Today saw the TARC National competition up in Virginia. The Falcon Rocketeers were there representing Huntsville; I understand their first flight went well (12 score), which got them into the final flyoff. Unfortunately, a cracked egg DQ'd the flight, which dropped them out of the money. Sorry about the egg, but great job this year, Falcon! You guys did Huntsville proud!
Today also had a surprise - the release of the rules for the 2015 TARC contest; normally these do not come out until July. I guess they want to give the teams a head start given that they are keeping the 2014 scoring scheme of summing the two best qualification flights. In 2013 and before, it was a TARC team's best score that counted in the selection for Nationals; this new scheme eliminates the "lucky shot" that helped the, um, less polished teams make it to the top 100, and emphasizes consistency. Summing the two scores, combined with flying two eggs, made 2014 the toughest TARC year I can recall. So what about 2015?
Here is a summary of the new rules:
1) Rocket must hit an altitude of 800 feet, and the payload section must land safely within 46-48 seconds from the time of first motion on the pad.
2) The payload section containing the egg and altimeter must come down separately from the rocket. It must use a single parachute, and as before, the egg must not crack or break on landing. The payload section must be returned to the NAR official monitoring the qualification flight. The rocket body and motor must descend in a safe manner.
3) The rocket must be longer than 25.6 inches (650 mm) in length, and may use any motor or combination of motors of F impulse (80 N-sec) or lower. It may not weigh more than 650 grams at liftoff.
4) Teams get 3 qualification flights.
I guess I had better get working on a design - can't let the kiddos have all the fun. This looks easier than 2014, but who knows?