Semi-personal launch report: RED GLARE XVI

daveyfire

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Hi again everybody!

Backstory: while growing up, I was internet friends (shut up) with some east coast rocket kids (seriously, pls stop judging meh) and we had a grand old time making fun of each other and flying rockets. Eventually, we all grew up and went to college... the wise ones like Todd and Dan and Ryan got jobs and the not-so-wise ones (i.e., me) went to grad school in the middle of the country to learn more about rockets.

But, one benefit to being in the middle of nowhere is that you're in the middle of everywhere, so one night, inspiration struck and I decided to buy a plane ticket and head to one of MDRA's Red Glare events. Back in my high school days, I was a huge MDRA fanboi-- out on the west coast, I had nothing like it to learn from, and the MDRA dudes like Darren and Jerry and Bob patiently mentored me over the internet machine as I learned to make propellant. (I think that's what eventually got me into grad school too, so I kind of blame MDRA for this whole PhD thing in the first place.) So being able to make a pilgrimage to Higgs Farm and hang out with not only my old internet friends (INTERNET PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE TOO) but also my propellant mentors was pretty awesome. I had a good enough time that first Red Glare that I made the trip every opportunity I could since then... and seeing as how I'm graduating this semester, this one (RGXVI) will probably be my last one for a while. And MAN, was it worth it!

So, end back/sobstory and onto the real reason you're probably here: pictures! Launch report! ROCKETS! I drove in with two rockets (my Jart and my trusty Competitor 4) and a couple of motors, intending to have a nice laidback weekend. After crashing at Todd's apartment on Thursday night, I headed to the Eastern Shore Friday morning. This was the second time that my car has been across the Bay Bridge; it's been from coast-to-coast a few times now, and I'm glad it's been so reliable :D

I've been to Higgs Farm enough times that I'm happy to say I know the route by heart. Getting there was easy (watch out for the cops on 301, as usual!), and parking was also simple on Friday morning. I stopped by and chatted with Tim and CJ on Friday morning, and then quickly got sucked into a drag race. Surprise, surprise. But first things first-- on my way to the car to get my Jart, I ran into JerryO (vahpr), who already had his T-Smoke on the pad with a 98-7600 "slow white" motor, meant eventually for the upper stage of his new (iconic!) TS. Neil was busy entertaining some "invited guests", so Mike was on the mic for the count... and off she went:

Yet another perfect flight for the old T-Smoke. That thing is a piece of history!

The last time I saw Fred Taverni was at Midwest Power, flying Sonic Karma on a bunch of successful two stage flights. He had Sonic Karma once again, this time flying single stage (?!) on a Metalstorm motor:


dpatell (one of the smart ones) was there on Friday camped with landru; he got to the pads early with his 5" Competitor on a 98mm fast-ish load for a nice flight.


Jerry was also test flying propellant for the booster of his new TS. This one was an N4000 or so in Al Anderson's rocket:

OH YEAH!

Meanwhile, I built an avbay and mounted rail buttons, and got my Jart ready to fly in the race.

CJ and I had grabbed CTI J293BS motors to race, and Tim claimed he had grabbed a J240RL. Mmm hmm, right. We all loaded up on the B rack:

and then off we went. Of course, Tim had a VMax instead. (I should have guessed by how BRIGHT RED the propellant was.) My Jart performed well on the Blue Streak motor:

doing a nice dual deploy and missing the parking area by about 3 feet:


Paddledapimp was back shortly thereafter with a White Lightning Clone (a real one, the expensive kind) in his Bad Attitude:
It ended up breaking the shock cord and dorking into the field, albeit with no damage. Those Hawk Mountain kits are durable!

G_T flew his Sprite on a wicked fast motor, only to have it end up in the trees :(


Steve Bayak flew his new Fat Boy on three M1297Ws and three L2300Gs. You can see the vaguely green tint in the flame as it battled its way to apogee:

Recovery was very innovative with the drogue coming out of the rear end and the main coming out of the front. It all worked perfectly!


landru had his 38mm rocket with a 3D printed fin can ready to go with one of dpatell's red 38mm motors:


at which point I asked him, "so you've got a tracker in that thing, right?" "No?" "Beeper?" "No?" "Smoke grain?" "I think so?" We lost sight of it and couldn't find it after a brief hunt. He's still looking, I think.
 

daveyfire

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Saturday morning, Todd and I set out for the field with his Darkstar in tow. GaryT rocked the pads with his Formula200 on an N5600WT. Freaking. AWESOME.


dpatell was back with his Competitor 5 again, this time with a 6000 white. Things looked a bit ragged off the pad:

which quickly manifested as a cato mid-burn:

but he's vowing to return again! This, of course, led to yet another award-winning MDRA fire brigade:

(into which I dove as soon as I put the camera down.)

