Monday, March 30, 2015


Yesterday saw the last of the TARC flights - all scores were due into TARC headquarters by close of business today. The Falcon Rocketeers were the only team on the field (Butler was unable to make it due to kids' schedules) and they brought with them the rebuilt War Eagle, now appropriately renamed Phoenix (it did arise from ashes, after all). They made a total of five flights - 3 practice and 2 qualification - but Phoenix was essentially a new rocket, resulting in some pretty high scores. There was no time (and too few motors remaining) to dial in the altitude. The Falcon Rocketeers deserve applause for finishing out the year, especially given the bad luck that they struggled to overcome. As they left the field, there was talk of getting started on next year's TARC as soon as the challenge is announced in May - a great attitude!

March 29 TARC scores. Green indicates qualification flight (Click to enlarge).
Nate showed up to provide me and Duane some support, bringing with him a few rockets that needed flying. I had several of my own, and we alternated putting birds into the air. My Semroc Golden Scout was up first, going surprisingly high on an A8-3. It behaved as it should, the ejection charge shifting the motor backwards so that the center of gravity was behind the center of pressure, causing the rocket to tumble to Earth. Sounds iffy, but tumble recovery was used in a fair number of the rockets produced in the 60's and 70's. Nate followed with his Estes Snitch saucer on a B4-4, and then I put up my Semroc Batroc on an A8-3. Batman would have been pleased to see the plastic parachute deploy, landing the rocket safely on the grass. It is currently sitting in a place of honor in my Batcave.

My Scout takes off powered by an A8-3 (Click to enlarge).The Batroc shoots up from the Bat Pad (Click to enlarge).
The Estes Hi Jinks took to the air next on a C6-5. The parachute did not deploy, but the nose cone did pop off, causing the rocket to land safely on the ground with little damage. This day would see no lawn darts, and I have to hand it to Nate for using C motors in most of his rockets. It was a bit breezy, and some drifted a decent distance from the pad. I then loaded up my Dr. Zooch Discoverer Thor, which flew on a B6-4. The good Doctor makes a point of ridiculing anyone who would wuss out and fly this thing on an A, and I certainly was not about to fall into that category. The Thor put in a text book flight, as did Nate's RTF Patriot, which grabbed some decent air on a C6-5.

Ignition! The Discoverer Thor gets started on its journey
(Click to enlarge).
Nate's RTF Patriot blasts off on a C6-5 (Click to enlarge).

Nate's Mean Machine has suffered a few mishaps, loosing a little bit of its length each time; it is now known as the "Lean Machine." Yesterday, the Lean Machine flew to a great height on an E9-4, and it is perhaps fortunate that the parachute failed to completely exit the body tube, as the rocket drifted a bit even just falling to the ground. No damage, so the Lean Machine did not loose any weight this flight. I have to admit that I am a little disappointed that there wasn't a spectacular E9 cato - Nate's luck is improving.

The last modroc flight of the day was that of my two stage Estes Scorpion clone, which was loaded with a B6-0 in the booster and a B6-6 in the sustainer. I figured the longer delay in the upper stage would minimize the drift of the rocket by putting it closer to the ground when the parachute deployed. This was a rare bit of good reasoning on my part, because that sucker flew nearly out of sight. I can't imagine what altitude it would reach on C6-0/C6-7 combo; maybe I will try it some club launch at the big Manchester sod farm. I should be able to recover the rocket there, assuming I am able to track it.

The purple "Lean Machine" on an E9-4 (Click to enlarge).My Scorpion heads for the wild blue yonder
(Click to enlarge).
And now, to bring the 2015 TARC season to a close, here's an animated sequence of the Falcon Rocketeer's Phoenix ascending into the Sun:

No comments:

Post a Comment