My Level 2 Cert

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Well-Known Member
Jun 8, 2009
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I've had some inquiries about the rocket in my avatar. It's my scratch built Level 2 rocket I call Mindcrime.

The specs are pretty standard for a Lev 2 dual deploy - 4" dia, 96" tall, a tad heavy at 11.25 lb empty. I used the original Blue Tube 1.0 on this, as I bought it last September. I haven't seen any hint of warping. It has a 54mm motormount with a custom-made 38mm adapter very similar to Aeropack made by the best metal worker around (thanks Bryan!). However, I am using a PML 54mm HAMR. This setup is working very well for me. The tailcone is a chunk of wood turned on a lathe by the best woodworker around (thanks Bryan!) The fins are a Nomex honeycomb/fiberglass composite. The nosecone is a plastic 5:1 ogive that I picked up from the Science Education center in Wichita, KS. I am not positive of the brand. I used a 24" Rocketman Mach 1 for my drogue and an 8ft Rocketman standard for the main. I like big chutes I finally got around to using my Parrot altimeter after letting it sit a year after purchasing it last summer.

After I got the test out of the way, the fun started June 19 in Pickrell, NE at THOR's Nebraska Heat. I loaded up my CTI J600 Red in the 6gXL case and filled out my flight card. My daughter was helping me as my flight crew. We got Mindcrime all set and the moment of truth was upon us. Her first liftoff was stunning. I love that red flame! Drogue popped out at apogee, looking good. One last little event, and we are home free... waiting.... waiting.... Nope. No main deployment. She hit the ground at around 70fps. Of course I was crushed.

That is until I went to pick up the pieces. The front part of my beloved was buried 10 inches or so into the ground like a fence post. I pulled it out and couldn't believe my eyes. I rubbed off some dirt but couldn't find ANY damage. The booster section was about 20 feet away, also unscathed!! My mood did another 180!! Of course, the mean ole prefect wouldn't cert me. I wouldn't have wanted him to anyway.

Lucky for me, someone at the shoot had another reload I could buy. After downloading the data from the Parrot and checking out everything, I am pretty sure that my screwswitch failed. Power seems to have gone off right at drogue deployment. This is entirely my own fault in my implementation. I bypassed my mess of wiring and switches, opting for two leads sticking out of the rocket I could twist together at the pad. And we were off, this time on a CTI J 420 Classic.

This time, I didn't have quite the same apprehension. Afterall, I had just proven that this rocket doesn't really NEED a parachute. What could go wrong? This time -- nothing. Perfect flight. Nice recovery. NOT perfect however. I didn't have my rigging quite right and there was some twisting and tangling of my Kevlar around the midsection. BUT it wasn't enough to keep Mindcrime from safely touching down. On this 2nd attempt of the day -- I had gained my coveted signature!!

I have since completely gutted and redone my AV bay. I'll have to get some pics of the new setup. However, I don't have any pics of the old setup. Therefore, there is no evidence of how badly I set it up the first time LOL. I launched the Mindcrime at KLOUDBUSTER'S Sweaty Balls July 10 with the newly redone AV Bay and another J420 CL. This time, everything WAS perfect. I had studied many videos of Dual Deployments and got the relationship of shockcord lengths to various sections down this time. No tangles. Perfect deployments. AND -- that Prefect from Nebraska just happened to be there to see me do it right Thanks Kevin!!

Next up -- K550 at Airfest!





As one of the folks that had asked, I'm glad to see it, it is indeed an interesting design. I had drawn up something "inspired" by it this weekend in Rocksim, not finished yet...

The fins have at least a resemblance to a Russian R-33 (Nato AA-9 Archer), which is what attracted me to the design.

Nice job!
Darrin, I really like that rocket a lot. I am glad I could have been at Nebraska to see it fly and to have seen you certify.
It is indeed a very nice rocket, and you guys are welcome to come play with us any time!