Holtville report

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

fyrwrxz

latest photo
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
7,611
Reaction score
1,255
So, weather perfect, wind perfect. Me, not so perfect (as usual) Rolled in approx 1030hrs, immediately got jumped by a half dozen folks apparently obsessed with my attendance report card. Most all our og's were there, except CaveDuck supporting his Sat launch at the Cape. Set up camp next to Larry Brand (the Doctor of tube fins) and yes he really has a degree! He had a humongous tube fin monstrosity he was tweaking on, loading the biggest J in the catalogue. I helped him rack it (on a ROD!). I thot I was old school. Magic time and he stuffs it to 18k. Just 29-30 feet over waiver. Must been a thermal, yeah, that's it, a thermal. He got ripped off for the spot landing award, landing his SpaceX Falcon Heavy Lifter about two feet from where he was standing by the safety line for the pads. I told you the wind was amazing. Dog barf came down like snow flakes, often from as high as maybe 5k. Cool to see. Bunches of elevator rides to the top floor to the ladies lingerie section. Great cert flights to levels 1 and 2. Some dramatic pad fires, motor blow throughs, and some exciting skywriting under thrust but the bird survived (kinda). Walking back from racking and there was a perfect 38mm grain just lying by a pad. From an earlier cato. We played "guess the grain" until I returned it to it's rightful owner. Fuel for the bonfire. Perfect condition, not even scorching. Testing on the Funk Saucer went according to plan, with mass/balance test for future nite ops going on an I-170. Cris' Apogee unit fitted into the Initiator test mule was perfect, except the dang G-80 made a much longer walk. Shoulda brought a F or smaller. I like it and will go with it and a JLCR next week. I'm becoming allergic to walking. Cris was running alt tests all day long with the prototype he's releasing soon. I won't steal any thunder from him so he can announce it when He's ready. We both walked down memory lane for a bit, realizing he came up with his first prototype ten frickin years ago! I was there, dammit. Where does the time go? (Please don't say "It flies!-done to death.) Got with Val, kinda encouraging him to sell his ignitor kits. Used one on that antique G-80 and it will lite dirt for such a tiny starter. We plan to meet at ROC next week and I can give him some boron to play with. Wind forecasted to come up in the evening so the evening smorgasbord, bonfire and drunken revelry was cancelled to day before. No harm, no foul. Rolled up the circus tent, loaded the elephants in the trunk (everything masses out more after a launch, even without extra playa dressing on your salad.) On the road about 1630, getting home approx 2000hrs and didn't even unload. Dinner followed by my impersonation of a corpse. Work at 0400 and drug my way thru the red tape and bureaucracy. Can't wait to play again next week. Straight smoke and good chutes.
 
So, weather perfect, wind perfect. Me, not so perfect (as usual) Rolled in approx 1030hrs, immediately got jumped by a half dozen folks apparently obsessed with my attendance report card. Most all our og's were there, except CaveDuck supporting his Sat launch at the Cape. Set up camp next to Larry Brand (the Doctor of tube fins) and yes he really has a degree! He had a humongous tube fin monstrosity he was tweaking on, loading the biggest J in the catalogue. I helped him rack it (on a ROD!). I thot I was old school. Magic time and he stuffs it to 18k. Just 29-30 feet over waiver. Must been a thermal, yeah, that's it, a thermal. He got ripped off for the spot landing award, landing his SpaceX Falcon Heavy Lifter about two feet from where he was standing by the safety line for the pads. I told you the wind was amazing. Dog barf came down like snow flakes, often from as high as maybe 5k. Cool to see. Bunches of elevator rides to the top floor to the ladies lingerie section. Great cert flights to levels 1 and 2. Some dramatic pad fires, motor blow throughs, and some exciting skywriting under thrust but the bird survived (kinda). Walking back from racking and there was a perfect 38mm grain just lying by a pad. From an earlier cato. We played "guess the grain" until I returned it to it's rightful owner. Fuel for the bonfire. Perfect condition, not even scorching. Testing on the Funk Saucer went according to plan, with mass/balance test for future nite ops going on an I-170. Cris' Apogee unit fitted into the Initiator test mule was perfect, except the dang G-80 made a much longer walk. Shoulda brought a F or smaller. I like it and will go with it and a JLCR next week. I'm becoming allergic to walking. Cris was running alt tests all day long with the prototype he's releasing soon. I won't steal any thunder from him so he can announce it when He's ready. We both walked down memory lane for a bit, realizing he came up with his first prototype ten frickin years ago! I was there, dammit. Where does the time go? (Please don't say "It flies!-done to death.) Got with Val, kinda encouraging him to sell his ignitor kits. Used one on that antique G-80 and it will lite dirt for such a tiny starter. We plan to meet at ROC next week and I can give him some boron to play with. Wind forecasted to come up in the evening so the evening smorgasbord, bonfire and drunken revelry was cancelled to day before. No harm, no foul. Rolled up the circus tent, loaded the elephants in the trunk (everything masses out more after a launch, even without extra playa dressing on your salad.) On the road about 1630, getting home approx 2000hrs and didn't even unload. Dinner followed by my impersonation of a corpse. Work at 0400 and drug my way thru the red tape and bureaucracy. Can't wait to play again next week. Straight smoke and good chutes.
Dude…

