Tripoli and NAR Launch Site

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by cwbullet, Nov 18, 2019.

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  1. Nov 18, 2019 #1

    cwbullet

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    Has either organization thought about pooling donations to buy a launch site? It cost could be huge, but the dividend would massive.
     
  2. Nov 18, 2019 #2

    prfesser

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    It would be great for TRANAR to own a field like the Kloudbusters... I'd be concerned with the FAA deciding in the future, for one reason or another, that a waiver would no longer be granted for that area.
     
  3. Nov 18, 2019 #3

    FredA

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    Please no - would benefit very few members - remember this is a world-wide organization.
     
  4. Nov 18, 2019 #4

    cwbullet

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    Good points. It would be nice to have a national site for a national launch that is in the center of the country.

    There is a site on the East Coast that I have looked at that would be idea. It is at an under used airfield but I suspect that would be a no go.
     
  5. Nov 18, 2019 #5

    Bat-mite

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    Millions of $$$ for a site that would get used once a year for a national launch?
     
  6. Nov 18, 2019 #6

    cwbullet

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    I think that is could be rented to farmers for the rest of the year or even have monthly launches for the host club.

    I understand ti doe not make perfect sense.
     
  7. Nov 18, 2019 #7

    prfesser

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    Wonder if a lease could be arranged. Much less expensive than purchase, and allow it to expire if there were any issues with waivers or other permissions.
     
  8. Nov 18, 2019 #8

    Bat-mite

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    I'm pretty sure that with MDRA, if we had to pay to use our summer and winter fields, we'd be bankrupt pretty quickly.

    I often fantasize about buying a big farm and letting it be used for rocketry year-round; but I'll never have that kind of money. I don't even know how I would pay the property taxes on it. Still, it's a dream.
     
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  9. Nov 18, 2019 #9

    Steve Shannon

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    That exact idea has been suggested by people I respect but it keeps coming back to uncertainty about airspace, diminishing benefits to people who live far away, and of course the price.
     
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  10. Nov 18, 2019 #10

    Rocketjunkie

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    Unless you have the lottery ticket with the correct numbers on it ;)
     
  11. Nov 18, 2019 #11

    caveduck

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    FAR owns their land and is surrounded by BLM lands, and has a 50K waiver every weekend of the year. The only downside (depending on your viewpoint) is it's out here with us in California, and there's no very close infrastructure to support holding larger events.

    Details here: https://friendsofamateurrocketry.org/history/
     
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  12. Nov 18, 2019 #12

    jderimig

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    Leasing is the best option. Buying land which is relatively illiquid and paying property taxes on it infinitum makes little sense. If the land is not good for farming (it would have been leased already if it were) or too early to develop then the landowner would probably jump at a chance for a lease as long as his liability concerns were satisfied. The latter is probably the biggest hurdle.
     
  13. Nov 18, 2019 #13

    BBrown

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    Guys,
    I'm not here to discuss the merits or disadvantages of a national launch site. If this is really considered, I would like to see this done somewhere other than Argonia. We have worked years and years to get to the relationship we currently have with our landowners, the community and the FAA. I'm not sure the Kloudbusters would be keen giving that up to the national organization which has no local presence. Remember, a launch site is more than the land you park on and fly rockets from.
    Bob Brown
    Prefect, Kloudbusters
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  14. Nov 19, 2019 #14

    prfesser

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    Hi Bob, at this point I think it's just idle speculation, as even the combined resources of TRANAR wouldn't pay for a decent-sized parcel of useful land.
    Best -- Terry
     
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  15. Nov 19, 2019 #15

    John Taylor

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    Just a word of appreciation for Kloudbusters, every member is to be given a huge thanks for taking care of one of the if not the best launch site in the US. I have no idea what it takes bit I'm sure it's huge.
    Thank you.
     
  16. Nov 19, 2019 #16

    cwbullet

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    It was just an idea. I was bored at work. Forget I even asked it.
     
  17. Nov 19, 2019 #17

    10fttall

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    It's a perfectly good theoretical exercise. I see I'm not the only one who has thought about that Lottery win, and I, for one, would set aside a few mil to have a perfect Mid-Atlantic field. So...go play y'all!
     