Dan Michael's Hojo was up for sale ($500) after its final flight on 3 M1315Ws. Things looked good on the rail:

but my rocketry photographer's instinct kicked in somewhere around here that something was up:

and then I realized it looked WAY TOO SCALE:

at which point I stopped shooting and started watching. I think Tim bought the remains for significantly less than $500.

Jerry flew another fast propellant test motor in his 7.5" Iris. Neil called out the count while I was behind the first line of cars so I got a photo from an interesting perspective.


Finally, Todd had his (prepped-since-last-Red-Glare) rocket ready to go.

I love MDRA's launch equipment; this is the same pad and the same set of clips we fired Shake Weight from on two M4500s and two K1700s a few years back. This time around, a single M4500 proved to be no problem:

except for the part where we started walking with the Com-Spec tracker. I flipped it 90 degrees and the signal strength jumped: "dude, you're in the trees." "No way." I talked to Bob and Tommy real quick just in case, which turned out to have been a good decision...

Yup, that tracker just paid for itself again.

GaryT was back with a 5" Broken Arrow on the ever-awesome CTI M2505WT:


This gentleman was standing next to me while I waited for my Jart to go again. He looked extremely nervous; turns out this was his L2 flight with a Warlock on a J350W:

Welcome to higher power, dude!


Steve Eves flew his original-size I-ROC on a Loki Stellar propellant load:


then it was my turn with the Jart again on one of my K600 blue motors (photos by Todd):



This one ended up much further from the cars than last time, but, again with the help of the tracker, we got it back in no time.


Sunday was much windier; I shot exactly one photo: GaryT's Vorlon headed skyward on a CTI L Blue Streak:

and then I walked the flight line, shook hands, jumped in the car, and headed back to Indiana.

Thank you MDRA for another fantastic Red Glare at the legendary Higgs Farm field. I'm looking forward to coming back, eating chicken, and flying more rockets very soon!
 

eggplant

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Fantastic launch report and pictures! I have never been to an event of this scale, so I appreciate the people who take pictures and write up their experiences. Someday...
 

patelldp

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David,

As always, awesome report and pictures!!! I think you have it backwards, though...you're the smart one for delaying the inevitable for a few years. You got to spend some time learning what you love, acquired some alphabet soup on your name, and attended awesome rocket festivals all over the country!

Best of luck to you in the future. Looking forward to hanging out in some random farmers field at some point later in life!
 

GaryT

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Dave,
Great write up and per usual awesome pics. Hey we all all have day jobs and still make it to RG, I expect you to do same! Its always great to see on the field buddy.
 

ECayemberg

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Hi again everybody!

Backstory: while growing up, I was internet friends (shut up) with some east coast rocket kids (seriously, pls stop judging meh) and we had a grand old time making fun of each other and flying rockets. Eventually, we all grew up and went to college... the wise ones like Todd and Dan and Ryan got jobs and the not-so-wise ones (i.e., me) went to grad school in the middle of the country to learn more about rockets.

But, one benefit to being in the middle of nowhere is that you're in the middle of everywhere, so one night, inspiration struck and I decided to buy a plane ticket and head to one of MDRA's Red Glare events. Back in my high school days, I was a huge MDRA fanboi-- out on the west coast, I had nothing like it to learn from, and the MDRA dudes like Darren and Jerry and Bob patiently mentored me over the internet machine as I learned to make propellant. (I think that's what eventually got me into grad school too, so I kind of blame MDRA for this whole PhD thing in the first place.) So being able to make a pilgrimage to Higgs Farm and hang out with not only my old internet friends (INTERNET PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE TOO) but also my propellant mentors was pretty awesome. I had a good enough time that first Red Glare that I made the trip every opportunity I could since then... and seeing as how I'm graduating this semester, this one (RGXVI) will probably be my last one for a while. And MAN, was it worth it!

