Personal HPR Launch -- 22 May 04

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Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Date: 22 May 04
Time: 0810
Location: Holloman High Speed Test Track (Holloman AFB/WSMR)
Conditions: Clear, off-and-on minimal breeze, ~65F
GSE: Estes Pro Series Pad and Controller

Was asked by the 846 TS/CC to fly an HPR launch to kick off their annual "Mach 10K" run. After some coordination with the folks at WSMR and Holloman to make sure we cleared all the necessary wickets (FAA, etc), we were good to go. Kinda cool to be doing this out at the track where we set the new land speed record just over a year ago (9465 ft/sec)...

This is the first time I've ever launched HPR outside of a club launch, with my own equipment. Was somewhat worried about it, but the Pro Series stuff handled it well, and the launch controller had plenty of juice to fire the motor.

#1: PML Small Endeavour, H-238T (Med), 8th Flight

Set up a good distance away from the start line at the Sled Track. We set up the countdown so that we launched as the runners started. Perfect launch, almost straight up, deployment slightly before apogee. Nominal recovery, across the track but less than 100 yds from the launch pad. Estimate between 2500 and 3000 ft.

Got many great comments from the HHSTT guys and the runners who all enjoyed the rocket launch. Almost all had only seen Estes-type rockets, if any, so it was quite a sight/sound for most of them. Who knows ... maybe will generate a new HPR hobbyist along the way.

Looking forward to being able to launch again at next year's run. Maybe I'll get my act together and be able to cert L2 by then ... otherwise will probably aim for an I motor to "up the ante."

Sorry no pics :(

David, well done! (I was kinda biting my lip when I read that you launched an H off of the Pro Series pad!!!) Glad to hear the launch was a success. Events like this are great for exposure. This is just another example of getting the hobby out in the public eye. Soon enough the public's feedback will be very important in getting the regulation pushed back a notch.

I used to be a runner (Cross Country & Track) back in high school and the sound of the gun starting a race always got my heart pumpin'. I can only imagine what a rocket launch at the start of race would have done to me! Wow...very cool exposure. By chance did any of your fellow club members come out? Maybe next year you can gather a group and at least put a bunch of massive HPR birds on display. Perhaps next year there can be a themed rocket with the race logo on it. Maybe they'll sponsor you and foot the bill for all expenses. Who knows...

Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a very unique experience indeed.