Event 09/08/01: Rocket Launch: Tripoli: North Branch

The first crummy weather for a Tripoli launch this year.  The day started with rain, mist and ceilings ranging from zero to 500'.  I defiantly flew Bic ARCAS in the rain in an attempt to turn the gods to our favor.  It seemed to work and after 10am the rain became less frequent and the ceilings lifted to between one and two thousand feet AGL and we were able to convince Mike Vande Kamp to stay and run the launch.

There were only two pads set up but with only a dozen or so fliers there was never much of a wait.

Mark Thell showed up with a nike-ish rocket he got from Carl (???).  It was made from 3" and 4" cardboard carpet or mailing tubes, with a 38mm motor
mount.  Mark flew the rocket on an I300-S for a very nice lift-off.  However, the huge military surplus parachute was a tight fit in the 3" tube and that plus a rather small ejection baffle resulted in only a partial deployment and kicked motor casing.  The rocket impacted to the northwest and the motor casing was found 1/4 of the way between the launch pad and impact site.  The lower section may be rebuildable,

This was supposed to be my L2 Cert flight day but we never got the 4000' ceilings that would have been required.  Thanks Alan Estenson for coming out to deliver my motor and staying as long as he could to try to be available to witness it.

Dan Nestor and Ed Ryan made another nice flight of their beautiful Gemini Titan on a twin cluster of G motors.  The delay was a bit long due to slight weather cocking but after shaking up our nerves a bit, the chute ejected nicely and held together.

Mike Mauer had a CATO that destroyed his very nice and irreplacable RocketVision Chariot.  Fortunately he also had some other very nice flights including at least one on a large Redline H motor.

Another flier had an Aerotech SU motor blow both the forward and rear bulkheads from only the force of the ignitor!  The propellant grain was un-scorched.

Glen Overby had some nice flights, including a dual deployment from a thin BT-55 rocket.  Here is his description:

1 - AHPLA (kitbash Alpha) on a B6-4.  Another nice stable flight (thanks to a chunk of nose weight)

2 - Wires, my medium-power dual-deployment animal on an E15-7.  The drogue got crisped by the apogee charge and the rocket free fell horizontally (slowly!) until 300' where the main made an appearance.

3 - PML Explorer on an H128-M.  It nearly disappears in the sky and returns under a happy 24" parachute.  The loud buzzer cracked off the tube and turned upside down (oops!).

As far as I know the highest flight of the day was around 2000' and I think the largest motor flown was Mark's I-300.

My Flight Results:
Owner Rocket Motor Notes Est. Alt Results
Jeff Bic ARCAS Quest MicroMaxx Didn't have any talc to properly prep the chute. 100 Another high flight for this rocket.  The chute ejected but didn't open fully. 
Jeff Completely Cardboard Estes D12-3  2 streamer St. Louis Arch attempt 500  Crepe paper got damp and tore at lift-off.
Jeff Cloned Mosquito Quest MicroMaxx  Ejectable motor pod w/streamer 50 Once again, the ejection separated the pod and rocket by a greater distance than the thrust had lifted the rocket.  Good streamer deploy.
Jeff Estes Big Daddy Estes D12-3  First time on a D12-3, usually use D12-5 100 Unstable shortly after liftoff.  Cartwheels and ejection at impact.  No damage.  Short launch rod and gusty winds.  Noticed some asymetrical nozzle erosion but not sure if that was the cause.  Several other people had unusual erosion also.
Jeff NCR Archer Aerotech G80-4W SU Stuffed large chute from Markl's Ajax into the payload compartment and tried to set it up to be gravity-deployed after normal 48" main ejection. 400 Very slow, low lift-off, nice ejection of main but the big chute didn't fully exit the payload section (the shock cord had been underneath it and just bound up.
Jeff NCR Archer Aerotech H128W-S RMS Same attempt as above but with High Power motor 700 Same results
Jeff NCR Archer Aerotech H180W-S RMS This time try the big chute for the main and the 48" for payload.  Flew my brand new bought on-site Dr. Rocket 29/240 case. 1500 Excellent flight.  Very stable, good ejection of big main, smaller chute opened a few seconds later.  After recovered (long walk to end of bean field), noticed a small bulged spot  in the new RMS case about 1/3 below the top.  Did not open it up so it can be investigated by the factory.  Exchanged it with the on-site vendor who will send it in for warranty replacement.

Not too bad of a day, especially since most people wrote off the chances of even flying anything..

See the photos of this launch on the Minnesota Rocketry Network. (probably won't be up for a while)

Back to STAC page
Back to Jeff's Home page