Syracuse Rocket Club launch: Not with a whimper

A pretty good first Syracuse Rocket Club launch of the season today. Good turnout. Skies were overcast, but the rain held off until we were about done at around 3:30. Winds were as close to dead calm as you get.

Kenny came with me; as is typical these days, he flew his Ventris on an F15-6 (lovely slow launch) and that was it.

Me, I started off with the LOC Precision Fantom Mini that was one of Mark Riffle’s donations to the club last year, partly because Mark was there visiting from Massachusetts.

2016-05-21 11.32.47

Feeling optimistic, I put a C6-5 in it — something Mark said he never did. “Do you want it back?” someone asked; “I don’t care” I replied. Then I realized I did, because it had my Top Flight Thin Mil 12″ chute in it. No worries though. It stayed in sight the whole time and came down not too far away. Very wiggly flight though.

Next I prepped my Estes The Dude. Given the lack of wind I figured this would be a great day to fly it. And it probably would have been. The Dude had trouble keeping its firm, erect form, however. I couldn’t locate the leak on the field. So that flight got scratched.

Instead, for my second flight, I got out my Estes Loadstar II. The theme for the launch was staging, and after I’d put my rocket on the pad someone reminded me the contest of the month was 2-stage spot landing, so I called it a contest flight. Rather surprisingly it came down fairly close to the pin. Our tape measure was tangled and out of commission, so we paced off distances, and mine was 29 paces. Turned out to be a winner.

Flight #3 was the scratch B3S2, another contest entry, this time for the year’s first (of 6) B streamer spot landing contest. 2016-05-21 13.29.41The good news is it landed pretty close to the target. The bad news is it got there via a motor cato.

You can see the ejected motor mount just above the sawhorse there, with the streamer flying. The explosion took out one of the rear eject motor mount rings and put a small hole in the bulkhead. IMG_8702 IMG_8704In addition the cap on the adjustable nose weight container somehow came off, and seemingly took some plastic bits with it such that it wouldn’t go on again. IMG_8703The body and fins survived fine, but the rest will need rebuilding. To make matters worse, when the motor blew the B3S2 hit the rocket two rods over and knocked it to the ground, tearing its launch lugs loose. What a MESS!

So to stay in the running for the contest I flew the Fantom Mini again, this time on a B4-4. A pretty lame entry but good enough. It flew more steadily this time. 78 paces from the target, I think, which was not a win but I’m not sure there was more than one other entry, so it was second or maybe third.

For my last flight I sent my Estes Big Daddy up for the first time, on a D12-3. IMG_8765Good flight and recovered in good shape.IMG_8777

So four rockets up, one of them twice, and three recovered without damage… pretty good.


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