# Dr. Zooch Return To Flight Space Shuttle build thread- #2

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#### Peartree

##### Cyborg Rocketeer
Staff member
Global Mod
/Yosemite Sam voice on/

I HATES weasels!

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#### Handeman

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Yep, thought of that, but there's two problems: 1) the dealership is 90 miles away in Victoria, TX. and 2) brakes are considered wear items, and therefore not covered by warranty. IF the dealership dug into the problem and determined (and admitted) it was either a)faulty parts or b)incorrect assembly or some other fault of the technician then they probably WOULD cover the parts and labor to correct it; at least they certainly SHOULD! BUT, OTOH, if they dig into it and say, "oh well, wheel bearing went out (or whatever else, like a faulty antilock brake valve or something, etc) there was nothing wrong with the parts we installed or how we installed them, they'd stick my folks for another big repair bill. I thought they were pretty nuts the first time around having the dealer do the brake job anyway, as dealer shops are the MOST expensive and really 'stuck it to them' AFAIC because 90% of the time you DON'T replace the calipers, and probably 75% of the time don't replace the rotors.

Besides, it would cost them either 1) probably $400-500 bucks to have it towed 90 miles to Victoria, or 2)$40 in gas, a steak dinner, and whatever money I missed taking off work to haul the van to Victoria on one of our farm trailers. They decided to just pay me to do the work, buy whatever parts I need to fix it, and call it good...

Lesser of two evils ya know... OL JR
I feel the pain. I hate making choices like that. As for the calipers sticking, check if the flexable line from the frame to the caliper was changed. I've found that line to be the primary culpret when I had similar issues. I was a little more fortunate, I just wore down the pads on one side because of constant drag, but it wasn't enough to overheat the rotors/calipers. I don't know exactly why the do it, but when those lines get old, they can cause the caliper to not open after applying the brakes.

#### Fred22

##### Well-Known Member
Finally got a nice day for a launch.

First flight: I was a little bit chicken, so I used a B6-4. Lovely flight, not much altitude. Stock orbiter (Discovery) spun a bit on release, but settled into a nice glide for a gentle landing. Orbiter and SRB/ET assembly both landed within 30 feet of the launch pad.

Second flight: I decided to load a "C" motor for Columbia (featuring wraps generously shared by folks here). Much better altitude, but the orbiter did not separate. It had a slightly more snug fit than the other one, and I suspect this and the fact I used a C6-5 instead of a C6-3 were the cause. full stack landed relatively gently about 30 feet from the pad. Vertical stabilizer on the orbiter bent a bit due to landing under SRB/ET stack... easy fix.

Third flight - Discovery orbiter and C6-3: beautiful launch, perfect separation. Orbiter circled the SRB/ET stack all the way down... until the SRB/ET assembly snagged a branch 30 feet up in the ONLY tree in the field

Tried unsuccessfully to rescue the SRB/ET assembly using a few poles taped together. May try to snag with rope tomorrow evening.

In any event, the three flights I got were worth the price of admission! I suspect I'll order another kit regardless of the outcome of tomorrow's rescue mission - this kit is truly a treasure.

Dr. Zooch - I sent you an email re: shipping charges to Canada for another kit via your website. Look forward to hearing from you.

Dave
I like your pictures and your shuttle looks great. I am glad you got it back It's cool when people surprise you that way
Cheers
fred

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
Luke- may the good weather soon find you.

#### luke strawwalker

##### Well-Known Member
I feel the pain. I hate making choices like that. As for the calipers sticking, check if the flexable line from the frame to the caliper was changed. I've found that line to be the primary culpret when I had similar issues. I was a little more fortunate, I just wore down the pads on one side because of constant drag, but it wasn't enough to overheat the rotors/calipers. I don't know exactly why the do it, but when those lines get old, they can cause the caliper to not open after applying the brakes.

Thanks! I'll check that out. That's a new one by me. Maybe the interior of the hose was swollen and wouldn't let the fluid back out... the line pressure with brakes applied would allow fluid to squeeze in but not allow it to squeeze back out again. That or contamination or something.

Usually uneven pad wear is the result of sticking sliders-- the caliper can't shift side to side on the mounts, resulting in the outer pad 'sticking' to the rotor and wearing down faster... the inner pad retracts with the caliper cylinder. Usually what happens anyway.

