Kenny and I went to the Syracuse Rocket Club launch today. Skies were cloudy, temperatures in the fifties, and wind about 8 MPH; no rain, aside from a moment of drizzle on the way there. The field was wet from last night’s rain, something neither of us had taken into account in selecting footwear, and then I discovered that in reorganizing my launch kit I’d left our igniters and plugs home. So I went back and got them and by the time I returned Kenny’d cadged some supplies and flown his Alpha III twice.
I started off with the Metalizer on a B6-4:
Nice flight, all went well. Easy to spot!
Next, the moment of truth for the Downscale Patriot, my first scratch design. I put a 1/4A3-3T in it.
Can you spot the Patriot in this picture?
Great flight! I’m terrible at estimating altitudes; it simmed in OR at 205 feet. Flew straight, stayed in sight, streamer deployed, the only issue was whether anyone would step on it before I could find it in the grass.
Maybe sometime I’ll work up the nerve to try a 1/2A on this. I might not lose sight of it.
The contest this month was glider duration (which is why we had an 8 MPH wind…). My next launch was the Sky Condor I won last year’s contest with. I put an A8-3 in it. This year, before launching, I tried tossing it and decided it was balanced okay. But it flew tail heavy and came down after only 19.3 seconds. Later on I thought I’d try adding some weight to the nose and flying it again, but when I hand tossed it it kept nose diving! Weird. All I can think of is maybe it was soaking up water from the wet grass which affected its center of gravity. In any case I decided not to fly it again.
I did fly my other glider, the Edmonds Deltie, on an A3-4T:That one was well balanced, and I didn’t mess it up by hand tossing it! It timed at 51.2 seconds… the winning time, it turned out. A lot of other gliders flew but I think I just got luckier with the wind than the others. Unlike last year, I didn’t have to spend 20 minutes hiking out and back to recover it. It was a bit of a walk but not that bad.
For my last flight of the day I launched my Estes Patriot (the prize from last year’s glider contest) on a B6-4:Another good flight from this reliable rocket. So five for five on successful flights — good launches, good recoveries, no damage.
There were lots of other rockets flown by others, of course, mostly successfully. A couple of CATOs, a few recovery problems. One L1 certification flight looked good but landed in or beyond some distant trees; the owner had been away a long time looking for it by the time we left the field. An L2 certification flight, dual deployment, that went well; another long hike, but it came back in good shape. A pair of NARTREK Bronze parachute duration attempts both came up short, but the rocket flew well. Someone flew the highest Snitch flight I’ve ever seen, on a cluster of three Ds! Nicest looking rocket of the day, I thought, was the QModeling Mega Viper seen above with my Patriot. “That’s the problem,” someone said, “you do a good job and you end up with a rocket that’s too pretty to fly.” “I don’t have that problem,” I said.