  18. Nov 19, 2019 #18

    caveduck

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    Hey Chuck, despite what some may say here, there is definitely value in the discussion, and at least for the NAR, there are some serious advocates of having a permanent home for NARAM, and some unique organizational reasons for wanting it. There are many dimensions and solutions are not easy, even if you have the money.

    It might not be impossible - the AMA permanent flying site at Muncie IN is the counter-example to people who say it can't be done.

    For the national orgs, ownership is nice but not mandatory; you need a) permanent availability; b) lack of landowner issues or field large enough to make that irrelevant; c) proximity to accommodations for 300+ people; d) generally favorable weather; and e) a position under the Victor airways that minimizes the chance of losing your waiver. The NAR has that at Muncie for LPR++ as long as they stay on good relations with the AMA, which outright owns the site. Sadly you can't go beyond the low end of high power there due to the waiver limits (currently 6K) and power lines. For a competition field though, there is nothing better - a couple square miles of mowed grass and thermals.

    For 20K-ish high power, the solution set may be nil as far as acquisition goes. Lucerne Dry Lake is pretty good with 15/19 waiver, on BLM land, flat barren surface several miles across, and plenty of hotels 30 miles away. We've been flying there for 40 years and probably a long time to come, but we will never own it, and there are drawbacks including 110 degree heat in the summer, unpredictable howling winds, it's not central, and a threat of solar arrays. All the other fields I can think of have various issues too. And as someone pointed out, the possibility that the FAA could negate your investment with a bureaucratic decision is an iron-clad argument for not using capital $ to purchase an HPR site. The best financial strategy would be a long term lease carrying a provision allowing termination if the FAA lowered or rescinded the waiver.
     
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  19. Nov 19, 2019 #19

    rfjustin

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    No good deed eh?
     
  20. Nov 19, 2019 #20

    cwbullet

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    Thanks. Since the post, I got a couple of belittling PMs. It really got under my skin. I know it is a pipe dream but so was going to the moon.

    I was not pointing to Kansas. Their field is awesome (based on reports). I plan to attend someday.

    If we could find a farm or landowner, I think it would be a worthwhile endeavor. The traveling roadshow is nice, but having a field with a semipermanent site with a waiver that respectable would be value-added.

    If not buy, rent for a week for 99 years. Heck, maybe it could be funded with a GoFundMe. Advertise the heck out of it. Get one of our more photogenic members to go on Fox, CNN, and MSNBC. Maybe a landowner will step forward and let us rent it.
     
  21. Nov 19, 2019 #21

    prfesser

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    Chuck, I'm sorry for the bad manners of others. And occasionally of me...but the time on the BoD taught me to be nice (well, most of the time).

    Now that's a good idea. If a group can get a bundle from GoFundMe, to develop a device that is clearly impossible, maybe TRANAR can get money for something worthwhile. I only wish these donations-groups were around when we were dealing with the lawsuit...

    Best-- Terry
     
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  22. Nov 19, 2019 #22

    Steve Shannon

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    Chuck,
    The foundation of Tripoli was laid on ideas that others thought were completely wrong and would spell the end of model rocketry as they knew it. If we cannot explore ideas then we will never know where progress might take us.
     
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  23. Nov 19, 2019 #23

    Bat-mite

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    I could be the face of the movement, but ... hmm, I might be too good-looking. Got to keep it real. :D
     
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  24. Nov 20, 2019 #24

    cwbullet

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    Good points. We have to think differently sometimes.

    I would do the same, but I am sure we have better candidates. Crazy Jim?
     
  25. Nov 20, 2019 #25

    DavidMcCann

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    Is it a good idea? probably not.

    Would it be sweet to have a massive space with really really really cool permanent launch fixtures? Hell yes.

    A mecca of rocketry would be badass. But I think a private owner would be more likely than a club or organization getting land.
     
  26. Nov 20, 2019 #26

    cwbullet

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    Probably true, but a man without a dream is one sad man.
     
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  27. Nov 20, 2019 #27

    Tobor

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    So true.
     
  28. Nov 21, 2019 #28

    DavidMcCann

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    My dream is a launch facility sized for I motors, 2-3 permanent pads , a camera array to record launches all setup in a permanent launch structure, with a tracking station, and a truck setup for tracking as well.

    No setup. no teardown. Just go and launch. Oh and a flush crapper.
     
