Skye Dance XXXIX
It's very difficult scheduling a launch a week or more in advance. You generally have no idea what the weather is going to be like more than 3 days in advance. And, so many things have to come together to have a great launch: you need a dry field (but no burn ban), you need clear skies or a high ceiling, you need light winds, and all this needs to happen on a weekend when the fliers are in town! All of these things seem to come together about 4 times a year (if we're lucky). Because of all these variables, Tripoli Austin doesn't announce their launches more than a day or two in advance.
The weekend of February 21st was starting to look good, so we announced a possible Saturday launch date. By Friday, the forecast looked okay although the winds were forecast to be 10 - 15 mph. This prohibits any high flights, but we can certainly fly our low stuff in those winds, so Skye Dance 39 took to the skies Saturday, February 21st. Conditions turned out to be excellent; clear skies, temperatures in the high 60s, a dry field and easterly winds around 8 mph. The winds became calm near sunset, but we didn't have any high fliers to put up. Since the launch was announced with only 1 day notice, only 3 fliers could make it.
Mark Carlson put up 3 flights, 2 of which were very interesting. Mark launched his LOC IV using an Aerotech H165 with a short delay. The delay turned out to be extremely short, like 1 second, which resulted in a broken shock cord. The nose and parachute sailed away and the lower section lawndarted. Thud. Mark also brought out his first 38 mm EX motor, a reloadable 600 ns case loaded with his homemade propellant estimated to be an I250. The motor was loaded into his PML 1/4 scale Patriot. The motor was very difficult to ignite, going through several ignitors before it sort of lit. Then, it sat there for around 7 seconds spitting and sputting and chuffing before it finally decided to fire. It produced a great flight when it finally got going! Mark also flew a G64 for a successful flight.
Mark with his Patriot loaded with EX.
H165 Redline boost for the LOC IV.
Too bad it deployed after 1 second.
Very nice I250 EX flight.
Tom Montemayor also put up 3 flights, all successful. Tom started with his ancient North Coast Archer, powered by a core H165 Redline and two outboard D12s. Tom used slow fuse to light the D12s, and it was certainly slow. A few seconds after the H165 burned out, with the Archer just reaching apogee, one of the D12s fired. For a rocket this heavy, a D12 does nothing but make a little smoke. After deployment, with the rocket descending gently under parachute, the other D12 fired. Again, it didn't do anything but make smoke, but it did look neat! Next, Tom launched Stud Duck with a Kosdon I300 for a perfect flight and recovery. Finally, Tom brought out his LOC Bruiser, powered by a Kosdon J500. The 38mm 900ns motor lifted the Bruiser to 1,490 feet at a max acceleration of 8 Gs. Deployment occurred right at apogee for a perfect flight and recovery.
The Archer boosting on an H165. The D12s fired later.
Tom with Stud Duck
Kosdon I300 boost
Kosdon J500 boost
Jeff Cook flew his Aerobee Hi using an Aerotech J350. The flight was a complete success with dual deployment bring it back very close to the pad. Max altitiude was 2,179 feet.