My first solo park launch of the year

Marc_G

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Hi folks,

It's well into May and today marks the first time I've gotten out to the park for a solo launch. I did launch in April with the AMOREA club, but usually I'm out by myself (maybe with my kids) to the park by the end of March. It's a sign of the difficult weather we've had this year. When not cold, it's been either rainy or windy on my off days.

Anyway, I had an hour and half out on the field. There were only a few people around. Winds were variable between 5-10 miles per hour, with occasional gusts more than that. I kept myself to C and smaller engines to avoid long recovery walks or getting distracted by loss of rockets this weekend. Flowers for my wife were waiting to be picked up. I was on a schedule!

Got to the field and set up. Was distressed to see the parks department had applied herbicide to the "prairie" area of the park. The field is basically a big circle 500 feet in radius. The back half, away from parking and such, is designated "grow, don't mow" prairie. The started that several years ago. At first I was concerned due to it seeming less useful to rocketry as overgrown prairie than flat grass, but I've come to like the prairie area since there are never any sports going on there, and I plan recovery to land there. Sometimes hard to find my stuff, but avoids soccer groups...

Here's what that area looks like now:

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I'll send a note off to the parks department if I don't find anything online about what's going on. I hope they're not planning to kill the prairie to put soccer fields there or something...

A note: I was photographically challenged today. I have to check my camera settings... seems like most of my pics weren't in focus, more so than usual.

Anyway, first up was my trusty Mini Max on A10-3T.

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Good flight, close by recovery, no signs of disturbing wind trends aloft.

Next up: Photon Probe on a B6-4.

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Don't worry, it was actually 50 feet past that tree... landed safely in the grass.
 

Marc_G

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Then on to my Nike Smoke semi-clone, which I call L'IL SMOKEY. I designed it for D21-7 motors but it flies nicely on a C6-3.

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Then a mini engine Blue Bird Zero downscale on an A3-4T. I had camera trouble and just got one shot off the pad... it was a nice flight and safe recovery.

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Marc_G

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By now I was ready for the second ever flight of my SEMROC Trident Retro Repro. I decided to fly it conservatively on a B6-2. IT was a nice low and slow flight. No damage in recovery.

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Marc_G

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Finally, an Icarus (in BT50, I forget if this is original scale or not) on a B6-4.

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I was going to punch my original scale Blue Bird Zero up on a C11-3, but I forgot to bring a 1" spacer needed to use with the E mount I put in it, so no flight today.

I got to the flower shop on time and returned home exactly when I promised my wife I'd be back. She loves the flowers.

So, the day has been off to a great start. I hope all of you out there are also having a nice weekend!

Marc
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Looks like a fun day! Lots of nice successful flights and no losses!

I wanted to get out to my park this morning and fly my 808 camera for the first time, but it's too windy today. The same thing happened last week.

How do you launch the rocket and also take pictures at the same time when it is just you? A third hand or dexterous toes?

I've been burned by forgetting my spacer for the E mount before too. Very frustrating! Now I have a few of them, and I keep them stashed in several places --- range box, motor storage box, rocket carrying box, inside the motor mounts of certain rockets, etc. Most of mine came with kits, but you can make extras by cutting up expended 24 mm motors.
 

Dean B

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I'm totally envious of you Marc, since I'm stuck at the house on this near-perfect flying day. And, unlike you, I've waited until the last minute again to find something for Mothers' Day. Bummer!

I enjoyed your flight report as usual. Nice group of rockets you got to launch.
 

tightwad

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Nice flights! I can not remember a day flying that I didn't have an oops happen while flying. Good for you. I like your park and it appears that you launch on a hill or ridge, is this true?

It looks like I have a week of nice sunny weather coming and I hope the winds will lay down so I can fly. Right now, it is sunny, the winds are blowing at 2 mph right towards the trees so I can not use the small field. The big fields are off limits due too sludge being spread on them. The sludge makes the hay grow better and the health department won't let anyone on them for 30 days...by then the rancher won't anyone go out into his fields except to hay. So my only hope is to launch at home over the mud flats when the tide is out and the wind is favorable. Got my fingers crossed.
 

Marc_G

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Hi guys, thanks for the kudos.

Tightwad: yes, I fly from the top of the hill usually. The hill is about 30 feet up from the surrounding field. It's right in the middle of the circle 1000 feet across.

Thirsty: To shoot pictures while launching, I do everything as normal up through continuity check. Then I look around again and make darn sure nobody is nearby that could be at risk, and no aircraft coming. Thus in relatively safe mode, I use a spring clamp to lock down the fire button. I then insert the safety key but DON'T push it. One more check for safety. Then I get the camera pointed and ready, do my countdown, and use my left hand to push the safety key down while shooting the camera with my right hand.

I pull the clamp off before dropping the launch apparatus.

Marc
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Well, that a little bit of a cheat I guess, but sounds relatively safe and workable to me. Thanks for the info!
 

dave carver

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Well, you can always make up a copy of the foot treadle that Stetson the Rocket Dog used to use. I mean, if a dog can launch a rocket by stepping on a button... ;)
 
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