|Skybusters, NAR #535|
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Launch Report for GLRMR-III (Saturday, 05/03/2003)
Great Lakes Regional Meet Revisited - III
After a full winter of canceling launches because of wind, rain, snow or whatever, the Tri-City Sky Busters were very pleased to arrive at their Amherst, OH launch field on Saturday, May 3rd, 2003 and find the weather and field conditions cooperating. Although the ground was soft from all the recent rain it was dry with very little mud. The temperatures were cool, requiring coats in the early morning and staying below 60 all day. The projected winds of 10-15 MPH never arrived. In fact, the highest reading on the wind gauge was 9 MPH. Clouds moved in and out all day and made for a nearly perfect day of flying.
A total of 58 registered flyers from five rocket clubs in two states made 152 flights. This is an increase in participation but fewer flights than last year, but we had a little bit of everything. Flights with D impulse or lower took up nearly half of the flying, yet we still had several cluster flights, multi-stage rockets and 6 successful certification flights. We flew on motors from Estes, Aerotech, Cessaroni and Ellis Mountain, including Hypertek and Rattworks hybrids. Impulse ranged into the K class.
The first flight of the day was made by Randy Schumaker. He flew his Estes Exo-Skell on a C6-3 for a great flight and recovery. He went on to make 6 flights during the day. All were Estes rockets (Blue Ninja, Mach 12, Big Daddy, X-Ray and one he called Spider-Man) on C and D impulse. His only mishap was a separation on the Mach 12, but that is probably due to the way Estes designed the shock cord attachment on the Mach 12.
The most prolific flyer of the day was Gerry Freed, but he cheated just a little. Gerry showed up with his infamous tub-o-rockets and stayed by the range head all day. He would wait until he saw a youngster walk by looking just a tad bit bored, then say, “Hey, you wanna fly a rocket?” What youngster could resist? The final tab was 8 flights with impulse all the way up to F.
The final flight of the day was by Chuck Delaney. Earlier in the day he flew his Atom Ant Mk II twice on a cluster of an A3-4T and two1/2A32-T motors. Both flights went well. Emboldened by his success he significantly increased the impulse level. Although he was really nervous before the countdown, he flew his LOC EZI-65 on an H128 for his level 1 certification. The flight was picture perfect as was the recovery. The relief was obvious after the flight, then the realization set in – mo money, mo money!!!
Adding to the certification list for the day were Alex Kieckhofer, Jason Leaman and Anne Purkey who all qualified for level 1. Mike Jenkins and Jeff Milhorn also qualified for lever 2. The only certification failure during the day was an all fiberglass, minimum diameter rocket that few perfectly on an Ellis Mountain H50. The flight was beautiful with the long burn of the motor, but at apogee it arced over into the smoke trail and no one ever saw it again. No parachute was seen and the consensus is that it lawn-darted and, with the soft ground, ended up a few feet under.
We had two teams prepping for the Team America Rocket Challenge. North Royalton and Valley Forge High School teams made a total of 4 flights with mixed results. Both teams went on to represent North East Ohio well in the National finals.
Alex Kieckhafer was the first to qualify for level one. He showed up early in need of a motor and scored an H180-M. His unnamed rocket was 67" long, 4" in diameter and weighed in at 2 pounds. The boost was straight and true. Welcome to high power, Alex.
Jason Leaman also qualified for Tripoli level one flying a 3” PML kit on an I-161.
Anne Purkey decided to try her luck with an LOC Norad on an H128-M. This flight was a real screamer and was recovered in great condition. Way to go, Anne.
Chuck Delaney flew his scratch-built Atom Ants (Mark I and II) on clusters of A motors. Then he made a giant leap and attempted his level one certification with his EZI-65 on an H128-M. This was the last flight of the day and went off without a hitch. After witnessing a great flight Chuck was obviously relieved to have his certification.
Mike Jenkins practiced on two low power flights. He flew his down-scaled Armageddon Jr and a PML Bull Puppy on G power. Then he stepped it up a notch and flew another scratch-build called “Rattle Trap” on a Pro-38 J285-15 for his level two certification. This was a picture perfect flight with electronic dual deployment. The main ejected at 800 feet as planned. Congratulations, Mike.
Jeff Millhorn made his level two attempt with a 4” ARCAS. This was a modified kit, 100” long with planned main deployment at 600 feet. Again, this flight was almost perfect and Jeff has earned the right to spend big money on rocket motors.
Mark “Crash-Daddy” Coburn didn’t live up to his nickname. He flew his LOC Y2K on a J250 (Hypertek), a LOC Caliber on and H238, a LOC Altima on an H180 and an IROC on an I285. These flights were great.
Jim Donaldson made two flights. He flew an unnamed 4”, 7’ long rocket on a Hypertek J317 motor. Then he flew his LOC Transport on an Animal Motor Works K950 with 2 G35 outboards. This was a real treat. The rocket is 7 ½ feet tall 5 ½ in diameter and weighted 25 pounds and lifted off the pad for a great boost and flight. Unfortunately, the chute tangled on one of the wings and it landed hard. Someone said they heard him quoting Mark Hanna, “I can rebuild this.”
Another great flight was Paul Bauer’s Armageddon on a J460. This blue and white rocket stands 84” tall and is 4” in diameter. He used a Blacksky altimeter to deploy the main at 600 feet.
Mark Hanna teased everybody by standing his incomplete monster scale Saturn V that he was working on for NYPower. Then he flew his IRIS on an I211 and his 5.5” Sandhawk on a J570. These were both beautiful flights.
