Up and away

Kenny and I went to the July launch event of the Syracuse Rocket Club. Brought three rockets. Left with one. Thought for a while we might leave with zero.

Not that it was particularly windy. It was grassy though.

Kenny’s plan to launch the Magician (which was scrubbed in May due to a broken motor mount) was endangered by the loss of the nose cone. It fell off into the grass somewhere and disappeared. So he came up with the idea of stuffing the payload bay with recovery wadding, to make if not a nose cone then at least a relatively solid nose cylinder, and the launch director approved. He sent that up on a D motor and it worked fine. He also launched his Make It Take It, and I launched my Squatty Body, both on A8-3s, and those launches went well too. (I’d replaced the too-short stock streamer on the Squatty Body with a longer one, which worked better.)

Then Kenny wanted to launch the Make It Take It and the Squatty Body in a drag race on C6-5s. They went out of sight and one (pretty sure it was the Squatty Body) was never seen again. The other was seen coming down but landed in the tall grass and couldn’t be found.

Meanwhile, though, Kenny found the Magician nose cone. So he prepped that for launch with a borrowed altimeter in the payload bay; for the predicted altitude contest he forecast 1500 feet. For that launch he used an E engine.

On the first launch it had drifted quite a bit on its parachute, so we cut a hole in the chute for the second flight. Even so it took forever to come back down, a long way away in (again) tall grass.
But it had an altimeter, so it was beeping, and after a long search, Kenny found it via the audio cues. Specifically 1 beep, 4 beeps, 2 beeps, 5 beeps, long beep: 1425 feet. Not a bad estimate, then, though not the winner; someone else got within 13 feet.

Most of the other flights went well. I saw one rather unstable, and one separation that left the rocket heading toward lawn dart recovery, and one G or H motor that stopped firing much earlier than it should have — even so the altimeter deployment worked and that flight ended well. Other than those most of them went up, came down gently, and were recovered in good shape.


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