Where to Fly Very High on the East Coast?

Discussion in 'High Power Rocketry (HPR)' started by RocketHunter, Oct 23, 2015.

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  1. Oct 23, 2015 #1

    RocketHunter

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    I have been flying HPR for quite a few years now, flying higher and faster with MD rockets and more recently L2 motors. Living on the east coast (central NJ), the highest waiver I currently have access to is at URRG to 18K, which I have pretty much maxed out.

    Having started my freshmen year of college :)smile:), I now have access to both awesome tools and machine shops, and lots of other like-minded engineers looking to work on a cool project ;)

    The L2 range of motors can, at the higher end, provide some huge performance, in both speed and altitude. Currently I'm thinking about a 54mm to 38mm MD 2-stage, probably something like a 54/2800 Loki L1040 to a 38/1200 Loki K1127 reaching the high M3 range and ~40,000'.

    The closest place I am aware of that supports a flight of this magnitude is Kloudbusters in Argonia, Kansas with their 50,000' waiver. While the site is perfect, getting there would be difficult and expensive.

    My question is, are there any launch sites closer to Central NJ that support flights higher than 20,000'? Secondly, if I were to attempt to file for my own waiver to fly this (with the support of the university), is it even possible to find a location closer that was large enough to allow a 50,000' waiver? I would imagine getting a waiver of that magnitude would require a good amount of work, but if any others have done this before, is it within reason for a a couple students to plan and organize over the course of a year?
     
  2. Oct 23, 2015 #2

    KennB

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    Here's a radical idea; instead of trying to push skinny rockets out of sight for the bulk of their flight, use your someday-may-be-engineering-minds to design something interesting that will fly within the limits that are handy to your location.

    It may take some work but it might be nice to explore other aspects of flight.
     
  3. Oct 23, 2015 #3

    T34zac

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    I think he's an altitude/speed junkie like myself. Unfortunately I'm stuck in the same situation, although I'm a little more handicapped with a 10,000' waiver in Berwick. URRG is a once per year deal for me (if that).

    A higher waiver (if possible) is needed over here in the north east. If there was something I could get to two or three times a year, I'd be happy.

    Kenn, while I do like the rockets that you can see all the way to apogee, I just enjoy the high altitude stuff that much more. When I see a full I or K motor, I go and figure out how high I can possibly take that motor.
     
  4. Oct 23, 2015 #4

    JDcluster

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    The best waivers would be at either MDRA or URRG launch sites.
    MDRA is in Maryland, while URRG is in upstate NY.
    MDRA has 16,900 ft waiver while URRG has either 15k or 18k waiver.

    Anything over 15k will be extremely difficult to obtain on the east coast.
    METRA briefly had 20k then 12k and now only 4,600 ft due to FAA issues beyond our control.

    JD
     
  5. Oct 23, 2015 #5

    COrocket

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    20,000 is pretty good regardless of what part of the country you are in. I haven't heard of any east coast sites with the waiver you describe. Even if you do get a waiver, having a desert/large farm fields where you can recover for many miles in either direction would be good to have if you want to go to 40,000'+ in case you have a less than vertical launch (especially with staging - take a look at some of Jim Jarvis's threads). IMO you could focus your efforts to fundraise or save for the expenses of going to a western launch site instead of filling your own waiver, getting site permission/insurance...etc. I bet some universities offer assistance for college level events like IREC. You could do some cool payload/control projects without going as absolutely as high/fast as possible.
     
  6. Oct 23, 2015 #6

    H_Rocket

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    Look into Tripoli Cherryfield, Maine. At last count they had a 50-75K standing waiver. I'm not sure how active they are any more.
     
  7. Oct 23, 2015 #7

    RocketHunter

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    I guess I should have been more clear, in getting a waiver it would be in following with NAR rules for distances, etc. so their insurance would apply. I will be using some sort of staging filter based upon angle, but even so you are correct 2-stage rockets are inherently more likely to apogee farther away. I guess my real question was are there actual physical farm fields to be found with space to support a launch like this nearer to NJ? Work is free, so if there's a way to save the money of traveling very far to an established site through extra work filing for a one time waiver, its worth it.

    I should also note that URRG's 18K waiver is still a 6 hour drive for me, so its still an expensive once or twice a year trip for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  8. Oct 23, 2015 #8

    RocketHunter

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    Doing something like that is not mutually exclusive from a project like this; in fact its a much easier project to get going. Doing a guided/spin stabilized rocket with a camera, or GPS guided parachute recovery are projects I am also considering doing with my local fields 5,000' waiver. They would be cool and fun, just in different ways. I am asking about higher waivers because flying a big/fast/high project is something I've always wanted/will always want to do, and I'm just exploring options...
     
  9. Oct 23, 2015 #9

    JDcluster

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    Finding a 2+ mile square field, that is waiver capable of what you are asking for is: next to impossible in NJ.

    File all the paperwork you want but, airspace is controlled by the FAA.

    There was a launch site in deep South Jersey (Cedarville). they had a 18k waiver but the last launch they had was back in 2000. They lost the ability to fly, due to some over zealous tree huggers.

