URRF 2: Ups and not so ups

I headed out to URRF 2 on Friday with a smaller number of rockets than I’d used last weekend, including the repaired Ventris. But not the Mustang, because finishing wasn’t done, and the Ventris was repaired but not repainted. Weather had not been good during the week.

The forecast was good, though. URRF began Friday morning, but I arrived in Yates County that evening and went straight to Keuka Lake State Park where I pitched my tent for the weekend. Just me; Kenny opted out on the weekend.

So I arrived at the long, rutted, but thankfully not wet dirt road to the launch site at Torrey Farms the next morning. We were on an onion field. You could tell by the onions.IMG_2769If you recall the wet weather before NYPower, it was more than wet in Potter; it was inundated. I’m told what you see here is part of a quarter million dollars worth of onion crop that was lost.

It was clear and sunny, with a bit more wind than I like. Temperatures went pretty quickly up into the 80s. I had along a new canopy and table which I set up near the SRC big tent. Registered, went to the flyer’s meeting, watched some flights. Then I put an Estes E9-6 in the Lunar Eclipse Jr. and put it on the pad.IMG_27682014-06-28 11.10.22 2014-06-28 11.10.41And on the pad was right where it stayed, hung up on the launch rod.

So I re-prepped it with another E9-6, put it on a different rod, and stood by, camera ready, for the next flight attempt. Which got off the pad.2014-06-28 12.25.45-004But not the way I wanted it to.

Both engines were from a pack of 3 purchased a couple of days earlier at the Hobby Lobby in DeWitt, NY. The first appeared to work normally, so far as could be seen from the non-flight. I have not used the third and I think maybe I won’t. Date code was 09 04 12. MESS report filed. I’m aware of one other black powder motor cato during the weekend, and it was also an Estes E9-6.

(Whatever else you want to say about an E cato, it does make for some good pictures.)

The motor mount sustained some damage. Hard to tell how much, because at the moment the casing is still stuck inside it. IMG_2777I may not be able to repair the damage, or not without major surgery. (The fact that I put a baffle in doesn’t help.) Well, I got one good flight out of that rocket.

0 for 2. Bummer. I took a break from flying. Watched, ate lunch. Decided, since we’d all gotten a 25% off any CTI item coupon from AMW, to go stress shopping and make a purchase I’d been considering:IMG_2770I’m not particularly a zealot on either side of CTI vs. Aerotech. I’ve used Aerotech SU motors a few times and they’ve been fine. I went with CTI for my first reload hardware largely on the strength of its simplicity of use; the cost per motor is higher, but until I find myself using lots of these per launch, a few extra dollars for a less stressful user experience is worth it to me. So, a 29 mm starter kit (3-grain case with closure, and delay drilling tool with guide and centering ring), a 1-grain 29 mm case, and a couple of F36 motors in two different propellants.

Finally I decided to send up the Mega Mosquito. Aside from the third motor from that package the only other E I had was an older E9-6 I’ve been carrying around and avoiding using, because its date code (08 18 11) has been associated with at least E12 catos. So I put a D12-3 into the Mega Mo and up it went.

IMG_2771 2014-06-28 15.21.36-2Good flight.

That was my last flight of the day. Next was my one flight of the night. There was a night launch, and I used the sustainer from my Loadstar II, with a C6-5 in back and two cheap blinky LED necklaces (red and green ones, on steep discount at the drug store right after Christmas) in the payload section.


Winds were dead calm. Recovery was over the line, but otherwise the flight was fine.

Did I mention the long, rutted, but thankfully not wet dirt road? How about the long, rutted, thankfully not wet, but dark dirt road? Some serious pucker factor on the way out that night. But I got to my tent okay. Watched the stars and fireflies for a bit, then went to sleep.

Back again this morning, and I decided to lead off with the Patrioony on another C6-5. I got a nice compliment on it from the guy setting up on a nearby pad.
IMG_27842014-06-29 11.40.12 copyWinds were up again. Another over the line recovery. I really need to start thinking about launch rod angles a little more often. (I wasn’t the only one. The left six pads had no angle adjustment. But I could have chosen one of the right six.) Anyway, good flight again.

I’d been holding off on the Ventris because the CTI F36s were the only motors I had for it and I kind of wanted one of my SRC friends making sure I was making my motor right, but they were all pretty busy and eventually I decided the heck with it, re-read the instructions once more, and went ahead. Chose the Blue Streak, drilled the delay down to 7 seconds, and loaded it up. Tilted away from the flight line this time.IMG_2791And on the first flight attempt, nothing happened. Continuity was apparently lost, and I thought the ignitor must have burned, but as it turned out it hadn’t. I replaced it with another one anyway, and on the second try it lit.2014-06-29 14.00.10Deployment happened well after apogee; I didn’t count to see if the the delay was longer than 7 seconds, or if it just needed less than 7. Still, no blood, no foul. Dirt landing left all the fins in place and no damage to speak of.

I suppose I could have sent it up again on the Smoky Sam, or launched the Dead Ringer or something, but I figured my first Ceseroni / first reloadable flight was a good place to quit while ahead. I watched flights until there were no more flights, packed up my stuff and helped with teardown of SRC stuff, and headed home. Good weekend.


5 thoughts on “URRF 2: Ups and not so ups

  1. Nice report….looks like you had a good time despite the E9’s. Knock n wood and I’ve flown a ton of them with only one failure…which was user error. ‘Nuff said. I’ve had four E12 CATO’s however on only a a handful of packs.. Anyway, I don’t think it is a totally successful launch unless I have something to fix the next day. LOL.

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