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  29. Nov 21, 2019 #29

    75Grandville

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    The thread got me thinking. Browsing the online classifieds, it's possible to buy a square mile (640 acres) in northwestern Utah for $99,000. [Full disclosure - I can't remember the website, and you all know that on occasion things posted on the internet are not what they seem.] As the basis for a permanent launch location, it seems like a fairly reasonable price. I have no idea what's there at present - I am assuming high desert (sagebrush, cheatgrass, rattlesnakes, small cacti, and dirt).

    The downside, of course, is that it's in the middle of nowhere! I think there is a ghost town nearby, but civilization is at least 60-90 miles away, and the closest major airport is about 2.5 hours away. We could, however, build permanent launch structures.

    UROC, the local club, leases a square mile of land from the BLM for probably less than the annual taxes on that inexpensive square mile I mentioned above. For a local club, at least, I don't think that purchasing the land would be a good investment. For a national organization, I don't know.

    I like the concept, but I can't see that it's easily implemented. Proximity to services would increase the price.

    Also, I like the rotating structure that they have for NARAM and LDRS. I have traveled cross country to attend a national event once, but most of the time only attend things that are within an 8 hour drive. If the site picked was on the east coast, or even the midwest, I don't know that I would be able to make it. At least this way I can get to one every few years. Heck, LDRS is coming to ME next summer! (Be sure to put your TRF handle on your badge.)

    Chuck, thanks for bringing the idea up. It's an interesting exercise, and maybe someone more clever (or richer) than I can figure out a way to make it work. Ya can't say "the sky is blue" on the interwebs without the trolls doing their thing...
     
  30. Nov 22, 2019 #30

    RocketRev

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    One thing that has been said over and over in this thread that is not correct is all the statements about having to pay Property Taxes. If the organization that owns the property is a 501-3(c) then there would be no taxes on the property that the "tax-exempt" organization owns and uses for its tax exempt purposes. I just thought that I ought to put that into the mix as some folks think that having to pay property taxes in perpetuity would be a severe hindrance on the organization. It wouldn't, so that objection isn't really an objection at all.

    I sincerely love the idea of actually owning a square mile of property for flying rockets. But as has already been mentioned: where? The kicker will always be where the land is to be located. Here in the mid-west, a square mile of the least productive empty farm land is going to sell for upwards of $2 million dollars, and I do mean upwards. That would be just $3125 an acre. Frankly that's way out of reach for the foreseeable future for either or both of the national organizations. And the land, like was mentioned that you could purchase for $99K for a square mile, is located so far from what we would call the standard amenities, that nobody is going to want to buy it. To say nothing of the changeable nature of government and who knows what they might do to us and a standing FA waiver......

    On the other hand, the old real-estate adage comes to mind: "Its all about location, location, location." Wherever you buy land, there will be those who say its too far away from them. Kansas is great, but who needs to drive to Kansas to fly model rockets? But high power is really no different. Kloudbusters have put on more LDRS's than any other group, but they don't do it ever year. And for as long as they've been doing huge launches at that location, even in this thread there are those who've said they've never been to that launch site. The local guys would burn out in short order. Where would a national organization buy? East coast? West Coast? North? South? Central? Central to whom? Central by population? By current membership? Potential membership? How about by standard weather patterns? There are so many variables, that in my estimation we'd never agree to one spot on the map. And as somebody said, Tripoli (at least) is an international organization. Could we expect our oversees members to support a permanent flying field here in the USA? That would work fine for the wealthy, but that's not all of us. Yes, yes, I know I'm one of those multi-million dollar salaried clergy like the guys on TV...... oh wait, that's a different dream (or did I mean to say "nightmare?").

    I've often wondered about somebody approaching the Gates Foundation or who knows who else, about donating suitable land for a launch site for educational purposes. We'd gladly name the field after them in perpetuity. But again, that's way above my pay-grade. If God drops the winning $100 million dollar lottery ticket into my lap, I'll buy a site here in the mid-west for us and forever rename all my parachutes "Jesus Saves." And while I actually believe that Jesus does save (is actually the only Savior available) with all my heart, I'm not expecting that lottery ticket to show up any time soon. That's not usually how the Lord works things. Not usually, but hey, we can dream......

    And in some ways this thread is about a dream.......
     
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