|Pink Floyd is prepped for flight as a small crowd looks on|
|My Big Bertha on the pad|
I launched my Big Bertha with the C motor first - she achieved an altitude of a few hundred feet (as the name implies, she is a bit on the heavy side) and landed undamaged about 50 yards away. Nate launched his Satellite Interceptor, which drifted a bit farther. He was visibly relieved when it missed the roof of one of the horse barns by a few yards; for a moment, it looked like he might have to find a ladder. Pink Floyd had perfect time of 49 seconds on his flight, but was a little low, at about 760 feet. The strengthening wind was causing a loss in altitude and a lot of walking; Nate was offering the kids a couple of bucks to retrieve his rockets (which I thought was an excellent idea, btw).
It was finally time to fly Little Beth. I inserted the Quest Q2 igniters (which are great for clusters like this), set her on the pad, hooked up the launch controller, and turned on the camera. After a short warning to the crowd that this was a "Heads up!" flight, I gave the usual 5 second countdown and pressed the fire button. All 3 motors on the booster came to life, and she streaked off the pad. To my immense satisfaction, staging occurred less than a second later, and Little Beth continued her path upward until the ejection charge popped the parachute. Success! The jinx had been broken, and all that remained was to recover the rocket. The booster was easy, as it was about 25 yards out. However, the upper stage drifted northeast the full length of the field, and I am very grateful to the Falcon Rocketeer and his dad who retrieved it for me. It saved me quite a walk!
Green Hornet also took to the sky today, for once out performing the more popular Pink Floyd. He was a little over altitude, at 850 feet, but landed with a perfect time of 47 seconds. I am excited for this Falcon team - they have a shot at really doing well at Nationals! The sky had gone from dark to ominous, but Nate managed to get in another flight of his Satellite Interceptor, also on a B6-4; it landed just about 30 yards away. We packed up and managed to load the vehicles just before the rain started.
As it turns out, the Little Beth video was rather disappointing - the camera did not catch staging well, and most of the sequence is spent looking at the parachute; next time I will have to pay more attention to the camera pointing. Nonetheless, here's the Little Beth flight video for those interested (Yes, I know there is a hole in the parachute):