Flight Log for 8 Feb 1997, Boeing Space Center, Kent, WA

High thin overcast, wind approximately 3-5 mph from the west, appr. 50 F. This wind condition is ideal for this field, as the drift is along the length of a 1/2 mile or longer radar test range, and rockets that arc over the plant itself will usually drift back over a recoverable area.
Model Flt
Recovery Type Motor Comments
Nike-Arrow 1 Nose-blow tumble Estes A10-0T/1/2A3-4T This is the Estes Nike-Arrow kit, converted to fly as a 2-stage rocket. The gap between the motors is about 4 inches, and the upper stage ignited perfectly with two 3/16" vent holes drilled in the plastic transition. Unfortunately, the upper stage motor was too snug in the transition, and too loose in the sustainer; after stage ignition, the stages failed to separate, with the sustainer motor exhausting through the vents and booster nozzle. This cooked the booster to a nice medium-well. In itself, this might have been survivable, but at deployment time, the sustainer motor ejected from the sustainer, leaving the sustainer with only its nose cone deployed to core sample, while the booster with embedded sustainer motor landed as a lawn dart. The plastic transition was about half melted, and badly deformed by impact forces; the booster tube was crumpled just above the upper centering ring, and the upper stage had a slight crumple from impacting on the nose cone. This rocket is toast, but I plan to get another to improve the method of staging.
Hawkeye 2 Nose-blow tumble Estes A3-4T Everything went as normal, but the shock cord hung on the steel leader mount (I'm going to abandon those mounts for small models), and the model returned with much less distance beween the nose cone and body than normal; this allowed it to stabilize nose-down about 70 feet off the deck, and land in core-sample attitude. Fortunately, the ground was quite soft, and BT-5 is sturdy stuff; there was no damage.
Maniac 4 19.5" Nylon X-form parachute Estes D12-5 This flight was perfect, but at ejection the parachute tangled on the nose cone and only partially opened. No damage, as the rocket descended in a horizonal attitude and landed relatively gently. I've recently heard that at least one manufacturer claims any attempt to fold x-form parachutes, as opposed to just spiking and rolling, will lead to tangles; I'm not sure about this, but this is only one tangle in four flights, and this canopy won't fit this tube unless it's carefully put together in any case.
Ninja-B 2 12" plastic streamer Estes A3-4T With the snap-swivel replaced and more care exercised in packing the recovery system, the Ninja-B flew again -- it's amazing how much altitude this model gets from an A motor, and ejection occurs still rising (though perhaps not rising as quickly as I had thought at first). This time, all was nominal, and the rocket recovered about 150 feet from the pads

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