Heavy artillery for rocket retrieval

Believe it or not I still have never to my certain knowledge lost a rocket in a tree. (There’s one glider I suspect got hung up in a tree but if so I couldn’t see it from the ground.) It’s not like there are no trees at our club launch site but I’ve just never had one go far enough in the right, or wrong, direction to encounter them. But others have of course, there and at other sites.

James Shattell's tree recovery at NYPower, May 2016

James Shattell’s tree recovery at NYPower, May 2016

Last year I posted a link to a video about making a “tree rescue system”: Essentially the bastard offspring of a crossbow and a slingshot, employed to shoot an arrow-like projectile with a light line attached over the offending branch. After that you can use the light line to pull a heavy line over, then use that to bend the branch until it releases your rocket, drone, or what had you.

Not good enough, you say? Well, then, how about a spud gun? It’s written up as an antenna wire launcher for radio amateurs, but clearly can be repurposed by rocketeers and other flyers. It’s made of PVC, uses PVC pucks instead of literal spuds, and can be charged using a bicycle pump.

The only worrying thing about this is it’s starting to look like recovering treed rockets could become more fun than flying them, and then where will we be?



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