Later! OL JR

#### Handeman

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Thanks! I'll check that out. That's a new one by me. Maybe the interior of the hose was swollen and wouldn't let the fluid back out... the line pressure with brakes applied would allow fluid to squeeze in but not allow it to squeeze back out again. That or contamination or something.

Usually uneven pad wear is the result of sticking sliders-- the caliper can't shift side to side on the mounts, resulting in the outer pad 'sticking' to the rotor and wearing down faster... the inner pad retracts with the caliper cylinder. Usually what happens anyway.

Later! OL JR
I agree about the uneven wear and it's usually the inner or outer pad that wears down. In my case the front right pads were 1/4" thick, both inner and outer, the left pads were both down to about then 1/16" and the tattletale was squeeling.

I'm not sure why the hose cause that, but I suspect you're right about the interior swelling over time. I never cut one apart to find out.

#### luke strawwalker

##### Well-Known Member
Luke- may the good weather soon find you.
Here's hoping... every time I get a day off I end up doing: 1) farm work 2)work on whatever latest project or disaster has befallen my folks 3)work on whatever automotive problem or project has been needing to get done.

Yesterday we repaired 3 spans of barn lean-to that was about to collapse due to a pillar breaking and the sill beam being inadequate and old. Have to do the other side next weekend. I'm taking a break for an hour or so after returning from church and lunch before I go replace the spark plugs in the wife's truck.

Weird weather here, looks like late November here... 73 degrees (YEAY!!!) but its SOLID steel gray overcast sky and windy... STRANGE for this time of year here! I may have to just take my shuttles with me and fly them in Indiana after school lets out.

Later! OL JR

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
Is this the auto repair thread?

#### luke strawwalker

##### Well-Known Member
Is this the auto repair thread?

Quite right... back on topic...

Maybe we should call for a new section in the forum...

Nah, if gliders wouldn't be allowed without a fight, I KNOW auto repair issues wouldn't...:bangpan::bangbang: LOL

Yall have a good one. More to report as soon as I can... OL JR

#### stargazerdave

##### Member
After spending the last three days knocked on my butt by the worst spring allergies I've ever experienced, I got out for a few more flights this afternoon.

It was a bit breezy, winds from the south around 20 km/h (12mph). I sent up my trusty Estes Alpha to test to winds aloft - an uneventful flight, so I decided to prep the shuttle (stock "Discovery" orbiter) in case the winds calmed a bit.

My wife was with me (and I didn't want to lose the thing on the first flight she witnessed), so I decided to be a squirming hatch blower and loaded a wimpy B6-4 motor. Powered phase of ascent was fairly straight, but with the B6-4, it arced quite a bit beforechute deployment and shuttle separation. The orbiter tumbles a few feet, but recovered for a brief but relatively gentle sprial glide, landing about 50 feet from the pad.

This bird really needs the C6-3 to get enough altitude to have time to really appreciate the orbiter's glide, so I popped one in and sent "Columbia" into the game. All I can say is WOW. Despite the wind, this one went straight up... waaaaay up, arcing slightly into the wind before chute deployment/ orbiter separation. I knew I had to keep my eyes on the orbiter on that altitude, or I'd never see it again. It turned north and flew straight as an arrow and at high speed toward the boundary of the field... a breath-takingly scale glide :jaw:. The orbiter landed in a parking lot about 500-600 feet downrange from the pad. Even though the descent rate was gentle, the landing speed was enough to knock the nose section off (will take a few drops of glue to fix), and the SRB/ET assembly landed gently about 20 feet away from the orbiter.

Before launch, I was just happy that I had managed to get the SRB/ET out of the tree last week. Ok, I'm 35 years old, but I was giggling like a schoolgirl after this flight. Can I tell you how much I LOVE this kit? Ok... I LOVE THIS KIT Does Dr. Zooch have a fan club I can join, or must I start one myself? If anyone is reading this and does not own one of these things, send me your address, and I'll come over and shake some sense into you. Seriously.

I got some grainy video of these flights, but we didn't manage to catch the long glide on the second flight. I suspect this is going to ended up costing me \$ somewhere along the way for a telephoto, as my wife is an aspiring photographer.

Thanks again, Dr. Zooch

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#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
Great flights are the direct result of a great builder.

#### mjennings

##### Well-Known Member
nice pictures and glad you got some good flights stargazerdave. I love to fly this kit, it's a lot of fun.

