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Challenger 498 Needville Launch, Feb.14, 09

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luke strawwalker

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We had a nice launch at Needville today, despite less than ideal
conditions. The day started off overcast, but with high ceilings,
and slight winds in the 5-9 mph range, and fairly cool in the low
60's.

Mikus started the day off with his Custom Rockets Elite on an A8-3
for a nice flight, with a somewhat iffy recovery from a tangled
chute. He followed up with his Der Red Max on a C6-5 which flew and
recovered beautifully. Next was his Blue Ninja on a C11-3, which
again flew quite nicely.

Jeff Roberts did some test flights of his new Dr. Zooch Mark II
rocket, which was just completed a couple days ago. It's first
flight was on an A8-3 which flew VERY nicely and recovered about 30
yards from the pad, picture perfect.

Mikus sent up his oldie but goodie Big Bertha that got him back into
rocketry a few years back. It flew quite nicely on a C6-5 and
recovered well.

Andy arrived with his wife Kelly and their family, and joined the
fun. First on the pad from Andy's arsenal was his Renegade booster
stage bashed into a single stager. After a misfire, Jacob hit the
button and it lifted off SLOWLY under B6-4 power, arched into the
shifting easterly wind, and continued ballistically over landing
about ten to fifteen feet east of Mikus's truck, and Mikus sitting on
his tailgate almost called for a 'fair catch'! Damage was minimal.
Next, Sara sent up a scratchbuilt 'Spinner' model on a B6-4. It too
weathercocked strongly to the east and gained a bit more altitude,
but came down rather quickly and ejected and deployed shortly before
landing on the other side of the fence in the sorghum field. It
appeared to be recovered with no damage.

Perhaps having overcompensated for the rising easterly winds, Andy
made some adjustments to his launch pad windage angle and sent up his
Blue Ninja on an "old" D12-7 which he commented similar old engines
having shown shorter delays than the full 7 seconds. The Blue Ninja
turned in a VERY nice flight and recovered not too terribly far off.

Jeff sent up his Zooch Mark II on a second flight, this time with a
B6-4. The rocket lifted off and flew beautifully, popping it's chute
right at apogee, and the easterly wind carried it to the center fence
about 100 yards from the pad. Mike sent up something else (sorry
didn't record this flight) on a fairly good size motor and it
deployed high, and floated just over the fence just shy of the
highway, due west of the launch pads, all the way across the creek
cutting across the farm. As Mike and I were out searching for our
rockets, we heard the ominous rumble of thunder and a rapidly
darkening southern sky. Having successfully recovering our rockets,
we returned to the pad and prepped some more.

Mike sent up his Eliminator on a D12-5 for a picture perfect flight
that recovered just over the mid cross fence, but which the kids
helped recover. Andy's son Jacob sent up an Apogee Sky Torpedo on a
D12-7 for a VERY nice flight-- the Sky Torpedo is a good sized and
nice-flying bird! The kids returning with Mikus helped recover the
Torpedo.

With the winds picking up and the thunder becoming ever closer and
more frequent, Mikus sent up his Der Red Max again on a C6-5.
Unfortunately, the rocket's engine hook caught on the clothespin and
the rocket never left the pad, but did a beautiful static firing and
then smoldered a bit and blew dog barf and the parachute into the air
for a 'glorious' finale. Having shaken off a light shower earlier,
the skies opened and it started to rain in earnest, and within ten
minutes was pouring pretty good as everyone was finishing packing up
for the day. It was a nice but short launch. Mikus got his Blue
Ninja back from it's 60 day vacation in the pasture after our last
night launch, somewhat worse for wear but still salvageable, chute,
nosecone, fins, and all.

It was a good day and by 2:30 we were heading out the gate, damp to
wet but having had a nice but short launch. Hope to see everyone
next month! OL JR :)
 

JRThro

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It was a good day and by 2:30 we were heading out the gate, damp to wet but having had a nice but short launch. Hope to see everyone next month! OL JR :)
Sounds like a good day, Jeff! I hope to actually make it out next month. I haven't been to a launch, I don't think, since last June or so.

3 of the 5 people in my house (my wife, my oldest son, and my youngest son) were sick yesterday and/or last night, so I didn't get a lot of sleep until this morning. I slept in until almost 11 AM, which is unheard of around here.
 

luke strawwalker

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Sounds like a good day, Jeff! I hope to actually make it out next month. I haven't been to a launch, I don't think, since last June or so.

3 of the 5 people in my house (my wife, my oldest son, and my youngest son) were sick yesterday and/or last night, so I didn't get a lot of sleep until this morning. I slept in until almost 11 AM, which is unheard of around here.

Sorry to hear that John... hope everybody's back on their feet and feeling better! Hope to see you out here real soon! OL JR :)
 
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