Length:36.25"Status:Active / 9 flights
Motor Mount:38mmBuild Dates:2009-09-01 to 2010-03-13

The Norad is a classic LOC kit, first appearing in the 1989 catalog. I ordered mine from Hobbylinc in the "Pro Maxx" version, which came with a 38mm motor mount (would have done it anyways) and a payload bay (for dual deploy... nice) for only a few extra dollars. This was the first kit I built while a grad student in Indiana. Assembly went well, though I found out that LOC airframe reducers permanently shrink with a high Cte when placed in a curing oven. No matter, a little filling and paint and it looks pretty decent. This is a neat rocket that I look forward to flying a lot.


Event: Tripoli Indiana February 2011

Date: February 19th, 2011

Motor: Kosdon H255

Little Dragon flew nicely, and the weather was still great, so I decided to brave the mud and put another flight in the air. I had fixed up the Norad back in November after it spent the summer in a tree; after Gus and Brian's heroic recovery efforts, I wanted to get her back in the air to prove they were worth something. And what better way to stress test than with my favorite load for the 29/250 case -- the H255F, well known to be a sledgehammer. The Norad looked badass in its spiffy new black paint job, and after a five count, a golden flame emerged from the base and spanked the rocket into the air. Motor ejection was on time at apogee, and though landing was a little far away, I didn't mind the walk at all; any flight with this rocket after it was given up for dead is a good time!

Norad on a Kosdon H255

others: preflight

Event: Tripoli Indiana July 2010

Date: July 18th, 2010

Motor: 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...

Event: Tripoli Indiana June 2010

Date: June 13th, 2010

Motor: 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 :)

Event: Tripoli Indiana June 2010

Date: June 13th, 2010

Motor: 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.

Event: Tripoli Indiana June 2010

Date: June 13th, 2010

Motor: 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!

Event: QCRS June 2010

Date: June 5th, 2010

Motor: PPL I280

Apogee: 3,324 ft

The skies were beginning to open up, so I decided to fly again. I had packed two sets of deployment charges the night before, and loaded two motors, so all that was left to do was replace the spent consumables, check the battery voltage, and put the Norad back on the pad. This was a similar propellant configuration to that which I flew at Ash Grove back in March, but with smaller cores for more total impulse. The liftoff was quick and clean, with an epic flame separation. The rocket flew straight up into a big blue hole, but became invisible at burnout since I didn't include a smoke grain. We heard ejection at apogee again and waited patiently for the rocket to return to 400'; when the main fired, it was spotted just a few hundred yards up the road, making a safe recovery. I also got the on-board video to work -- check it out!

Norad on a PPL I280

others: video

Event: QCRS June 2010

Date: June 5th, 2010

Motor: PPL H140

Apogee: 2,254 ft

Since the wind was blowing right towards a creek, a house, and a bunch of trees, I elected to keep my first flight low for the day. The Norad was the weapon of choice on two grains of the third version of my blue propellant. I attached a keychain cam to capture the flight, but unfortunately managed to reset it as I was taping it to the rocket on the pad. (Better planning next time.) The flight was great -- big, bright blue flame and nice and straight up. Ejection was heard at apogee and the main popped a short while later for a soft landing just to the east of the field. Good flight!

Norad on a PPL H140

others: higher up | recovery

Event: Tripoli Indiana May 2010

Date: May 2nd, 2010

Motor: PPL H160

Apogee: 2,136 ft

I had made up a bunch of fast propellant and had some bowl scrapings left over. Tom Feldman let me borrow his 2 grain Loki 38mm case, and I thought this would be a nice combo for the Norad on this overcast day. I used the PerfectFlite again for dual deploy, which brought the rocket down nice and easy in the field next door after a 2100 foot flight.

Norad on a PPL H160

others: recovery

Event: Tripoli Indiana March 2010

Date: March 14th, 2010

Motor: PPL I300

Apogee: 2,546 ft

I had originally planned to put the Norad up on a Tiger Tail load made up from the leftovers of the batch the group had made a while back. However, with the CATO of Randy's motor and the remaining grains of questionable density, I elected to swap out for a SA load that I had made the following week. To keep the altitude down (and see how this formula performed over a different Kn range), I opened the cores up and only used three grains instead of four, trying to clone an AT I357T. I used the nose cone from my DarkStar Lite (since it had a tracker in it) atop the dual deploy "ProMaxx" section to make sure we got it back. I loaded it on the rail in the light rain; I was really nervous, since I wanted to prove that research motors could work :)) Gus counted down and hit the button; the nichrome wire-wrap igniter took a second to get going, but once it did, the motor lit cleanly and carried the Norad quickly into the dark skies. It kissed the cloud deck, and we could hear the apogee event filter down. I made visual contact again about 500' above the ground, just in time to see the main deploy and the rocket land gently in the muddy field. Nice!

Norad on a PPL I300

others: ignition

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