On Saturday I loaded up the boys and half a dozen rockets into the van
and made the 30 mile pilgrimage to Muncie for ROCI's launch at the AMA
facility. When you're in between the ages of 3 and 7, a rockets launch
is serious fun. A high power launch is even more serious fun. The Dude
stayed home. High power peopel are NOT impressed by the Dude.
After missing our exit we rolled up at 1:30, Checked in and got our
badges. You could not ask for a better day to fly. Light/no wind,
crystal clear sky and low 70's temps. We first prepped the Fiesta
(B6-4) the Flash(C6-3), and the Prowler (C6-3). Three guys, three
The winds were light and the fiesta stayed true to form. Straight up,
way up. That rocket is proof that you can hit impressive altitudes with
$2.00 motors in $5.00 rockets. Came straight back down on the streamer.
The flash displayed all the qualities that we love about Estes shock
cord. Both parts were recovered.
The prowler: This is a good example of the need for a core burning C
motor from Estes. The rod had a bit of tip, maybe 5-6 deg. This rocket
is just at the upper limit of the weight you can push with a C6. 2/3
the length of a mean machine, half the motor:-(. Launch, creep up the
rod, tilting over and accelerating, ... burnout ... apogee... counting
the three second delay .. (fortunately a rocket this big has lots of
drag even when returning ballistic) Ejection and clean deploy about 100'
off the deck. We collect up the debris from the first round and go back
to the van for bigger rockets.
I think we loaded up the Fiesta with the C6-5 and the big daddy with the
D12-3. A light big daddy could take a 5 second delay to reduce the
running required to get it. The fiesta went up to the point where you
could only see the tracking smoke, popped the streamer, and came back.
The vinyl streamer is getting ejection burn damage. Any ideas for a
The Big Daddy did nicely. (I need to keep better notes at launches).
One interesting characteristic of this Big Daddy is its spiral. All 4
fins are flat on one side and airfoiled on the other. This imparts a
nice spin that starts at the top of the launch rod. Tapering the
trailing edge left the fin tips thin and weak so they have all suffered
Both my Big Daddy and my Executioner have motor mounts which will hold
the Estes E9. BUT I only brought one of the orange adaptor tubes to put
the D12-into the E9 mount so I could not prep both to fly D's at the
same time. Now that the BD had gone up once on the D, IT got an E9 and
the Executioner, which was out for its first flight got a D12. While
doing this round of prepping, one of the gliders from the AMA duration
event next door whacked into an un occupied lawn chair at my van. The
glider was OK (they use kevelar) but a Bad Omen.
The executioner on the D12 did nicely. It has 1/4" lugs so it went off
one of the big pads with the long rod. Good idea. The Big Daddy went
up on a 3/16" rod. It weather cocked. The E9 adds weight and does not
have as high an initial thrust as the D12. The big daddy was headed for
the AMA glider contest on a nice arcing ballistic trajectory. Then the
shock cord broke on ejection. The nose and chute came down OK. The
rocket body started tumbling and landed/bounced off the roof of a van.
I don't think the glider guys were expecting counter battery fire. Two
fins were cracked and the top launch lug was squashed. It will fly
again. The van was OK. That's why we make modrocs out of paper and
After bombing the glider van with E9, I decided that the Executioner,
which weighs MORE than the Big Daddy, will never fly on an E9. At least
not safely. I dug out an E30-7 I picked up last year. That is THE
right motor for that rocket. There was no question as to direction of
travel by the time it got to the end of the launch rail. UP! Landed
about 100 ft from the pad.
AMA is nice because ROCI can launch from the corner of the parking lot
and if they choose the right corner, most/all the landings will be in
the field. At Ft Harrison, where AMOREA flies, they have to keep the
range head about 50 ft from the paved lot. If the wind is from the
south and you get a weathercock, you're into the asphalt. Not anyone's
fault, just a different situation. Is AMOREA flying next Sunday?
All in all a good day. Thanks ROCI. Boys had fun, I had fun and all
the rockets came home. And the glider guy with the van didn't come
looking for me.
18 years ago