Awesome launch! I regret that automotive issues knocked me out of this one. Currently looking to fly with DART a week from today.
 
Dude…

Awesome launch! I regret that automotive issues knocked me out of this one. Currently looking to fly with DART a week from today.

Is there a DART launch on Sunday next week? Mothers Day? I’ll actually be in San Diego. But a launch is not likely to be something I can fit in. Would be fun though. Hmmmmm…
 
Is there a DART launch on Sunday next week? Mothers Day? I’ll actually be in San Diego. But a launch is not likely to be something I can fit in. Would be fun though. Hmmmmm…
There is, 9AM start time. Come by and say hello if you can make the time 😁
 
Is there a DART launch on Sunday next week? Mothers Day? I’ll actually be in San Diego. But a launch is not likely to be something I can fit in. Would be fun though. Hmmmmm…
TB, We should get together next time you're in Sandyeggo. I won't be able to make it back into town in time for DART, but if you may be town a bit longer...is this a regular thing with you? I ain't touching any 'yo momma' jokes here..
We at least need a beer!
 
Those kids certifying yesterday were members of the SDSU rocket team, I believe. It's possible the new L1 certs are kids more capable than L3s. (Their rocket has a liquid fuel motor and their goal is the Karman line)

Also (and I love this) the kids down at the MPR range to the right of the flight line was a TARC team practicing for finals. They got a few 0 scores.

That was a nice flight on the saucer, Dave. And it was good of you to help Larry. He's not young...
 
TB, We should get together next time you're in Sandyeggo. I won't be able to make it back into town in time for DART, but if you may be town a bit longer...is this a regular thing with you? I ain't touching any 'yo momma' jokes here..
We at least need a beer!

Yes! My parents live in San Diego, and so do my sister and her son. So I get down there at least a couple of times a year. We should definitely meet up some time. I’ll PM you some details.
 
Yes! My parents live in San Diego, and so do my sister and her son. So I get down there at least a couple of times a year. We should definitely meet up some time. I’ll PM you some details.
Count me in for this as well. Up to you though, I know some folks are big on online safety or sometimes get weird vibes from others, not a big deal to me if that’s you.
 
Count me in for this as well. Up to you though, I know some folks are big on online safety or sometimes get weird vibes from others, not a big deal to me if that’s you.

I’d absolutely like to meet up. I just PMed some info to Dave and I’ll send it to you too.
 
Those kids certifying yesterday were members of the SDSU rocket team, I believe. It's possible the new L1 certs are kids more capable than L3s. (Their rocket has a liquid fuel motor and their goal is the Karman line)

Also (and I love this) the kids down at the MPR range to the right of the flight line was a TARC team practicing for finals. They got a few 0 scores.

That was a nice flight on the saucer, Dave. And it was good of you to help Larry. He's not young...
Thanks, Mark! You did a hella good job out there this week. I was kinda surprised to see Larry out there. He's slowed down a bit, but as tenacious and irrascable as always. I've known him for years and he's still fiercely independent. Racking on a rod- I should have figured that out beforehand. Old school. He had a RUD at max q years ago and it rained drywall screws, go figure.
The saucer passed the mass/balance sims. The 9v batts on board failed to shear off even under terminal impact speed. Surprised the calcs worked. I'm just calling the Cd approx 1000% lol. Great launch, with a bunch of homies from the past still punching holes in the clouds. Really cool to see the new blood coming up. Trying to keep my feet wet now I'm back full bore. Def RocStock this fall and Havoc. Don't know about flying in Vegas, lost the motel by Jean. Straight smoke and good chutes! See ya soon.
 
