Flight Log for 7 Jul 1996, Monroe, Washington

Completely cloudless, bright sun, hot, with variable winds and some thermal activity.
Model Flt
Recovery Type Motor Comments
Alpha III 7 12" Estes parasheet Estes B6-4 First flight of the day -- perfect except it took far too long to come down -- back to the streamer for further flights today.
Stellar Designs Spinaker 4 12" parasheet Estes A8-3 Good boost, no problem with repaired rocket body at ejection; parachute was slow opening but did fully deploy about 30 feet above ground. Even with only a single sheet of wadding, this rocket is just too small for the recovery system.
Pixel (unit #1) 1 Tumble (weight-shift method) Estes 1/2A3-2T First flight on a new design; the idea was to implement the Estes weight-shift tumble recovery in a rocket that would resemble a Sprite but fly on mini-motors. Tumble, instead of featherweight, ought to cause the rocket to recover closer to the launch point by reducing the tendency for the ejection to kick the rocket far downrange; it would also reduce the tendency to track the motor intead of the model. In practice, at least today, the motor ejected anyway, but the model was recovered thanks to a couple sharp-eyed children.
Pixel (unit #1) 2 Tumble (weight-shift method) Estes 1/2A3-2T Similar result to the first flight, except that I found the rocket myself, assisted by a couple glimpses of the sun glinting from the tumbling body before it restabilized. The motor ejected again, leading me to conclude I need a larger ejection charge vent and stiffer motor retainers. Back to the building board, and another unit should be ready by next month.
Alpha III 8 24" plastic streamer Estes C6-5 I flew this one on a Quest Tigertail igniter, just to be different -- it lit just like an Estes igniter. The flight was high and straight, and with the streamer recovery the rocket landed about 200 feet beyond the pad.
Alpha III 9 24" plastic streamer Estes 1/2A3-2T Digitrak claims this motor will fly this model to 85 feet, but I don't believe it -- the flight looked more like 50, possibly because the motor latch drags lightly on the rod when I use my adapter in this model (my next Alpha III will be built with the latch offset from the launch lug to prevent this). The rocket was still pointed up, seemingly hanging in the air, when the ejection fired; it dropped back about 10 feet from the pad. Everything was nominal in every way, with my mini-motor adapter continuing to perform well at every turn.
Blue Star 8 12" plastic streamer Estes B4-6 An adjustment error in setting up the tower for this launch allowed the model to tip out of the tower before the fins were clear; the result was that it took off at about 30 degrees above hoizontal. This in itself would only have resulted in a long walk, but the rocket recovered into a bird sanctuary plot, where grass, thistles, etc. have been allowed to run wild to provde a hiding place for game birds during hunting season. Though I did wade through this mess, following the line to the recovery point, I could have practically walked over this small model in that grass (taller than I am) without seeing it. Thus ends another model.

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