Saturday, January 24, 2015

A quick launch... (part 2)

We spent some time looking for the Drifter booster - it was found a short distance from the pad, just to the north of where we thought it landed (naturally). While Duane prepped his yellow and black Beast, I launched my venerable Quest Aries on a B6-4. It left the pad like a pig, barely grabbing enough altitude to deploy the parachute. C motors or nothing for this puppy, even in small fields (click any pic to enlarge).

Quest Aries on pad.
Duane's Beast was next, on an Aerotech F20-7. Lift off was perfect, but the payload section with the egg drag separated at motor burnout. The payload chute opened, allowing that section to descend softly to the ground, but the sustainer parachute stayed inside the body. That part came in ballistic, hitting the ground with a loud thump. As you might suspect, the body tube got scrunched, but Duane had wisely made the fin can separable by removing the rail buttons. The Beast will fly again!

The Beast on a F32.Damaged Beastie!

My last flight of the day was the Nike-X clone, a favorite from my youth. It performed very nicely on the B6-4, the orange rip stop nylon parachute landing it softly on the grass.

My Nike-X streaks skyward on a B6-4.
The last flight of the day belonged to Duane, who was flying his Estes Mega Mosquito for the second time this month. The first flight on a D12-3 was beautiful; Duane aimed to repeat that success today. Alas, it was not to be. Shortly after ignition, the D12-3 motor cato'd, producing a pretty spectacular fireball amidst the separating rocket. I feared that the body tube had been blown out, but fortunately only the motor tube saw damage. Repairable.

D12-3 cato in Duane's Mega MosquitoCato 0.1 seconds later.
Animated gif showing the cato sequence.

And so it was that our launch came to a fiery end, just 1 hour after it began. Duane and I both agreed that we have to do this more often - flying our rockets is fun!

1 comment:

  1. The CATO was awesome. I never like to see them, but I love it when I catch them on "film".