Barry Park demo launch: Breaking up is easy to do

I got a call from James on Friday: Would I be interested in doing a rocket demo on Sunday? There was a kids’ event going on in Barry Park in the city, near where I was living 15 years ago. I said OK, and James and I went there and put on a show this afternoon. We launched rockets, handed out flyers for the next club launch, and gave away a Big Daddy kit. James did the talking and I did the prepping.

Next time I do one of these I’ll really try to get my rockets prepped ahead. As it was I prepped them on the field just before launching, eight rockets in about half an hour. Needless to say, I rushed. I don’t think any problems occurred that were a result of that rushing, though. I think they were all a result of other things… I also barely saw most of the launches, busy as I was prepping later ones.

First up was the Bob Harrington Mini Satellite Interceptor. One kid told me he thought it was very cool and wanted to know where you could buy one. He was rather astounded when I told him he could download it.

It went up on a 1/2A3-2T. I think. I didn’t have time to write down the motors I was using. It might have been a 1/4A. It separated on deployment. The Kevlar cord which I’d tied around the thrust ring burned through. Looks like about a third of the thrust ring itself is burned away too. Not sure what to do about that.

I don’t know if the fin broke on landing or after. We had a large team of pre-teen recovery volunteers, a situation that quickly got out of hand. They did find and return both parts.



Next was the Estes (clone) Tornado on an A8-3. Up, over, away, gone. Both pieces did come down in the field, but a long way off, and the pre-teen recovery volunteers came back empty handed. I took a brief walk down there afterward but didn’t see anything.

Third, the Custom Razor, going for the first time on the Custom logo parachute that came with it; motor was a B4-4. Another separation. This time the elastic broke just past the Kevlar leader, having been overcooked — probably on other launches, since the chute didn’t seem to have any heat damage. I got both parts back, again.IMG_3206 The Bohica’s Dead Ringer flew on a B6-4. Pretty good flight.

Estes Metalizer, also B6-4. Also good.

Estes Patriot, C6-5. Also also good. The Estes rubber band (backed up by Kevlar) is still holding.

I had some doubts about flying the Rocketarium Retro Rebel. I’ve had recovery problems of one sort or another every time I’ve flown it, and a rushed prep wasn’t really called for. But I went ahead with it anyway, launching it on a C6-3.

The flight looked good, and I thought it came down in one piece, but when the pre-teen recovery volunteers brought it back the nose cone was separate. The elastic had broken, this time in the middle. Third separation of the day! Well, fourth, but the Tornado’s supposed to separate.

IMG_3204Also, the chute had stripped a shroud and there was a small burn hole in it.IMG_3203

With reluctance, I’m retiring this one. The recovery problems I’ve had probably have not all been correlated, but the fact remains that it’s a heavy rocket with very little room for laundry. They supply a square of Nomex because there really isn’t space for wadding. Given the small body tube volume it’s not surprising a C motor ejection is pretty forceful, which probably caused this latest damage as well as some earlier problems. Anyway, four flights and four partial or full recovery failures: I think it’s time to shelve this one.

Last was the Test to Destruction on a B6-4. The flight went fine, but it came back with a popped fin I’m pretty sure was caused by rough handling on the ground.IMG_3208So, some repairs to do sometime. The kids had fun, though, and a few parents sounded like they might bring their children to the October club launch.


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