Last edited:
So, weather perfect, wind perfect. Me, not so perfect (as usual) Rolled in approx 1030hrs, immediately got jumped by a half dozen folks apparently obsessed with my attendance report card. Most all our og's were there, except CaveDuck supporting his Sat launch at the Cape. Set up camp next to Larry Brand (the Doctor of tube fins) and yes he really has a degree! He had a humongous tube fin monstrosity he was tweaking on, loading the biggest J in the catalogue. I helped him rack it (on a ROD!). I thot I was old school. Magic time and he stuffs it to 18k. Just 29-30 feet over waiver. Must been a thermal, yeah, that's it, a thermal. He got ripped off for the spot landing award, landing his SpaceX Falcon Heavy Lifter about two feet from where he was standing by the safety line for the pads. I told you the wind was amazing. Dog barf came down like snow flakes, often from as high as maybe 5k. Cool to see. Bunches of elevator rides to the top floor to the ladies lingerie section. Great cert flights to levels 1 and 2. Some dramatic pad fires, motor blow throughs, and some exciting skywriting under thrust but the bird survived (kinda). Walking back from racking and there was a perfect 38mm grain just lying by a pad. From an earlier cato. We played "guess the grain" until I returned it to it's rightful owner. Fuel for the bonfire. Perfect condition, not even scorching. Testing on the Funk Saucer went according to plan, with mass/balance test for future nite ops going on an I-170. Cris' Apogee unit fitted into the Initiator test mule was perfect, except the dang G-80 made a much longer walk. Shoulda brought a F or smaller. I like it and will go with it and a JLCR next week. I'm becoming allergic to walking. Cris was running alt tests all day long with the prototype he's releasing soon. I won't steal any thunder from him so he can announce it when He's ready. We both walked down memory lane for a bit, realizing he came up with his first prototype ten frickin years ago! I was there, dammit. Where does the time go? (Please don't say "It flies!-done to death.) Got with Val, kinda encouraging him to sell his ignitor kits. Used one on that antique G-80 and it will lite dirt for such a tiny starter. We plan to meet at ROC next week and I can give him some boron to play with. Wind forecasted to come up in the evening so the evening smorgasbord, bonfire and drunken revelry was cancelled to day before. No harm, no foul. Rolled up the circus tent, loaded the elephants in the trunk (everything masses out more after a launch, even without extra playa dressing on your salad.) On the road about 1630, getting home approx 2000hrs and didn't even unload. Dinner followed by my impersonation of a corpse. Work at 0400 and drug my way thru the red tape and bureaucracy. Can't wait to play again next week. Straight smoke and good chutes.
Every post you make has the effect on me that I need to meet you someday. Excellent writing, you need to write a book with your natural gift.
 
Nice report, fyrwrxz !

I sure miss the SoCA / NV Launches.

I never attended to a launch in Holtville but I kinda-sorta know the area.

I used to fly Ocotillo, Lucerne, Fiesta Island and the Turkey Shoot near Boulder City, NV as often as possible.

I just attended my first Tripoli launch at Apache Pass TX as an observer last Saturday -- very nice site !

I'll definitely be back as a flier ...

Thanks for the memories all'Y'all :)

-- kjh
 
Nice report, fyrwrxz !

I sure miss the SoCA / NV Launches.

I never attended to a launch in Holtville but I kinda-sorta know the area.

I used to fly Ocotillo, Lucerne, Fiesta Island and the Turkey Shoot near Boulder City, NV as often as possible.

I just attended my first Tripoli launch at Apache Pass TX as an observer last Saturday -- very nice site !

I'll definitely be back as a flier ...

Thanks for the memories all'Y'all :)

