|The Longshots gather around their rocket, as "Benevolent Dictator" Duane looks things over (Click to enlarge).|
After the elation faded a bit, my nerd nature began to take over and I wondered if there was something in the Longshot's performance - as recorded in my notes - that may be useful in passing on to next year's teams. Even though I took much better notes this year compared to those of the past, there may be some missing data due to too much field activity. Nonetheless, a couple of things jumped out at me:
1) The Longshots fixed their design early, and the model (except for adding or taking away weight) did not change. It was your basic TARC rocket - nothing fancy, just good basic construction down to the nicely-sized fins and the very visible red and white paint scheme. I have seen other teams alter their model to improve stability (fins too small) or use a modular type construction that enables them to swap out damaged components. Stability is absolutely necessary, and in other arenas, modular would be a good thing, except that no two non-machine made components are exactly the same - different weights, different fin cross-section, etc. These alter the performance characteristics, so swapping components is almost as bad as flying a new model each time. Hard to get consistent scores if the model flies differently each time.
|The Longshots' rocket ("Phantom Flyer") leaves the pad powered by|
an Aerotech F32 (Click to enlarge).
TARC teams take note - make a good check list, and move through it quickly. An hour between flights will result in increase scatter in your scores.
|Click to enlarge.|