It was a spectacular day! We now have proof that the wind doesn't ALWAYS blow at the Asa launch site. Conditions were excellent; clear skies, winds less than 5 mph, and temperatures in the low 80s. The official launch season at the Asa site ended when the fields were planted. Now that the crops are coming up, the landowner agreed that we could use the site if the crowd was kept very small to minimize damage to the crops. So, the local HOTROC club fliers plus a few special projects were invited to fly April 26, 2003.
For this launch I didn't spend too much time photographing other fliers. I was rushing to get all my projects into the air before the waiver ended at 6:00 pm. Still, I only got 4 rockets into the air.
Click on the thumbnails for larger images. Two of the flights also have videos.
Jim Parker flew the largest motor of the day, putting up his "The Other White Meat" using an Aerotech N2000. The flight was a complete success; a spectacular boost and a safe, but very wet and muddy, recovery.
N2000 boost! On it's way to 11,916 feet. The rocket ended up drapped over a tree; the nose was in the water and the fins were in the water. The center section, containing the electronics, was supported by the tree!
Sometimes the motor is a little hard to get out after the flight. Jim had to use a little Japanese horsepower to yank the motor out! I was expecting the centering rings to come out with the motor, but the extraction project was successful. I wonder if NASA does this.
Tom Montemayor put up his scratch built three stager, "Three's Company". First stage was a J275, 2nd stage an I211 and 3rd stage was an H123. The rocket is getting less reliable with age (like me), and this flight was no exception. This time, the 2nd stage didn't fire so it turned into a 2 stage flight, a J275 staging to an H123. All stages were recovered safe and undamaged. Max altitude was 4,410 feet.
J275 boost.
A pretty 2 stage velocity plot from the onboard altimeter. Peak velocity was 423 feet per second. Both stages reached similar velocities.
Jim Long flew his scratch built rocket using a HOT Amarillo Blue propellant. Jim was concerned about his rocket staying together under the powerful thrust.
Liftoff! About one milisecond after this photo was taken, the motor overpressurized and catoed with a thunderous boom. The rocket disintegrated, raining parts into the open field. Better luck next time, Jim. It was spectacular!
Tom Montemayor with his Hawk Mountain "Bad Attitude". The four inch fiberglass rocket was powered by a 54mm Kosdon L850.
L850 Liftoff! The motor sure kicked up a lot of dirt under the pad. The flight and recovery were perfect. Max altitude was 7838 feet, peak velocity was 873 feet/second and max acceleration was an impressive 13 Gs.
Mark Simms attempted the highest flight of the day (as usual) with his 54mm minimum diameter rocket powered by an Aerotech K185 long burn White Lightning. The flight was simmed to reach 16,000 feet.
K185 Liftoff. The boost was perfect, the long burn motor drawing a white line in the dark blue sky. The light winds allowed the rocket to be recovered within site of the pad. Investigation revealed that the motor ejected early, deploying the drogue at 12,000 feet. Still, a great flight!
Tom Montemayor with "Spectra", a scratch built 4 inch diameter rocket. Constructed of glass reinforced flexible phenolic, the rocket sports a 54mm motor mount and, of course, dual deployment. This flight used a Kosdon K700.
K700 Liftoff. A perfect flight and recovery, max altitude was 5339 feet, max velocity was 742 feet/second and max acceleration was 10.8 Gs.
Tom's last flight of the day was with his scratch built, all fiberglass rocket "Unshredable". Constructed from Dynacom components, the rocket has two lower sections, one housing a 98mm mount and the other housing a 3 inch mount. For this flight, a 3 inch Animal Motor Works M1350 White Wolf would provide plenty of power.
M1350 Liftoff! A spectacular boost, the White Wolf motors provide lots of fire and white smoke (very similar to Aerotech White Lightning). The rocket reached it's peak altitude of 11,247 feet 26.2 seconds after liftoff and a max velocity of 1104 feet/second at 4.5 seconds after liftoff. Max acceleration was 14.5 Gs, very impressive for the almost 30 pound rocket.
A little closer; there's about 8 feet of fire coming out of that motor!
Saving the best till last, the last flight of the day was certainly the most spectacular. Steve Baughman brought his newest rocket, the XRV Mark 6, powered by a Kosdon East/AMW 7500 ns Skidmark 3 inch motor. The motor is approximately an M2000, generating a spectacular shower of sparks and noise as it roars skyward.
WOW! What can I say.....if you haven't seen a Skidmark, it's hard to describe. The sparky motor certainly cannot be used under all conditions, it would be a fire hazard around dry grass. But, in the middle of a few thousand acres of black dirt, the spectacular motor can be used very safely. In addition to the visual effects, the motor has a very loud, low frequency roar. The flight was perfect and the rocket was recovered safely and undamaged. Max altitude was 14,188 feet, the highest flight of the day.