Friday, March 20, 2015

TARC madness...

Wednesday evening once again saw me on the Research Park field. Three TARC teams were present - Butler High School, Pope John Paul II's Jurassic TARC, and the Falcon Rocketeers. Butler was conducting their last practice as Duane and I pulled up; Woody's email indicates they had a couple of pretty good scores. But that has been the curse of this year - good practice flights, bad qualification attempts. Sadly, Wednesday continued this pattern.

Jurassic TARC prepares the Gray Ghost for launch as Duane looks on
(Click to enlarge).
Jurassic TARC got the ball rolling with a practice flight using the Gray Ghost, which turned in an excellent score of 19. They then opted to go for two qualification flights, both of which resulted in not-so-good scores. The first qual flight was very low and suffered a parachute malfunction on the sustainer (but it came in slow enough to be safe). The second had a perfect time, but was over 90 feet shy of the altitude mark.

The Falcon Rocketeers were also plagued by bad luck. Their first practice flight saw War Eagle come apart on the pad and catch fire; the flames were stomped out as soon as the rocket hit ground. An email sent out on Thursday by the team captain confirmed that the rocket was not repairable - a fiery end for a noble bird. Falcon then launched Roll Tide on another practice flight - it soared to a fabulous 798 feet, but neither of the parachutes deployed. Fortunately, the rocket managed to survive the hard landing relatively intact - it will fly again.

The Gray Ghost lifts off on a qualification flight
(Click to enlarge).
War Eagle comes apart leaving the rail (Click to enlarge).
Not a good evening for our local teams... The next launch is scheduled for tomorrow - will the weekend see the lifting of the curse?

March 18 scores - green indicates a qualification flight (Click to enlarge).

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