L1 - finally!

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Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2009
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Well, the stars finally aligned and I was able to make it to a Tripoli Mid-Ohio launch yesterday and had a great certification flight.
The weather started out cruddy but cleared out pretty nicely by early afternoon, with hardly any wind. A friend from NAR, Bill Huber, gave me an H165 Redline and looked over my shoulder while I assembled the motor. First, he had to take his L2 test so while he was doing that I flew my new Weasel-29 on an F50-9T. It was a nice shakedown flight and the rocket landed about 100 yds from the pad. Even K-motor monstrosities were coming down close without electronics, the wind was that calm.
So anyway, Bill finished his test, I built the motor (only my second RMS, it's really not as hard as I thought it'd be), and I loaded it into my LOC Stovi, the "Russian Menace". I modified it for positive retention by epoxying wood plugs into two of the outboard tubes, with good ol' t-nuts and screen clips. Our prefect, Gary Dickinson, gave it a thumbs-up and I loaded 'er up.
The Stovi so far has flown on an F50, G40, and G80. The H165 was quite a kick as you could imagine! Big bright red flame and BOOM! It took off like a bomb had been lit under it, just booted the thing to about 1800'. It just seemed to coast and coast, then got a good chute. The delay looked a little short to my eyes but it all came down in once piece and landed even closer than the Weasel had. There was a small dent, not enough to call a zipper, in the airframe lip so the delay probably was a little short. But it was flyable again and Gary pronounced me an official Level-1 rocket jock...finally! It's been a long wait.

I'll have pics added soon as the film's developed.
Congratulations! Man, wish I could have been there - you guys had an absolutely perfect day for launching!

That was an exciting report! Glad to hear the launch went as it should have. Congrats on an awesome L1 cert. BTW, you're a lucky dog to have had such good weather!
"Luck" is definitely the operative word. We've been cursed with nasty weather for most of our launches since November, and I had to miss the few we did have because of my work schedule.
Saturday was really nasty and it wasn't looking good yesterday morning, but by 3pm it was great.
I had to leave a little earlier than planned because my Weasel went ballistic on its second flight. I used an Ellis Mtn. G35 and figured with a small rocket and no wind it'd be a real nice, straight flight.
I was wrong.
It arced over slowly and continued on that nice long 4-sec burn, landing about a mile away near some irrigation equipment. The chute was badly tangled around the shock cord and the nose cone was missing, but it'll fly again. Didn't even scratch the finish except for chipped paint on one fin.
That was a bummer because I wanted to put my Arreaux up and fly the Stovi again, but it was time to pack up and head home.
Chilly - congratulations!! it's been a long time coming for you.
Great flight!! I think I have a picture of your flight. I will look, if not, post it and we will get it up on the website.

It really was a great flying day for the people who were able to make it out.

I am sure Lance and Ross will be expecting your orders soon.

Congratulations again.
Originally posted by Chilly
I used an Ellis Mtn. G35 and figured with a small rocket and no wind it'd be a real nice, straight flight.
I was wrong. It arced over slowly and continued on that nice long 4-sec burn, landing about a mile away near some irrigation equipment.

Ouch. A gentleman at the recent TRF Whitakers launch experienced the same thing except he had no deployment. He had purchased the motor from Performance Hobbies onsite. Ensure you submit a <a href="https://nar.org/NARmessform.html">M.E.S.S</a> report to the NAR, especially if you feel the motor was to blame.
Originally posted by Todd Knight

I am sure Lance and Ross will be expecting your orders soon.
As a matter of fact, I'm heading up to Magnum tomorrow morning! Ross is holding an H210R for me and I'm going to buy tubes & couplers to rebuild my VB Javelin, which was going to be my original L1 bird.

As far as L2 goes, I'm planning to do it this fall. Right now I'm thinking a BSD Thor on a 5-grain Pro38. I saw a couple of split-fin birds yesterday and really like that whistle.:cool:
With our new field you should be thinking Cert with style. A 5 grain Pro 38 is going to run you $40-$45 bucks. $80-$90 will get you a K motor. Maybe a skidmark for a little more?? Several of us have 54mm casings, so no hardware to worry about, and a rocket like the Thor will handle them easy.

Think about trying some electronics. The lessons learned will pay off as you fly bigger and badder rockets. Let one of us know we will be glad to help.

In the meantime enjoy your L1 and looking forward to seeing you burn some AP at our launches.
Well, I'm still a bit budget-constrained and have my rocketry stuff pretty well planned out through the end of the year. Right now I have a Javelin to rebuild, a Mini-BBX to build, and can afford to pick up the Thor in August. A Pro38 five-grain casing & reload looks like a pretty good deal. I figure on treating myself to some electronics for Christmas (yes, I've planned THAT far ahead) and stage the MiniBBX with the Terrier booster. I want to use up every inch of that 9300' waiver!

HUGE Congrats man...I am glad you got your cert and sorry I couldn't be there. I am willing to bet you are one of the guys that stayed overnite, so I am glad it was worth the trip. I could only make Saturday, which got cancelled...another time for sure though! We will tag up as it looks like the biggest field in three states ins gonna take off fast! Now I have to get out there and update the website again. If you got pics, email them to me and I will post them on the Tripoli site.

Once again, congrats and wish I would have been there.

Chilly, congrats on level one! i just got my new NAR card with my level one cert on it in the mail today :D

it's funny, i was just looking at the LOC web site b4 coming over here and i really like the looks of the stovi, how was it to build? do you think it would take much modification to use a J in it? i'd like the next rocket i buy to be usable for level 2 but i really like the looks of the stovi, did i mention that yet? ;)
Hey Carl,
I was sorry you couldn't be there, too...I wanted to see your latest monstrosity. I didn't have to stay overnight, we live just on the other side of Columbus so it's only about an hour's drive.
I'll be there on Sun. the 30th for the Memorial Day launch.

I can't imagine you could modify a Stovi for a 38mm casing. You can either build it for a 7x24mm cluster or cut the outboard tubes for a central 29mm. The fins sit down in the valley between outboard tubes so if you cut them too much it could make them less secure. They held up real well to an H-impulse motor.

Now, having said that, I've been thinking about an upscale Stovi. LOC parts are easily scalable so it wouldn't be that hard to make with 38mm tubing. Basically take an Expediter, chop up the bottom, and add the outboard tubes & extra fins. That may be a nice L2 project come to think of it...:D
looked at so many rockets last night that i forgot which had what motor mounts! i was thinking the stovi was already 38mm and just might be too short. i guess i'll just have to get one to fly on 29s!