Tripoli Indiana January 2011

January 16th, 2011

/ Ash Grove Site

1 flight, 2123 N-sec burned

The first Tripoli Indiana launch of the 2011 season was a great time. Though the experimentalresearch day was blown out, Sunday's commercial flying weather was clear and calm. The cold, however, hindered prep work, so I only got one flight off for the day. Other highlights included Vic Barlow's Mach 2 attempt with his MG54 on a KBA L2300 motor, and the triumphant return of Tim Brant's awesome Astro Traveler on a cluster.

Flight 1: Dark Energy, Gorilla K980

I had prepped Dark Energy with a 6000 load for the December research launch, but my GPS crapped out before I got the flight in the air, so I didn't get to fly. The research day was blown out in January, so I spent the afternoon machining a motor adapter on my friend Tom's lathe, to allow my one remaining Gorilla 2550 load to be mated into the 3” mount. I also put a finicky ARTS in the payload bay to see what data it could record. The rocket was prepped, and I built the motor the night before with the assistance of Jacob and Clare (who claimed the propellant smelled wrong, what a double-base snob ;)), so on launch day, it was a quick prep job to open the avbay to turn on the tracker and connect the two sections at the drogue bay with a quick link. Gus Piepenburg helped me put it on the rail and arm the avionics, and with a quick five-count, we were on the way. The igniter took a second to light the motor - the sparky propellant was tough to light, plus there appeared to still be mold release on the core. But no matter, once things got going DE picked up smartly off the pad and crackled into the air. The smoke charge made things visible after burnout, and drogue deployment was on time. The rocket glinted off the sun on the way down, and main deployment happened at 700' just a few hundred yards away, one field over.

Altitude: 5,496 ft

Dark Energy on a Gorilla K980

others: liftoff | recovery

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