-- kjh
Oh buddy! Pretty sure I remember you from Coyote Wells Road #2! Those days sucked for me, as we were running full tilt to get Shuttles out. I flew a lot with Scotty Bartel. I certed out there. Met him as he did the design work for some Get Away Special payloads. Did you ever know Kevin Funk at Fiesta? Sparky (Mike J), Alex Boyce? Jim Flagg? Rikki Rocket (from the hair band Poison? (Ocotillo), James Eadie (went to SpaceX), Mike the golden retriever Marine? (Our very own water dog for Fiesta off range recovery), Ari ("I certed L2 on a glider" chap)? BTW, Holtville sux. We got booted from Plaster City by some new rookie FAA guy. I still fly with Fuddrucker (Gary) up at Lucerne. Stickershock Mark lost his wife (were you there for the playa wedding?) From cancer, so he's not traveling much any more, still got the business. Robert deHate runs Animal Motor Works now. I still have two of his pico alts! Prayers for his wife Gloria, she's valiantly fighting off cancer. Wow, memory lane is a freeway today. Just trying to fix a time frame for you. I couldn't fly very much back then, it took an act of Congress to break the desk chains to get out. Took early retirement when they sold the GenDym Space Systems Division to Lockheed and moved it to Denver. Been there, done that, didn't lose anything there and not going back to find it if I did. Still working, but flying more now. I have a great boss who gets the rocket addiction. Not sure if he likes me, or I:m just getting away with murder these days. Come back and fly sompin'! Straight smoke and good chutes! -dave-
 
Last edited:
Every post you make has the effect on me that I need to meet you someday. Excellent writing, you need to write a book with your natural gift.
Here I always thot you were a man of good tastes. Card Revoked. Please apply again when your taste buds are healed. I can only hope my hat fits in the morning, it's all adjusted and broken in. I used to carry a dictionary, but found out a purse was more functional. Thx for the misguided compliment. Therapy is available locally.
 
Nice report, fyrwrxz !

I sure miss the SoCA / NV Launches.

I never attended to a launch in Holtville but I kinda-sorta know the area.

I used to fly Ocotillo, Lucerne, Fiesta Island and the Turkey Shoot near Boulder City, NV as often as possible.

I just attended my first Tripoli launch at Apache Pass TX as an observer last Saturday -- very nice site !

I'll definitely be back as a flier ...

Thanks for the memories all'Y'all :)

-- kjh
Did you used to have a white NCR Phantom 4000? If so, I know who you are.
 
No, I usually flew a LOC Vulcanite and Scaled Versions there-of.

All the names above are familiar as well as Kevin Harness and John Thompson ... I was wondering about Kevin Funk ?

-- kjh
 
No, I usually flew a LOC Vulcanite and Scaled Versions there-of.

All the names above are familiar as well as Kevin Harness and John Thompson ... I was wondering about Kevin Funk ?

-- kjh
Kevin was the ringleader of DART and responsible for the Miss Booster's pin up calendar. He started Discount Rocketry which was bought from his father by Jim and Ruby Myers after Kevin succumbed to his CF disability. He was in a wheelchair but was the poster child of humour, determination and affability. Discount is still going and bigger by far. John Thompson was our water dog.
 
Kevin was the ringleader of DART and responsible for the Miss Booster's pin up calendar. He started Discount Rocketry which was bought from his father by Jim and Ruby Myers after Kevin succumbed to his CF disability. He was in a wheelchair but was the poster child of humour, determination and affability. Discount is still going and bigger by far. John Thompson was our water dog.

Yes, I knew Kevin very well back in the day -- he tricked me into becoming treasurer of DART one year ...

I used to visit Kevin at his Mom and Dad's house in Escondito from time to time.

I am really sorry to hear that he has passed.

I visited the Discount Rocketry site when I found it recently here on TRF -- they've still got good prices :)

If you see John Thompson, tell him Konrad says hey from TX.

Speaking of Ricky Rocket, is Steve Cello still around ?

-- kjh
 
Yes, I knew Kevin very well back in the day -- he tricked me into becoming treasurer of DART one year ...

I used to visit Kevin at his Mom and Dad's house in Escondito from time to time.

I am really sorry to hear that he has passed.

I visited the Discount Rocketry site when I found it recently here on TRF -- they've still got good prices :)

If you see John Thompson, tell him Konrad says hey from TX.

Speaking of Ricky Rocket, is Steve Cello still around ?

-- kjh
How cool you knew Kevin! His Mom and Dad were great. I couldn't make Fiesta much, esp. after the Challenger went down. We had to ramp up the Atlas production line. Brutal 100 hour weeks to get America in space again.
Sadly, if it's the Steve I'm thinking about (and I am unsure of the last name) both he and Jim Flagg have passed from liver cancer. Scotty disappeared from the radar screens after he folded blacksky. I hope John is alive and well, at least retired from the military. My wife is friends with Ricky, but to my regret, I never really gave him a chance. Good guy. My loss. I can be a dick.
 
