EVENT TriCities Rocketeers announcing SodBlaster 2018 Labor Day Weekend

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rharshberger

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Day 1 of SodBlaster 2018 is in the books, it was a successful day with a slow start. The sod farm was working the circle we normally fly off of so we had some delays while they were disking and roto-packing the circle, one of the farm hands who was interested in what we were doing talked with the tractor operator and got him to make 4 passes over the area we needed for our HPR pads to sit on and then he went on and worked the rest of the field, allowing us to start flying for the day. Turnout was good for the first day about 30 active fliers, with more arriving later in the day. Scott Binder Rockets, and Chehalis Junction Hobbies were on site, along with SMT Designs, and John Ludwig selling off some of his huge collection of LPR and MPR rockets. Once we know how many flights occurred today I will post it here.

Our distinguished vistors today were Ellis and Kiki Langford (Estes Rockets) and Steve Shannon (Tripoli Pres), Ellis and Kiki spent a large portion of the day visiting, flying some and signing a few rockets and posing for photos with club members. Steve arrived during the middle afternoon and will be returning tomorrow to visit some more.

Tomorrow is looking good weather wise and we should be seeing more fliers arriving so far the event is exceeding our expectations. After the waiver closes on Saturday we will hold the raffle and Pulled Pork Sandwich feed (sides are coleslaw, baked beans) and Flyfalcons made a yummy looking blackberry pie or two.
 

mcderek

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Fun day indeed. My LOC Cyclotron on the pad. CTI I175 onboard.
VSqBOBJ.jpg


The Sod Farm is quite sparky proof at the moment! Look at all that dirt.

A short video of the flight.

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It might fly again tomorrow in the egg launch competition if I can find a bit of foam :)
 

rharshberger

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Day 2 of Sodblaster is done, we had some awesome sparky flights, J-K-L's were popular as well as lots of G-H-I sparkies. We flew a few contests (the Sparky contest go until tomorrow). Had a great raffle, so much stuff to give away, a couple of silent auctions for a Loc Isis (IRIS), some I49 and I59 motors, and the PML Nike Apache (4" to 38mm, which could be a two-stage with some effort, it is a phenolic kit with preformed fin cans of what looks to be FG).

Steve Shannon once again spent the day with us and even got some time on LCO duty, once again Steve, thanks for dropping by.

The BBQ potluck turned out great (someone said a rough head count of those attending the BBQ was 82 members and families), we had some great food, thanks to Bonnie K, Tamara K, Sue W., Li M, and all the other ladies that were involved in the food serving and prep. Thanks to John Ludwig for his Apple Jack BBQ sauce, Flyfalcons for a very fine scratch made Blackberry pie, a divine Chocolate Lava cake (don't know who made it but darn it was tasty), there was some awesome smoked chex mix, so much good stuff I didn't even get to taste (the downside of a gastric bypass).

Thanks to our onsite vendors Steve Thatcher of SMT Designs, Bob Grossfeld from Sun River Observatory, Don Johnson of Chehalis Junction Hobbies, Scott Binder Rockets (pretty sure I saw at least three 4" Thors find new homes from his booth, and the HOJO,Fusion, Horizon and ArrowX all were very tempting).

Yesterday we had near 80 flights, today we had way more than that, with 8 HPR pads we kept them full quite a bit and occasionally had another complete rack standing by. The MPR pads were hot too, LPR had some flights but MPR and HPR were king today for numbers.

Our sponsors we can't thank enough, for all they did with the prizes and raffle it looks like we will be planning another SodBlaster for next year.

We had some great flights, and some great photographers on hand to get the pics for us (as soon as they are available we will post them with credits to the photographer, or they can post them here).
 

mcderek

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What a great day! Many memorable flights and the food was great. Thanks to all who made it possible. Still two days to go but I'm working so won't be there. I don't know if my wallet would survive if I did! :) Have fun tomorrow. By the way the haze that started moving in at days end is due to a fire out by Benton City. Hopefully it the smoke/haze will clear out by tomorrow.
 

BEC

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Ryan - nice picture. What did Ellis think of your upscale Solar Warrior?
 

Steve Shannon

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Thanks, Rich, I really enjoyed it, even though I had a bit of a flaming “closest to the pad” flight. Your club did a great job. I hope to return, although next year I won’t be able to because LDRS, Tripoli’s annual meeting, will be held on Labor Day weekend at Argonia.
 

burkefj

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Day 2 of Sodblaster is done, we had some awesome sparky flights, J-K-L's were popular as well as lots of G-H-I sparkies. We flew a few contests (the Sparky contest go until tomorrow). Had a great raffle, so much stuff to give away, a couple of silent auctions for a Loc Isis (IRIS), some I49 and I59 motors, and the PML Nike Apache (4" to 38mm, which could be a two-stage with some effort, it is a phenolic kit with preformed fin cans of what looks to be FG).

Steve Shannon once again spent the day with us and even got some time on LCO duty, once again Steve, thanks for dropping by.