    JD


     
  10. Oct 23, 2015 #10

    T34zac

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    Their Facebook page says 8k with windows to 20k
     
  11. Oct 23, 2015 #11

    rocketsaway

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    RATS ! Roar at the Shore. Down in the swamps of 'jersey.
    Bill Davidson, Prefect. It was a bird enviro"mental" group that threaten to protest w/ media because, get this, the rockets were scaring the birds.
    There is a group photo of the last launch. I had just drove in when the pic was taken. Were I first met Jimmy Yawn-FL, Bill D and my EX cherry was broken.
    They were a real fun group to be around.
     
  12. Oct 23, 2015 #12

    jimzcatz

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    Bayboro NC, 16K
     
  13. Oct 23, 2015 #13

    prophecy

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    Haha, this thread cracks me up.

    It's part of it. I grew up on the east coast, and since ~2007 hobby lob shots have been of little interest to me. I made my first Black Rock trip in '08, flew to 40k and that was the end of any projects oriented to fly close to home.

    From 2007 until I graduated college in 2013 and finally moved out west, I made it out at least once a year to fly 50k'+. You have to get creative. One year, I had an internship in LA for the summer and took a weekend flight up to mix with some friends in Oregon before heading back east for the next school year. Cranked out 50+lbs of propellant in one weekend and they met me with it at Balls 2 months later.

    Another year, I took a cross country flight (booked on miles for free) and spent four days in Sacramento mixing with a buddy of mine who lived out there. He met me with the propellant at Balls a month later.

    Countless years, a bunch of us east coasters negotiated with one another to put all our stuff in one trailer with one guy heading out there.

    One year, I mixed at home in North Carolina and drove 900 miles overnight to Pittsburgh to drop off my propellant with the TRA001 guys, who drove it out there for gas money. Shipped the rocket to the bar at Bruno's. Got back to NC at 7am, chugged a Red Bull and went to class, and got on a plane later that day bound for Black Rock.

    One time, I had a week off school, so I drove three days each way by myself to get some air in Argonia.

    When it was time to get a job, I made sure to take available launch sites into consideration. If you can move anywhere, might as well make a large portion of your work-life balance easier.

    Point being, if it were as simple as "getting a high waiver on the east coast," everybody would be doing it. I know people who have been waiting 15 years to fly high and are just limited by their location and expendable income. I have some friends coming down here to fly with me from the east coast in a few months, 75k' waiver. They'll fly down and ship me their rockets, I'll make propellant for them. It's in my "backyard" and I have to drive 13 hours each way to get there.

    Nature of the beast, dude.

    Of course, the reason it's hard for all of us is because we're EX fliers. Seems like you're wanting to fly commercial stuff. Dude, piece of cake - ship your rocket out there, fly out and buy your motors from a west coast vendor. Having gone through the waiver process in the last year (our site didn't have a living human being within a 10 mile radius and it STILL took 6 months to get 75k'), it's infinitely easier to do it that way, especially if you're flying commercial.

    -steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  14. Oct 23, 2015 #14

    SCP

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    I have always done my own waivers with the FAA , to fly right in the field next to the shop. (Its all work - have to test parts before I sell to you guys!!) For my own flights, I actually like to build them powerful, but heavy and slow. I am usually flying to ~3k.....so my waivers were only for 5k as I was limited by the recovery area of course (Upstate NY).

    I started inquiring, but got sidetracked, with an effort to get a waiver somewhat higher in the winter when a local lake froze up.

    Anyone ever pursue an idea like this? I don't think the FAA would care, but I had at the time only begun inquiring with a few local parks departments and fish & game, etc as I recall.
     
  15. Oct 23, 2015 #15

    Buckeye

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    Right. Even the "measly" 10K fields east of the Mississippi are drying up to development, soccer fields, or scared land-owners. For what you want to achieve with the least amount of gubmint hassle, you need to suck it up and travel to an established site/club. Go West, young man.
     
  16. Oct 24, 2015 #16

    boatgeek

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    I'm going to take a slightly different tack. What's wrong with Argonia? Google Maps says Argonia is about 1400 miles from central NJ. Let's say, worst case, that you have two vehicles getting ~14 MPG to carry your rocket and many like-minded engineers to Kansas. You're out 200 gallons of gas and 20 hours of driving each way. I haven't priced Loki K and L motors, would hazard a guess that this is close to the cost of the motors, and perhaps less than the carbon fiber you'll use on the body tubes. You may be able to use cars from the university motor pool at little cost, especially if you can get your department on board. You're even better off if you can get cars with better gas mileage. If you're hardcore, you could do that run in one day with 2-4 drivers, but definitely can be done in two moderate days.

    If you can't get what you want nearby, why not go to the where you can? You're only young enough to pull all nighters for a little while! :)
     
  17. Oct 24, 2015 #17

    watermelonman

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    I have been keeping an eye on eastern launch sites. I would be real happy with 20k, and possibly 15k.
     
