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TARC dealine nears - Claimed scores?

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n5wd

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While the official TARC deadline for submitting qualification flight scores is Monday, April 6, 2009, the three teams that I sponsor had to finish their qualification flights by last night, March 31. Why the shorter deadline? I'm taking off a few days for my son's wedding - we've got folks flying in from around the country, and I get to play chauffeur and tour guide!

So how did we do? Our last team to qualify waited until the very last - and I mean very last - light to qualify. Due to the prevailing winds, we were backed up right next to the varsity baseball field, and they were playing a game that was hopefully going to help decide the district championship. So as to not disturb the game, we launched only in-between the halves of the innings. While that was workable for both of us, it sure slowed things down. The sun was sinking into the west when our Team #3 lit their declared qualification flight and wound up with a 12.2 point score!

The scores, by the way, are judged on the challenge of flying a single egg in a horizontal position, to an indicated altitude of 750 feet, in a 45 second flight. Each foot away from 750 earns a penalty point - each half-second away from 45 seconds is a penalty point. A perfect flight is zero points. Last year's cutoff for an invitation to the nationals was 24.2, IIRC.

Our other two teams had finished their qualification flights earlier: Team #1 had a 19.8 and Team #2 a 24.2.

Based upon last year's cutoffs, that would mean we'd have two teams going to the finals in Manassas in May, and one team being an alternate... but of course, past performance is no predictor of future results.

So... how are your teams scores?
 
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jflis

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My team in Merrimack did a great job and worked frantically to get their qualification flight in this week. I had kept inviting them to our CMASS qualification launch this weekend, but they were insistent about getting their flights in a bit earlier.

Their big concern is that SpaceCAD predicted about 725 feet and a few test launches put them between 720 and 735. Their timing was near perfect and they finally decided they had tweaked the design all they could and would accept the score they get.

So, Tuesday we go out (I had explained to them that I teach 4 afternoons a week and Tuesday was really the only day I could be available after school...). I meet them in the field. They had the whole team, with the teacher and were ready to go.

They were using a 4 C motor cluster and had a very interesting jig they built to attach the igniters (see first 2 pictures).

They got it all hooked up and we were set with our stop watches and the launch was a GO!

Houston. We have a problem...

The 3rd photo shows that only 3 motors lit. The 4th held on to the clip ring and the assembly held the rocket at the top of the rod. After a pregnant pause, the ring broke free and the rocket power augered into the ground.

These kids were devastated. The payload section was destroyed but the model was otherwise unharmed. We discussed options. Their payload section was highly custom and they needed to fabricate another. Brian (team leader) felt they could be ready in the next few days and I reminded them I could only be there during the day.

get this... on the way home a bug flew into the car and one of the team mates freaked out and wound up busting fins on the rocket... man...

Wednesday morning I get a call that they are ready to go. Brian got a field trip pass during his study hall, but the other team members were unavailable. Back out to the field for the next launch.

Brian was much more careful with everything and at T-0 we got a good launch and 4-motor burn (see last pic).

Perfect deployment and the clock is running. Upon touch down I looked and saw a time of 44.61 I looked to the other timer and she had a time of 44.27 Incredible.

We see Brian jumping up and down screaming something we couldn't hear... When we got to the rocket I listened to the altimeter... 744 feet.

They nailed it! Final score was 7.12

Needless to say Brian was beside himself and I venture that the rest of the team mates are going to be shocked *and* ticked that they had to miss it :)

Now I gotta get to work. I promised my team that if they make it to the finals I would print up team T-shirts for them :) We're waiting for official word which will be a while, but our hopes are high at this point.

Sorry so long, but this was a fun week :)
jim

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n5wd

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... Houston. We have a problem,,,
This wouldn't be TARC if it went flawlessly. The team that qualified on the final day was on their third iteration of a TARC task rocket - and they learned the hard way that additional CA and tape on fins adds to the increasing CD! :D

Oh, my... 7 points, huh? What a comeback! Congratulations to Brian and the team for a great recovery (from disaster) and flight!

Will you be going to Manassas as well? If so, perhaps we can get a group together for dinner on Friday night before the team briefing.
 

jflis

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We're talking about it now. It depends on if Kathy can get time off (I don't relish a trip alone... :) ) As I understand it we should know for sure a week or so after the deadline of 6-April for qualification scores.

jim
 

jflis

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Well, now we know :) Our team made the cut and will be going to Virginia! :D

I am tickled pink about this. Now to see if I will be able to attend with them.
 

jj94

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The team I'm with got a 24.68 and unfortunately did not make the cut. Hopefully next year.
 

bobkrech

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A record 58% of the 2009 TARC teams (382 of the 653 teams) made qualifying flights, which is significantly higher than the 50% of the entrants in TARC 2008, so the competition was stiffer this year than last. The cutoff score for selection to attend the TARC 2009 Finals was 17.6, which is slightly better than last year. The cutoff score for selection as one of the 20 alternates to be invited in case one of the primary 100 teams cannot attend was 19.9.

See the attached plot that shows the range of Finalist and Alternate Scores.

Bob

2009 TARC Scores.JPG
 
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n5wd

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See the attached plot that shows the range of Finalist and Alternate Scores.
Sure would like to know the distribution of scores within that pretty plot, Bob. But, alas... ;)
 

jj94

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A record 58% of the 2009 TARC teams (382 of the 653 teams) made qualifying flights, which is significantly higher than the 50% of the entrants in TARC 2008, so the competition was stiffer this year than last. The cutoff score for selection to attend the TARC 2009 Finals was 17.6, which is slightly better than last year. The cutoff score for selection as one of the 20 alternates to be invited in case one of the primary 100 teams cannot attend was 19.9.

See the attached plot that shows the range of Finalist and Alternate Scores.

Bob
Thanks for that info. I was wondering about what the cutoff was for this year.
 

n5wd

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Well, now we know :) Our team made the cut and will be going to Virginia! :D
Don't know if I've said it before, but congrats! Noticed that only your team out of the whole state made it. Well, that's still 33% of the entries, eh? ;)

jflis said:
I am tickled pink about this. Now to see if I will be able to attend with them.
Hope you're able to come - would like to meet you and get you to autograph the back ish of Extreme Rocketry I just got... you know the one! ;)

We had our first team meeting since the announcement - I've got one member bouncing around the walls like a pinball, two of 'em that are still in catatonic states, and the fourth is cool & calm on the outside... Now they've jsut got to build a new rocket (their last one looks like a patched version of the Firefly with duct tape and so much superglue on the fins....) and flly the primary and backups... They seemed kinda surprised when we "suggested" they need to put in 5-10 flights on each rocket, now. Hard to explain that a 12 point something in qualifications don't mean much in the finals.
 
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