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My L1 Cert Attempt; Persistence Pays Off!

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Elapid

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just got back from BlackRock!
i decided not to stay for the Night launch or sunday and came home. I'm tired.

The Tumbleweed had its first flight!
a perfect launch on an Estes E9 and the recovery was also perfect.

My second flight was my first L1 attempt.
i got a witness and assembled the I154J motor exactly right. we took it to the flight line and i couldn't get the igniter to slide into the motor :confused:

i took the rocket back to the rso table and they also tried, but it wasn't going in, and all the trying had knocked the pyrogen loose from the igniter. we took the motor out of the rocket, and my witness started taking the motor apart, first the aft closure, then he unscrewed the forward closure about 3 twists before deciding that wasn't a good idea. we took the grains out of the motor and, sure enough, they were plugged with excess fuel.

i took a bic pen and cleared the grains, put the motor back together and took the rocket, loaded it up on the pad.

the flight was short, but spectacular.
up it went, and still under power, the ejection charge went off and the rocket did cartwheels in the sky before dumping the rocket hard on the playa. one broken fin and the inside of the body tube is pretty crispy.

when the forward closere got unscrewde, the delay grain must have dropped low enough that the o-ring got pinched, causing the failure.

i should never let anyone else touch my motors.
lesson learned.

well, after that failure, i was pretty bummed. it didn't appear that the goblin woul dfly anytime soon, so i was down to the HoJo or the Sonic 3100. i didn't think the HoJo would hold up to an I motor, so i decided take a break and launch some AT MP rockets. First up was my IQSY Tomahawk on a G80. it shot off the pad, but there was no delay between motor burnout and ejection.

the shock cord snapped cleanly, letting the beautiful rocket fall rudely to the playa. the chute carried the NC/payload bay about 100 yds out.

broken fin
:(

next up was my AT Initiator on a G80
beautiful boost!
the parachute separated from the rest of the rocket at apogee, and down came the rocket...

broken fin.

well, that was about all i could take. i almost left, but i decided to make a last-ditch effort to get through this...I bought an adapter to put a 38mm motor into the 54mm MMT of the Sonic 3100. i built the adapter and when the epoxy was fured enough, i got it friction-fitted into the mmt. i used alot of tape and it was ugly. then i got a motor, I366R to be specific. i used it with a medium delay. the Launch director was my witness for this flight. he gave the model the twice over and i had to stress that the friction fit was a safe and valid technique, all the time trying to believe...

face it. my day wasn't the greatest so far.

well, i got it on a pad, they announced the Cert Flight. i heard a few "go ROB!!!!!!" and other encouraging voices, but my focus was on the rocket. i was taking video, but i wasn't even looking through the viewfinder and when the rocket roared to life, only a few tenths of a second of the rocket appeared...

BUT!
that rocket looked ssoooooooooooooo cool lofting skyward on a tail of red flame as long as the rocket itself! (it's 4' approx.)

WOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!

well... up, up it went...then coasted... then an event! (rocksim says 1 mile, just about on the nose! 5295' and nearly 700 mph)
while i was focussed on the rocket, there were a couple folks that said something flew off it at the pad. when i saw the chute open i howled, or hooted or hollered....
over the PA came the news... "it's coming down under the chute"

it took a few minutes for it to land... seemed like forever!
i jogged to the east and, to my delight, all the fins were in place, both launch lugs were in place.

everything was in place!




WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!

the walk back to get my rocket inspected was great! all the people were congratulating me and i was on top of the world!

anyway, i busted up a bunch of really cool rockets, but i got my Cert, and that's what i went for, so i decided to go home.

thanks to everyone who helped out, Scott from Just Rockets and Peter Clay and Judge (forgot your last mane) particularly, and all the other friendly folks from AeroPac!
i had a great time!
:D

somehow i missed meeting Lee...i saw one of your rockets go up.
 

Stymye

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Well done man !you got what you came for .. congrats on the L1!

you definately put your last minute adapter to the test
the redline flame looks nice!
It looks like you apeased the rocket gods with the others

you might want to report the G80 with the missing delay to Aerotech,, they might see fit to make up for it
 

Justin Horne

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Congrats.:) Did you ever figure out what came "off the rocket" at launch? a piece of pad??

As soon as i heard you say you undid the casing, then didn't mention the delay, I was worried... After having someone pack my chute (which managed to deploy right a apogee, then stay nice and unrolled) I don't let anyone touch anything...:D Just safer that way...
 

gerbs4me

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CONGRATS!!
Welcome to High Powered Rocketry:D
Awesome pic, redlines rock!
 

