Yesterday, several members of NAR 665 got to go down and attend the SEARS572 launch in Samson Alabama. The winds were pretty wicked at times (15-25 mph) there were quite a few launches between the gusts. While there were approximately 30+ people in attendance, I've never been to a more cordial launch. There were many great flights and several extremely interesting flights.
Launching into a stiff breeze, Greg Lane flew his hybrid that reached about1800-2000' . It arched and then began decent back toward the pad and dramatically deployed right on cue about 300' , landing less than 50 yards from the pad. It was an absolutely great flight and spectacular recovery.
As it was Space Day, there were several NASA rockets flown. My favorite Space Day flight of the day was a Mercury Redstone. Just as the launch button was pushed, there was a strong cross gust around 20 mph. With the C6 straining against the wind, the Redstone boosted straight up to 20', went laterally, engine firing all the way, then seemed to stall for an instant, appearing as though it would fall back but at that moment, the wind all but stopped. At that point, it again began to boost upward and made it to about100' before the ejection fired. The entire flight, the rocket was stable, it never tilted and made a straight boost after the wind released it. The trajectory looked like this: ! __! !
Is that freaky or what! I hope someone got some video.
But that one wasn't the strangest. There was a simple 3 fins and a nose cone job, that boosted to about 600', arched over, deployed the streamer and then RECONNECTED !!! It lawn darted and impacted into the turf about 6" about100' from the pad, with the streamer waving in the breeze and sticking out the side of the bt joint. I got a photo of that one and I'll post it to abmr as soon as I can get the film developed.
The 572 TARC team had a great dual egg flight with a 53 second flight time and nothing scrambled. ; )
There were several flights that separated and we watched the chutes and their cones drift about half a mile. Most were recovered. It was a great launch, despite of the wind conditions limiting flights to under 2000'.
The best part? Seeing 2 NAR clubs get together (for the their first time) and how well it all went off. Granted, this was not a competition but everyone was cordial, friendly and helpful. There was not a single harsh word, no complaints, despite the weather conditions and I know for a fact everyone had a great time. The members of 665 helped to clear the field when the launch had ended.
Thanks to Greg & all of 572 for being gracious hosts!