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Did some flying today

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NjCo

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Last weekend my daughters wanted to fly some rockets but the weather wasn't cooperating so I told them we'd do it one weekend if the weather got better. Well, this weekend was absolutely perfect. About 75 degrees, 5 mph wind or less and not a cloud in the sky. We headed over to the middle school and set up camp right in the middle of the athletic field. This is such a great location being only a couple of minutes from our home and roughly about 800 ft square with no obstructions to worry about outside of some small trees.

In line for lift off were the following:

- My youngest daughters Estes SkyWriter on a A8-3
- My old Estes Warp II on a B6-0 + 1/2A6-4
- A new, never seen the sky Estes Guardian on a B6-4
- An ancient Estes Sky Shriek Goonie on a A10-3T
- A new Estes Baby Bertha on a B6-4
- And finally another oldy but goodie, an Estes EAC Viper on a A10-3T

This past early summer I drove to my parents place to help my dad out with some work around the house. While cleaning out a storage room I found a big box full of many of my old rockets from back when I was in late elementary and early middle school (a good 40 years ago for some of the stuff). In addition to the rockets I found a range box with many motors and a lot of my old tools stored in it. If it was just the rockets I might have been able to resist but with the rockets, motors and all my old tools I couldn't help myself. I packed it all in the car for the trip back, all the while wondering if my daughters might like to launch some rockets. I think you'll see the answer to that! :)

The SkyWriter was my younger daughters pick when I took the kids to pick out a rocket this summer. This was it's 2nd flight. It's a great flier. It had a bit of a tangled chute on the way down but other than that it was a great flight. This is really a great rocket for young kids. It's easy to put together and big enough for them to really enjoy when it flies but not so big that it requires a large engine for a nice flight.

The Warp II was built and finished quite a few years ago but I never flew it. It was back when I was first a BAR building rockets with my nephews maybe 15 years ago or so. Really nice flight for it's first time. Landed about 10 feet from the pad and the plastic bugs my kids loaded in the payload section all had a great ride! :)

The Guardian was my pick when the girls were picking out their rockets. This was it's first flight however. Bit of a rough ride for the Guardian and I'm not sure what happened. I missed seeing the rocket at apogee. It looked like the chute had a little trouble opening but eventually it made it. Daughter the youngest grabbed the rocket after it landed and was headed back to launch central. I turned around to get ready for the next flight when something fell out of the sky in front of me. It was one of the Guardian's fins! It looked like the nose smacked the side of the body tube hard enough to dent the tube and crack the finish. It then proceeded back, clipped the fin and ripped the whole thing off! Really odd, especially since there isn't a mark on the nose cone! Oh well, into the repair hanger it goes.

The Sky Shriek is from WAY back. I remember ordering a set of three Goonies with my dad back then. It had to have been 5th or 6th grade. We always went through the catalogs and this time I got this rocket along with two of it's siblings; the Missile Toe and the Star Snoop. I remember filling out the order form and asking my mom for a check. Anyone else remember what mail order used to be like? Anyway, all three Goonies received a major overhaul several months back. They all got new shock cords and a new finish. I sanded all the old paint off, filled in most of the rough spots on the fins and got rid of the old stickers. And boy what a paint job I had on them! :y: A good finish wasn't my strong point all those years ago. I used a scan of the original stickers printed out of full page labels for the Sky Shriek this time around. Not the best finish but it does still have that old fashion feel to it. I did give it a coat of Future over the stickers to keep everything in place. The Missile Toe and Star Snoop are waiting for me to apply the water slides I got from Excelsior before they will see any air time. Anyway, perfect flight on the A10-3T.

The Baby Bertha is another new rocket that I hadn't yet flown. I never owned a Big Bertha when I was a kid. For whatever the reason I never had the desire to get one. I decided to make up for that, just in a smaller way this time around. Great flight but the wind was shifting around by this time and it drifted over on the other side of a swampy area next to the field. Nothing happened to the rocket but I'm still picking that damn cattail fluff off me!

And finally one of my favorite rockets, the Viper. I joined the Estes Aerospace Club as a kid and this thing was and always has been one of my favorite rockets, crooked fins and all. The paint job could certainly be better and I might have done a better job of reattaching one of the fins that snapped off who knows when. I swear the motor mount is going to pop out one of these days with all the creaking I hear when I put an engine in it. But for whatever reason it flies straight every time. Love it! So much so that I have a clone of her waiting for the final shot of purple/pink paint on my bench right now. This was another picture perfect flight even though I didn't get a picture of it in flight.

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NjCo

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And finally the damage.

The Guardian is by far the worst. The Baby Bertha got a ding on the front edge of one fin from the nose cone and the Future finish on the Sky Shriek got a bit scorched at the body tube/nose cone junction. Not bad for a good day of flying. And the kids had a blast.

