Family Launch 2015 (personal launch report)

The Syracuse Rocket Club’s Annual Family Launch is not exactly as ambitious as LDRS, or even NYPower; still, it’s our own biggest event, and lots of fun. This year’s had weather about as good as it gets; temperature in the 70s F, calm winds and clouds in the morning giving way to clear skies and a light breeze in the afternoon and evening. I’ll be writing the event up generally for the SRC newsletter, but here’s my personal report.

My flights led off with the Custom Razor on a B6-4. Good nominal flight. IMG_6231IMG_6262

Next was the first flight of the Art Applewhite Ninjago Scimitar on an A10-3T. Very spinny! Fun stuff. I was glad I hit the forward end of the motor tube with glue; what was browned might have been blackened otherwise.IMG_6299 IMG_6327 IMG_6364Bohica’s Dead Ringer went up on a B6-2. It had its usual nice flight.IMG_6466 IMG_6486Next, the FlisKits Rose-a-Roc on an A8-3. First flight, for the helicopter duration contest. 34.88 seconds was only good for third place (out of 3 competitors) but the successful flight was achievement enough.IMG_6583The Rocket Doctors Recommend Most — still without lights — flew again on an Aerotech E15-4W. For whatever reason it wasn’t as stable as last year, wiggling most of the way up, but aside from that all went well.IMG_6643 IMG_6651Next the first flight of the Rxiiiab on an A10-3T. Straight stable flight and the rear eject worked fine. Only minor problem was I somehow managed to forget to attach a streamer! So it came in kind of fast, nose first into the ground, but no damage.IMG_6736 IMG_6772The Binder Design Excel made its second flight, my second high power and first I motor: a Ceseroni 364I212 Smokey Sam drilled to 9 seconds delay. Straight up and fairly straight down, just a bit of a walk after apogee deployment. No damage.IMG_6841

Did I say “the successful flight was achievement enough”? Poppycock. I flew the Rose-a-Roc again on an A8-3, and this time got a duration of 1:17.86 — taking the lead in the contest, permanently!

I decided to fly the Rxiiiab again, this time on an A3-4T and with a streamer. Flight up and ejection again were both perfect; the streamer deployed just fine. It didn’t slow the rocket down a whole lot, though. The Rxiiiab planted itself in the ground and very nearly planted itself in the trash bucket. Given how stable both flights were, I probably should try pulling some of that clay out for a higher flight and slower recovery.IMG_6896The final flight occurred soon after sunset: the Big Blinka made its first flight on a C6-5. The LEDs worked great. For some reason, though, the Kevlar shock cord broke or burned through between the lower section and the parachute. The lower section landed close to the upper, though, and I was able to find it in the dark, where by “find” I mean “step on”. I couldn’t see in the dark what had gone wrong and I haven’t looked at it again since. But aside from the shock cord problem it seems to have been a successful flight.IMG_6904 IMG_6906

Kenny, who I think had missed all the launches so far this year, made up for lost time by fling his Golden Magician (Estes Magician), Alpha 01 (Estes Alpha III), Estes Code Red, and Terminator (Estes Eliminator). For the night flight he flew the Golden Magician with LEDs in the payload section and on the chute shrouds; unfortunately we lost sight of it after apogee and a ground search didn’t turn it up.

On the other hand he came back home with a new rocket kit and so did I, thanks to the raffle. He won an Estes Payloader and I picked up an Estes Big Daddy. I figure I’ll swap its nose cone for the wonky one on the Big Daddy I have in progress; then maybe I’ll figure some way to make lemons out of lemonade and use the wonky cone for a kit bash of some sort.


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