The Fleet
Updated February 11, 2008
This is my current fleet. The flight numbers are current as of the update date. Most of the rockets have at least 2 photo links; the static link shows Tom holding the rocket for scale, the flight link shows the rocket under thrust. Some of the more spectacular rockets have video links. The photos were taken at launches all over Texas.
My highest flying and fastest rocket, "Unshredable" first took to the skies at Valley Mills during the HOT/NERO launch June 9, 1996. The rocket is scratch built out of Dynacom fiberglass parts and features dual deployment. This rocket was used for my Level 3 certification flight on January 24, 1998, when it achieved 14,463 feet and mach 1.18 using an Aerotech M1419. The original (white) lower section has a 98mm motor mount. A new yellow lower section was built for 3 inch motors. The rocket has flown 10 times, 4 L952 flights, an L777 flight, an L1060 flight and 4 M flights (M1419, M1130, M1850, M1350).
The "Integral" is my first 4 inch two stager, and my first two stage rocket to use Adept timers for staging rather than "off the rod" micro switches. The first stage uses the motor ejection charge to deploy it's chute, the second stage uses dual barometric deployment. The Integral first flew February 27, 1993 at an Outlaw launch at Brookshire, Texas, just west of Houston. The first flight was a J275 staging to an I211. The Integral has a total of 15 flights to date, the highest being 7,664 feet. That flight was a J415 staging to a J180.
Three's Company
"Three's Company" is my first and only three stager. Constructed from reinforced LOC 3 inch tubing, the rocket first flew at Bird's Nest Airport (outside of Austin) May 15, 1995. The initial flight was an I284 staging to an I161 staging to an H128. Since then, the rocket has been powered up to a J275 staging to an I161 staging to an H123. That flight achieved a max altitude of 6,246 feet. The flights have been purposely kept low because of the difficulty in finding the second stage. The 1st and 2nd stages use motor charges to deploy chutes, the 3rd stage uses dual barometric. The rocket has flown a total of 6 times. Prep times approach 3 hours so the rocket is not flown frequently. This rocket was featured in the August 1996 HPR magazine. It has also flown twice in a two stage configuration.
"Spectra" is the workhorse of the Montemayor fleet, taking to the air for it's maiden flight October 31, 1993 at Bird's Nest Airport. Since then, the rocket has logged 88 flights, it's highest being 5,418 feet on a Kosdon K350. Actually, only the name has 88 flights, as there is not a single component on the current vehicle that has been through all 88 flights. The currrent "Spectra" is third generation, built from 4 inch glass reinforced flexible phenolic tubing. Spectra was my first 4 inch rocket scratch built for dual barometric deployment.
Olympic Gold
Formerly the "Million Millimeter", "Olympic Gold" first took to the skies at Skye Dance Airport January 21, 1996. The maiden flight used two I211s. The rocket was then used for my Level 2 certification on March 16, 1996 at Outlaw, where it was powered by a J415. The rocket is constructed from Rocket R&D 5.5 inch paper tubing and features a removable motor mount. The rocket can fly on two 38mm motors, one 54mm motor or one 98mm motor. The rocket has flown 11 times, 9 of which used the 98mm Aerotech K458. The highest flight has been 6,001 feet, using a K458. Dual deployment usually brings it back close to the pad.
I saw my first Bruiser powered by a K550 at one of the early Outlaw launches in 1991. After seeing that flight, I knew that I just HAD to get into high power. My classic LOC Bruiser first took to the air September 16, 1995 at the long lost Valley Mills launch site, powered by a J415. The rocket has flown 18 times, eight of those powered by K550s. Max altitude has been 3,465 feet. Since the rocket does not feature dual deployment, and since it comes with a large chute for it's weight, you can expect some pretty long walks for recovery.
"Shadowfax" was my first routinely successful high power two stager, mainly because it deployed a chute if the second stage did not fire, which was a common problem before reloads. Since the rocket was designed and built before there were altimeters and barometric deployment devices, I designed a thrust sensor to determine if the second stage had fired. If not, a chute was deployed. The rocket has 19 flights, usually powered by an I154 first stage and an H128 second stage. I'm not sure when the first flight was; I have a video from Outlaw 5 showing a successful flight on February 29, 1992. That flight was an H125 first stage (a single use, 29mm full H) and a G40 second stage. There were no reloads yet.
In case you're not familiar with the name, "Shadowfax" was Gandalf's horse in Lord of the Rings.
Bad Attitude
An original Hawk Mountain Enterprises rocket, my "Bad Attitude" first flew December 14, 1998 at Skye Dance. The first flight was powered by an Aerotech J460. Since it's introduction, there have been several design improvements by Hawk Mountain, most importantly stronger fins, but even without the improvements, the all fiberglass rocket has proven itself to be very strong. My 'tude has logged 34 flights, the highest being a supersonic flight to 7838 feet powered by a Kosdon L850.
