The launch kicked off with Nate's yellow Satellite Interceptor, which emitted a nice orange fireball just after leaving the rod - the Estes motor had cato'ed, but fortunately there was little damage to the rocket. A Balsa Machining School Rocket was launched next to test the winds, which were light out of the southwest. The flight went well, landing about 50 yards from the pads. I followed with my Estes Citation Patriot clone on a B6-2 (yeah, I know, I'm a chicken for not using a C motor). Low flight to maybe 200 feet and a soft recovery on the grass.
|My Citation Patriot clone takes to the air on a B6-2 (Click to enlarge).|
Next up was a Woody Bevill scratch build (you can see it on the ground to the left of the tripod in the pic above), flying on a G79. Woody has not had much luck with this motor - 6 have failed (some fantastically) while powering his other vehicles. No one had brought a launch pad that could handle a 1/4" rod, so he simply jammed one into the wet ground, meaning that the rocket would literally launch from the "ground up." Not normally safe, but there was no chance of a fire given the soggy field. As expected, the G79 had issues - but no fireballs, no explosive rupturing of the casing. It simply had trouble getting going, as you can see from the video below. This turned out to be the rocket's last flight, as the nylon shock cord zippered the tube beyond repair at ejection. Woody took advantage of the turn of events to disassemble the rocket and show me his neat removable shock cord mount.
The TARC rockets took to the air after Woody's flight. There were 11 flights, with the best score of 15 achieved by Liberty Team Centron. Their rocket, the Orange Crush, was by far the best performer of the day, achieving altitudes of 791, 807, and 725 feet. Unfortunately, the last one was made during the one and only qualification attempt of the day. Being 75 feet shy of the 800 foot goal and a short duration of 38.15 seconds resulted in a 106 score, far worse than the 15 and 23 achieved on their practice flights. No worries, though - they still have two more qualification attempts.
|Liberty's Orange Crush leaves the pad riding purple flame (Click to enlarge).|
|Team Orion's Jupiter IV finally clears the pad on a balky F motor (Click to enlarge).|
|Pluto comes apart on the rail as the Falcon Rocketeers look on (Click to enlarge).|
|Falcon Rocketeers' Roll Tide leaves a lot of smoke behind as it clears the rail (Click to enlarge).|
|The blue and white War Eagle streaks to 849 feet (Click to enlarge).|
|Nate's Snitch on an A8 (Click to enlarge).|
|Semi-scale Patriot blasts off on a C6-5 (Click to enlarge).|
|The SCRV's B6-4 motor ignites as the Liberty teams watch (Click to enlarge).|