|Inert Black Brant sounding rocket in the hotel parking lot. We got a visit from the police - who fortunately had a |
sense of humor - when someone reported this to the authorities (Click to enlarge).
The first event of this year's convention - a tour of Aurora Flight Sciences - occurred on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, I did not go, hesitant to risk making my injured right knee worse. I was disappointed, for the honcho of Aurora is John Langford, who is an acquaintance from my misbegotten youth. Back in the summer of 1974, John and I attended the Georgia Governor's Honors Program at Wesleyan College - he was an ace rocketeer, readying an Athena scale model for international competition, and I was the enthusiastic pain-in-the-butt sophomore dogging his steps. John was very patient, taking my annoying behaviors in stride, and I learned a lot from him; my sojourn into competition rocketry was fueled by the Governor's Honors experience. Despite missing the Aurora tour, I did get to briefly catch up with him on Saturday. Even though he operates a very successful company, John is still a rocketeer, helping NAR and serving as manager of the U.S. team in international competitions. The success that was evident in 1974 has manifested in multiple arenas over the years.
|John Hocheimer presents the 'State of NAR' at the town hall (Click to enlarge).|
|Matt Steele presents his analysis of the S1 Altitude event at the R&D session (Click to enlarge).|
|Jim Barrowman talks about the factors governing rocket stability (Click to enlarge).|
- The Stine and Desind Collections at the Smithsonian, by Brian Nicklas (one of the archivists)
- Making Lightweight Fiberglass Bodies, by Tim Van Milligan of Apogee
- Finishing and Painting Rockets, by Carl Curling of NOVAAR
- RockSim Design and Flight Simulation for TARC, by Tim Van Milligan of Apogee
- Model Rocket Stability and Aerodynamic Equations, by Jim Barrowman (who developed the Barrowman equations for calculating rocket center of pressure - this guy is a legend in the community, with good reason)
- Flight Testing in TARC, by Trip Barber, NAR TARC Manager
- The New Look of NAR Competition, by Ed LaCroix (one of the folks trying to make rocket competition more attractive, thereby saving it from extinction)
|Can you believe this fiberglass rocket weighs only|
10 grams (Click to enlarge)?!
|One of the TARC rockets used to develop this|
year's rules (Click to enlarge).
- Matt Steele, who announced the Hobgoblin (a 29 mm pseudo upscale of the Estes Goblin) and a scale SLS kit.
- Gary Rosen of AeroTech, who showed off the new Arreauxbee-Hi and Monstra rocket kits (the Monstra can be used to certify level 1 and level 2). The 18 mm composites are coming along, but no release date as of yet (we did get to see some cool looking A3-4's in their packaging though).
- Randy Boadway of eRockets, who showed off the new Maple Leaf and Jaybird rocket kits. He also displayed a re-engineered Scissors Wing that may also be released later, provided Estes doesn't bring it back.
- Tim Van Milligan of Apogee Components, who talked about future plans, some of which involve releasing Shrox designs, such as the SkunkWulf (alas, no RockSim update was announced).
- Wes Oleszewski (the infamous Dr. Zooch), who was promoting his line of "Growing Up With Spaceflight" books. I have read the first one on Project Mercury, and it is VERY good.
- Andy Jackson of Aerospace Specialty Products, who proudly displayed his line of 29mm scale kits.
- John Beans of Jolly Logic, who got me very excited about the upcoming Altimeter 4, which is small and incredibly powerful. I cannot wait for its release later this year!
- Doug Frost of Frost Rocketry, who was promoting his rocket golf kits. He goes around challenging golfers to best his models in rounds of golf - they use clubs, he uses his rockets.
- Cosmic Vests and Ties, who were modeling their line of space-themed vests and ties.
|Randy Boadway of eRockets displays the Maple Leaf and Jaybird (Click to enlarge).|
|The new Arreauxbee-Hi and Monstra from AeroTech (Click to enlarge).|
|AeroTech 18 mm composites (uses Blackjack formulation - Click to enlarge).|
|Matt Steele shows off the Hobgoblin. He is also developing a line of motor retainers that look like nozzles - he's |
holding one to the back of the Hobgoblin (Click to enlarge).
|Lee Piester presents his "Centuri Memories" at the banquet (Click to enlarge).|
|Steampunked rockets on display at registration table (Click to enlarge).|
|Back at glorious Udvar-Hazy (Click to enlarge)!|