Sunday, November 15, 2020

A perfect day for flying...

Flyers begin to assemble for the pre-launch briefing (Click to enlarge).

Yesterday HARA had its first launch of the 2020-2021 season - the skies were clear and blue, the winds relatively tame and the temperature perfect. We had lots of folks show up, and man, there were a bunch of of certification flights. Art and Allen took care of over 20 level 1 and level 2 certifications, which shows in the H motor tally - 26, most of them H115 sparkys. I flew two modrocs, both of which were heavily instrumented. A description of those flights will come in a later post, but for now, enjoy the very pretty pictures from yesterday - pretty because most of them were taken by others with great cameras, unlike my shots with the iPhone camera. They're OK, but can't compare to what real photographers can produce.

Members of a college team waiting their turn to launch (Click to enlarge).

Let's start off with Chuck's flight of his Dynasoar Fireball XL-5. Frank Burke makes these beautiful kits, and I only wish had the RC skills to fly them (I learned long ago I can only handle things in ballistic trajectories). The XL-5 put in a superb flight, echoing that of the Star Trek-themed U.S.S Orion, which was Chuck's first of the day. True to form, he switched to flying a couple of planes as the day wore on, much to the enjoyment of the folks away from the flight line.

Chuck's Fireball XL-5 in flight (Photo by Patrick Morrison - Click to enlarge).

U.S.S Orion doing its thing.

Chuck shows off his flying skill (Photo by Patrick Morrison - Click to enlarge).

One of the most anticipated flights of the day was that of John Kraieski's Goddard replica. This beauty awed the crowd with its flight (which was textbook, btw), and had more than one person scratching their head wondering how it flew straight.

John Kraieski's rocket in flight (Photo by Drew Hardwick - Click to enlarge).

My young colleague Josh is a true rocketeer - he built an impressive Y-Wing modroc that flew quite well. Not so much for his modified Deuce, which struggled off the pad when only one B6 motor lit (Used Estes Starters, of course). Hit the ground before ejection, but fortunately the model only had a few scratches.

Josh's Y-Wing in flight (Photo by Patrick
Morrison - Click to enlarge).
Josh's Deuce begins to arc over (Photo
by Patrick Morrison - Click to enlarge).

Vince converted a Pegasus Apollo 27 plastic model for flight. When asked by the LCO if it was to be a "Heads Up" flight, he responded with a negative. My comment was "All plastic model conversions are heads up flights." Even though it was a bit underpowered, the Apollo 27 was quite stable in the air; however,  my words proved to be prophetic when nothing came out at ejection, leaving the model to shatter upon impact with the ground. I felt sympathy for Vince - he had obviously put a lot of work into that build.

Vince's Apollo 27 leaves the rod (Photo by Patrick Morrison - Click to enlarge).

In a small preview of today's Space X crew launch, one of the flyers launched his mid-power Falcon/Dragon model, based on a paper version you can get on the Internet. Flew great, just like the real thing did today.

A Falcon 9/Dragon model heads skyward (Photo by Patrick Morrison - Click to enlarge).

The launch started at 10 AM and rockets flew all the way up to sunset at 4:45 PM - total number of flights was 88, 42 of which were high power. Not a bad day!

Another rocket takes to the air (Click to enlarge)!