A Perfect Saturday Morning - CATO

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Well-Known Member
Dec 24, 2003
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Last week at our launch I was told that a local hobby shop (New England Hobby) wanted some assistance in a rocketry exhibition. Intrigued, I called up and found that the demo was for the residents of the Connecticut State Veteran's Home.

So this morning I packed up, and headed over to the home. I was early, and shortly after the guys from New England Hobby showed up. Then the local Boy Scout Troop arrived. Then a TV news crew from WVIT TV (Hartford NBC) arrived!

As the introductions were made, I found out I was the NAR representative (gulp!).

So I went from expecting to help show some rockets to a handful of Vets to:

About 30 Vets
About 10 staff
15 Boy Scouts
Some locals who read about the event in the paper
Another TRF'er (Marlin)
My Rocket Bride
And a TV news crew

The background was that the Vets were looking for new hobbies and the hobby shop provided a bulk back of Wizards for them to build.

We set up two Estes LPR pads and my MPR pad.

I was then deputized as RSO, and started the launch events. I began showing the Boy Scouts how to prep for flight. I even introduced them to the mysteries of dog barf. I directed last minute repairs and completed the preflights. What was real neat was one scout figured out masking tape retention all by himself.

We then mounted the first Wizard, and the scouts deployed to serve as recovery teams.

The first honorary LCO was an 81 year old WWII vet. Once we showed him how to operate the control, we had a group countdown, and the little bird leapt skyward to show the Vets what was up.

After a few more rounds, I loaded my first bird, An AT Cheetah on an E9.

An 88 year old Vet was the LCO. After a group countdown, the Cheetah jumped off the pad and had a perfect deployment to the delight of everyone present.

But wait, there's more!

In keeping with the true spirit of rocketry, we needed some gaffes... :)

One Vet provided the ceremonial sacrifice to the rocket gods.

Mt AT Interlock controller comitted suicide.

One Vet had the second best lawn dart

My Deltee Thunder failed to eject the pod and snapped the neck on landing.

And the Brass Plated Magnesium Blast Deflector Award goes to yours truly.

Insert drum roll

For some reason, and I swear I checked this on RockSim, I thought you could fly an AT Sumo on an F21. I was hoping for a slow lift and visible flight.

What I got was a slow lift, graceful arc, and the most beautiful lawn dart in history. It was sticking straight up. Then a few seconds later the deployment sharge went off and the airframe popped off perfectly. :rolleyes:

But all told it was a great public showcase for rocketry. And we are invited back in the Fall!

I do have some pictures and am trying to get my hands on the news clip. I will update this thread with those items later.

My hats off to you for a great public service. I bet you made there day.


Either way... it sounded like a lot of fun...

I'll admit... in looking for ways to increase membership, I never considered Senior Citizens....

Thanks for such a GREAT report... and Congrats...!!!
very *very* cool :) You not only made *their* day, you made my day as well! I love hearing launch reports having to do with doing a display for interested novices and newbies :)

Sounds like a great day Al!! I know the weather was good in the afternoon here. Hope th SUMO will fly again. Love that Roc.

The Vets need all the fun they can muster and I'm happy you did your part! Any video on the TV crew?
Updated with Pictures

Here is the launch area with annotated details


Another View


And what happens when you confuse a F21 for a G35:rolleyes: