The Syracuse Rocket Club 2016 calendar is up. In years past there’s been a theme and a contest for each launch. This year there are two contests each launch month — one varying, one the same every month. The idea is that by running the same contest every month, people will get a chance to learn from their mistakes, gather data on rocket and motor performance, and refine their designs and strategies. The contests and themes are:
|May–Oct (unvarying)||B streamer spot landing|
|May||Staging||2-stage spot landing|
|Jun||Cluster power||C egg loft duration|
|Jul||Gliders||½A glider duration|
|Aug||Oddrocs, Fat Boys||B helicopter duration|
|Sep||Scale models||Plastic model conversion|
I have rockets already for all the themes. Which is not to say I won’t build more, but I could participate in all seven themes today if I wanted to.
Contests are another story. In past years I’ve been content to just get an entry into a contest without concerning myself much with how well they do, but this time around it’s time to step it up and try for some good results. With that in mind:
- B streamer spot landing: Something like the Test to Destruction or the Patrioony or even the Honest Goon could work decently and I’d go that way if it were a one-off contest. But for an unvarying contest it’d make more sense to have a dedicated rocket, something designed for the job and which I’d be willing to scrape, chop, glue, and otherwise optimize over time. Or maybe two, to allow comparisons under similar launch conditions and to have a fallback in case one doesn’t survive all three flights I’ll presume they get (though an existing rocket could serve as a fallback).
- 2-stage spot landing: I have one 2-stage rocket (Loadstar II), not at all optimized for spot landing. So to enter this in a serious way I’d probably need to build two new rockets.
- C egg loft duration: I’ve never flown the Bad Cholesterol with one egg but the Block I configuration would work fine, I think. And I have the Eggscaliber to fall back on.
- ½A glider duration: The only ½A capable glider I have is the Semroc Swift BG, which strangely didn’t glide the three times I tried flying it, but plummeted (even though it glides just fine on a hand toss). A serious entry in this contest would require two new gliders.
- B helicopter duration: The Rose-a-Roc would work, but here again, a fallback rocket would be called for.
- I’ve done one PMC, which now needs repair. Even if it didn’t, I built it for one PMC contest and for this one I probably should build another, ideally one for which some mission points would be possible. Or maybe two. For our last PMC contest it wasn’t clear if you could fly a second entry if the first DQed.
- Random duration: For this, one or more of my existing rockets should be fine.
So okay, of the varying contests, there’s two I’m in a decent position to enter without a new build, one or two that would need one new rocket, and two or three that would need two. And one or two new ones for the unvarying contest.