Josh Hanna joined his dad flying a modified kit on an H220 with two G35s. He also wowed the crowd with a 7.5 inch rocket on a K700. These were impressive flights with perfect recovery.
Larry Graceffo made three flights. He flew a 37’ long 1.5 inch rocket called Eat at Joe’s on a G35, then a Ring Rocket, 58” long and 4” diameter on an H128. His big flight of the day was a 7.5 LOC V2 that weighed in at 13 pounds on a J570.
Ken Holloway flew two versions of the Aerotech Initiator on G power. The first standard version made a good flight on a G35. The second stretched version flew on a G54.
Bill Huber flew 3 scratch-built rockets, the first was a 2.6” 68” long rocket on an H23. He also made 2 flights of a 4”, 82” long rocket on I285s.
Chip Jenkins made three flights on the day. He flew a small V2 on a D12-5 and a Goblin on a D12-7. For the third flight he put his LOD Stove up on an H97-M. This motor really pusher this bird into the air. This time it came back with the nose cone.
Dale Purkey drove quite a ways to join us again this year. He flew his NCR Big Brute on an H97 for an impressive flight. Then he went into level two territory, flying a LOC Magnum on a J350 with a medium delay. This was another great flight with dual recovery and the Transolve P6 ejecting the main at 500 feet as planned.
Mark Sadowski started the day out with a LOC Forte on a G-64. He then turned his attention to high power and flew his LOC Magnum on a J350-M for a great flight with dual recover and main deployment at 700 feet. Then one of the highest powered flights of the day. Again the Magnum, but this time on a K700. What a flight! Everything went perfectly until the main ejected and tangled immediately. Everyone was begging for the chute to open, but there was a groan from the crowd when the Magnum landed flat and hard in the field.
Art Upton showed up early and set up his video gear. He flew his Aerotech ISQY Tomahawk on an F20 and again on a G33 for good flights. Then he flew his Denville DAR 4 on a H123. This rocket carried his video-cam that broadcasts a signal to a VCR on the ground. His final flight was a LOC IROC on an n I161, giving him four great flights on the day.
Dee Dee Wilkey had a lot of fun. She flew a Stovie on an F32, then teamed up with her dad, Duane to put a rocket called Phobos into the air on an H128 for another impressive flight. She flew a rocket called 6 Pack on a D12-5 and then decided to go all out. Again a Stovie, this time loaded with a central E8-6 and clustered with 6 D11Ps in the outboards. All 7 motors lit and this bird jumped off the pad for a perfect flight and recovery.
Not to be outdone by the kids, Duane Wilkey made three impressive flights on the day. First was his Minni-Magg on an H242 for a quick and straight boost. The he flew a 2.5 upscale called the Bigger Bertha. Standing in at 54” with a 4” diameter and 6 pounds, this bird flew great on an I211. His final flight was his Door-Knob. At 6.5 feet, 7.5 inch diameter and 9.5 pounds this rocket is always impressive in the air. Today’s flight was on an I435 with a medium delay. Duane also indicated that this rocket has flown at every GRMR launch.
Don Williams only made one fight on the day, but he made it memorable. Some information is missing on the flight card, like the name and weight of the rocket, but this bird was 8 ½ feet tall and 5 ½ inches in diameter. It flew on an Animal Motor Works K570 and air-started 2 G35s at 2 seconds and 2 G38s at 7 seconds. With that much power projected altitude was 3500 feet and it carried a Rocket Tronics altimeter. This was another fun flight for the day.
Fred Ziegler made two flights on the day. The first was a red, white and blue rocket called Porthos that flew very nicely on an H180. The second flight was black and silver, from Rocket Works and called Fade to Black. This 2.5 pound rocket flew very nicely on a RattWorks H70 hybrid motor.
Pat Easter, our Club VP got to fly his first rockets at a GLRMR. First was built from a Peter Alway plan for a flying bunny rabbit that the Mrs., Sue, named Rosebud. It flew well on a B6-4. Next was his 3x upscale Estes Star Rider on an H180. This rocket is always fun to watch and listen to the air whistle through the ring-fin after the motor cuts out. Finally, he flew his Bottle Rocket on a G80. Made from a baby bottle bank, it stands three feet tall and the bottle is 6 inches in diameter. Unfortunately, the ejection charge on the motor failed and the rocket lawn- darted. Any salvageable parts will be used in the rebuild.
Kyle Kibler made five flights on the day. He stratch-built an AMRAAM using LOC parts, that came in at 5 feet tall with a 2.5 inch airframe and weighed 3pounds. He used a cluster of 4 E9-6 motors to get it into the air for a nice flight. He liked this flight so well he flew it a second time. Sticking with the AMRAAM, he flew the PML 4” version that stands 6.5 feet tall on a Pro-38 I285 with a 10 second delay. He flew it again on another Pro-38, this time on an I205 with a 7 second delay. Both were impressive flights. His remaining flight was an unnamed scratch-build using LOC parts that came in at 4feet tall, 2.5 inches in diameter and 3 pounds. This flight went very well on a cluster of 4 Estes E9-6 motors.
The most impressive flight of the day combined several elements. It was the highest impulse flight of the day (L), a HyperTEK hybrid and used wireless electronics for ejection. Dan Ledenican flew a modified Bruiser EXP on the HyperTEK L550 motor. He used a hand-held transmitter to control recovery events and had an RRC2 as backup. This flight was simply a pleasure to watch and went off without a hitch.
This was a great day of flying. Everyone had a lot of fun and took a lot of pictures. Check the picture page on our website, Launch Pictures for GLRMR-III, for over 100 photos! See you next year at GLRMR-IV!!
Pat Easter, Vice-Pres.
Tri-City Sky Busters