Skybusters, NAR #535

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Launch Reports

Launch Report for GLRMR-II (Saturday, 05/04/2002)

“Come back to where it all began…” And so the call went out, inviting rocketeers to return to Northeast Ohio for the second annual Great Lakes Regional Meet Revisited. The first high power launch events, which later became the LDRS launches, were held in Medina, Ohio.

On Saturday, May 4th, 2002, 54 flyers from six clubs in four states descended on a corn field in Amherst, Ohio for GLRMR-II. The rainy weather we’ve experienced all spring stayed away long enough for the field to dry out and we had lovely conditions for flying. While there was some mud on the edges of the field in the morning, by the end of the day cars were kicking up dust as they left. The forecasters nearly hit the nail on the head: mid-50s, mostly sunny and the winds stayed less that 10 MPH. After last year’s winds that almost cancelled the launch, no one was complaining. By the end of the day we had made 180 flights and used 204 motors. The most frequently used motors were Cs (39) and Ds (32). We had 8 cluster flights, 6 staged flights and 8 rockets took to the air on hybrid power.

The first flight of the day was made a 9:05 by Josh Tate. This youngster put his Estes Skywinder in the air for the first of its two flights on a C6-3. The helicopter recovery worked well and Josh finished the day making 8 flights, including 2 with his Mutant, again under C power. Josh made an impressive flight with his Estes Phoenix on an F39-6 and a LOC IV on a G64-7. Great flying, Josh.

Special mention has to go out to the Hubbard family. They made a total of 8 flights using Estes rockets and engines. Andrew flew his X-Ray on an A3-4t and a rocket he called “Tech” on a C6-5. Evan flew his Wizard and Big Bertha on C6-5s. Patrick flew a Gnome and Skywinder on A and C power respectively. Paul flew the two-stage Echostar on a C6-B6 combination and then the Executioner on an E9. All were great flights.

The most prolific flyer of the day was Josh Gilbert with 10 flights. All of the flights were on C power and enjoyable. He flew his Fireflash once, Mach 12, Seahawk and a rocket he named “USA” twice, and finished with his “U.S. Air Force” three times.

Jim Donaldson made a total of 9 impressive and sometimes spectacular flights. He flew an Estes Big Daddy on an F20-4, F-23-7 and, later on a G38-4. He also flew an Executioner on an F23-4. Jim made two flights of his 2X upscale version of Barry Lynch’s new, as yet unnamed rocket plane. Jim called his version the LOC-Transport. [Ed: Jim's LOC-Transport is his original design. Barry subsequently used Jim's design for his own rocket.] The first flight was on a G35-4. The boost was perfect as was the recovery. On the second flight, Jim loaded it up with an H128 with a medium delay for his Level 1 certification. Again the boost was perfect and the rocket eased over and flew horizontally for a short time before the ejection charge deployed the parachute. Welcome to the world of high power.

Brad Gilbert made a total of 8 flights. One was an NCR Patriot, that looked nice, both on the ground and in the air on a G35-4. He also flew a really sharp looking Aerotech Warthog and a LOC IV he called "Woody" on the same motor. He flew a modified Fat Boy on a cluster of 3 D12-3s and two separate versions of the V2. One was an old Estes V2 on a D12-3 and the other was a 4 inch LOC V2, again on a G35-4. Great flying.

Fred Ziegler had a good time with his NCR Big Brute. He made three nice flights with it on F power, using both reloads and single use motors. He also flew his Estes Big Daddy on a D12-5 and the new C11-5 motor. Finally, he sent up an Estes Mean Machine (sort of) on a D12-5. His comment: “Hey. It flew!!!.”

Our Web GOD, Jamie Wylie [Ed: You flatter me, but I will accept your offerings of HPR motors.] only made 3 flights on the day using only the small stuff. He flew his Estes Trident and Solar Sailor, both on a C6-5s. Then he put up his Estes Hercules on a C6-0, B6-6 combination. All flights went well and were recovered with no damage. Jamie, we are expecting BIG things from you at NYPOWER.

