Flight Log for 5 July 1998, Monroe, WA

Overcast appr. 3000' AGL, wind variable 0-2, changing to partly cloudy and calm.
Model Flt 
#
Recovery Type Motor Comments
Thug
5
24" nylon parasheet Aerotech RMS 29/40-120 G64-4W Fin repairs were completed around 2:00 AM the night before the launch; the fins weren't smooth, much less painted, but were as strong and stiff as the original construction after jigsaw fitting the pieces back togther and attaching nylon reinforcing tape to both surfaces with  thin CA, using medium CA flowed in to build up where wood was missing.
The G64 lit instantly (is it my imagination, or have Copperheads improved a good bit in the last year or so?) and the rocket climbed out fast, coasted, arced over...and ejection came as only a puff of smoke from the nozzle as the rocket streamlined into the tall grass at the outer edge of the main range.
After considerable effort and some excellent assistance, the rocket was recovered (sans nose cone, which was buried full depth and seemed permanently embedded in the ground).  The wadding was still in the tube, along with the parachute and shock cord, but when I examined the motor, the ejection charge had burned and ejected the red cap.
After some thought, I can only conclude that the problem with this flight, and probably contributing to the crash at NSL in May, were insufficient ejection powder.  This is my first 4" airframe, and I hadn't realized I was using a marginal amount of powder in the 2.6" Spike, but this rocket reasonably ought to want about twice as much powder, and if I'm using just enough in the Spike, the same amount in the Thug won't do the job.
It'll fly again; the tube is torn back about six inches, but with a new nose cone, a coupler, and a section of airframe tube, I'll be back in business.  Next time, I'll use twice as much ejection powder.  B)
Spike
13
18" nylon parasheet North Coast F62-6 Dark Star This flight was just about perfect, with a vertical rod in the calm conditions giving maximum altitude, and recovery less than fifty yards from the pads.
Spike
14
18" nylon parasheet Aerotech RMS 29/40-120 F40-7W This flight was just as good as the previous one, but recovery was a little less perfect; the rocket landed in a small section of field designated as a game bird "refuge" -- unmowed, and hunting forbidden within the section, so fully fenced.  Several rockets went in there, and there had been a technique worked out for getting in and out over the fence; all I had to do was go over the fence, pick up the Spike, and get back over the fence again.
Bertha 24
46
12" plastic parasheet w/ spill and vents Estes D12-7 This was the usual awesome D12 flight -- one is tempted to think the D12 and the Big Bertha were made for each other; on a calm day like this one, the rocket coasts out the full delay and ejects horizontally at apogee, getting every foot possible -- my sims indicate something like 700 to 900 feet (depending on the weight of the rocket -- it looks like on the high end of that range) -- and then returning quickly with minimum drift due to the small, vented parachute.
Bertha 24
47
12" plastic parasheet w/ spill and vents Estes D12-0/D12-7 CHAD The weather was right for it, so I repeated the CHAD staged flight from last week.  This time, however, the rocket tipped badly off the top of the rod and flew a long horizontal arc along the length of the field.  There was no damage, and the rocket was recovered directly on the recovery line we'd taken from the pad area, but the flight was a little disappointing -- with $6 worth of motors, one rather wants to see the rocket go up rather than imitate a surface-to-surface missile.  Ah, well, it'll fly again...


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