Friday, May 11, 2018

Odds and ends...

The weather here in Huntsville is heating up as summer approaches; alas, I have not been able to take advantage of the recent favorable conditions by launching rockets, except for three I put up in a school demo. My colleague, Chuck, had arranged with Williams P-8 school to do a rocket lecture/launch for their science week. Unfortunately, he broke his ankle at the NASA SLP (Student Launch Project) launch, making it hard for him to easily get around, much less set up and conduct a launch. I  responded to his call for assistance - I'm always looking for a reason to ditch the innumerable meetings at work - and so 9 AM Monday morning saw Chuck giving a talk to a bunch of 5th graders while I set up my pad on the track field of the school. My launch gear goes together in less than 15 minutes, so I sat down on a bench after placing the first rocket - an Estes ARTF Rookie - on the rod. While checking my email on my phone, I happened to look up and noticed this little bird sitting right on the top of the 1/8" rod, in direct line of fire of the Rookie. Amazed, I moved closer, snapping pics with my phone camera as I approached, hoping to get close enough to get a really good image of this unusual occurrence. It was not to be so - the bird flew away when I was about 40 feet away, too far for the iPhone to get a decent pic. All I got was a few blurry images - How the heck the bird was able to perch on the tip of that skinny rod is beyond me.

Estes Rookie on pad (Click to enlarge).Bird perched on the rod (Click to enlarge).
Anyway, the demo launch went well. The Rookie put in a fine performance on a B6-4; it was followed by the Estes Meteorite White Crayon, also on a B6-4. The final bird to take to the air was my Quest saucer, powered by a C6-0, after which Chuck amazed the crowd with some of his aerobatics with an RC plane. Several of the kids seemed very interested in the rockets, and asked some pretty good questions about stability and how the rocket motors worked. A good morning, except that I had to return to work.

I managed to finish three models this past week - the clone of the Estes KL-3 Marauder, a Centuri Payloader clone, and a clone of the Centuri Mach 10. I am very happy with the Marauder and the Mach 10; the Payloader seems a bit bland, and I may swap the black trim for the 1964 decor, which featured a checkerboard pattern and the kit name. I have also completed building the clone of the Centuri Stellar Starlifter - after a final sand, it'll be ready for primer. The Javelin is ready for paint, and the Shrox Sniple needs the gray primer sanded off before getting a coat of white primer.

KL-3 Marauder (Click to enlarge).Centuri Payloader (Click to enlarge).
Centuri Mach 10 clone (Click to enlarge).
Lots to do this weekend...

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