A hot and short afternoon Launch...

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Late this afternoon, I got call from a colleague informing me that the student building rockets in our little group was ready to launch her birds. The temperature being in the low 90's, I was not terribly excited about being out in the field, but a promise is a promise, and within a half hour I was loading up the porta pads and other essentials, along with a few of my newly built rockets. Hey, if I was gonna burn, then at the least I ought to have some fun while baking :D

I hadn't been out to this field since April, and was somewhat chagrined to see acres of big green cotton plants off to the east... In April, it was brown dirt with little shoots; now, it looked like a jungle. The western half looked OK, and I set up the pads to insure that A and B powered birds would land well away from the farmer's paradise. No way was I going to risk a C with just half a field.

Cotton field

The student, her family, and some of my colleagues arrived and the fun commenced. Two of her 3 rockets had loose fins and so were not allowed to fly, but her Quest Pipsqueak was first off the pads with an A8-3. Straight boost and good deploy on the pink streamer.

Student and her Pipsqueak

My cloned Red Max followed, also on an A8-3. Again a straight flight and a nice parachute deploy - I was a happy camper!

Red Max on pad

The next flight was my cloned Centuri Excalibur. This is the kit that made a fool out of me 30 years ago at a rocket demonstration I gave for my high school band camp. It just sat there on the pad as ignitor after ignitor misfired and engine after engine was replaced. It launched after the band went inside for dinner, of course.

Excalibur clone

Today, however, the Excalibur leapt off the pad on the first go. It went surprisingly high on the B6-4 and deployed the chute right at apogee - a text book flight. Those around me were impressed, and I was pleased that both clones had done well. Until...

Excalibur on pad

I noticed that the Excalibur was decending quite slowly on its 12" chute; in fact, it appeared to be moving more horizontally than vertically. And, given that there was a light wind out of the SW, you can guess where it was heading - right towards the cotton jungle. 2 kids ran off to try to recover the bird, which decended slowly and was lost to view somewhere in the middle of the field, with not a sign of the red and white parachute visible among the green plants.

Excalibur descending

Searching for Excalibur

Needless to say, we couldn't find it. The Excalibur gave me the shaft 30 years ago, and did it yet again on its maiden voyage today. Therefore, I have just ordered the parts for another from Semroc - ain't no rocket gonna get the best of me! :cool:

The student launched her Pipsqueak on a B6-6 with a parachute. It was another good flight, and she had no difficulty recovering her rocket, which naturally landed on the west half of the field.

The heat was beginning to get to us, so I ended the affair with a launch of my just-completed Quest Big Betty on a B6-4. She put in a good show, and was a hit with the girls, who now want to build her some sisters.

Big Betty on pad

All in all, an OK day... Sorry that we didn't get any launch pictures. Better luck next time.
 

Steward

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Just love a good story....Thanks for sharing...
Sorry 'bout the loss though...
 

jflis

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Great report! When I saw the picture of the cotton field I got an image in my mind of what it would be like to search for a rocket in that stuff....

....your image of the search was a *duplicate* of what my mind conjured up... LOL
 

eugenefl

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Fantastic story. It sounds like you had a great time out there despite the heat and the loss. Great attitude. I've gotten past the point where I curse and throw a fit. Sometimes it's just not that easy to rebuild!

The pictures of the rockets on pads and some of the rocketeer interaction were more than enough for me. There's nothing better than the sound of a bunch of youngsters and non-rocketeer typical types enjoying themselves in such a great hobby.

Thanks for sharing.
 

kelltym88

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Thanx for sharing. Sorry about your loss. You know, if it were me, I'd go back to that field and find that sucker.
 

havoc821

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Where at in Huntsville do you live? I am launching some rockets next Tuesday I was thinking if you were in the area if you wante to come out. I will be launching my Eye in the Sky 7 on an F40 or F23. Well, hope to hear back soon!
 

Stymye

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great report!, nice pics too...!
 

Gus

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Really nice pics.

And I thought our Yankee corn and soy bean fields were tough on rockets! :D
 

Havoc821,

Never miss an opportunity to launch rockets, but I wil be out of town on business the first part of this week. Take some pictures and post them!

I live on the NW side of town, just behind the Target on University Drive. Hobbytown is just a short walk away.

Which is a very bad thing... ;)
 

havoc821

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Lucky You! I go that way pretty often. I don't know if I can get pictures because my only digital camera is the one in the rocket. I will try to post pics from the video as soon as I can. Well, maybe we can get together another time. Good report on your launch! I look foward to seeing you soon!
 

slim_t

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Always love a good launch report/story.
Thanks for sharing.

Tim
 
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