April Fool's launch - at least *I* feel like a fool now....

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Fore Check

Well-Known Member
Sep 24, 2010
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So we've been having BEAUTIFUL weather in North Texas since Monday. Sunday was terrible, but Monday through now.... *gasp*

If you've never lived in North Texas, it's hard to describe the truth and reality of this next statement. We are in the time of year where we have perfect weather during the week, and absolute crappola to deal with on the weekends. Will probably go another month or so.

And there is no mistaking, kidding, or exaggerating. It's been this way since I moved here 5+ yrs. ago, and it continues now.

Perfect spring weather during the week, rain and thunderstorms predicted for Saturday and Sunday, nice after that. Go figure..........

So I just *HAD* to play "hookie" today and go launch, because I know that there won't be a day as nice as today on a weekend for, like, ever - on a weekend at least.

I brought 14 rockets, two launch pads, a crate full o' motors, and headed to North Lakes Park in Denton, TX.

Got set up about 11:30 am.

First launch was a Custon Razor on a C6-5, with a streamer instead of the chute, to test the wind.

MAN what a zinger! This was the first flight for me on the Razor. Easily 1500'. And a great up and down.

Confidence in hand, loaded a D12-5 in my Goblin clone, packed with a 12" BMS poly chute. I've flown Goblins before on streamers, only to have wrecks on landing. So I loaded the 'chute.

Up she went. About the same height as the Razor. Maybe not *quite* as high. Then deployment, and down like a freakin' rock. The dad-gummed poly chute didn't open!!!!! She landed with a bounce on the grass, and suffered significant damage. :mad: :mad: :mad:

Undaunted, I loaded a D12-5 in my Patriot Missle (Estes). Nice rocket, BTW. I had it packed with what would become ol' lucky for the day: an 18" Thrustline ripstop nylon chute. MAN what a flight! Great recovery, nearly perfect. Only had to walk a little bit.

Let me chime in now about those stupid "peel-and-stick" decals on the Patriot. After she landed, the decals were bubbling and buckling, probably due to the heat of the motor. What a load of KRAP! Never have this problem with waterslides!! Not only do waterslides go on easier and truer, they don't screw up with temperature change! LOSE THE PEEL-And-STICK ALREADY!!!!!!!! Estes ruined my perfect finish with their KRAP!

Then goes my Deuce's Wild, well, Deuce's Helix (with canted fins) on 2 x C6-5's. Packed with ol' lucky (my Thrustline 18" ripstop chute from before.)

WOOOOHOOO! It worked! Big inter-twined corkscrew smoke trails! And this killer "thwap-thwap-thwap" helicopter sound on the way up! Perfect flight, perfect recovery~


Sorry - gotta go for now ---

Dinner's ready.

More later.
Hey... Hey!! HEY!!!!!! :eek:

That last post about your very cool Deuce with no launch pics?????

What gives???

yea, that's what I was thinking... SHEESH!

PLEASE tell us you got a launch pix of that Deuce!!! :)
Originally posted by jflis
PLEASE tell us you got a launch pix of that Deuce!!! :)

What were the names of those two guys we send after people who don't post pics?
Originally posted by Rocketmaniac
What were the names of those two guys we send after people who don't post pics?

You mean Ben Dover and Phil McCracken? :eek:
"Pictures??? I owe you nothing!!"

"I thought so. Moose! Rocko! Help the judge find his camera"
But I guess I can continue with my launch report. Got distracted by a hockey game after dinner (freakin' Red Wings.... :mad: )


Next up was my Advanced Target Drone on a C6-5. Great flight. Nice rocket - not too high, and a fine recovery on a BMS poly chute. I seem to find that the poly chute working is becoming more the exception than the rule, even with copious wadding.

Then the nazis showed up. Let me set this up. I'm the only person within view, and I have this entire soccer complex to myself. I'm all laid out with all my rockets and launch gear on my tailgate, launch pads set up, launcher strung out, etc.

Then a white Ford Crown Victoria pulls up. The Fire Marshall/Bomb Squad Commander for the Denton Fire Department (according to his business card, name witheld) hops out and asks "Are you the guy launching rockets?"

At this point, I looked around, and seeing *not another soul* I replied "No, I just carry all this stuff for show. The guy launching rockets ran away when he saw you pull up." Luckily, the guy could take a joke. He informed me that they had received "several comlaints of someone shooting fireworks over their heads. I don't get it because you're the only one here." I didn't get it, because I indeed was the only on there. Had the entire park to myself, it seemed. He asked that I relocate over to the RC airplane field (in another portion of the park) so that no one would have reason to complain. I was supremely aggravated by this, but thought, what the hell. It can't be that bad.

