Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Another TARC team does its thing

This evening, Duane and I travelled to a field northeast of Huntsville to qualify flights for the Buckhorn TARC team. This is the first time in TARC for these kids, and I must say I was very impressed - their rockets were efficient, capable of meeting the altitude mark on an E20, and sported nice paint jobs in the school colors. The team had great equipment, were well organized, and had conducted several practice flights during the past two weekends. They could teach a thing or two to some of the Huntsville teams, even the experienced ones.

The Buckhorn team loads their rocket ("Bucky") on the pad (Click to enlarge).
Duane and I showed up at about 5:30 pm to find the team all set up and ready to go. It was a bit breezy, but if one waited for a couple of minutes, the wind would slack off long enough to permit a good flight. Wind was not the problem this evening - the "Curse of TARC" still plagues our local teams, insuring that practice flights give good scores but qualification flights end badly. So it was with Buckhorn this evening. Their first flight ended with a disqualification when the parachute broke away from the payload section, which hit the ground hard enough to break the egg. The second qualification flight also was disqualified when the payload section parachute did not fully open, resulting in another omelette. The altitudes on these flights were ok - 850 and 817 feet - but the stupid payload section parachute would not cooperate. However, the third time was the charm - Bucky shot skyward to 843 feet and was down in 53.8 seconds, for a 66 score. Not bad at all - I was very happy that they had one good flight to send in to TARC Headquarters.

Buckhorn qualification flights (Click to enlarge).
This team had several 7th graders, and I hope they participate in TARC next year - They are very, very good. If it weren't for that stupid TARC curse...

Bucky awaits launch (Click to enlarge).A very nice Estes QCC Explorer built by someone at
Buckhorn (Click to enlarge).

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