Monday, March 16, 2015

Today, after work, I...

went to the field to witness more TARC flights. This evening, we had two teams out there - Pope John Paul II's Jurassic TARC team, with their Gray Ghost rocket, and the Falcon Rocketeers with War Eagle and Roll Tide. One flight of the Gray Ghost was made before Duane and I arrived at 5 PM; 4 more would occur before we packed it in around 6:30.

The TARC teams of the day - Jurassic TARC is at left with the Falcon
Rocketeers on the right (Click to enlarge).
Jurassic TARC is pretty close to getting it done, turning in decent scores on both of their practice flights. The Falcon Rocketeers are still tuning their War Eagle rocket, which flew too high in today's still air. Its last flight was also calamitous - the parachute on the sustainer failed to deploy, and it dove straight for the ground. You know things are going to be bad where you hear the sickening thump of impact across the field... Sure enough, War Eagle looked a bit like an accordion after that flight. Major repair time, I think.

Summary of today's 4 practice flights (Click to enlarge).
The westering Sun saw the session end with no qualification flights; these after school sessions don't leave much time for practice, even with Daylight Savings Time in effect. Judging from the chatter, Falcon is going to try for more flights on Wednesday afternoon - assuming it's not raining.

The Gray Ghost lifts off on its last flight of the day
(Click to enlarge).
War Eagle soars into the sky yet again (Click to enlarge).
A nice thing about using a local field is that interested folks sometimes come out to watch you fly. Today, we had a local dad who is getting back into rocketry with his sons show up to watch the TARC flights. Duane and I tried to recruit him into joining HARA, or at least to come out and fly with us sometime. He is excited about rockets, and has already got a good start on a decent rocket fleet. Also said he reads this blog, which I found gratifying. It's good to know someone reads my ramblings!

Back to the launch... I had brought a C6-3 for Duane's Death Star, which was going to be the star in one of my videos - naturally, he forgot the rocket. However, I did bring along my Little Beth X-2 for my one and only flight of the day. This time, I set my normal wimp tendencies aside and almost went for broke with 2 B4-2's and a C6-0 in the booster, and a B6-4 in the sustainer (you knew there had to be a B6-4 in there somewhere, didn't ya?). After taping my keychain camera to the rocket, I placed it on the pad and started snapping off pics as Duane did the count; our visitor began to capture video on his phone. All three booster motors roared to life and Little Beth shot off the pad like a bat out of Hades. Booster separation and second stage ignition occurred without a hitch, and she kept going up, up, up. As I watched, I was thinking that there was NO WAY I was going to ever put a C6-7 in that upper stage, as we were barely able to keep the rocket in sight. The green parachute deployed, and the rocket slowly began to drift towards the ground. I was a little worried about the tree line, but the rocket gods did smile upon me and allowed my white and black beauty an honorable landing upon the field.

Little Beth blasts off on 3 booster motors (Click to enlarge).
After I got back to the apartment, I transferred the video to my computer and discovered, to my chagrin, that a video curse still plagues me. I did get video of the flight, but the camera was pointed at  an angle towards the rocket body rather than straight down - so there is a lot of white rocket in the frames. Nevertheless, here's the flight vid - not my best work, to be sure:

And here are some select frames:

Ignition (Click to enlarge)!

The road below... (Click to enlarge)

2nd stage ignition (Click to enlarge).

Under parachute (Click to enlarge).
Hopefully more flights later in the week - stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Forgot to ask how to get the video of your flight to you! You can reach me at and I will send it to you.

    It was great to get the chance to meet you and watch your launches yesterday!