ROC August 2011

August 13th, 2011

/ Lucerne Dry Lake

2 flights, 3944 N-sec burned

Since I was home for JPC the week before, I figured I might as well stay a few days and attend my first ROC launch in two years. I attended with my dad and it was just like old times hanging out at Lucerne on a beautiful August morning. The temperatures were up but the wind was down, allowing us to get two flights into the air.

Flight 1: Arcas, AT L1150

The Arcas had been idle since 2008, so with an L1150 in the motor box I decided it was a good time to bring it out for another flight. I pulled the terminal blocks off an old ARTS 1 to repair the ARTS 2 that had been beat up over the past few months; with that task completed, prep went smoothly, using the same RRC/ARTS avionics package that has worked well for this bird so far. Everything was buttoned up and on the pad by 9 AM; Rick Dickinson called in a window to 13,000 and we were off. The red flame from the medusa nozzle was incredibly satisfying as it drove the Arcas through the sound barrier and into the clear desert sky; apogee was on time and visible, and I tracked the rocket down to main deployment altitude, where the R9 deployed like magic (as always) for a soft touchdown. A great flight for this old rocket!

Altitude: 12,151 ft

Flight 2: Expediter, AT I300

Since the Arcas flight went well, I elected to quickly prep another classic bird for a simple, no electronics flight. The Expediter, not having flown in almost ten years, seemed to be a logical choice. We had grabbed this I300T from Jack a few years ago, so I hoped the delay was still OK. Prep was quick, using the old-school LOC shock cord mount and a bunch of dog barf wadding. After I fiddled with the tape fit of the transition for deployment, Kurt Gugisberg performed RSO duties and I loaded the rocket onto a 3/8" rod. Boost was snappy on the 4 grain blue motor, and though deployment was slightly early, everything held together and descent was nice on the 36" parachute. Next on the list -- the Vulcanite or the Graduator... those haven't flown in 10 years, either!
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