So, end back/sobstory and onto the real reason you're probably here: pictures! Launch report! ROCKETS! I drove in with two rockets (my Jart and my trusty Competitor 4) and a couple of motors, intending to have a nice laidback weekend. After crashing at Todd's apartment on Thursday night, I headed to the Eastern Shore Friday morning. This was the second time that my car has been across the Bay Bridge; it's been from coast-to-coast a few times now, and I'm glad it's been so reliable :D

CJ and I had grabbed CTI J293BS motors to race, and Tim claimed he had grabbed a J240RL. Mmm hmm, right. We all loaded up on the B rack:

and then off we went. Of course, Tim had a VMax instead. (I should have guessed by how BRIGHT RED the propellant was.)

Excellent story:grin:, excellent photos:clap:, and most importantly: most excellent selfie:wink: See you in May!:handshake:
 

gdjsky01

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MDARS... :)



Super report. It makes me wish I could attend such events! :cheers:
Fabulous photos!!! But you knew that. :wink:
Dave are you already getting a receding hairline? Geezzz... or is that just the latest cut? :y:

We have (much) better weather... but we don't have a launch with that kind of camaraderie.

Super duper report(s)! (The two others as well.)


 

daveyfire

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Fantastic launch report and pictures! I have never been to an event of this scale, so I appreciate the people who take pictures and write up their experiences. Someday...
Dood you gotta make it down for one. Red Glare is one of (if not the) premier east coast events.
Looking forward to hanging out in some random farmers field at some point later in life!
Then we can both be out standing in a field ;) (God I've been hanging out with Grandpa$ too much)
Great write up and per usual awesome pics. Hey we all all have day jobs and still make it to RG, I expect you to do same! Its always great to see on the field buddy.
Absolutely Gary! One day when I grow up I hope to be able to fly as many as you do in a weekend :D
most importantly: most excellent selfie:wink: See you in May!:handshake:
qvvhZH3.gif

Dave...Great pictures and a great report. Good-luck to you! It was good to see you at Thunderstruck. Greg Olson
Thanks Greg! Hope to see ya again soon either next month or at MWP!
It didn't seem weird ...
Yeah but you didn't heat up my syrup. Rude.
Dave are you already getting a receding hairline? Geezzz... or is that just the latest cut? :y:
We have (much) better weather... but we don't have a launch with that kind of camaraderie.
I've always had that hairline, the girls in high school loved it :p
TN7lk3v.jpg

And as for camaraderie, I've got a Wilson F/X box with "playa" written all over it here... coming soon!
Nice report Dave. I'll fly with y'all one day!
Yeah Marcus, North Carolina isn't far at all from Higgs Farm! Bring up a crazy cluster rocket and we'll make it happen for sure.

Now I just gotta figure out what this whole "vacation days" thing is so we can do it again :flyingpig:
 

GaryT

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Dave,
You are absolutely correct in saying Red Glare is THE Premiere East Coast launch. I've said it a 100 times Red Glare is my favorite launch out of all of them. I've been going since RG2 and plan to keep attending as long as they have them. I can't say enough about the whole MDRA crew, from the club to the field to Tommy the land owner all! are top notch in my book. From the minute I leave the field I can't wait to return.
 
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thobin

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Looks like you all had fun, great report thanks for sharing.

TA
 

prophecy

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So many subtleties in this thread that don't go unappreciated on this end, well done Reese.

I was actually trying to explain this early-2000s-internet-east-coast-kids-plus-Reese story to the TRA Houston guys who were asking where and when I learned to mix at such a young age, and I think my explanation made zero sense. So thanks for putting it in writing. I remember when my mom banned me from the internet for the summer of 2004 for my 8th grade punk antics and it was a major crisis in my rocketry career, and instead of being a screaming kid in the loop at LDRS in Geneseo that summer, I got to be a screaming kid out of the loop when my 3500 Bruiser flight worked and Chuck Rudy got it on video (I need to find that somewhere). Ironically, Reese is the first one I met even though he was the only left coaster (except for Todd at Cato, I guess) in Amarillo in '02 when I was a wide-eyed 12 year old asking how many Ms went into the Gates Brothers' Athos.

Naturally I turned out to be the only one writing ads for a living instead of doing things like casually getting a PhD.

Congrats again on that D, and glad I got up to T-Struck this year even though you were tied up the whole time. Come fly with us in Argonia sometime, otherwise see ya at Balls.
 
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H_Rocket

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David

It was great seeing you for at least one more time. Congrats on the degree. You decide where you will be plying your nefarious trade?

(And I still want to figure out how to make a real ARCAS motor - maybe for my someday first trip to BALLS - we could mate it up with a GT ARCAS when they are released.)
 
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