Fun with 2015

Happy 2015. If you didn’t like my 2014 goals, guess what; I’ve got some fairly similar goals for 2015, and I don’t care.

Anyway. For 2015, let’s take a look at my 2014 goals and see how they can be improved or adapted for 2015:

  1. Fly some larger rockets
  2. Fly more 24mm BP
  3. Fly some composite motors

These were three interrelated goals, all having to do with upping my size and impulse game. I actually upped it more than I expected to, getting up to F motors in two 29 mm rockets. Would’ve been G had the weather been more cooperative.

I could stop there and say, “Okay, big enough and powerful enough for me.” Nothing wrong with that. After all, I’m reasonably certain I’ll never launch a P motor rocket (if only because I can’t afford it), so somewhere before that, I’ll be saying “enough”. Is it here?

It might be, but I can’t tell. If what I’m doing is enough size and impulse for me, I at least need to go past it to find out. So there’s only two reasonable next steps: Level 1 certification, and flying an I.

  1. Put an entry (however pathetic) into each club launch contest and theme

This was a pretty good goal that helped stretch my experience and skill set. But this year I don’t want to be locked into building too many rockets dictated by contests and themes. I may shoot for all of them, but I’ll back my goal off a bit: Four out of six, instead of all six.

  1. NARTREK Bronze

Well, this is a no brainer: NARTREK Silver. I’ve done the payload flight and I have a suitable glider already. I just need a scale model and a 3-motor cluster. For the first I’ll probably use the D-Region Tomahawk I have in progress, unless I make a complete mess of it and don’t want to try again with one of my extra DRT kits, in which case I’d probably make a second attempt at a V-2. For the second I’ve acquired the parts for an Estes K-6 Ranger clone. Speaking of which:

  1. Build almost everything in my (current) build pile

That goal kind of needs no modification, except to clarify “current” (“current as of 1 Jan 2015”) and remove the weasely “almost”. There’s also the question of what is and isn’t in my build pile; the extra DRTs aren’t, for instance, because I say so (I have no definite plans to build any of them and, for that matter, no definite plans at all for any of them). Other kit rockets for which I have the kit, or scratch/kitbash rockets for which I have all or substantially all the parts, are. I could try to weasel my way out of building a rocket or two in 2015 by claiming I need a centering ring I don’t have yet, therefore it’s not in the build pile, but that would be wrong. (I already find myself gaming the system by putting off kit purchases until after the new year.) On the other hand, rockets for which I have some of the parts but still need more than a minimal number of others are not build pile.

The build pile’s much smaller than it was a year ago — 5 rockets instead of 10 — so is not as much of a challenge. And I should finish the ones in progress too, of which there also are fewer this year (5 vs. 7). In 2014, I don’t think I ever seriously expected to complete everything in the start-of-year build pile (hence “almost”), and I didn’t. In 2015 I very well might do it.

In addition, of course, there will be the Level 1 kit, and any additional rockets I need for NARTREK, themes, and contests. And any others I feel like building, but those will be lower priority… unless I rearrange my priorities. Those include a couple for which I have some of the parts in hand.

  1. Buy too many kits

I didn’t manage to do so in 2014. Abject failure. I may have spent more on motors than I expected, though.

So maybe a more serious goal. I think I was fairly good about not going nuts buying things in 2014, but this year I’m going to keep closer track and try to plan my spending better. In fact I started doing that as of October. So far I’m within my somewhat arbitrary budget. Even after re-upping my NAR membership.

  1. Fly lots of stuff
  2. Have fun

Those are, again, the important ones. Keeping those unchanged.

So here’s the list for 2015.

  1. Level 1 certification
  2. Fly an I motor
  3. Put an entry (however pathetic) into at least four club launch contests and four club launch themes
  4. NARTREK Silver
  5. Complete all rockets in progress or in the build pile as of 1 Jan 2015 (see first 10 entries in table below)
  6. Adhere to a budget
  7. Fly lots of stuff
  8. Have fun

Planned 2015 builds:

Rocket Status as of 1 January 2015 25 December 2014 Notes
In progress as of 1 Jan 2015:
Starlight Saber 1st primer on
Shrockets Sea Sting 1st primer on
Quest MLAS Partly assembled
Estes D-Region Tomahawk Assembled  For NARTREK Silver?
Estes Xarconian Cruiser Partly assembled
In build pile as of 1 Jan 2015:
Estes (clone) Fat Boy Build pile Bash from Mega Mosquito
(scratch) Micro Fat Boy Build pile Bash from Mosquito; need fin stock, MMX mount parts
Estes Big Daddy Build pile Estes warranty replacement for cato damaged Lunar Eclipse Jr.
Estes (clone) Ranger Build pile  For NARTREK Silver
Excelsior Honest Goon Build pile Need motor mount
Some parts in hand as of 1 Jan 2015:
ASP V-2 (18 mm) Some parts in hand Have decals (for White Sands Round 3), need kit. Build if I decide not to use DRT for NARTREK Silver (or if I feel like it!)
Estes (clone) Super Big Bertha Some parts in hand Have body tube, some centering rings; need most other parts
Excelsior Nike-G Some parts in hand Have decals and fin stock, need Baby Bertha kit
Excelsior Pink Mini Max Some parts in hand Have decals, need Mini Max kit
Plan to acquire in 2015:
unspecified Level 1 rocket To acquire Need to choose and buy kit

3 thoughts on “Fun with 2015

  1. Pingback: 2015 themes and contests | Rich's Rockets

  2. I love this blog. I feel like you and I have similar rocketry goals. Your technical knowledge far exceeds mine (your post about motor designations comes to mind), and I find the Xarconian Cruiser too intimidating to attempt building, but other than that, I think we have similar goals for the upcoming year.

    I was thinking of attempting an L1 cert myself this spring or summer, but now I think I’ll push it off a while. I’m just about to start my first midpower rockets, and want to see how that feels and what it can teach me. I have the composite hardware, but haven’t used it yet. Can’t wait to see what it does!

  3. The XC’s not bad… so far anyway. Nominally a Skill Level 5, but Skill Levels are fairly nonsensical anyway. Presumably it’s called that mainly because of the tube cutting and gluing to be done, and that just requires being careful, taking your time, and using a sharp knife. So far anyway. Oh, and there’s the masking job called for to do the face card paint scheme… looking forward to that…

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