Flight Log for 10 May 1997, Boeing Space Center, Kent, WA


Clear, with scatter altostratus, wind 2-7 N (blowing into the secure plant area, led to some rockets that required recovery by Boeing staff).
Model Flt
#
Recovery Type Motor Comments
Hawkeye 3 Nose-blow tumble Estes 1/2A3-2T I waited a bit, hoping the wind would die down, but it didn't; I eventually decided to fly a few things anyway, and compensate for the wind with pad tilt. The Hawkeye served as my test model, and demonstrated that I could get recovery outside the fence.
Ninja-B 3 12" plastic streamer Estes 1/2A3-4T This motor, barring availability of A3-6T or use of Apogee micro motors in an adapter, is just about perfect for this rocket. Ejection is just at apogee (albeit in wind, and would probably still be a little early on a calm day), and altitude is reasonable for tracking. Rocket landed about 40 feet from pads despite wind.
Bully 1 18" nylon x-form Estes D12-3 First flight on a kit-bashed Fat Boy -- I upgraded the motor mount from a single 18mm to a 24mm core and four 18mm outboards, though I calculate it will need about 4 ounces of nose weight to fly with all tubes loaded. It would likely also call for flash-pan ignition in that case, but here I loaded only the core mount, and put a cover plate into the body tube to block gases from escaping through the outboard tubes -- probably the lightest possible method of plugging those tubes. The flight was loud, with lots of fire and smoke, as more of the propellant was burned close to the ground than usual and the pad tilt pointed the motor nozzle almost directly at the launch control area just after launch. Everything was nominal, though one tip plate broke on landing.
Bully 2 18" nylon x-form Estes D12-3 The second flight was, if possible, better than the first; the boost was just as spectacular, and the rocket landed closer, just on the edge or the pad area, less than 20 feet from the launch point. No additional damage due to longer grass to pad the landing.
Long Shot 1 2" x 48" crepe streamer Estes D12-0/Estes A8-5 First launch on another new rocket, but with a 2-stage and a D booster, I didn't want to chance losing the rocket into the Boeing plant, so I chose the smallest upper stage motor I had. I've modified this one with a 24mm upper stage mount (makes it even more like a Maniac with a booster), but flew with an adapter; with some angle on the pad, boost, staging and upper stage flight were nominal, but at ejection, the adapter ejected and was lost. Also, the coupler between the 2nd and 3rd tubes (from the rear) in the body came unglued; it appears I had too little contact between the coupler and the glue in this joint, but it didn't quite separate, and the streamer deployed so that the rocket landed without damage.
Long Shot 2 2" x 48" crepe streamer Estes D12-0/Quest C6-7 A little masking tape to hold the body tube sections together, the loan of an 18mm adapter from another flier, and some tape to hold the upper stage motor hook in engagement, and I was ready to go again. This time, everything was normal, and the motor and adapter stayed in the rocket, though it traveled much farther upwind. No damage, but for the second flight in a row, the wadding wasn't ejected, and back at the launch area I realized why; there were big gaps in the joint between the centering rings and body tube in the upper stage motor mount, and the ejection gases were escaping to the rear. This model was done for the day.
Bully 3 18" nylon x-form Estes D12-3 The third flight of the Bully wasn't quite as good as the first two; it flew a little more vertically, and drifted more, and landed on the asphalt just short of the fence around the Boeing plant. The landing on the asphalt broke off one fin outboard of the body tube, as well as further beating up the tip plates; it also chipped the paint on the nose cone, knocked loose the nose weight (3 bullets epoxied in), and scraped the paint on the launch lug. Fortunately, I was able to repair all the structural damage in about a half hour once I got home, but I'm still contemplating how or if to correct the cosmetic damage without covering up the decal I bashed so carefully.



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