Flight Log for 2 April 2000, Monroe, WA

Sunny and warm, wind 2-5 N.
Model Flt 
Recovery Type Motor Comments
24" nylon parasheet
Aerotech RMS 29/40-120 F52-5
This was my first reload and my first motor above D since last summer -- with the loss of the old flying field at Boeing Space Center, and my job requiring me to work Sundays (until I managed to get vacation time for this launch), I hadn't been able to fly larger rockets for several months.  Not much has changed; if you put the right power in it, the Thug is a reliable and spectacular flier -- and if you use the entire ejection charge, it will deploy correctly.
Fat Fat Boy (2)
18" nylon parasheet
Estes D12-7 core and 2x Quest C6-5 outboards
This was probably the last flight of this incarnation of the Fat Fat Boy.  I had noted on the previous flight that the outboard motors, instead of ejecting, had partially burned through the bulkhead; this time they finished the job, and in fact appear to have accomplished the ejection for themselves.  None the less, all three motors lit instantly on the pad, and though linear clusters are sometimes tricky, this one went like on rails just like last time.  Clearly, I need to build another one of these, perhaps with 2x24 mm mounts for cluster only flying.  With six fins, I might not need any nose weight with that motor combination.
Cherokee-D (2) 
12" plastic parasheet w/ spill and vents
Estes D12-7
I'm told these motors are discontinued -- fortunately, I can still fly models like this, at slightly lower cost (assuming I don't lose one) on the Aerotech D15-7 reloads in the 24/40 case.  I even have a couple of those around, I think -- I'll have to look.  Meantime, this was the sort of flight that made the Cherokee-D unbearably cool when I was in school in 1972 -- and still does.  Straight and high, with recovery back on the field; what more could one ask?
Spike (2)
18" nylon parasheet
North Coast F62-6 Darkstar
I wanted to prep something fairly quickly -- and with my Universal Motor Retention System and recovery compartment baffle, the Spike is about as quick to prep as anything around.  That goes double with a single-use motor that already has its thrust ring attached.  I had this prepped up and read to fly in five minutes from making the decision.  Flight was, as always, excellent, though the rocket squirreled a little off the rod (which I later found was due to failure to completely shed the North Coast vent cap from the nozzle) and headed for the swamp.  Ejection was high enough, however, and there was just enough wind to bring the rocket back from the wet regions to land on the road.  Fortunately, the UMRS is tough in addition to being convenient; the only damage was a small amount of rash on one fin and on the tip of the nose.  I seldom see a 29 mm mount rocket with this many flights on it at all, much less one that's still ready to go on five minutes' notice.
Spike (2)
18" nylon parasheet
Estes D12-3 in adapter
In order to show the range of this rocket, which can and has been flown on G35 and G64 motors (and would take an H if I didn't mind losing rocket and reload casing in a 3000+ foot flight), I flew it on a D, as I've done on various occasions.  As always, it lifted fairly smartly off the rod thanks to the pronounced thrust spike of the Estes semi-core motor, continued up at nearly constant velocity during the sustain, and coasted to just past apogee, around 100 feet, before ejection -- plenty of drama, but no damage and completely safe.  The range closed just after I recovered this one, and I was already late for supper -- it was after 5:00 PM, and I had to be up at 3:15 the next morning for work, so I hit the road home, and promptly filed a request for another vacation day in May.  Hope the weather's good!

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