Elapid

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was one of the big steel stand-offs that was used to keep the rocket off the big sawblades they use for blast deflectors. i think the thrust of the motor flipped the sawblade off to the side and vaulted the stand-off into the air...
you can see it in th elower right hand portion of the pic.

here's a link to the Upscale Tumbleweed flight (3.3MB)
 

nomopbo

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Sorry about the ones that need work, but grats on the cert!
 

HeadHunter

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That was you! I was your assistant LCO, I was assigning the pads. That was an awsome flight. I had gave up trying to find you, when my shift started at launch control. Well at least I know what you look like for the next launch. My intruder zippered on a long delay :mad: I have to cut off about 3" and I'll be back in business.

Welcome to high power:D :D :D

I can confirm his persistence!!!:D
 

Elapid

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I'm pretty happy to have made it!

i'm also glad none of my failures landed on anyone
:D
 

loopy

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Congratulations! Great video, and nice screen grab with the huge red flame! I like hearing about people using something other than an H128 for cert flights.

Loopy
 

firemanup

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Congrats on the cert flight... !!!!!!!!

Those group launches are alot of fun aren't they, almost always worth a trip......
 

Elapid

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Originally posted by Loopy
Congratulations! Great video, and nice screen grab with the huge red flame! I like hearing about people using something other than an H128 for cert flights.

Loopy
thanks
i'll digitize the sonic 3100 flight, but since i was so intent on watching the flight, the video only gets a few frames of the launch before i forgot all about it. the rest of the tape is my feet and playa...
hahahha!

funny thing about the H-impules motors...
i don't have a case that small
hehehe...
smallest ones are 480Ns
i realized that the night before the launch and had to run new simulations with the motors that acutally fit my cases.
details, details...

i learned that fishing snap swivels are not up to the task of recovery in larger rockets in less than optimal deployments
:eek:

the cotton elastic i used for shock cord on the goblin held up nicely through the reverse-burn and it doesn't appear to need replacing.

fmu- yeah! i think it was worth the 500 mile round-trip! i probably should have stayed, but all i had with me was a 5 gallon jug of water and a bag of chips...ROFL! one more day would have turned me into a Rob-Lobster, too!

i'm looking forward to Sept out there for the altitude competition!
i'll make sure to bring a bunch of model rockets too!
there were a LOT of empty pads!
 

Donaldsrockets

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Congrats on your cert. Too bad you didn't get it on the first attempt and I agree with you about not allowing anyone else to handle your assembled motors.

Talk about certing in style, a Redline and a rather large one at that. I also love the Redlines. I also suggest that you may want to try the 38/480 I285R eventually. I burned one not too long ago and that's a great motor too especially when used in a Binder Stealth painted all black.:D

Again, congrats.:) :cool:
 

rstaff3

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Congrats on your L1 bro! I bet the Black Rock experience was great by itself!
 

Justin Horne

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Originally posted by Donaldsrockets
Congrats on your cert. Too bad you didn't get it on the first attempt and I agree with you about not allowing anyone else to handle your assembled motors.

Talk about certing in style, a Redline and a rather large one at that. I also love the Redlines. I also suggest that you may want to try the 38/480 I285R eventually. I burned one not too long ago and that's a great motor too especially when used in a Binder Stealth painted all black.:D

Again, congrats.:) :cool:
I agree, that I285 is an awesome motor..:) Thats a great idea about putting it into a stealth.. I need to get me one of those since ive had a stealth jr.:)
 

lalligood

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Congrats on the certification :) Nothing like seeing a rocket with as much flame from the motor as there is bodytube, huh? :D

And if you get a chance, don't be shy about submitting a review to EMRR for your Sonic 3100... (There are only a handfull of USR kits reviewed there.)
 

rdbones

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Congrats on the L-1

Mine is scheduled for September 19th at the SARA launch in Tucson !!

Hopefully I will join the ranks then!
 

Elapid

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Originally posted by Gunny
Grats on your cert. Now think big!
thanks!
like i need any encouragement to build bigger!
:D
i have one in the living room 2.6" x 80" with a 38MMT
i just need to build up the fins and put in a recovery device...

good luck in sept, rdb!
 
A

Austin

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Elapid,

A BIG congrats on your cert flight...well done!!!:) Your persistance was absolutely incredible; I think you hung in there where most would have just packed it up while they could take at least one rocket home in one piece....good call and way to tough it out.

The video and pics are very cool...looks like a great field too...glad you had fun. Best wishes for future launches and keep the pics coming.

Once again, nice job!

Carl
 
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