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
Here's a note from the designer...

Next Friday I'm doing a lecture to about 75 fourth graders on spaceflight. At the end we're launching the shuttle. To be nice, I'm donating the flown stack to the school. So I took one of my easy conversion boosters and rebuilt it as the shuttle stack and then... to reduce my work and save time (which, by the way I have very little of) I decided to take one of my stock orbiters from a display kit and use it. The problem is that the selected orbiter is one that I've never gotten to fly well... it tends to spiral or spin or just dive rudely. But- I thought that with a little tweeking I could get one respectable flight out of it then have it stuck in the school's display case. Today I shot that bloody thing 4 times and between each flight I tweeked and adjusted it and hand tossed it and still, it came off the stack and just sucked. I brought it back to the shop and diesected it- figuring there had to be a nonstandard build issue... nothing odd was found. Thus I'm now busy building a whole new orbiter to fly once and then donate.

The point here is that sometimes, even the guy who designed the freakin' thing, can build a dog which simply refuses to hunt. An important lesson for all of you out there to keep in mind.

#### stargazerdave

##### Member
I posted a couple of lousy-quality videos from today's launches. Make sure you view these in HQ and full screen. You can see a bit of the orbiter glide in the "Discovery" video, but not in the "Columbia" video, but you can get an idea how far the orbiter flew for that one when you see the buildings off in the distance in the later part of that clip. I'll have to work with my wife to get some better shots of future missions to do these wonderful kits some justice

"Discovery" flight:

"Columbia" Flight

Dr. Zooch - It's too bad you couldn't get better performance out of that orbiter. These things are so small that even a barely perceptible wing warp or difference in weight/density between of the balsa of the two wings could be enough to lock in some nasty flight characteristics. Hey, I've built and flown a number of R/C planes over the years, and I'm still impressed by your design. I'm sure the kids will be plenty impressed and inspired by your creation even if the performance is less than you're accustomed to!

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
First off, further thought on the low rider orbiter issue- I volunteer to do the "kid's rocket bucket" at Red Glare. This is where any kid coming to see the show, most of whom have never launched a rocket before, can just come to the Zooch booth, select a rocket from the MDRA club bucket, and I help them (and especially their parents) rig, load and launch the rocket- often it is their first ever launch. They can come back again and again too. It's all free of charge or fees and just intended to spark intrest. Normally, on Friday, there are not very many of these newbees and I take that day to launch my own stuff, because Saturday and Sunday are really busy- this year, TONS of kids and parents. But, on this Friday, a group of ten 6th graders showed up and they had each ordered and built my I-CAV kits and were itching to fly. They flew the things almost to pieces. I was a bit more busy than usual and when the Shuttle low-rider test was set up. It went bad- near ballistic, horizontal and popped just about 12 feet off the ground. I managed, during the day, to re-locate the orbiter's lugs forward, back into their stock position, flew it at the end of the day and it was fine.

On the way back to the field the next morning I was pondering the bad flight. It struck me that I had accidently used the FlameFins from the Lifting Body kit! So, I replaced the lugs into the low rider position- but Saturday was so busy I never got to shoot it. Sunday the winds were so BRUTAL I could not do the flight. So- we won't know for sure for quite a while. During May's launch I'll be in Florida for two... somewhat larger... shuttle launches. Unless someone else reading this here tries the configuration, I won't be able to fly it until at least mid-June.
Okay folks- I tried it again today in some fair winds and on a B6-4. The results... Flew just fine. In fact I'm doing a launch tomorrow for the entire 4th grade at a local school and I'll be flying the shuttle in the "low rider" configuration. The only differance I could see was in the program roll- which kept on rolling for about 2 turns, but that could be from a mis-aligned SRB or fin rather than from the orbiter. I actually did this test flight to look at the flight characteristics of the the newly built stack... don't like to do the first flight of anything in front of a large impressionable crowd. I added the low rider config. as an afterthought when I was applying the lugs last night. So I took a second today, went to the local ball field and shot it. All went well.

#### stargazerdave

##### Member
Glad to hear of the successful test of the low rider configuration! Makes me wonder what I should try when my second kit arrives in the mail... :dark:

In the meantime, I posted video from the now imfamous "tree flight" that nearly finished off my current stack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dklrFSiCyDs ...good for a chuckle now that we know there was a happy ending.