  18. Oct 24, 2015 #18

    Handeman

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    We have a 16K waiver at BattlePark in VA. MDRA has a slightly higher waiver at Higg's farm on the MD. eastern shore. The only place I've been that had anything much higher was at Potter NY for LDRS. If there are any higher, I am unaware of them.

    What about the Indiana/Ohio clubs?
     
  19. Oct 24, 2015 #19

    DizWolf

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    I'm on the same search myself.... 54mm MD's with a Loki L1040R are simming out a bit over 20K or so.... May wind up being a long drive someplace for that one.
     
  20. Oct 24, 2015 #20

    Crash-n-Burn

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    I seem to recall someone getting a dcent waiver to fly on frozen Lake Winnie up in New Hampshire.
     
  21. Oct 25, 2015 #21

    KennB

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    Here 'tis.
     
  22. Oct 25, 2015 #22

    bobkrech

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    Cherryfield has had waivers up to at least 50 kft. for commercial development launches. Contact the Prefect IF you are serious.

    It's a lot easier to do it under TRA rules with the assistance of the TRA Class 3 Review Committee if you're conducting flight to 50 kft or higher.

    The launch field is 20,000 acres (31 square miles) of blueberry fields so there's no launching in the blueberry growing season. It's is the middle of no where, and at certain times of the year there may be more moose than people. It's a 12 hour drive from central NJ but you could probably camp out on his front porch.

    Bob
     
  23. Oct 25, 2015 #23

    wighty44

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    BARC presently has seasonal launch rights to that property, but only to 5,000 ft. Most of the land that was available back in 2000 is no longer available due to food production regulations that prevent any non-farming access to food production growing areas.

    In September 2015 BARC obtained FAA approval to 5,000 ft at a sod farm in Shiloh, NJ that we can use year round. The field will permit 8,000 by NAR safety regulations and we will seek that approval in 2016. The Cedarville site is now our backup site.
     
  24. Oct 25, 2015 #24

    watermelonman

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    What is a commercial development launch? I would think any Tripoli related items would be strictly hobbyist.

    Launching with moose and blueberry sounds awesome!
     
  25. Oct 25, 2015 #25

    Frederocket

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    Somewhat of an elitist are we???:eyeroll::wink:
     
  26. Oct 25, 2015 #26

    prophecy

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    How is that being an elitist? It's describing the nature of my specific rocketry interest and how it posed the same challenge for me that the OP is dealing with. Some people are very accomplished scale fliers (Steve Eves), some people have servo-controlled parachutes that make their rockets land back on the rail, some people spend longer on a paint job than I do on an entire rocket. One approach isn't objectively greater or less than another, people do what they're interested in. My interest is altitude and speed, and I can't do that on the east coast.

    If this is continuing to pick the bone from the gluing grains thread, I guess it is what it is. The purpose of my post was to guide the OP, the purpose of yours was to pick a fight with a random person on the internet.

    Do as you will.
     
  27. Oct 25, 2015 #27

    MClark

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    It is unlikely you will be able to get a high waiver on the East Coast. If it could be done some group would be already there. In the New Jersey area there are to many large airports and airways leading to them. The big waivers in Kansas and Nevada have a huge footprint, Balls high call in is nearly a 1000 square miles, it is more than you are looking for but even a 5 mile radius is hard to find.

    For Balls we have groups traveling (by ground) from all over the U.S. (Same with people going to Argonia) And you may be able to hook up with someone. Building rockets is only one facet of the hobby, making connections to get things done is some times more difficult but just as necessary. A good team will create bigger/higher/faster projects better and cheaper.

    M
     
  28. Oct 25, 2015 #28

    wighty44

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    The highest NJ Class 2 rocket operational altitude is presently 5,000 ft with both RadRock (North Jersey) & BARC (So. Jersey). Next year BARC will request the FAA to extend their approval to 8,000 ft. Our location and field support it.
     
  29. Oct 25, 2015 #29

    Frederocket

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    I don't know you from Adam. So when you start a post with, "Haha, this thread cracks me up.", followed by your story, combined it seemed somewhat elitist. Now if you had qualified your initial posting with the content in you response in post 28, I'm sure my response would of been with out my elitist comment, if any comment at all... However, I am in full agreement with your comment; "Some people are very accomplished scale fliers (Steve Eves), some people have servo-controlled parachutes that make their rockets land back on the rail, some people spend longer on a paint job than I do on an entire rocket. One approach isn't objectively greater or less than another, people do what they're interested in."---Words have meaning sometimes in the literal sense and sometimes in context...

    As for as me "picking at a bone from a previous gluing thread", you assume way to much...:rolleyes:
     
  30. Oct 25, 2015 #30

    bobkrech

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    I don't believe I mention anything about TRA involvement. Cherryfield is a town in Maine with lots of blueberry fields that has been used by a TRA Prefecture for high power launches. The field has had FAA waivers granted to 50 kft, so there is no reason that a commercial company could not gain access to the location and get permission to conduct a commercial launch to the same altitudes for DoD funded research.

    The DoD program is described at http://www.appliedthermalsciences.com/pages/hypersonics.html but there is no information on the waiver altitude granted for these development flights.

    Bob
     

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