Arrived at the Balls site on Thursday, about 2 PM. Made camp, and
met with some nice folks from Colorado and Utah. Rocket people are great!
Unfortunately, the weather went south Friday morning. Wind, wind,
wind. No flights all day. But there were some seriously destroyed E-Z ups.
Got up Saturday morning, and it was beautiful! We gonna fly!
First up for Dave R. and I was my Concept 98 on a 3 grain, 98mm
M1300 Wimpy Red. Perfect flight to 16K and change. Dual deploy worked
textbook. Nothing extreme, but a nice flight.
Next up was Dave's Carbon Concept 54 on an L1200WR. 2900Ns in just
over 2 seconds. Drogue charge was a taste too large, and we got the main at
altitude, which was 17,600' plus. Winds were down though, so we didn't have
to chase it too far. Very pleased with the data from the GWiz MC. Excellent
Saw a lot of very cool projects all along the flight line.
Workmanship on some of those projects was amazing. Wandered around and
assisted other friends where we could, and assembled a K725 for a friend's
wife's rocket. Betty Boop made 6301" on that motor (very heavy rocket), and
I got a big ol' hug from April for my effort. Happy camper!
Sunday, we assembled the 75mm M1800WR for my Carbon Concept75, and
took it to the tower. Expected a little over 22K at Mach 2.7. Unfortunately,
the Performance Rocketry fincan wasn't up to the task. Might have been a
tiny void in the leading edge of one of the fins. At about 500', the fins
decided to abandon ship. My guess is right at the Mach transition (that pup
was seriously moving out.) Complete and total rapid disassembly mode. The
lower tube hit the playa so hard it bent the Purple Woody motor casing. I
did get the accelerometer back, but it took quite a hit. Haven't tried to
d/l the data yet, but I'll get to it.
Saw a lot of good friends, and met a lot more. Like I said, rocket
people are great folks. All in all, Balls was a blast.
Spent the next two days partying in Reno, and had a ball there.
Picked up a Big Jake on the way back Tuesday morning for XPRS. Helped out
with a partial set up Tuesday evening.
A lot of folks arrived Wednesday morning, and we started the ARLISS
launch. Too much fun! Free M1419's can't be beat with a stick! And those
university students are absolute geniuses! My first Arliss flight was almost
a disaster. The MC2 absolutely failed in every respect. But this wasn't my
first trip to the playa, so I did have redundant back-up for the mains.
Saved the rocket, and the sat project. Switched out the MC2 for a flight
proven MC, and Thursday had two perfect Arliss flights to an average of
11600 feet. The university teams I flew for were very pleased, as were all
of the students that took part in the Arliss launch.
Friday started out great. There were a lot of flights that morning,
but the W came up a little past noon, and the dust storms and rain shut us
down the rest of the day.
Saturday was again beautiful. Many many most excellent flights. Dave
put up his Quantum Leap on a J800 staged to a K185. Perfection to almost
13K. Gotta love it when it works. He then flew his CC54 on a K695R. Another
perfect flight. Did a couple of NAR certs for folks, and just generally hung
out with great friends. Watched three good friends get their Level 3 certs!
Congrats all around!
Monday morning was the first EX day for the XPRS launch. Built a 3
grain 54 for Cliff, and a 3 grain 38 for Aaron. They both like those Wimpy
Red motors. Happy to do it for them. Great flights.
I assembled my 36" long 54mm L1635 for Dave's Carbon Concept while
Dave prepped the bird. Took it to the tower, and got ready for a high
flight. The motor performed flawlessly. But then came the bad news. The
drogue fired, but it hit hard and knocked out the main. At 22K+, that's not
good. Shear pins next time. Had a great signal from the Walston for quite a
while, and we know which direction it went. But we searched for hours to no
avail. Dave and Steve are flying up today to do an air search. I hope they
find it, cuz I really want the data from that flight. Wouldn't mind having
the motor case back, too. But I can make another one of those. The data on
that chip is priceless.
Had a great two weeks in Nevada. Can't wait for next year!
- posted 16 years ago