Nathan Carmon flew his Estes Red Max clone on a C6-5, then stepped it up several power levels. He went for his Level 1 cert, flying a BSD Horizon on an H128-M. The flight and recovery were great, even though deployment was well after apogee. Nathan liked his flight so much it wasn’t long before he was back for a second flight on the same motor with a short delay. This flight went well also.

Jim Mullane only made one flight, but what a flight it was. Jim made his Level 2 certification flight. He made his first flight of a LOC Magnum he called "Hypermag". Contrary to popular advice, Jim threw the KISS principle out the window. This was his first flight using electronics for dual deployment and his first hybrid flight using a HyperTEK J250. The flight went off without a hitch. At apogee the drogue deployed and the main deployed at 500 feet, as advertised. Congratulations, Jim.

Mark “Crash Daddy” Coburn made 5 beautiful flights. He put up his Estes Mean Machine and something he called Lots of Dots under E power. Then he got serious and launched his Loc IV called "TAZ" on a Pro-38 H135 and a 7.5 pound Iris on an I205. He liked the Iris flight so well he put it up again on an I357.

Neal Bade put up his LOC Starburst on 2 D12-5s for a super flight. He then launched his LOC IV on a G64-4 and an Aerotech Arcas on an F40-4. His best flight of the day was his Thoy Falcon on an H180 for a great high flight.

Paul Bixler drove in from Pittsburgh and flew his Gallant on an H180-M for an impressive flight. He also flew his Valiant on a G37-7 and a rocket he calls Hyper-Active on a G35-7 and again on a G64-7. He flew his Black Brand VB on an H128-M and finished with his Star Spangled that had a really nice, shiny finish on it. This was a scratch-build that he put up on an I161-M and his first dual deployment. The flight was as perfect as the finish on the rocket.

From Erie, Pa, Greg Shadle made three flights. The first was an 11 pound LOC Magnum on an I435-M Blue Thunder motor. Unfortunately it suffered a blow-by at about 500 feet and fell into the parking area. Undaunted, he had a nice flight of an Estes Executioner on a D12-3. He also teamed up with Duane Wilkey to fly a 9 ½ pound Doorknob on a J350-S. This was a really sharp looking rocket that had a perfect flight and recovery.

Duane Wilkey had some really neat flights. He flew his Repulser, made from styrofoam balls and a styrofoam ring on a cluster of 3 E9-4 motors. He also flew a really nice Binder Design Sentinel on a J420-L redline. You gotta love those redlines. He also flew his PML Phobos twice on an H128-S with his daughter, Dee Dee.

Josh Hanna had another fun day, even though he only made 4 flights. First he flew a Nike Apache on an F25-4 and his 4 pound Thoy Falcon on an I285-M redline for another good flight. He launched his PML Arial on an I161-M and had his most impressive flight with his D-Region Tomahawk on a J570-M. This was a test of apogee deployment of his altimeter and went off without a hitch.

Mark Hanna had a really great day. On the scale front, he flew a 4 inch, ¼ scale PML Patriot on an I200-M. He also flew his 7 ½ pound Gemini Titan on two H128-S motors and his 13 pound Saturn 1B on a J350-M. All three flights were impressive. He was very relieved that he didn’t have to rebuild the Saturn again. On the fun side he flew his HLC Beta. This rocket is always fun to watch lifting off on a central C6-0 motor with two outboard A-3-4Ts and then staging to a single C6-7 motor in the sustainer. His final flight was a laugher even before liftoff. He put a venerable Estes X-16 on a composite 18 mm D24-7. This rocker flew high and fast and suffered a separation when the ejection charge fired. Amazingly, the nose and body were recovered separately with no damage.

Joe Isca came in from Fort Wayne, IN and made 4 flights. He launched an unnamed 3 pound rocket on an H165-S redline motor for a great flight. He also flew two versions of the Astron Sprite. First he put up the largest (sorry, no size data on the flight card) of the two on an I300-S blue thunder motor. He put the smaller of the two, a 4 inch diameter, three pound version, up on a single H128-S, even though it is capable of flying on thee clustered motors. Finally, he launched a Rocketman Praying Mantis on a J350-10. The motor ejection was only backup for the dual deployment, which worked perfectly with the main opening at the planned 400 feet. Thanks for coming, Joe.

