Flight Log for 6 Oct 1996, Monroe, Washington

Partial ceiling of altocumulus at approximately 7000 to 10,000 feet, and nearly no wind. Several models were flown to well over 2000 feet and recovered on the field without special recovery techniques.
Model Flt
Recovery Type Motor Comments
Alpha 3 17 24 inch plastic streamer Estes A3-4T The usually boringly perfect flight -- no surprises with this dependable bird, on motors from 1/2A through C. Perhaps I'll get the nerve to put a D21 into it sometime -- but probably not; I like having one that always comes back.
Mongoose 3 (upper w/ Delta Dart parasite) 8 18" plastic parasheet Estes A8-3 After a few more hand tosses to finish adjusting the glider, a startling phenomenon occurred: the tiny Delta Dart glider (span about 4 inches, less than six inches long, weight of a few grams) came off the booster into a flat, slow, glide and appeared to catch a thermal! The glider circled without apparent loss of altitude for three cirucuits before beginning its descent; I didn't think to put a stopwatch on this flight, but flight time must have been close to a minute, if not longer -- yet the glider recovered within a few yards of the launch control table. This was easily my best boost glider flight ever!
Mongoose 3 (upper w/ Delta Dart parasite) 9 18" plastic parasheet Estes A8-3 A reflight was definitely in order -- I prepped and put the model up again, this time with the stopwatch function of my wristwatch active. No thermal activity this time, but the time from first movement until the glider hit the grass was a tiny fraction over 30 seconds -- quite respectable, I think, for an improvised parasite launcher and such a tiny glider. Once again, recovery was just a few yards from the pad -- this is about as good as boost gliders get!
Mongoose 3 (upper w/ Delta Dart parasite) 10 18" parasheet Estes A8-3 Another reflight was called for -- anything working this well is worth doing again. The results were the same as the second flight -- the glide was a fraction of a second longer (I had it as 30.7 seconds), and recovery was a little farther from the pad, but in general, if my boost gliders had worked like this when I was in grade school, I might never have gotten out of rocketry all those years ago!
Pixel (prototype) 4 Tumble Estes 1/2A3-2T Even with the assistance of everyone in the area to track, this time it got away. Ejection occurred before apogee, as it always does with this rocket/motor combination, and everyone seems to have lost sight of the rocket at ejection, but at least a half dozen people, including myself, saw something land in the grass a few feet from the launch control table. After the rest of the rack, though, a half dozen of us combed that area for about ten minutes without finding the rocket. I finally was forced to conclude that it was the ejected motor casing that we'd seen landing, and that the rocket had gone elsewhere, unobserved (and thus unrecovered). Ah, well -- I have three more Mosquito kits ready for conversion, and some ideas how to improve the recovery function of this tiny design.

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