landing short of the treeline to the south.
Screech on an AT E16

others: recovery

Flight 5: Lil Nuke, AT F22

Vic walked over and handed me a bag of reloads for the 29/40-120 case, explaining that he didn't own one and didn't plan to buy one. THANKS VIC! I dug through 'em and found an E23, two F22s, and a G64, all with long delays. I quickly loaded up an F22 for the Lil' Nuke and drilled a few seconds off the delay, figuring it'd be a nice, gentle flight to about 1500 feet. Boy, was I wrong. The Nuke took off the pad like a bullet on a thick, straight trail of dark smoke and disappeared into the sky. I definitely let out an "uh oh" as I lost sight of it! Luckily, deployment made the rocket visible, and she bounced down just north of the pads. Excellent flight!
Lil Nuke on an AT F22

Flight 6: Norad, AT G64

Well, the last G64 flight went really well, and there was one in the bag o' free reloads from Vic (OMG I'm still not over it!), so with a little delay drilling and a quick reload, the Norad was back on the pad. Storm clouds were beginning to roll in, though, so I wanted to get her in the air quick. The G64 lit up and took the Norad into the sky, nice and straight, and ejection was spot on at apogee. I guess I guessed pretty good on the drill depth :)
Norad on an AT G64
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