I made 2 flights with the Strat-Dart during Hellfire-22. On the first flight I had a little bit of trouble on the aft rail button coming unscrewed. I tightened it and it seemed fine. Upon launching the glider flew into the sun. I could not see it nor could the LCO or the RSO. With about one second left on the burn I turned the flaps up using the Specktrum transmitter. However, with the sun blocking the sight along with the flight line of gazebo's and cars I had lost sight of it. The RSO said that the StratoDart had landed behind the flight line. I took a long walk and found the glider unhurt. Two days later I launched the Strato Dart again. I had some salt on the rail buttons, but I think that I removed it all. Also, there might have been some salt on the launch rail, but I think I removed that, too. The low power launch pad is really nice and it was the only one available at Hellfire. I left it standing for a few days and I noticed several other people using it. Anyways, on the second launch the Strato Dart hesitated on the rail a little bit. Somewhere above the rail during the powered flight the Strato Dart started to deviate from a straight up flight. I moved the joystick and it looked like I had regained control and then the Strato Dart deviated again at the last second. Afterwards, as I walked to the landing vicinity I found to my dismay that the Strato Dart had made a one-point landing. I know that Frank will definitely disapprove of this. In any case after post-flight examination the Dart was essentially undamaged. The forward body tube was slightly crimped, but it is hardly noticeable. The internal electronics, battery, and wiring were attached with velcro and had slid forward. The servo wire connections are disconnected and so I will have to enter the fuselage and re-connect them. Other than that the model is undamaged.
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This is Clare Piper and I just joined this forum.
I and my husband Charles Piper have been attending the BALLS experimental rocket launch for many years. Last year I built and flew my own rocket and got a Tripoli Level 1 cert. While I was there, I also bought one of your SR71 kits from Mike Gentile of Bay Area Rocketry. I've been putting it together (with the recommended adhesives) and plan to fly it at BALLS this year. The kit is going together very nicely, so thank you! I'm also building the launcher you described on your site. I hope to get some stills and video of the flight, and will post it here. I'm getting some RC flight experience with a Yellow Bee, so that I can control the Blackbird and not lose it.