Flight Log for 17 May, 1998, AMA Field, Muncie, IN
National Sport Launch '98, Day Three


Clear and sunny, wind N 2-10, dropping to N 2-5 appr. 5:00 pm.
Model Flt 
#
Recovery Type Motor Comments
Spike (2)
7
18" nylon parasheet RMS 24/40 E18-4W Once more, the Spike demonstrated why I frequently fly it on this motor, flying a nominal profile and recovering close to the launch point.
Bertha 24
36
12" plastic parasheet w/ spill and vents Apogee E6-8T I've been wanting to fly the Bertha 24 on an E ever since I built it, but after the first couple D flights, it was obvious that there was no field locally where I stood a reasonable chance of recovering the model from well over 1500 feet.  At Muncie, with the lower wind on Sunday, I had the chance, and I took it.  The Apogee E6 burns for about seven seconds, and all of that was near-vertical flight, giving a flight that simulates as over 2000 feet.  Given that altitude, the drift distance of approximately 400 yards wasn't excessive.
Spike (2)
8
18" nylon parasheet Dark Star F62-6 This flight, and the next three, were for a film crew shooting for a PBS special at NSL.  Among other things they shot was digital video from on board a full scale ARCON sounding rocket replica, flown on an Aerotech M1419.  After that flight was in the can, they wanted to get some shots with a $75,000 High Speed Arriflex 35mm film camera of rockets boosting past the camera -- and when Bunny Bundick (NAR President) called for volunteers for this, I couldn't let it pass.
This flight was nominal, missing the camera by several feet, but drifted almost back to the parking lot.  It was also a lot faster than what they were really after.
Bertha 24
37
12" plastic parasheet w/ spill and vents Estes C6-5 This flight was slower than the Spike, and closer to the camera, but possibly didn't get on film because of confusion with the countdown; the camera may not have been started in time.
Bertha 24
38
12" plastic parasheet w/ spill and vents Quest C6-5 After a fast reprep, we were ready to go again for the film crew.  This time, the countdown was better coordinated, and the flight was captured, but it wasn't as close to the camera a previously.  This one landed just a few feet from the pad.
Spike (2)
9
18" nylon parasheet Estes D12-3 They wanted slow, I gave them slow.  I told the film crew this would be the slowest rocket they'd see all day, and it was.  With the camera moved down to just six or seven feet above ground, and just a foot from the boost path, we launched the Spike.  With the D12 motor, in a rocket weighing almost exactly the Max Liftoff Weight for this motor, of 14 ounces, liftoff was slow, with the rocket remaining in frame for a time I'd estimate as at least 1/3 of a second, possible longer, but the calm weather allowed the flight to remain vertical.  Given that shooting was at 150 frames/second, or about six times normal speed, that would give two, possibly even three seconds of film of this colorful rocket, set on the pad with the name going directly through the center of the frame.
Hopefully, we can all see this slow, impressive launch on PBS in late 1999, when the special is completed and airs.
Super Firefly
9
Glide, with 12" streamer in pod Estes 1/2A3-2T With the wind having dropped to near zero late on NSL Sunday, I brought out the Super Firefly.  As always, this glider boosted well, with a minimum of arcing, and transitioned reliably into a left circling glide.  I didn'd have a stopwatch, but the time must have been close to the usual 30+ seconds for this glider.
Spyglass 1
7
Rocket Glider Estes 1/2A3-2T The glider weather held, so I quickly prepped Spyglass 1 for another flight.  Unfortunately, perhaps a little too quickly.  On boost, one of the adjustment flaps on the ruddervators shredded, leading to a tumble, followed by a failure to deploy.  The result was a lawn dart, but there was no damage, due in part to the low velocity left after the tumble.
Spike (2)
10
18" nylon parasheet G35-7W Econojet With the winds remaining low, and the range time rapidly dwindling, I hurried to wrap a thrust ring onto a G35 and mount it in my Spike.  I can't fly the Spike on this much motor in Seattle -- as with the Bertha 24, there's just no field large enough to depend on recovering the rocket.  At Muncie, though, I figured it was time to go for it!
The boost was straight and hot, and the rocket went way high before ejecting close to apogee.  With the calm conditions, the drift was only about 200 yards, with landing on grass.
With this flight, I packed up my stuff as the range shut down; NSL '98 ended with an unofficial flight count of over 1300 flights, randing from 1/2A through M; of those, I flew 21.
All in all, worth the drive of three days each way.


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