I've noticed a few of you are using, or are interested in, boostervision cameras. Any suggestions on models of camcorder camera with the appropriate inputs? I'd like to pick up a fairly cheap video camera for recording onboard video via the boostervision hardware, plus give me better equipment for capturing launches (I've used a little digital point-and-shoot and a DSLR on video mode for my low-quality movies to-date).

#### luke strawwalker

##### Well-Known Member
Cool vid there Dave...

The Doc is the MASTER of the boostervision setups... His 'chase cams' hanging off the side of the rockets are just amazing.

Maybe he'll start a thread on his experiences/use of the boostervision setups...

Later! OL JR

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
The launch of the shuttle in front of 75 fourth graders went off well. The shuttle was launched, again, in the "low rider" config. and flew straight as an arrow thrilling everyone. Booster sep. was normal as was orbiter glide. The entire rig, however, landed on the school roof. of course, the school custodial staff "goes up there to get down shoes and balls every day." so it was easily recovered for display in the case. I left them with 75 kids who were bouncing off the walls about spaceflight and rocketry... If I inspired just one... just one... it was well worth the effort.

Everyone was given the URL not for Dr. Zooch Rockets, but for MDRA and TRF.

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
Glad to hear of the successful test of the low rider configuration! Makes me wonder what I should try when my second kit arrives in the mail... :dark:

In the meantime, I posted video from the now imfamous "tree flight" that nearly finished off my current stack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dklrFSiCyDs ...good for a chuckle now that we know there was a happy ending.

I've noticed a few of you are using, or are interested in, boostervision cameras. Any suggestions on models of camcorder camera with the appropriate inputs? I'd like to pick up a fairly cheap video camera for recording onboard video via the boostervision hardware, plus give me better equipment for capturing launches (I've used a little digital point-and-shoot and a DSLR on video mode for my low-quality movies to-date).

Try the low-rider set up. Although I've not successfully tested it on stock FlameFins yet, by the time you get yours built to that decision point, I will have.

First rule of video- you gotta spend money to get good video. First rule of onboard rocket video- you gotta get Boostervision... period. Next rule of video is that everything that is not in the view of the camera, doesn't count. That said- ANY digital camcorder will likely work as your recording unit- best to stick to tape IMO. For my recording unit I use the lowest end Cannon digital, a ZR80. You can probably get something similar for a cheap price on e-bay or by shopping around the internet. Keep in mind that you're not using it through its own lense- but rather as a capture device to record what the booster vision cam is seeing. When you get your boostervision cam- get the 14db patch antenna with it- you'll drop almost no frames on flights.

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#### stargazerdave

##### Member
I've tracked down another shuttle kit (in addition to a Soyuz and Mercury Redstone ) locally, so I'll also have the option of building in low rider configuration with the traditional fins if those prove to perform better than the flamefins in your tests.

I ordered a boostervision package on the weekend - with the 12db... hopefully that will suffice! I've also ordered one of the cheapie Aiptek MPVR cameras that I've seen mentioned elsewhere - I've seen video from the boostervision/Aiptek setup, and it seems to be of decent quality.

How did you solve the aft launch lug placement/elevator issue with the low rider configuration?

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
How did you solve the aft launch lug placement/elevator issue with the low rider configuration?
I didn't.

I looked at the overall stability of the stack and compared it to some "hotrod" flights that I did with the orbiter on another booster which has less stability than the stock shuttle. I did those flights for high-speed testing of the orbiter by itself. It dawned on me that in those flights, there was nothing holding the elevator down and they all came off just fine. The only thing left was a live test on the stock booster- which I screwed up the first time by accidently using the wrong FlameFins (which were greatly undersized). I watched the "hotrod" onboard videos several times and concluded that the inertia of the booster would easily overcome that few degrees of elevator on the orbiter.

Additionally, I looked at my own train of thought in development. In the early design of the shuttle kit, I adapted the held down elevator thinking from the Estes 1284 shuttle kit. But later discovered that the 1284 was an unstable design from the start and needed all the help it could get. Yet I never deleted the holddown from my design- I just sort of kept that thinking going all along. I'm pretty sure it is not needed, but want to do a bit more testing just for my own sanity.

#### luke strawwalker

##### Well-Known Member
Try the low-rider set up. Although I've not successfully tested it on stock FlameFins yet, by the time you get yours built to that decision point, I will have.

