Flight Log for 11 October 1997, Boeing Space Center, Kent, WA

Scattered clouds appr. 3000' AGL; wind 2-5 S, shifting to 2-5 W by 13:00.
Model Flt 
Recovery Type Motor Comments
Super Firefly
Glide, with 18" streamer in pod Estes 1/2A3-2T This was the first contest flight for the 1/2A Boost Glide contest postponed from September due to wind.  All the test flights and careful trimming paid off, as the glider boosted almost straight, ejected level and upright, stalled only once on transition, and turned in 38 seconds with no help from lift.  This time was about four seconds longer than the Delties I was flying against were getting without lift.
Super Firefly
Glide, with 18" streamer in pod Estes 1/2A3-2T The second contest flight was almost identical to the first.  I had taken about 1/3 of the clay off the left wingtip to widen the glide circle, but doing so didn't help the flight time any; this time, with a glide I'd call perfectly trimmed and a nominal boost and transition, the time was 36 seconds, for a 2-flight total of 74.  That looked like a lock on first place, since the better of the two Delties I was flying against had a 34 and needed 40 to tie -- and then the other Deltie, sanded, filled, and painted, went up and caught lift.  Two minutes and thirteen seconds later, I was in second place, and there I stayed.  If you're entering 1/2A or A BG, I'd recommend you have a well-made Deltie available as a backup model.  These things have as much chance of catching lift as anything, and if you catch lift, you can win with anything -- and they're so easy to build and trim you can be assured of a good flight unless you have a CATO or a Red Baron.
18" nylon parashheet AT Econojet F20-7 After getting the Spike back from the power lines, I figured it was charmed, so I put it up on an Econojet, aka E-CATO-jet.  First, I found (as others have also learned) that the F20-7 was too big to fit into the motor mount tube in the Spike.  I had to peel off the label, dust the leftover adhesive with baby powder, and carefully chamfer the inside of the mount tube to get the motor in.  Once that was done, though, all was well.  The new-type "heavy duty" Copperhead lit quickly, and the rocket took off with a loud roar.  Unfortunately, there was a little bit of a chuff, probably due to the igniter slipping back from the front bulkhead; this allowed the rocket to tip off the rod and fly downwind, instead of slightly upwind, and resulted in a long walk for recovery.  The parachute got slightly toasted , possibly due to not enough cellulose wadding; I may pull the stock chute out and replace it with one of the X-forms I got from American Science and Surplus, which will also slightly reduce drift.

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