How cool you knew Kevin! His Mom and Dad were great. I couldn't make Fiesta much, esp. after the Challenger went down. We had to ramp up the Atlas production line. Brutal 100 hour weeks to get America in space again.
Sadly, if it's the Steve I'm thinking about (and I am unsure of the last name) both he and Jim Flagg have passed from liver cancer. Scotty disappeared from the radar screens after he folded blacksky. I hope John is alive and well, at least retired from the military. My wife is friends with Ricky, but to my regret, I never really gave him a chance. Good guy. My loss. I can be a dick.
For what it’s worth, it looks like you learned something. You’ve been more than kind to me and Mindy, and I think it’s been apparent from the beginning that I’ve got a few screws loose.
 
fyrwrxz you obviously need to spend more time heading east on I-8 to get to launches, Then you would know:
- James moved on from Space X years ago, you will likely see him at BALLS or Hovoc in November.
-John Thompson moved to Columbia river gorge, started Gorge Rocket Club (NAR section 790), is now a L3CC and chairman of NAR HPR Services.
- Bill Bowman passed from cancer last November. Most of his rockets went to John.
- Kevin Harness attended I think one Holtville launch.
- Dave Wentworth still makes it out to Holtville occasionally. His grown son Zach flys too.

Konrad I was new to HPR and Coyote 2 when you would fly the same rocket time after time getting data for Black Sky. Baffled me then but I get it now.

I remember Miss Booster. Had a poster at one point.
 
fyrwrxz you obviously need to spend more time heading east on I-8 to get to launches, Then you would know:
- James moved on from Space X years ago, you will likely see him at BALLS or Hovoc in November.
-John Thompson moved to Columbia river gorge, started Gorge Rocket Club (NAR section 790), is now a L3CC and chairman of NAR HPR Services.
- Bill Bowman passed from cancer last November. Most of his rockets went to John.
- Kevin Harness attended I think one Holtville launch.
- Dave Wentworth still makes it out to Holtville occasionally. His grown son Zach flys too.

Konrad I was new to HPR and Coyote 2 when you would fly the same rocket time after time getting data for Black Sky. Baffled me then but I get it now.

I remember Miss Booster. Had a poster at one point.
I don't know about that. If I keep showing up, pretty soon folks are going to band together to kick me out. My wife says I need to be more user friendly. If I start showing up with tube fins, I've gone to the dark side.
 
fyrwrxz you obviously need to spend more time heading east on I-8 to get to launches, Then you would know:
- James moved on from Space X years ago, you will likely see him at BALLS or Hovoc in November.
-John Thompson moved to Columbia river gorge, started Gorge Rocket Club (NAR section 790), is now a L3CC and chairman of NAR HPR Services.
- Bill Bowman passed from cancer last November. Most of his rockets went to John.
- Kevin Harness attended I think one Holtville launch.
- Dave Wentworth still makes it out to Holtville occasionally. His grown son Zach flys too.

Konrad I was new to HPR and Coyote 2 when you would fly the same rocket time after time getting data for Black Sky. Baffled me then but I get it now.

I remember Miss Booster. Had a poster at one point.

Wow !

How could I forget Dave Wentworth his wife Marla and all the kids !

Speaking of Kids, another DART Frequent Flier I often wonder about is Ray Kelly -- he was really great with the kids.

Yes, that same rocket ( LOC Vulcanite H76 aka Spock's Johnson ) was scaled down to 1.9 inch ( Vulcanette ) and up with Hawk Mountain 2.93 inch Components ( Nocturnal Missions ) -- I was able to get repeatable Accelerometer Data that way :)

But be fair now ... I also flew a 4-inch IRIS on K and L Motors too -- until it landed on an Ocitillo Rockpile and snapped off the outboard corner of a Fin :)

Thanks for the Blast from the Past all'y'all and please say HOWDY from Texas for me !

-- kjh
 
@kjhambrick, do you still have your Black Sky Optimal rockets?
CoyoteNumber2 --

I don't have any surviving, assembled Optimals.

But, I might have one unopened or at least unbuilt one up in the attic.

But it's been a while since I looked up there at the unopened Kits.

And if I do, it's been in my attic in here in Round Rock TX since 2001 and it might be a little less than 'optimal' for the heat !

All but one of the Optimals that I flew were Scott's Rockets -- they sure made it easy to loft an AltAcc on 54 and 98 mm Motors when we were developing it :)

-- kjh

CoyoteNumber2 sure brings back fond memories of the OTR ( Ocotillo Test Range ). I had forgotten the name 'Coyote Wells Number 2' !
 
Back
Top