First rule of video- you gotta spend money to get good video. First rule of onboard rocket video- you gotta get Boostervision... period. Next rule of video is that everything that is not in the view of the camera, doesn't count. That said- ANY digital camcorder will likely work as your recording unit- best to stick to tape IMO. For my recording unit I use the lowest end Cannon digital, a ZR80. You can probably get something similar for a cheap price on e-bay or by shopping around the internet. Keep in mind that you're not using it through its own lense- but rather as a capture device to record what the booster vision cam is seeing. When you get your boostervision cam- get the 14db patch antenna with it- you'll drop almost no frames on flights.
Hey Doc, quick question...

I have the Boostervision setup with the 14 db patch antenna and I was wondering how you do it. Do you set up the patch antenna flat on the ground facing up near the launch pad, or do you actually 'aim' it at the rocket during flight?? I've heard folks doing it both ways and having good results, and I've seen your vids, and so I wanted to know how YOU prefer to do it.

Thanks! OL JR

#### luke strawwalker

##### Well-Known Member
Try the low-rider set up. Although I've not successfully tested it on stock FlameFins yet, by the time you get yours built to that decision point, I will have.

First rule of video- you gotta spend money to get good video. First rule of onboard rocket video- you gotta get Boostervision... period. Next rule of video is that everything that is not in the view of the camera, doesn't count. That said- ANY digital camcorder will likely work as your recording unit- best to stick to tape IMO. For my recording unit I use the lowest end Cannon digital, a ZR80. You can probably get something similar for a cheap price on e-bay or by shopping around the internet. Keep in mind that you're not using it through its own lense- but rather as a capture device to record what the booster vision cam is seeing. When you get your boostervision cam- get the 14db patch antenna with it- you'll drop almost no frames on flights.
Hey Doc, quick question...

I have the Boostervision setup with the 14 db patch antenna and I was wondering how you do it. Do you set up the patch antenna flat on the ground facing up near the launch pad, or do you actually 'aim' it at the rocket during flight?? I've heard folks doing it both ways and having good results, and I've seen your vids, and so I wanted to know how YOU prefer to do it.

Thanks! OL JR

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
Okay... I do it very hap-hazard. I carry the equipment in a hard case Sony video case and open the lid on my table and just drape the antenna over the top- so it sits there at about 35 degrees off vertical pointed in the general direction of the flight and let 'er go. Sometimes the set up is at my EZ up, but mostly it's on or near the launch director's table. What's key is ALWAYS use a new 9volt with the cam on each flight. I actually go the Sam's and get a bulk pack and just put a new one in every time. That's a bit extreme, but missing an important event in flight can cost ya'. A new bat. on each flight allows me to set up the rocket and have the cam hot while waiting for the launch director to get around to me. I also start tape running as soon as the LD activates the "A" rack- so if there's an accidental firing of my rocket- I still get the video.

#### luke strawwalker

##### Well-Known Member
Cool... thanks for the tips... I was wondering how "directional" the patch antenna was and thus how well 'aimed' it had to be to pick up the signal. That's a good tip about the batteries too... Full voltage should mean peak transmission signal strength, which should help eliminate dropouts. Have you tried rechargeables??

Thanks for the tips on the 'lowrider' configuration too. Glad to know that it works. I'm looking forward to trying it out when I can. If I ever get finished with everything else going on that is... :dark:

Later! OL JR

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
Never used recharge bat.s. You may wanna ask Art at boostervision.com.

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
Fun With Shuttles
Okay, not to take this off topic, but today I was watching some video of the STS 4 flight news coverage and it reminded me of a little story. For those who dont recall, STS 4 went up in the mid summer of 1982 and landed on the fourth of July. In those days I was a college student at the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and spending that summer out of school, working at the Daytona K-mart store and living like a college kid. With the 4th coming up, someone had given me a large bottle rocket (almost the size of an 18mm engine) to celebrate. Inspired by the STS 4 launch (which Id attended) I decided that a better use for the big bottle rocket was as a little shuttle booster. I painted it ET orange, made some little mock SRBs and then, to make it even more fun, I scratch built an orbiter that would carry an ant to ride on the bottle rocket. I rigged a make-shift hook on the nose of the orbiter that went under the plastic nosecone of the rocket- so that at report, the orbiter may just release and fly. I trimmed the bottle rocket stick to the booster length squared (optimum for stability and altitude) and then had the whole thing sitting on my desk as a display to my own insanity.

