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Bowling Ball Lofting Records?

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bandman444

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I HIGHLY doubt Mark is still accepting bowling ball lofting record submissions to http://www.ahpra.org/BBrecord.htm but I had some fun accidentally setting a couple new records on a flight last November. I sent an email with all the requisite forms, but either Mark has a new email, or he's not accepting submissions anymore. The below flew with a 8-pound and 16-pound ball in the nosecone as needed nose weight. The 74 second flight should qualify for the 'M' Bowling Ball Lite Altitude, Lite Parachute Duration, and Heavy Parachute Duration.

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This post it not to raise awareness of this historical competition, but for those who were around in the early 2000's flying, to remember some of the cool flights and the hilarious idea that lofting bowling balls was. I wasn't flying specifically to set any record, I was just out flying for fun and happened to have a flight that I believe qualified for a record.

Any one else ever loft a bowling ball? Different times and the event should be discouraged?
 

rharshberger

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Whatvthe difference between a 16 lb bowling ball and a 16lb rocket under a parachute, IMO one is no more or less dangerous than the other.
 

Rocketjunkie

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IMO no difference between a nose cone with 16 lb. weight and a bowling ball. A whole 16 lb. rocket is larger and more likely to be seen on a backhoe recovery.
 

3stoogesrocketry

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After fly Bowling Balls for years , I 100 percent will say a ball is much safer then a equally weighted rocket . Balls fall true and straight . A ballistic cone will wobble / drift / turn direction on the way down . I for one am interested in a return of lofting balls.
 

MClark

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Bryce,
I got your email. I have to find the right password to update the site.
It's been 10 years plus since anyone sent me anything.
To answer the question someone will ask. No, we are not going to start doing it again. We spent 10 LDRS's sitting at the away cells running the contest. If a new group want to run it have at it.

Mark
 

bandman444

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Bryce,
I got your email. I have to find the right password to update the site.
It's been 10 years plus since anyone sent me anything.
To answer the question someone will ask. No, we are not going to start doing it again. We spent 10 LDRS's sitting at the away cells running the contest. If a new group want to run it have at it.

Mark
Haha. Thanks Mark. I had no idea that some (all?) of these were done as sanctioned contests at events. Figured everyone just did it on their own.
 

RocketRev

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NOT all the bowling ball flights were at LDRS. Some of us flew our BB-lofting projects at our local clubs to see if they needed any tweeking BEFORE we brought them to LDRS for the official contest. Trust me, the look on the face of my local club's RSO when I walked up with a 16 pound bowling ball built into the rocket was a sight I will never forget. He was flabbergasted to say the least. The rest of the club at that particular launch were also rather shocked. Some had heard of the contest, but were thinking that it was surely all a really big joke. They were thinking, "Who would be crazy enough to try and fly a 16 pound bowling ball?" Well I guess I answered that question.

I built two bowling ball lofting rockets. The first used the bowling ball as the nose cone of the rocket. Silver/mottled color with a section of old CCA, California Consumer Aeronautics 8" air-frame with a built in AV-bay on the inside of the 8" air-frame for dual deployment. 54mm Fiberglass motor mount tube sticking way out the back. My second BB-Lofter was a bit more sophisticated with a hole drilled completely thru the traditional all black bowling ball for the 54mm mmt and integral Av-bay. Both flew successfully every time. I've still got them in my "stable" of rockets though they have been collecting dust for a long time.

Hey Mark, was the first LDRS bowling ball loft in Orangeburg, SC? Too many years ago to remember....... And if I recall correctly, the Lethbridge Canada LDRS was a parachute duration contest. I used a 16 foot diameter military surplus cargo parachute for that one. I never won any of these contests, but I did come in like second and third place, and maybe fourth place too. Lots of Fun! Most of the winners were flying carbon fiber air-frames. It was hard to compete with that on my budget.

Brad
 

MClark

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Brad
You are correct, Orangeburg was the firstofficial launch, K motors. Although we had done unlimited altitude at BALLS the year before, O motors were used with P's the following year.
Over the years we reduced the motors and changed to parachute duration as we were getting crazy inaccurate altitude readings. At one point I was approached by Gary from Aerotech, "...what if we use H motors?" I responded there are not any with enough thrust. Gary Smiles and said he could change that. So the H999 was born. I was TRA motor testing, we were sent three sets of grains so the closest to a full H was one certified. The I600 was also made for bowling ball launching.
To be fair to CTI and Loki we told them what we were doing and they made a motor that would work.
We did it for ten years or so with last time officially at LDRS in Texas Wayside.
We had Incredible vender support for prizes, commonly the total value of the first place bounty was over $1000. We were giving away full motor hardware sets from Aerotech, bushels of Rocketman parachutes, kits, reloads, electronics, shirts, hats. One winner received all the parts needed to do his Level 3.

I cannot thank those who donated enough.

Mark
 
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