Personal Launch Report 2017-01-29

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Kim's Rocketeer
TRF Supporter
Jan 20, 2011
Reaction score
I've waxed poetically about driving to one launch or the other in the past. Since I live in Southern California, one of the most geologically diverse areas, as well as historic when it comes to aerospace, it is not hard.

Sunday the 29th of January 2017 was no different. Driving into the Antelope Valley and seeing the striking amount of snow on the mountains was worth the drive alone. Thanks to recent rains, there were plenty of large puddles as well. Very large...

I also noted the high winds on the 14 freeway by Acton earlier in the drive. Yet after getting to Palmdale the wind generators were barely turning. As I headed through the town of Mojave and by the Mojave Air and Space Port, things were looking very good indeed.


On pass Edwards AFB's north end, part of which was a real lake, on to Aerial Acres.

When I arrived it was calm, cool, and ready for launching.


The Formula XX series of rockets now sold by Madcow are wonderfully easy to build and relatively inexpensive all FG kits that just plain fly well. And they need no finishing it that is what you want. Me I always cut some custom vinyl. But no paint.

I had the Formula 75, which I have documented the build of here on TRF, ready with a H110 CTI Classic (2 grain 38mm). In the nosecone was a StratoLogger set to apogee deploy. Calm winds and 50F (10C)


This is a 269ns mid-level H. Powered the 5lb rocket on up to 1331' (405m) with a good deployment.


Next I had a scratch built called "This is a Stick Up". It is a long 54mm rocket with a 38mm MMT. I used a old Aerotech H motor. Since the delay was too long, I used an original MissleWorks RRC for Apogee deployment. About 3 pounds... calm winds


And that seemed to go just fine to 2514ft... (766m)


The Sublime is available from Madcow. I bought mine years ago at a great discount on Rocketry Warehouse's Black Friday sale. It's an attention getter. That 4 inch to 5.5 inch transition...
Again it's all prefinished once build. Again the build is documented here on TRF. Again the decals are all my custom cut viynl. And believe me 'weeding those limes was a chore'. :D

This rocket has been prepped and stood down, several times over the past two years. The K550-M (with 2 seconds cut) has been built all that time, minus the charge.

The rocket was setup with an Archetype Cable cutter with a MissleWorks RRC2+ set for 600' (180m) main deploy. The chute bundle was to be ejected by 2.5 grams of BP in the motor.


Fourteen pounds (6.3kg) of rocket, calm winds, K550.


You can see the 1/8" (3mm) orange masking tape I forgot to remove. It has the motor, delay, and number of beeps from the altimeter I should hear (so I don't have to remember). I do this with most flights.


The flight powered on up to 3700+ ft (1.3km) however the chute slipped from the burrito resulting in a safe, but further out recovery. I heard the cable cutter fire at the about the right time, and later found the piece of tywrap in the bottom of the cutter. So it worked just fine. Just my packing lacked. I've used the cutter many times. I've never had a failed cut. But I have had a few packing issues. Not many. A few.
Last edited:
Next I loaded the Starchaser 2.6. This is a BARCLONE inspired design scaled up to 2.6 inch BT-80. Inspired, not a direct clone. BARCLONE has dozens of great designs worth building.

The wraps and decals are all inkjet clear coated. It's flown several times and each time things get more and more banged up. But it looks good from a distance! I think some or most of the year long, on again off again, build is documented here on TRF.


Using an Aerotech F35-5 it took an old Adept recording altimeter on up for a ride to 602' (183m). And a nice reocovery.

Finally I did the maiden flight my own design Strongtium 29. It's of course loosely based on the Aerotech StrongArm. But the fins and the ring in the leading edge are all my design. Decals and vinly my own as well.



It was still calm... Wow.... with an Estes/Aerotech F50-6 it went fast! I was surprised I caught it. It took an Estes altimeter on up to 1369' (417m) with a good deployment.


Thats a wrap. One K, 2 H's and two F's. About 2185ns give or take total... No carnage. Not a bad morning's work. And the day was fantastic.

There 50 photos here

Comments and constructive ideas always welcome!

But I'll leave you with a favorite...

Last edited:
Great pics, especially the Starchaser (whose build thread I just caught up on the other day). Looks like a beautiful day for flying.

As for that last picture... :eyepop:
Boy, I haven't been in that neck of the woods in 20 years! I don't much care for that part of the country, but you can't deny the history and the perfect location for MPR/HPR. Great photos. I got to shoot model rockets myself this past weekend for the first time. I usually shoot R/C airplanes... I'll have to bump up my shutter speed next time for the MPR/HPR stuff.
I don't much care for that part of the country, but you can't deny the history and the perfect location for MPR/HPR.

Thank you for the compliments on the photos. I try... I'm not entirely happy with the 60D/Tamron combination yet. But maybe I can do better!

Sort of like you, well you know what I mean... I am SO proud to live in California. Such an amazing place. Smart people. People that look like from everywhere on the planet. Even at launches!!! Especially at TARC launches. Kids from everywhere. All walks of life. Kids whose parents can barely afford the F motors.

And we have diverse landscapes. Amazing ocean. Snow in the morning, surfing in the evening! SoCal, other than traffic, which is awful, it is an amazing place!

Alabama? LOL! Whatever. I'll not take your bait.

Thanks again for the post! And thank you to everyone so far that has looked! Nice to know you read this!

Last edited:
Lol! I wasn't trying to bait you into anything. I've been to Palmdale/Edwards AFB a few times while I was with the B-2 Bombers in the USAF, and I was stationed for a time in Albuquerque, NM. I just don't like the dry heat and brown landscapes. I prefer humidity, green grass and green trees. To each their own.

I'm late to the party...but I really enjoyed the launch report. Enjoyed the commentary about the drive, the launches, weather, etc. Very detailed; well done and Thank You!


I'm late to the party...but I really enjoyed the launch report. Enjoyed the commentary about the drive, the launches, weather, etc. Very detailed; well done and Thank You!

Taking the photos, and giving flavor to a launch, it's fun. And I adore the praise. :wink::eyeroll:
Freezing one's rear in the Midwest here. Nice launch documentation with the large pictures on my screen. Thanks. Kurt

I spent my first 37 years (minus 5 in the USAF) in Rochester New York... I feel your pain.. or numbness. :)
I do sort of miss the seasons... sort of. :)
Last edited: