Flight Log for 25 November, 2000, 60 Acres Park, Remond, WA

Overcast appr. 3000' AGL, light rain showers changing to heavy rain; calm.
Model Flt 
#
Recovery Type Motor Comments
Luna 2-18 Express
1
14" plastic parasheet
2x Estes A8-3
This was the first test flight for my Descon 7 entry (the rec.models.rockets Design Contest), the Luna 2-18 Express.  This is a future/fantasy historical standoff scale model of a nuclear powered Lunar liner of the late 20th and early 21st century; as such, it has large wings like those envisioned by von Braun and Heinlein when writing about the future of space travel from the perspective of the 1950s.  This model also has a cluster of two motors mounts, which don't quite fit into the BT-56 airframe; I solved that problem by adapting the motor mounts down to BT-5, of which four will fit neatly in a BT-56; I used the space of the other two for the second half of a baffle, which worked nicely to protect the parachute (though the 18+ inches of dead tube space between the baffle and parachute doubtless didn't hurt).  There'll be more information on the construction and "history" of this model in my Descon entry, which will also appear in my fleet pages.  For now, I was amazed at how little peformance I got from the pair of motors; this rocket flies very much like a Big Bertha, only on twice as many motors.  That is to say, the two A8-3 were only just enough motor, and the slow opening of the Quest parachute led to a minor core sample, but the damage was very minor and I was able to relaunch without repairs.
Luna 2-18 Express
2
14" plastic parasheet
2x Estes B6-2
For the second flight, I decided to err on the side of short delay to avoid a repeat of the core sample -- this time the delay was a bit short, but there was no damage and the flight was still nominal; a B6-4 would be just about right.  As with the first flight, I also snapped a picture as the rocket left the pad; of the three, I'm pretty certain I got the rocket at least twice.
Luna 2-18 Express
3
14" plastic parasheet
2x Estes C6-5
Third flight, I decided to put it all the way up -- and the flight was just about perfect.  A good fresh coat of baby powder on the parachute improved the opening, and the rocket was just arced over at apogee when it ejected -- no doubt about it, just like a Bertha, but on twice the motors.  This time the rocket drifted a little more, and landed in the edge of a blackberry bramble, but the actual bush it landed in was some other sort of berry without thorns, and I was able to recover the model without any further damage (to me or the rocket).


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