The BBQ potluck turned out great (someone said a rough head count of those attending the BBQ was 82 members and families), we had some great food, thanks to Bonnie K, Tamara K, Sue W., Li M, and all the other ladies that were involved in the food serving and prep. Thanks to John Ludwig for his Apple Jack BBQ sauce, Flyfalcons for a very fine scratch made Blackberry pie, a divine Chocolate Lava cake (don't know who made it but darn it was tasty), there was some awesome smoked chex mix, so much good stuff I didn't even get to taste (the downside of a gastric bypass).

Thanks to our onsite vendors Steve Thatcher of SMT Designs, Bob Grossfeld from Sun River Observatory, Don Johnson of Chehalis Junction Hobbies, Scott Binder Rockets (pretty sure I saw at least three 4" Thors find new homes from his booth, and the HOJO,Fusion, Horizon and ArrowX all were very tempting).

Yesterday we had near 80 flights, today we had way more than that, with 8 HPR pads we kept them full quite a bit and occasionally had another complete rack standing by. The MPR pads were hot too, LPR had some flights but MPR and HPR were king today for numbers.

Our sponsors we can't thank enough, for all they did with the prizes and raffle it looks like we will be planning another SodBlaster for next year.

We had some great flights, and some great photographers on hand to get the pics for us (as soon as they are available we will post them with credits to the photographer, or they can post them here).

Rich How Could You Forget the best vendor
 

rharshberger

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Frank, my bad, its been a heckuva weekend so far and my brain is hurting....

You had some great demo and night flights. Nice work as usual.
 

rharshberger

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One more day of SodBlaster 2018 left (half day) but we are already over 300 flights for the event, of which more than 30 were H-L sparky motors. Tomorrow is a Tripoli Research launch day. Great turnout for the event, pictures will eventually be forthcoming over on The Rocketry Forum.
 
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I think the inaugural Sod Blaster can officially be considered a success! Lots of great flights went up when I was there, plenty of sparky motors as well! Like always, one of the best things about a launch like this is the people. I had a really great time just walking the flightline and talking with everyone.

Lets do it again!
 

Steve Shannon

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I think the inaugural Sod Blaster can officially be considered a success! Lots of great flights went up when I was there, plenty of sparky motors as well! Like always, one of the best things about a launch like this is the people. I had a really great time just walking the flightline and talking with everyone.

Lets do it again!

It was very nice to meet you, Kris! Thanks for introducing yourself to me!
 
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It was a pleasure to meet you, Steve! Hopefully we will see you at a few more launches over here!
 
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Okay, I should probably post my launch report for the weekend!

I had a great time at the first Sod Blaster launch! I came into the weekend with three personal goals, and I did not come home disappointed!


I arrived at the farm shortly after 8AM on Friday morning, and after setting up my work area I started prepping for the days flights. First up for me was my Estes Big Daddy, painted bright pink in honor of my 5 month old daughter, and aptly renamed the Pink Daddy. It went up on the first rack of rockets for the day on a E9-6 for a perfect first flight of both the day for me, and of the rocket.

Next up, I launched my scratch built 4” diameter Aerobee 150 on its maiden flight. This was the first of several firsts for me. I flew my first 54mm motor on this flight, as well as my first K. It went up on a K456DM sparky to 3,700ft, the first time this weekend I set a personal best for altitude.

Next up, I sent my Estes PSII Nike Smoke on a H115DM to 2,599 ft. This rocket has become my workhorse of the fleet, completing its sixth flight. My MAC Performance ARCAS was next up, flying on my second K motor, a CTI K454SK. This was a perfect boost to 4,446ft, a new personal best. I finished the day with my Madcow Mini Tomach on another H115DM to 4,312ft.

After going into Pasco to my hotel for the night, I arrived back at the farm at 7am to start prepping for the days flights. First up was my wife’s Binder Design Bat on a CTI I297SK to 2,331ft, a great first flight of the day. I flew my Mobius Mini camera on this one, and got some great video of the flight.

Next up was my Aerobee 150 again, this time on a K850DM, for a very impressive flight to 5,473ft, my first time breaking the mile barrier, and another personal best. This didn’t last long, as while I was browsing through Sunriver’s trailer, I noticed that Bob had a K270W reload sitting there. It called my name, so of course I had to buy it!

The K270 was prepped and placed in the ARCAS for my third flight of the day. Another perfect boost, with an apogee of 6,703ft, my new personal best. My final flight of the day was with the Bat again, this time on a J340M, which boosted it to 3,008ft.

After a second great day of flying, the perfect ending to the day was everyone sitting around, eating some great food (with some amazing pulled pork from Dave King, some great pies from Ryan Winslow, and many others!) and just talking. The raffle that night was a great success, I came out of it with a few spoils (a couple of kits, a motor retainer, and a range box). After most people left for the night, several of us sat around the fire pit and just enjoyed each other’s company for a few more hours. I finally called it a night right before 10pm, and retired back to my hotel.

