First flights of the year

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Well-Known Member
Jun 2, 2011
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Finally ended my 7 month launching drought at today's SERFS launch. The weather was near perfect, barely any wind and nice patchy cloud that was pretty high up.

We arrived at the field just before 12 and I set up all my new launch equipment - pad and relay launcher. I had lots of models I wanted to fly and I launched pretty solidly throughout the day. Things didn't start too well though.

I flew an unnamed scratch built on a D12-5 to over 300m which had a long streamer to come back down on and also my Pratt MicroBeacon so I could hear it. The boost was great but the streamer split in two (Lesson learnt - do not CA two bits of mylar togethor to make a longer streamer) and the rocket came in hard and bent the tube slightly just above the fins. I also forgot to tape the battery into the MicroBeacon and it came out.

My 2nd Flight was with one of my favourite models, my Flying Jenny on an A8-3. She arced quite a lot during the boost and when the ejection went she shattered into three pieces. I presume the motor collided with one of the wings as it was ejected. There seems little point in trying to repair it so instead I'll build another.

Fortunatly things went a little better from then on...

My Fliskits ACME Spitfire made two flights both on D12-3, she went very well but seemed to come down hard. I can't help but feel the Fliskits chute is too small for such a heavy bird?

My Fliskits Corona made two flights, firstly on an A8-3 which was a pretty low flight. Then again on a C6-5 she screamed off the pad straight as an arrow. The decent was very slow and she drifted along way even in the low wind. I used every almost foot of the large field, she eventually touched down just a few feet short of the hedge on the other side.

Sticking with Fliskits my Deuce flew for the first time, it was my first cluster flight but all went very well and ignition was perfect. Gotta love the dual smoke trails.

My Orbital Transport went very well on an A8-3, a little underpowered but the glider went very well and stayed up for quite a while.

My VMX-2 put in the three flights, the first flight was a B motor and I nervously watched as she tried to glide. Unfortunatly she stalled but landed without any damage. I added some nose weight and tried again...the same thing happened but she landed a little further away this time! Whilst recovering I met up with Gary (Damage...) and Verney (who designed the spaceplanes) and they helped me it get it balanced right. Who better to get help from?! Our efforts paid off and it put in a perfect flight on a C motor, looked fantastic in the air doing wide circle. Very nice!

So 11 flights in total, the most I've ever done in a day. Perfect weather and some great of the best days launching I've had.
I've had the same thing happen to me with the Micro Beacon , and have lost many batterys because of this . The day sounds like a success , congratulations!
Sounds like you had a *great* time! I haven't had any problems with the 'chute on the ACME (well, when I strip lines, i do... LOL), but we are always looking for input and I will look at what it will take to get a larger chute in that beast!

Congrats on your first cluster and, even with the problems that you *did* have, it seems like a great first launch of the year!

Karl, I think we out to tape the batteries in!

Jim, my ACME did seem to come in fast and I felt the 16" is a bit small considering the size of the shockcord! The Spitfire seems quite rugged though and survived the landing no problem. The Corona on the other hand is also on a 16" chute, mine came down very slow, perhaps it needs a slow landing because of it's length?

Now one thing I'm missing is pictures! I only took a few and didn't get many great ones but if you want a look they're here.

Attached is a pic of the damage to my Flying Jenny...she took quite a beating!
My Corona comes down with no problems on a 12" nylon 'chute. I changed to the 12" after finding my Corona drifting too far on its stock 16". (plus I've had enough of plastic 'chutes - I *really* do not get on with them. Its nylon & mylar for me).