Launch Report - The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

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Feb 2, 2009
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I took today off from work, and since it looked like we'd have some great weather (unlike my parent's back in S.C. - what irony!), I called in an LPR notice yesterday and planned for a little personal launch this morning.

I got up, put on some coffee, and assembled an F40-4WL, my first RMS motor. It was pretty easy to follow along with the instructions and the movies on Aerotech's website. Only took about twenty minutes. My wife packed up the boys while I packed up the rockets, and we drove up to the NAR club's field on the other side of Columbus.

The first one to go up was the Arreaux on the F40. There was a lot of anxiety to say the least, and I'm happy to report that everything worked perfectly! The paint got scratched pretty badly on landing but that's an easy fix. It was a real feeling of accomplishment to get a reload right on my first try with no "adult supervision".

Next was the Stovi on a G40-7, what a beautiful flight! Loud and smoky all the way to about 1300'. Recovery was perfect, just some mud on the fins. It was my wife's favorite of the bunch and made it worth the road trip in her mind.

Finally came the Javelin on an Ellis Mountain G35-6. It was spectacular right up the point where it nosed over into the wind and continued under power about 100' off the deck. I've never made a cruise missile before. Anyway, my wife was shouting "what did you DO?" as it just sped away. It came down about a half-mile away, right about the time the ejection charge blew.

It was quite a hike through muddy fields to get to what was left. The nose and fin can were intact, but everything in between was trashed. Looks like what you'd expect a rolled paper tube to look like after hitting the ground at a couple hundred miles per hour.

The boys thought it was cool. This was going to be my L1 bird!
For now it looks like I'll certify on the Stovi. Should also have a Mini BBX arriving soon, maybe that would make a good L1 rocket.

Definitely a mixed-bag kind of day. One big accomplishment, one awesome flight, and one muddy lawn dart.