My last flight of the weekend was Sunday morning, with the Bat taking the honors again. It sailed to 2,416ft on a I327DM.

All said, I had 10 perfect flights with no issues. I flew a total of 8 sparky motors, as I was going or the Sparky contest of most N/S of Sparky motors flown. I think I came in second behind David Robb, who had a very impressive L sparky flight, and 5 K456 flights. He was a worthy competitor, and deserved to win that one! I did how ever win the best Sparky flight contest, which I think was for my K850 flight on the Aerobee.

It was great to see Ellis Langford and his wife Kiki make it out for the day on Friday. It was an honor to talk with them, and to watch them fly an Alpha III a few times. Steve Shannon and his wife also came out, and it was great to see and talk with them as well. For a first time regional launch, TCR attracted a couple of big names in the hobby! It was also great to see Scott Binder again. Now to go home and start building the Thor kit I picked up!

There were many great flights this weekend. Ryan Winslow with his “blink and you’ll miss it” 4in Drago on a K2050. Frank Burke’s always entertaining rocket glider flights, as well as his large lightweight rockets. David Robb and his spectacular core sample, as well as his impressive Nike Apache two stage flight. Jim Pommert had several great flights as well, I never did hear if he got all of his Fat Boys back! Then there was the Kennedy clan, with their near sweep of the egg lofting competitions. Congrats on the L2 cert, Larry! Now you need to buy some bigger motors! There were many other great flights, most of whom I cant remember who flew. From the V-2 with realistic recovery, to the Semroc Satellite Killer that turned into a pallet magnet. Too many fun and spectacular flights to list!

I cannot say enough good things about the guys behind Tri Cities Rocketeers. Thanks to Dave King, Rich Harshberger, Bill Moser, and many more for putting it on! Also, thanks to all of the sponsors for the contributions to the raffle!



Thank you to everyone who made it possible!
 

SteveThatcher

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It was a great launch and the TriCities club did a fantastic job. I finally managed to get some time to get one high power rocket together. It was a maiden flight for a 54mm up scale Weasel which I fondly call ElectroWeasel, so I only used a H128 29mm reload. The rocket was dual deploy using an ADEPT22 and was projected to go to 1100 feet. It made it to 800 feet and popped the drogue, fell another 200 feet and the main came out... Next flight will be an I195...

upload_2018-9-3_14-42-15.png

Thanks to all. It was a great time!
 

rharshberger

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Stats for the weekend will eventually be posted here, from Friday through Sunday we had over 350 flights of all categories and saw everything from a Squirrel Works Tardis to a Nike Apache 2 stage, flight. Though we were not impulse limited there were no M-motors or larger flown and only 4 research motor flights. But lots of sparkier were burned. As soon as Dave gets the numbers together I will post them here.

For those who attended please share your photos, or they can be emailed to me (contact via PM for my email please).
 

rharshberger

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And some more photos from SodBlaster 2018

Edit: Credits most of these photos are courtesy of John Ludwig, however the one of Kiki and Ellis is courtesy of Larry Kennedy.


Ellis and Kiki Langford of Estes prepping an Estes Alpha on the LPR pads.
Ellis and Kiki Langford SodBlaster 2018.jpg

Gordon Hom and his daughter with their Der Red Max
Gordon Hom and daughter SodBlaster 2018.jpg



Jim Pommert (back to camera) with a Enerjet 2650 (rocket might be older than me), and Franke Burke with his lightweight Pershing.
Jim Pommert and Frank Burke SodBlaster 2018.jpg


John Ludwig and Ellis Langford posing with Johns YO FAT (more to follow on YO FAT).
John Ludwig and Ellis Langford SodBlaster 2018.jpg

John Ludwig loading YO FAT on the rod at the HPR pads. John Ludwig and YO FAT SodBlaster 2018.jpg


The business end of YO FAT nine D12-7 and three D12-P....John Ludwigs YO FAT rtf SodBlaster 2018.jpg


The business end of YO FAT post flight.... JohnLudwig YO FAT SodBlaster 2018.jpg


Marty Weiser (left) and Frank Burke at the RSO table.
Marty Weiser RSO and FrankBurke SodBlaster 2018.jpg

Yours truly doing RSO duty on the YO FAT, due to the nature of this beasty we do a RSO everytime it flies, it uses three 18" chutes, twelve D12 motors, and has the mass of a brick, but its flights are usually straight and noisy. RichHarshberger RSOing YO FAT SodBlaster 2018.jpg
 

rharshberger

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Did anyone who had a drone at SodBlaster by any chance get a aerial shot of the flight line/prep area from Saturday or Sunday? Also a shot of Steve Shannon at Sodblaster would be appreciated.
 

roc_boy

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I was only able to be there spectating on Saturday, but what a great day! Couldn't ask for better weather (except for that dust devil that formed right on top of me [emoji12] ) Great flights, friendly folks, a top notch event. Thanks everybody!

I'll see if I can post a few videos I got, to hold you over til some good ones show up [emoji6] ...
 
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