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NjCo

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And if you are wondering what was in that box in the storage room at my parents, here's the list. All Estes rockets:

- Missile Toe Goonie
- Sky Shriek Goonie
- Star Snooper Goonie complete with the whackiest paint job I've seen. I had an extremely poorly done combination of brush painted green dope, fluorescent orange spray, a yellow spray acrylic and what must have been some brush painted Testors black enamel. I seem to remember not having money to get paint so I just used what I could find! :y:
- EAC Viper
- an old V-2 (kit K-22). This one was built much more recently, perhaps 10-15 years ago but it was never finished. I do remember getting the kit back when I was a kid. I think it was even before the purchase of the Goonies. I added a picture of the finished rocket below.
- A Saturn V semi-scale. Of course it doesn't look anything like a Saturn V. It doesn't have any shrouds and the tower is broken off the nose cone. None of the dowel trim was added and the wraps were also not added. And while it is painted black and white it is certainly nothing resembling a Saturn ANYTHING let alone a Saturn V.
- the Warp II Payloader
- An AstroCam 110
- A SR-71 Blackbird. Another build from my first round as a BAR. This one has flown a number of times. I like the model but it flies like a brick and the body tube is just too small. I flew this one earlier in the summer and had a little problem. The shock cord broke and the wadding/chute must have been too tight because the ejection charge managed to rip the engine hook back about a half inch in addition to finally getting the chute out the front end. It's in for repairs.
- An Alpha III. This was a replacement for my original Alpha that I blasted too the moon on a C6-7. I remember my friends and I just standing there staring up into the sky. GONE! I actually still have that original three pack of engines with one of them gone! Never used a C6-7 again.
- A Wizard
- A Mosquito
- An Aero-Hi. This is Estes kit 0817. It's a very old streamer kit. Probably one of my first rockets.
- A partially built Tomcat swing-wing fighter.
- An unbuilt Hercules 2-stage (kit 1377)
- An unbuilt Strato Blaster R/C boost glider. Not sure where this came from and I don't have much desire to build it actually.
- And finally, my oldest rocket. I haven't a clue what it is but I still have it (see the picture below). It takes mini engines. I remember it being part of a starter set possibly along with an Estes Solar Launcher which I still have. It was a present from my dad one Christmas or birthday and was the rocket that started it all. Thanks Dad! ;)

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rokitflite

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- And finally, my oldest rocket. I haven't a clue what it is but I still have it (see the picture below). It takes mini engines. I remember it being part of a starter set possibly along with an Estes Solar Launcher which I still have. It was a present from my dad one Christmas or birthday and was the rocket that started it all. Thanks Dad! ;)
Its an Estes Vampire! I have one too!... Somewhere...
 

NjCo

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Its an Estes Vampire! I have one too!... Somewhere...
A Vampire. Doesn't ring a bell but I'm glad to know what it is. If you can't tell from the picture it is a plastic ready to fly rocket. The little circle on the bottom left is the engine retainer ring and the gray and black pieces are the 'keys' to lock the ring in place.
 

Rocketcrab

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GREAT pics!! Damage can be repaired. Thanks for posting the report and the pics. The weather in Colorado right now looks much better than here on the east coast - specifically SE PA, where we had snow flurries and temps around 35 over night, plus 25-20mph winds. Want to trade???? Scratched my plans for a morning launch. :bang:
 

NjCo

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GREAT pics!! Damage can be repaired. Thanks for posting the report and the pics. The weather in Colorado right now looks much better than here on the east coast - specifically SE PA, where we had snow flurries and temps around 35 over night, plus 25-20mph winds. Want to trade???? Scratched my plans for a morning launch. :bang:
Trade! That's what we had last week. We had overnight temps below 20 degrees two nights in a row with daytime highs in the 30s. We usually don't get that kind of weather till November at the earliest.
 

tomar

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I did not fly anything this weekend. However, I put the finishing touches on my BIG Thor, a 7.5 inch upgrade of the BSD Thor rocket kit. I managed to get the decals on and a single applicaion of clear coat to help keep the decals on. ;)

She will fly on 10/25/2009 at 10:00 AM MST at the GHS launch in Rainbow Valley, AZ on an M1550R. She should break a mile in altitude. This is my L3 re0-certification because I let my memberships in TRA and NAR lapse. Half of my office will be there to watch her streak into the Arizona sky.:D

Even though I've flown this rocket before (L3 certification in 2004), I'm still on edge and will be glad when this is over.

I'll post pictures after the flight.:cheers:
 

Initiator001

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Its an Estes Vampire! I have one too!... Somewhere...
Yup, that's correct. :)

I have a Vampire model, also. Around ten years ago, Estes re-issued the Vampire as the Jinx. This time the plastic was colored purple.
 

Initiator001

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The weather in Colorado right now looks much better than here on the east coast - specifically SE PA, where we had snow flurries and temps around 35 over night, plus 25-20mph winds. Want to trade???? Scratched my plans for a morning launch. :bang:
Well, here in Southern California there was a launch held by the SCRA NAR Section in Los Angeles. Temp was in the high 70s-low 80s. Little or no wind. I should have used more sunblock... ;)
 

NjCo

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Thanks for the catalog link. I hadn't seen any of the catalog archives. Brings back a lot of memories. I did come across the starter set that my dad bought me. I still have the launch pad, rod and blast ring. I no longer have the launch controller but I do remember that the plastic 'keys' were used to lock the engine retainer in place and then were also used as the safety key for the launch controller. I added the page from the 1973 catalog below.

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