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Manchester, TN Launch - Sept 11

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In consideration of dial-up users, I going to use links to pics, rather than inline images...

Today was the monthly launch of Nashville's MC^2 and Huntsville's HARA, located at a scenic sod farm near Manchester, TN. I arrived about noon with a couple of friends who had never experienced a club launch and were eager to see HPR for the first time. The range had been going for a couple of hours, and I could see a fair amount of activity around the LCO tent:

View of range

My first launch of the day was an AT Initiator on an F25W; here's a short movie clip:

Initiator launch

I then prepped my 1x Red Max clone and an Estes Solar Probe with B6-4s. Both flights went without a hitch. After collecting the birds, I decided to have lunch, so I sat down with a sub sandwich and a sprite and took in the action. Some of it got rather close, as can be seen by this bottom view of a Quest Nike Smoke descending on its chute.

Nike Smoke coming down

Todd Jurhs of my club has two young daughters who are into rocketry - They name the rockets Dad builds for them after storybook or movie princesses like Sleeping Beauty or Rapunzel. The latest addition is the Pink Princess Castle Rocket:

Pink Princess Castle Rocket

Last month I managed to get pics of several rockets just leaving the pad; today, all I got was smoke. Here's the trail left behind by the Princess rocket as it jumped of the pad on a G:

Princess smoke trail

And here it is on its chute:

Pink Princess Castle Rock with chute

The biggest bird I saw fly today was Chuck Pierce's Arcas, on a K motor. Here's a 3 Mb movie of the launch - forgive the grass at the end, please. I was so wrapped up in watching that I forgot to stop the exposure:

Arcas launch

The deploy of the Arcas' very green chute seemed a bit late; fortunately, there was no damage to the rocket, and Chuck trundled off with it on his shoulder.

Arcas green chute

Chuck and Arcas

My lunch over, I selected a D12-7 for the maiden voyage of my Cherokee-D clone. As I was hooking it up on the pad, I noticed that the 2 stage gap stager next to me was the same one that gave a good show at last month's launch:

Cherokee-D on pad

Gap stager launch

I had installed a streamer in the Cherokee-D, 'cause I did not want to walk much with a full belly. The flight went well, with deployment just past apogee.

Cherokee-D on streamer

Next I loaded an E9-6 into my Centuri ThunderRoc clone and readied it on Pad 4. Alas, it was not to fly, as I yanked it from the flight line after 3 ignitor failures. Three strikes and you're out, baby!

ThunderRoc on pad

It does fly well when the motor ignites, as can be seen in this movie from last month's launch:

ThunderRoc flight

Pad 4 was not the only one that seemed jinxed at times. The owner of this bird, the S.S. Endeavour, went through 4 recycles before it finally left Pad 8 for the wild blue yonder:

S.S. Endeavour

My last flight of the day was the first flight of my Apogee Aspire. Fitted with a D12-5, she raced skyward off Pad 5 and deployed a streamer right at apogee:

Aspire on Pad 5

Unfortunately, the Aspire came down a little too fast (even though I used the mylar streamer provided with the kit) and landed hard on its rear. A fin was sheared away from the body tube, which was crumpled along with the 24 mm motor adaptor. Here's a shot of the damage, followed by a close up. Can anybody tell me how to fix this, since I am leaning towards cannibalizing the bird for parts and ordering a new kit?

Damage to Aspire

Damage close-up

I had to leave around 3, as my friends were eager to get back. Flying rockets may be fun, but they must take a back seat to watching Alabama football games :)

A good day - can't wait for next month's launch!
 

eugenefl

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Originally posted by SpaceGarbageMan
Unfortunately, the Aspire came down a little too fast (even though I used the mylar streamer provided with the kit) and landed hard on its rear. A fin was sheared away from the body tube, which was crumpled along with the 24 mm motor adaptor. Here's a shot of the damage, followed by a close up. Can anybody tell me how to fix this, since I am leaning towards cannibalizing the bird for parts and ordering a new kit?

A good day - can't wait for next month's launch!
Bill great report and photo essay. It looks like you guys have one of those rocketry "mecca" fields where the grass is green and the skies are always blue. :D

Sorry to hear about the Aspire. One of our club members had a similar occurrence with his Aspire after its first flight on a D. His came down tail end first under the provided streamer. It appeared to have some speed to it but didn't look like it landed all that hard. One of the fins snapped off after leaving a dent in the tubing. I'm curious now as to how often this occurs.

The damage on yours is pretty gnarly. You could sand down the crumpled zone, soak it in CyA, fill-sand-prime-paint, and reattach the fin. It looks too close to the motor mount area to replace a section of tube using a coupler, but if not this might be an alternative as well.

Thanks for posting. Looks like you guys had a fine time out there. BTW, I love the Nike Smoke "overhead" recovery shot.
 

JeffS

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Thanks for the pictures Bill! That's my son's Nike Smoke on the chute. That's a great rocket for kids. With a FlisKits motor mount in it (I don't like those little plastic retainers), it's practically indestructible. Also, thanks again to who ever gave him the Viking kit at last month's launch. He had a great time building, painting and flying it!

The gap stager is also mine. I messed up and didn't bring the right swivel to attach my streamer (I really need to standardize) so I put a chute on it and the drift monster got the top stage. I'm pleased with the way it flies though. Seems to light every time.

I also flew my 3x24 cluster (picture). Nice high flight, long walk. No damage except the ends of a couple of the motor tubes were scorched slightly. I hope my wife got a lift-off picture.

The Gemini DC cluster (1-18mm, 2 - 13mm) cartwheeled into the ground. All motors lit and there was an ounce of clay in the nose, but no go.

We had a great time, as usual. Lots of neat rockets and friendly folks. I still want to build a ThunderRoc.
 

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