On the 4th I watched the landing on TV with two of my friends from school. It was Florida hot out and our house had no A/C, so later on we were sitting around and the other two guys were getting very happy drinking rum and cokes (Im a lifelong non-drinker). As the day went on they got more and more happy and one asked about my ant shuttle. I showed him in a toss how well the orbiter flew and he starts bugging me about launching it. After an afternoon of drunken dares and nagging he went out and found an antstronaut to fly in it how could I say no? By now these two guys were too stoopered to drive to any launching site and so it was decided to launch from the front yard. Our house on Daytona Ave. in Holly Hill was heavily covered by very large trees, so I got one of the dozen or so coke bottles theyd emptied put the stack in it and aimed for biggest hole in the tree canopy.

The bottle rocket shot up through a different hole in the trees and out of sight. We heard the fireworks pop! which everyone was sure signaled the end. My two pals were roaring with drunken laughter- one doubled over and the other on the ground. I, however, being the long time rocketeer, instinctively scanned the trees in the hope that some pieces may drop through Then, suddenly, through the hole in the tree canopy Id been aiming for, but missed at launch, my little orbiter came gliding as if being piloted. For a second we all sort of stood there in amazement as the orbiter flew past us just overhead and landed in the next yard as pretty as can be. There was a moment of NO WAY! gasping and then all three of us were giggling in amazement. I never did find any of the booster parts, but I kept the orbiter and still have it. Flies pretty good to this day

#### luke strawwalker

##### Well-Known Member
Fun With Shuttles
Okay, not to take this off topic, but today I was watching some video of the STS 4 flight news coverage and it reminded me of a little story. For those who dont recall, STS 4 went up in the mid summer of 1982 and landed on the fourth of July. In those days I was a college student at the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and spending that summer out of school, working at the Daytona K-mart store and living like a college kid. With the 4th coming up, someone had given me a large bottle rocket (almost the size of an 18mm engine) to celebrate. Inspired by the STS 4 launch (which Id attended) I decided that a better use for the big bottle rocket was as a little shuttle booster. I painted it ET orange, made some little mock SRBs and then, to make it even more fun, I scratch built an orbiter that would carry an ant to ride on the bottle rocket. I rigged a make-shift hook on the nose of the orbiter that went under the plastic nosecone of the rocket- so that at report, the orbiter may just release and fly. I trimmed the bottle rocket stick to the booster length squared (optimum for stability and altitude) and then had the whole thing sitting on my desk as a display to my own insanity.

On the 4th I watched the landing on TV with two of my friends from school. It was Florida hot out and our house had no A/C, so later on we were sitting around and the other two guys were getting very happy drinking rum and cokes (Im a lifelong non-drinker). As the day went on they got more and more happy and one asked about my ant shuttle. I showed him in a toss how well the orbiter flew and he starts bugging me about launching it. After an afternoon of drunken dares and nagging he went out and found an antstronaut to fly in it how could I say no? By now these two guys were too stoopered to drive to any launching site and so it was decided to launch from the front yard. Our house on Daytona Ave. in Holly Hill was heavily covered by very large trees, so I got one of the dozen or so coke bottles theyd emptied put the stack in it and aimed for biggest hole in the tree canopy.

The bottle rocket shot up through a different hole in the trees and out of sight. We heard the fireworks pop! which everyone was sure signaled the end. My two pals were roaring with drunken laughter- one doubled over and the other on the ground. I, however, being the long time rocketeer, instinctively scanned the trees in the hope that some pieces may drop through Then, suddenly, through the hole in the tree canopy Id been aiming for, but missed at launch, my little orbiter came gliding as if being piloted. For a second we all sort of stood there in amazement as the orbiter flew past us just overhead and landed in the next yard as pretty as can be. There was a moment of NO WAY! gasping and then all three of us were giggling in amazement. I never did find any of the booster parts, but I kept the orbiter and still have it. Flies pretty good to this day
THAT'S cool.... the windshield sorta looks like my next project... SSSSHHH!!!

Missed your calling as an aircraft designer... my nephew should graduate next year from Perdue with his BA in aeronautical engineering and minor in nuclear engineering...

Have a good one! OL JR

Staff member