Flight Log for 10 July 1999, Boeing Space Center, Kent, WA

High clouds and very warm, wind variable 2-5.
Model Flt 
Recovery Type Motor Comments
24" nylon parasheet
Aerotech RMS 29/40-120 F52-5
The F52 is such a good motor for the Thug that I made sure there were a couple in the batch of motors I bought at the launch.  Everyting about the flight was nominal -- first-try ignition with the Copperhead that came in the reload kit, straight boost, nominal ejection and recovery.  This is the kind of launch that makes you believe in Aerotech and the RMS concept.  A bonus -- Blue Thunder doesn't crud up the casing, leading to an easy cleanup.
18" nylon parasheet
Aerotech RMS 29/40-120 F22-7
This was the first actual Black Jack motor I've flown, and I was surprised by how well it worked.  Once again, I got first-try ignition with the Copperhead from the reload kit (good launch batteries do help), and with this relatively light rocket (just over a pound liftoff weight), even the slow buildup and lower thrust of the F22 was enough for a good flight -- and the long burn, nearly four seconds, added up to some serious altitude for a mere F.  The delay was way long, though not significantly over the label value -- it's just that the lower thrust means a shorter coast, and the rocket was well past apogee by the time it deployed.  The high deployment speed probably contributed, along with simple age and exposure to ejection gas, to the shock cord breaking between parachute and nose cone, resulting in the nose cone tumbling in.  No damage, other than knocking the nose weight loose, and repairs will take ten minutes and cost about a buck and a half, but the rocket was sidelined for the day.
24" nylon parasheet
Aerotech RMS 29/40-120 G64-4
After flying two F motors, and with this the only launch I now get to in a month where field size and FAA notification permit flying motors larger than D or at most E, I wanted to take full advantage -- and I'd just bought a couple G motors for the Thug, so I loaded one up.  This launch put me 3 for 3 on the day with the reload kit Copperheads, and the bright white flame of the White Lightning propellant made a nice change from the black smoke of the Black Jack on the previous flight.  Once again, everything was nominal, but with the shifting wind, I misjudged the rod angle, and the rocket drifted just inside the fence at the Boeing facility.  Fortunately, a security guard happened by just then, and after a quick examination of the rocket (he seemed suspicious at first, then surprised to see it was cardboard, plywood, and plastic), he handed it back over the fence for me.

With that flight, I called it a day; it was almost time to go anyway, and I needed to clean the casing one last time, wash up, and hit the road.

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