Dale Purkey flew his NCR Big Brute on an H128-M. Then he flew a nice looking Magnum on an I211-S for a really impressive sight. Finally he flew an unnamed 5½ inch , 10 foot tall rocket that weighed in at 12 pounds on an Aerotech J420-M redline motor. This was the final flight of the day and lifted off at almost exactly 5PM.

Believe it or not, Mark Sadowski left his Bruiser at home. He only made two flights during the day, the first was a LOC Forte on a G40-4. Yes, I said a G. His final flight was a LOC Expediter on an H180-S. Is he a casualty of the Aerotech fire, or just saving it all for NYPOWER? Only time will tell.

Dan Ledenican made 3 Pro38 flights. The first was his LOC EZI-65 on an I285-8. Then he flew his PML Aurora on the 6 grain I360 motor twice. All three flights came off without a hitch.

Pete Phingsten flew his LOC Onyx Stinger on an E30-4 for a great flight. He also made another nice flight of his AMRAAM II under G35 power. For his most interesting flight, he put up Little Orange. This is a two stage model with two D12-0s in the booster. He uses an inverted paper cup to direct the ejection gasses to the sustainer’s D12-5. This flight, like the others I’ve seen, went off without a hitch.

Steve Molnar made progression the order of the day. He flew his Estes Pathfinder twice, first on a D12-3 and then on an E15-4. Then he flew his Aerotech G-Force on a G40-4 and finally on a G80-4. This rocket sported a modification of the Aerotech paint scheme and looked as good on the ground as it did in the air.

The "Doc of LOC", Barry Lynch made several flights. He put up his prototype jet styled, as yet unnamed rocket twice. This rocket has a 1½ inch diameter, is 20 inches long and weighs about 15 ounces. It flew on an F23-4 and G38-4, both arrow-straight flights. Then Barry teamed up with Tom Sample for two hybrid flights. The first was another prototype called the HyperLoc-800. This was a great flight on a HyperTEK I260 with dual deployment and the main ejecting at 800 feet. The final flight was to prove the concept of retrofitting LOC-Tronics. The flight was great, but a problem with the electronics resulted in a separation.

Mr. Hybrid himself, Chris Pearson, made three hybrid flights. He flew a 3 inch diameter, 98 inch tall rocket called the LOC HyperLoc-300. Then he put up the 4 inch diameter, 6 foot tall LOC HyperLoc-835 on HyperTEK J250 power twice. All three flights were perfect, with that deep throaty roar of the hybrid motor and the electronics working as advertised.

Mr. X-Rockets, Marty Dorociak made two flights on his Laser Sonic 4.0 using HyperTEK "K" power. Both flights were impressive reaching altitudes of 3909 and 3434 feet respectively, and the electronics worked as advertised, bringing the rocket down softly to the ground.

The Aerotech fire had some flyers using lower impulse motors than they usually would. As you’ll see below lower power motors were used much more frequently than high power motors. Everyone had a great time, though, with enjoyable flights in all impulse ranges. Raffle prizes were plentiful and varied, including two LOC rocket kits, an Ultra-Beep from Transolve and an Ohio state flag 36 inch parachute from Recovery Technologies. We even had a free raffle for the youngsters of a Quest starter set. All in all, it turned out to be a great day for flying.

The Sky Busters want to thank everyone involved in making this launch a success. We had plenty of help planning the event and making sure we had the necessary equipment to reduce wait times for launch. We had so many people show up early to help set up that some of them didn’t have anything to do. Range volunteers, refreshment sales and everyone that helped tear down the range at the end of the day were a huge help.


Motors used:
A – 11
B – 21
C – 39
D – 32
E – 15
F – 18
G – 26
H – 21
I – 15
J – 12
K - 2
Reported by Pat Easter, Vice-President

Design and programming by Jamie Wylie. Maintained by Dan Vento, Pat Easter and Gerry Freed for Skybusters Rocketry Club. Please send your comments/corrections/additions to the webmaster.