SRC launch: Fire in the hole

Seems I haven’t entirely shaken my launch jinx.

Saturday was the Syracuse Rocket Club’s annual Family Picnic Launch, our big launch event. My flights started off well enough with the Bohica’s Dead Ringer on a B6-4. It flew as it always does on that motor, straight up, down under a streamer. Camera problems resulted in no pictures of this flight or some others.

I thought I’d get my contest flights out of the way next. One contest was B helicopter duration, and I attempted to fly the Rose-a-Roc on a B6-4. Unfortunately the igniter got confused and instead of igniting the motor it ignited one of the fins. 2016-08-21 07.52.44(I suppose probably there was a short below the plug that caused it.) It was the fin on the far side of the rocket and the burning wasn’t very evident, but as they launched the rest of the rack I did notice smoke still rising. And indeed the fin was still smoldering when I went out to look it it; I spritzed it a bit with our water fire extinguisher before taking it off the rod. I’ll get around to repairing this sometime.

I loaded up my Excel with a CTI H120 Red Lightning. The first ignition attempt failed, surprisingly enough — maybe I didn’t have the igniter in far enough. I tried again with an igniter made by one of the club members. That worked, but the flight didn’t go as planned.IMG_1594 IMG_1654 IMG_1657 IMG_1661 2016-08-20 16.50.30

Forward closure failure. There’s been a known problem with Pro38 forward closures, but the notice seems to say the bad resin causing it was used beginning 22 October 2015 while this motor was dated 27 August 2015, so I assumed it was not affected. Maybe it’s a different problem. I’m going to file a MESS report and inform CTI. The Excel’s airframe was destroyed; some of the fin can might be salvageable, if I decide it’s worth it. The chute and nose cone were thrown clear after the harness burned through and are in good shape. Well, I guess I won’t be redoing that paint job after all.

After last month’s somewhat squirrelly flight I decided to take some of the nose weight out of the B3S2a for the B streamer spot landing, and flew it on a B6-4. IMG_1663It still landed short of the target, by 53’6″, but there were only a couple of participants in the contest and that ended up being the shortest distance.

I had more igniter problems with the Ninjago Scimitar. 2016-08-20 13.31.28On the third attempt it flew, up and down more or less as you’d expect a saucer like this to do, but with a loud pop along the way. Another cato! This time the A10-PT spat the nozzle. 2016-08-20 13.47.29Another MESS report to file. The Scimitar was undamaged.

It was time for the first flight of the R13. 2016-08-20 14.06.46IMG_1727The Aerotech single use D21-4 was maybe too much power. It scooted. Coned like crazy, but it went up. Popped the chute and came down for a wonky but successful flight. After picking it up I removed the mouthpiece cap and played a bit of music while bringing it back.

I hadn’t planned on flying anything else, not after it was announced James’s Extremely Fat Boy 10x upscale was not going to be flying that day. (It was on display though.) IMG_20160820_143824So I figured I’d save my Fat Boy, Micro Fat Boy, and Flat Boy for whenever James’s rocket does fly — maybe the September launch. I did bring them along, though, and I had plenty of time after the R13 and there was a lull in the flying. So I stuck an E9-6 in the Fat Boy. Had another igniter failure but it went up on the second try — nice straight, high flight.

In the evening we had our night flight, and I put the Big Blinka up again on a C6-5. Good flight and an easy recovery.

So two catos, two rockets set on fire, the R13 wonky but came back still playable, and four problem-free flights.

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