Keeping It Low: What Approach Do You Prefer for Flying in Small Fields?

milehigh

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I have an Estes Quark that I fly at small fields. The difference with this one is that it features a 6" plastic streamer attached to each fin with Kapton tape. On an A10 -3T motor it turns in a very amusing low altitude flight and recovery. Very fun bird to fly!
 

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BABAR

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I have an Estes Quark that I fly at small fields. The difference with this one is that it features a 6" plastic streamer attached to each fin with Kapton tape. On an A10 -3T motor it turns in a very amusing low altitude flight and recovery. Very fun bird to fly!
Probably a lot easier to find than standard Quarks and other subatomic particles!
 

shockie

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When I fly in small fields the 1st thing I do is know what the wind speed and direction is.

This allows me to try and position my launch site within the launch firekd to take advantage of the field size and shape.

Fields can be square,rectangular,etc. Most fields have a short direction and a long direction in which the wind is blowing.

If in the short direction use smaller engines or heavier tickets with lower power so they don't go as high and won't drift as far.

Use the appropriate recovery device. Streamers, parachutes with spill holes or reefing the parachute shroud lines will all bring a ticket down faster.

Use launcher tilt angle in addition to launcher location within the field.

Launch slightly into the wind direction so the rocket weathercocks into the wind. You'll get a lower altitude and it will drift towards you rather than away from you.

Remember to use smaller delay times. 2,3,4 depending on ticket and engine are always better than 5,6,7.
 

TigerHawk

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Anything Oddroc is great. Lots of choices out there in kits and/or scratch built.
 

gdjsky01

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I think we have shown or said, there is 1000s of models that one can build and launch on small fields using lower power or high(er) drag techniques. I must admit, the flying toilet float is the bomb
 

bjphoenix

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At our small local launch today, on a small field, we had very light winds. We get a lot of less experienced flyers sometimes, flying things like BT20 rockets on B motors, maybe even C motors. I was amazed how many small rockets with streamers landed within 25' of the pad.
 

smstachwick

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At our small local launch today, on a small field, we had very light winds. We get a lot of less experienced flyers sometimes, flying things like BT20 rockets on B motors, maybe even C motors. I was amazed how many small rockets with streamers landed within 25' of the pad.
Depends on the precise design. Some BT-20 rockets like the Hi-Flier will clear 1000 ft on C motors. While the drift distance can be manageable, visibility is another thing to consider. If I were trying to keep that thing low, I wouldn’t go bigger than an A.
 

bjphoenix

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Depends on the precise design. Some BT-20 rockets like the Hi-Flier will clear 1000 ft on C motors. While the drift distance can be manageable, visibility is another thing to consider. If I were trying to keep that thing low, I wouldn’t go bigger than an A.
We had a few of the Hi-Fliers today.
We had numerous little rockets that were out of sight until ejection and there was a sparkling streamer to see, and many of them came down near the pad. I launched 3 rockets, 2 low-fliers, and they both landed pretty far from the pad in the tall weeds. We had almost no wind for much of the day. I made a mistake connecting the streamer in my Baby Bertha and it separated from the rocket at ejection. The rocket came down safely in the tall weeds but was difficult to find, the streamer came down on its own and landed about 10' from where the rocket landed.
One thing I noticed when comparing the small fast rockets with bigger slow rockets- the small fast rockets went mostly straight up to apogee, the bigger slower rockets tended to deviate a little or a lot when they came off the rod taking them farther away from the pad. I don't know if this is because they were slower and not stabilized as well by airflow, or because the 1/8" rods can't guide a heavier rocket as well. If there was more wind I would have wondered about that, but we had almost no wind today.
 

SolarYellow

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We had a few of the Hi-Fliers today.
We had numerous little rockets that were out of sight until ejection and there was a sparkling streamer to see, and many of them came down near the pad. I launched 3 rockets, 2 low-fliers, and they both landed pretty far from the pad in the tall weeds. We had almost no wind for much of the day. I made a mistake connecting the streamer in my Baby Bertha and it separated from the rocket at ejection. The rocket came down safely in the tall weeds but was difficult to find, the streamer came down on its own and landed about 10' from where the rocket landed.
One thing I noticed when comparing the small fast rockets with bigger slow rockets- the small fast rockets went mostly straight up to apogee, the bigger slower rockets tended to deviate a little or a lot when they came off the rod taking them farther away from the pad. I don't know if this is because they were slower and not stabilized as well by airflow, or because the 1/8" rods can't guide a heavier rocket as well. If there was more wind I would have wondered about that, but we had almost no wind today.

Repeat the experiment with everything on a rail to eliminate rod deflection.
 

Paul Howard

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Not going to rehash some great tips already given. I like fat and draggier stuff for small fields, but adding in a JLCR makes for more altitude easily without worrying about drift too much. BT60 and up will be needed though (although I've heard people have gotten them in BT-55 rockets successfully). Also, sticking to rockets you know will go straight up helps as well.

Picking the right time of day and wind direction matters. We will hit our local park in the mornings before wind picks up. It's not a huge field, and has a nice group of trees on the south/middle part of it. But, things like the old Alien Space Probe on an E12-6 with JLCR works just fine or Big Daddy on some composite Es are doable. We routinely use the JLCR on this field and then use guidelines suggested above to enjoy quite the range of rockets.
What is a "JLCR"? I'm guessing a "Jolly Logic Chute Release"?
 

mh9162013

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Right now, my interest is in scale or 3FNC/4FNC rocket designs, so Oddrocs are out as my primary style of build.

I've decided to stick with a BT-20 rocket focus for now, but I'm also going to build a BT-60 rocket (perhaps the Estes Patriot). I also think I'm going to do some experiments (eventually) to find a way to turn a "regular" BT-20 rocket (like the Viking, Yankee or Wizard type of rocket) into a temporary high drag, "low and slow" rocket. The goal is to keep a low altitude (75-200 feet), but have a lift off that parallels a Big Bertha as much as possible.

I'm leaning towards doing something proposed by @David_Stack earlier in this thread. Maybe some sort of cup-shaped ring that I can stick to the fins for low-and-slow flights, but easily remove it for the next flight if I so wish.
 

smstachwick

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Right now, my interest is in scale or 3FNC/4FNC rocket designs, so Oddrocs are out as my primary style of build.

I've decided to stick with a BT-20 rocket focus for now, but I'm also going to build a BT-60 rocket (perhaps the Estes Patriot). I also think I'm going to do some experiments (eventually) to find a way to turn a "regular" BT-20 rocket (like the Viking, Yankee or Wizard type of rocket) into a temporary high drag, "low and slow" rocket. The goal is to keep a low altitude (75-200 feet), but have a lift off that parallels a Big Bertha as much as possible.

I'm leaning towards doing something proposed by @David_Stack earlier in this thread. Maybe some sort of cup-shaped ring that I can stick to the fins for low-and-slow flights, but easily remove it for the next flight if I so wish.
The Apogee Atomizer has a ring around the fins designed specifically for that purpose. It’s permanent but if you can produce a reliable attach-detach method, that’s not entirely out of the question.

High-drag lightweight rockets let you do some pretty cool stuff. With the Atomizer you can safely fly the A-D ranges and not break 700ft.

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