Launch season winding down (see what I did there?)

Given the rain we’ve had lately, and the near freezing temperature early Friday morning, Saturday’s mostly cloudy skies and low 70s temperatures might be seen as a relative blessing. Or as a sick joke on the part of the weather gods, who also sent winds close to 20 MPH, gusting to 30 it says here.

We didn’t even bother setting up the high power rails, and no one put up a pop-up canopy. Our chairs blew over whenever we weren’t sitting in them.

We launched in the lulls and held in the gusts. Lots of B, A, and sub-A motors. One person launched an F, which got a pretty good altitude if you were lying on your side. Fiberglass rocket, fortunately.

I didn’t have a long list of rockets to launch. I’d expected to have a couple more new rockets ready, but no, only the Jupiter C. A few days ago I’d been considering the Deltie for a NARTREK Silver flight, and the Ventris on my first G motor. Those both got scratched during final planning last night.

Since the theme was scale models, in addition to the Jupiter C I decided to bring the Patriots — all of them. I also had the Mega Mosquito, Test to Destruction, and Mustang along, though I didn’t think it likely I’d launch the latter two. The planned motor for the Mega Mosquito was downsized last night from E9 to D12 for wind reasons (still 24mm black powder, a 2014 goals flight). On the field the Mega Mosquito flight got scratched entirely.

So, as it turned out, only four rockets in an hour and a half or so before we packed up and went home. My son didn’t launch at all, which was probably a good idea. I didn’t get a lot of photos, especially since we didn’t get a lot of launch warning — when the wind died down, they put them in the air expeditiously. (Someone said “all drag races today”, but it wasn’t that extreme.)

First one was the Downscale Patriot on a 1/4A3-3T.2014-09-20 11.11.48Did I mention there were a lot of streamer recoveries? Though one, on about 20 feet of caution tape, still drifted past the hedgerow into the next section. Anyway, the Downscale Patriot had a good flight and came down fairly close by. Nice hole right through the crepe paper streamer, though. I guess a little more wadding would have been in order.

Next, the Patriot on a B6-4.2014-09-20 11.28.532014-09-20 15.32.41You can see it weathercocking into the wind from the right. Parachute recovery, but only 12″ and reefed. Another good flight.

And then the Patrioony. You’re seeing a pattern here? I was thinking C6-5 earlier, but decided on B6-4 again, and a reefed chute again. Weathercocked even more than the previous two (it’s nose heavy) and deploy was late but no recovery problems. No photo, sorry.

The Downscale Patriot’s maiden flight was just over a year ago, and I hadn’t flown it again until today. This is the only time I’ve launched all three Patriots at the same event.

Finally, the contest flight: first flight of the Jupiter C, completed the night before (for certain non clear coated values of “completed”).2014-09-20 11.59.05

I figured it needed a C6-3. I had a 16″ chute along but given the wind I decided to use an unreefed 12″.

The up part went fine. The chute shroud lines tangled, though, and it came in pretty hard. The fourth stage / satellite (the thin pointy bit) broke off and disappeared in the grass — not an entirely unforeseen outcome. The second / third stage (the can atop the nose cone) also broke off, a less predictable failure. But what amuses me?2014-09-20 12.05.30All four of the silly, tiny, fragile, surface-glued hoses or conduits or whatever they are stayed put.2014-09-021Well, so it goes, and it can fly again. All else fails, it can go up without the upper stages. But if I get motivated enough I can probably figure a way to replace the missing piece and more securely attach the parts that broke off. Kind of a big “if” though; I’m not feeling great amounts of love for this one. We’ll see.

I decided that was enough, finished off my lunch (Buffalo Chicken Salad from the Brooklyn Pickle), and went on home. Pretty good launch in the “coulda been worse” category.



One thought on “Launch season winding down (see what I did there?)

  1. Pingback: Building the Glencoe Jupiter C (PMC) (part 7) | Rich's Rockets

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