Friday, August 21, 2020

Keepin' busy...

So Pegasus field is still not mowed... Weeds up to your waist make it kind of hard to fly rockets, so it looks like that will have to wait until the first HARA launch of the 2020-2021 flying season. But October 10 is still a ways off and I'm eager to burn some motors. Hopefully the city will mow Pegasus sometime in September!

I have taken some time this month to update the inventory of my rocket parts, in particular my plastic nose cones and decals. It's amazing what you find when you actually make a count - I found that I had a ton of Alpha nose cones and some golden oldies, like a couple of detailed plastic cones belonging to the old Centuri Nike Smoke. The number was also a bit surprising - 293, not counting those in Estes Designer's Specials and various other parts assortments. I'm also pretty good decal wise, with a lot of classic decals made by Excelsior/Sandman decals when they were in business, and some originals from Estes and Centuri. I really don't have an excuse for not producing more clones, as I have beaucoup de parts.

Some scale entries in this year's virtual NARAM (Click to enlarge).

The virtual NARAM is about to end for this year. Lack of a flying field put the kibosh on my participation - the jungle at Pegasus spoiled my return to the contest rocketry universe. However, I did attend the virtual scale modeling session earlier this week, and it was quite fun to see the various models that were entered. Some folks went simple, building replicas of sounding rockets like the Arcas, whereas others created elaborate models featuring fall away boosters and 3D printed parts. The superb handiwork and attention to detail in some of the entrees made my semi-scale models look like kindergarten attempts. Rocketeers aren't kidding when they say scale is a craftsmanship event!

John Brohm has a cool office! (Click to enlarge).

I am also beginning to start a list of fall/winter projects. Even though I never stick to the list, I still feel obligated to compile one - makes me feel like I'm organized. Anyway, the first model on the list is a clone of the Estes Screaming Eagle (discussed in this previous post). Number two on the list is a special rocket that I have wanted to build for quite a while, and the recent inventory has revealed that I actually have the parts and wherewithal to do it. I'll be making a separate post on this rocket in the near future, so I won't reveal its name now.

Finally, I just wanted to repeat something you see on a lot of the vendor web sites. The good old post office is having problems, and mail can be significantly delayed. My personal experience is that anything going through Atlanta is going to reside there for a few days before being sent on, and items from the Pacific Northwest can take weeks to get to ye olde mail box. So if you order something and it is shipped via USPS, be patient. If you need something quickly, try to get the package delivered through UPS or FedEX - they do not appear to be affected by the massive 2020 chaos.

The route traversed by my FlightSketch Mini altimeter. Took a total of 9 days to get to me, 5 of which were spent going from Connecticut to Atlanta. Normally it takes 3 days (Click to enlarge).

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