NYPower 2017: Mud on the shoes

This year I went to only one day (today (Saturday)) of NYPower. The stripey Syracuse Rocket Club big tent was up and I commandeered a corner.

Again, no new rockets, so everything I brought was veteran. I started off with the Lunar Eclipse Jr. on an E9-6. This one, recall, flew well on its first flight about three years ago. A week later it hung up on the launch rod on the first attempt to fly it, and it was damaged in a motor cato on the second. A year later, finally repaired, it arced over for a long walk, and when I found it my reload casing was missing. And last year at NYPower after a launch failure due to shorted clips it arced over again for another long walk.

Today it went straight up, straight-ish down, and was recovered whole and undamaged. Well it’s about damn time.

Second rocket was the Mustang on a newly purchased Aerotech Econo-Max F44 single use. This rocket hasn’t flown in two years; its two flights before today were on F42s. I have no recollection of these being especially fast boosts, but it scooted darn fast on the F44.

Next I loaded up the Scion with a CTI G88 Smoky Sam, delay drilled to 8 seconds. thrustcurve.org recommended 7, but my choices were 6 and 8 and I opted for longer. In fact 6 would have been fine. Recovery was with a 24″ chute bound up with a Jolly Logic Chute Release I’d bought an hour or so earlier. I still think the Chute Release’s price is too high, but what incentive do they have to lower it? From what I’ve seen they must be selling tons of these things. I decided it was time to give in and buy myself one. It worked great. 

James Shattell, who was working high power pad manager, then made me an offer I, well, okay, I could have refused, but didn’t. I wrote during the Scion build, “I maybe should state that I’m gluing this up with epoxy and internal fillets because I feel like it, not because it’ll necessarily need it. I doubt I’ll go higher than a G in it.” I should have remembered I know James. I guess he wanted to see one of his motors fly, so he gave me an AT H238T and loaned me a casing. I’ve never built an Aerotech reload before. But I figured what the heck, read the instructions, put it together, and flew it.

The motor didn’t explode. The fins didn’t shred. The chute release worked again. I nevertheless had a good long walk because for whatever reason the Scion decided to head off to the south under thrust, and it came down all the way across Big Tree Lane in the middle of a plowed and planted field. Considerably further than I thought it had gone (though I did think it was possible it had crossed the road) and if the crops had been high it would have been interesting trying to find it. As it was it was just interesting getting to it, crossing a ditch and some very muddy territory. My boots gained a few pounds. The rocket was fine though.

I had some other rockets with me including the Big Blinka for the night launch, but I decided those four flights were enough and I wanted to head for home before it got later and darker. Good day. Not the four best flights of all time but all the motors lit, all the chutes deployed, the Chute Release did its thing, and all three rockets came back undamaged. So that’s a win.



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