Flight Log for 5 October 1997, Monroe, WA

Overcast, ceiling approximately 2500 feet, with some lower clouds.  Wind 5-10 S, with higher gusts, though less later in the day.
Model Flt 
Recovery Type Motor Comments
18" nylon parasheet AT E18-4 (RMS 24/40) This was the first flight on this new model, and I didn't want to send it too high before I had a chance to evaluate the flight characteristics, so I loaded up a motor that was relatively low powered (the model weighs about 12 oz. ready to fly with 24mm adapter, RMS, and wadding in place).  This reload came with the new "heavy duty" Copperhead, and lit on the first try, smooth and hot.  Flight was straight and normal to approximately 800 feet, ejection just after apogee, and descent on the field -- the sort of uneventful flight you want first time out with a new model, especially one of a type you haven't built before.
18" nylon parasheet Estes/NCR F62-6 After a good flight on an E, I decided the Spike was up to flying on my first F motor ever.  I loaded it up, with my Universal Motor Retention System holding the motors in place as it had done the adapter and RMS 24/40.  Three sheets of Estes wadding and a couple handfuls of cellulose insulation, roll up the parachute, and I was off to the pads again.  The Dark Star motor lit instantly, and the rocket quickly shot up to about 1500 feet.  The delay was a tiny bit short; I found myself wishing for an eight second delay, but six seconds is the longest available in this motor.
Unfortunately, after deployment, the rocket drifted further than I'd anticipated (I don't get one that high very often), and avoided going into the swamp only by hanging up on the power lines at the north edge of the field.  Fortunately, when I call the power company on Monday, they were happy to take the rocket off the wires for me, and I was able to get it back from them a couple days later, none the worse for wear other than a couple gouges in the trailing edges of the fins from landing on the wires.
12" plastic parasheet Estes D12-3 This rocket was built and launched in honor of the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first man-made object to orbit the earth, Sputnik I, which was launched from Baikonur (or Baikunyar), Kazakhstan, on 4 October, 1957 (almost exactly two years before I was born).  I scaled up the plans for the Sputnik-Too that I got from JimZ's archives to use a 6-inch foam ball and three foot, 1/4" diameter dowels for the antennae, to give a model around 26% of full size.  In this size, I felt it necessary to drill the motor mount all the way through the ball and install a recovery system -- and the flight vindicated this decision, as the rocket landed undamaged, even though the parachute tangled around one antenna.  The boost was reasonably straight, for a rocket that was built in an hour, less than 14 hours before it was launched, and much higher than I expected for a draggy spherical body; stability was quite adequate.  On recover, though, I found that the ejection had melted the open cell craft foam around the mouth of the body tube; I'll have to find a way to fill that void and protect the foam before I fly this model again.

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