Here's a name that will take you back, the Brighthawk was a 2.6 inch kit offered by North Coast Rocketry. It featured a core 29mm motor mount and 2 outboard 29mm mounts. This was my first rocket that flew a recording altimeter, and my first rocket that used dual deployment. It flew for the first time on a cold, cloudy day at Bird's Nest Airport February 13, 1993. That first flight was powered by an Aerotech H97 and no outboards, and made the staggering altitude of 1,260 feet. Of course, this design is just begging to be clustered, so flight 4 was powered by a core H180 and two outboard F25s, ignited simultaneously. The flight photo (and thumbnail) show this flight. Though simultaneous ignition is cool, higher and safer flights are produced by airstarting the outboards. The rocket has 21 logged (and at least 3 unlogged, pre-altimeter) flights. The highest was 3,201 feet, powered by a core H220 airstarting two outboard G40s at Skye Dance. It also produced a cool flight at Valley Mills with a core H180 airstarting two outboard G25s. That flight made 3,008 feet.
The rocket is not flown frequently because the altimeter compartment is not well sealed and allows ejection gasses to leak in, damaging the altimeter.
Yet another North Coast kit, the Archer was my first 4 inch rocket, received as a birthday present November, 1991. The rocket features a core 29mm motor mount and two 24mm motor mounts and was barely stable with the recommended combination of a core G and a couple of outboard Ds. With a core H motor, the rocket was decidely unstable, as demonstrated at Outlaw 3 when the rocket came sideways into the crowd, still thrusting, taking out the LCO table and chair on the way. After that debacle, I lengthened the rocket by 12 inches (as did North Coast for the newer kits) and it turned into a fine, low flying rocket.
The rocket has flown at least 37 times, but since it doesn't carry an altimeter I don't log the flights. It is usually the first flight up at the Skye Dance launches to check the winds. The most impressive flights (see the video) were lifting off on two outboard E30s with the core H70 kicking in around 50 feet. It's like an afterburner kicking in....the rocket rises slowly into the air, then the turbo-charger kicks in. An impressive effect when it works!
Stud Duck
"Stud Duck" is my most beautifully finished rocket, complete with polyurethane paint, a gell coat finish and custom art work. All this guarantees that I didn't build it. "Stud Duck" was built by Dwayne Nutt, the organizer of Outlaw 1, my certification launch, held at Brookshire November 1990. The rocket is 5.5 inches in diameter with a 54mm motor mount. Since it is a motor deploy (hopefully at apogee), it can produce very long walks. I have flown it on a J275 (a two day recovery effort) and now I usually fly it on Aerotech I357s. I have logged 13 flights on this rocket since I got it January, 2000.
Psychedelic Persuasion
"Psychedelic Persuasion" was a quickie, built in one afternoon, scratch built 2.6 inch rocket with a 38mm motor mount. I built it because I had several H73s laying around and no rocket light enough to fly them. The rocket flew great on the H73, but now there are no more H73s, so I fly it on G motors. Not many photographs of this rocket, an H73 is not a very exciting motor!
I also have a couple of Estes "Pro Series" rockets that I fly regularly, the 3 motor "Maxi-Force" and the 4 motor "Patriot". Too bad Estes doesn't make these kits anymore; clustering D motors is fun, especially when they all fire!
No fleet is complete without a V2. Mine is a 4 inch diameter, Mountainside Hobbies V2 with a 29mm mount. As is the case with any V2, the rocket is not a high flier because so much nose weight is required for stability. I fly mine on H128s and H238s, both 29/180 motors. I flew it once on a G104 but it only made a couple of hundred feet on that motor. No altimeter, motor deploy at apogee only. I started logging flights for this rocket in 2000, and it has 13 logged flights since then. I suspect it has a total of about 23 flights, since I fly it when the winds are too high for anything else. It doesn't go very high so the recovery walk isn't very far!
I've always been a big fan of this rocket - the real ones were fun to watch in 1965-1966, and a Gemini-Titan was my first Estes cluster kit. I got it around 1970 and flew it many times on two B8-6s. So, when I got into high power, I just had to have another one. This rocket is scratch built from LOC 3 inch tubing and features two 29mm motor mounts. It uses the motor ejection charges to deploy a streamer at apogee and an altimeter to deploy a parachute at 250 feet. The rocket usually flies on two G40s and reaches 1,800 feet using those motors. The rocket is so tall (not to scale at all) that it doesn't notice the failure of one motor. It just doesn't go as high, usually around 1,000 on one motor. The rocket has logged approximately 15 flights; I don't fly it often because two G40s cost as much as an I reload.
Updates are underlined in red.
Named after the flying black horses in Lord of the Rings, the newest rocket in my fleet, "Nazgul" first took to the air February 1, 2003 at Skye Dance 35. The rocket is all carbon, scratch built from Performance Rocketry carbon components. Weighing in at just over 30 pounds (empty), the 7.5 inch rocket stands just over 8 feet tall. The rocket was designed for dual barometric recovery, deploying a 24 inch drogue at apogee and a 10 foot main parachute at 750 feet. The first flight used an Animal L1060 GG, a 3500 newton-second green motor. The second flight used an Animal M1850 and reached a max altitude of 6,187 feet. The third flight also used an M1850 to a max altitude of 5872 feet.
Nazgul was designed to be large, heavy, and slow, allowing the use of L motors at smaller fields like Skye Dance.
On 12/19/04, a faulty altimeter failed to deploy resulting in major damage. The nose and top 2 feet of the rocket were destroyed.
Spectra was destroyed 12/29/07 at Asa when neither apogee charge fired.