So I picked up all my stuff and relocated.

This is where the wheels flew off. I get over there, and again, no one around. But the field is *significantly* smaller. The wind seemed to be blowing across the long axis of this rectangular field, so I set up again.

Up went my Citation Patriot clone on a D12-5 with my lucky Thrustline ripstop chute. That rocket is just *made* for D's - don't know why it was an 18mm rocket by design. Nice flight, but landed about 50 yds from the lake bordering this field on one side.

I turned the launch pad a bit more, and loaded my Der-V3 clone with an E9-6. Packed my red-and-whute STL rocketry 12" ripstop chute for a "beta test." A few words on this STL chute - very heavy dute, and it's a hemispherical chute with a 12" bottom opening - hence the 12" designation. It is marketed to HPR guys, so it really is equivalent to an 18" chute for us LPR guys used to flat, hexagonal or octagonal chutes.

What a boost! Lots of smoke, very high. But something was amiss. The wind changed direction! The chute deployed perfectly, and it began it's gentle descent and drift with no wobble (thumbs up on the chute!) Drifted overhead and kept going. Touched down smack dab in the middle of the 7 acre lake!

ACK!!!!!:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

That was enough for me. I was HOT! Packed up and went to lunch.

So I finish my lunch, and I'm just ticked that I still have all afternoon and a bunch of rockets and engines. I pull out the business card that the Fire Marshall gave me and give him a call. I explained to him that the field he directed me to was way too small, and that I lost one of my expensive rockets in the lake because of it.


I said, "Is there a rule or a problem with me launching on the soccer fields?"

He said that he didn't see a problem with it, as long as no one was around for me to bother. At this time, I'm thinking "THEN WHY DID YOU MAKE ME MOVE IN THE FREAKIN' FIRST PLACE!!! ACK!!" I informed him I was going back to the soccer fields.

I get back over there, see that - again - I'm the only soul around, so I set back up in the same spot as the first time.

I sent up my Chrome Dome on a C6-5 for another wind test to make sure I have my pad aligned properly. Packed it with my BMS poly 12" chute, and had a nice flight. Attracted a spectator who drove up and struck a conversation.

I then loaded the BMS poly chute in my Defender clone and loaded a D12-5. Screaming high flight into the perfectly clear, bright, sunny blue sky. Heard the pop and now the descent. Like a dad-gummed rock. Chute didn't open! Bounced with a thud and severe fin damage! I'M THROWING AWAY ALL POLY CHUTES! FOREVER!

Next up was my Der Red Max on a D12-5 with ol' lucky, my Thrustline 18" ripstop. Great flight!

Now I'm feeling lucky again. I packed ol' lucky in my Estes Skybolt clone and loaded an E9-8. HO-LEE-COW!!! This bird went clear into orbit!! Probably my highest flight as a rocketeer! Just *barely* within sight at apogee in the clear sky. EASILY broke the RSim prediction of 2200 ft altitude. The chute deployed, and that sucker seemed to take 10 minutes to come down.

I had a relatively high angle of attack into the wind, and she went way out of the flying field at apogee because of it. But it drifted all the way across the field and landed within 50 ft of the parking lot on the opposite corner (downwind) side of the field. And the field is nearly square and 3/4 mile on a side! Not a scratch. Great recovery! Noticed some paint bubbles on the very end of the rocket from the extreme heat of the E9 launch - but not too bad. Easy touch up.

Next up was my Blue Bird Zero clone on an E9-6. Packed with my other STL rocketry 12" (or should I say 18") hemispherical ripstop chute to try and truly complete my "beta test."

Again, a real screamer! Probably about 75% of the altitude of the Skybolt, but still very high. Perfect deployment of the STL chute, and a tremendous, graceful, easy touchdown that drifted about half way across the field. Impressive! Great, great chute, and great flight!


By this time, I needed to pack up to head out to soccer practice, so I called it a day.

Had some great flights, two failed recoveries on 12" poly chutes, and one RIP in the lake.

But I sure needed a good launching day!
And that folks, is why I no longer go out to parks to launch on my own! Too much legal liability, and I prefer not to run afoul of the local authorities responding to complaints from morons. I attend a monthly organized club launch, weather permitting, and that's it. I used to launch at a school field, I wouldn't even think of doing that now...