Category Archives: Launch Report

Red Glare VII

Last weekend’s Red Glare VII was pretty great, if not as great as Red Glare VI back in April. While Friday and Saturday at MDRA’s biannual regional launch were washouts (I didn’t go), Sunday was absolutely gorgeous. While I had planned to fly my 2.6″ Sandhawk on an I and Lunch Money on a J, I didn’t get the needed repairs done in time, so I decided to just enjoy the launch.

There were a number of large flights (M’s and N’s), of course. Ben Ullman’s N motor experimental flight lost its upper section and chutes on the way up while the motor and fin can kept going up and up, and then it came down. It whistled coming back in and lawn-darted about 50 yards out from the right side of the flight line. Ouch.

The much-touted Paul Robinson memorial sparky motor drag race was pretty cool, with a rack full of H-K flights going off simultaneously. Two M flights on the away cell should have gone at the same time but didn’t due to operator error (oops). But no worries – two M flights drag racing are pretty sweet without the distraction of pesky little K flights.

Pictures below include a remote control plane with an onboard HD video camera (they were hoping to catch the sparky drag race from the air but had problems getting it pointed in the right direction), the sparky drag race itself, a nice flight from the away cells on an M or N (possibly a Redline?), Alex helping repair a broken fence on my friend Erin’s first rocket, and Erin with Oh Frabcious Day, which flew successfully on a C6-5! And the final photo is of the lovely sunset that closed the day.

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Perfect weather, perfect flight

I went out to the eastern shore of Maryland today for the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association’s monthly launch, and what a day! The weather was absolutely gorgeous – sunny and up to the mid 70s, not a cloud in the sky, and hardly a whisper of wind the whole day.

After two flights on I motors this summer, my Lunch Money was ready for its first J. I built a J350 last night and thought I had everything ready to go. Unfortunately at the launch I discovered the threaded inserts for my motor retention had both pushed through the rear centering ring. I needed a motor retention solution – not feeling too comfortable with friction-fit only flying a J motor with an adapter – but luckily Ken of Performance Hobbies was on hand to provide some retention hardware. After some drilling, screwing, friction-fitting, and other tomfoolery, I was finally ready to fly:

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This was my friend Erin’s first rocket launch – she enthusiastically helped get Lunch Money on the launch pad and later flew her own rocket. Maybe she’ll get hooked on rocketry too!?

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Liftoff on a J350 – fast and straight:

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My housemate Liz came out to the launch along with our friends Alisha and Kristina – first time at a rocket launch for all. They bravely delved into MDRA’s handy rocket bucket to find rockets to fly. Participation makes rocketry so much more fun!

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Erin and friends flew bucket rockets too:

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And yeah – I think everyone had fun:

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Sunday at LDRS

One word: Wow. The winds went away. The clouds went away. And the rocketeers brought the big stuff, loading up all the large projects they’d been saving for better weather. Here are some pictures I took (you might have already seen these on Rocketry Planet too), starting off with the Wildman drag race – seven rockets on one L and six M’s.

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Live from LDRS

I’m fielding some photos and stories for Rocketry Planet during LDRS 28 – check out the first (and slightly disappointing) report here.

You can also follow LDRS Twitter updates from me and other rocketeers through this search: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=+%22LDRS+28%22+OR+%22LDRS+2009%22+OR+%23ldrs28

Steve Eves’ Saturn V – More Video

Update: Rocketry Planet just posted the best video yet:

The rocketeers of YouTube are up to the challenge – check out the new videos that are up:

h/t DRD

Steve Eves’ 1:10 Scale Saturn V – Perfect Flight!

I made the drive out to Price, Maryland today for the launch of Steve Eves’ world’s-largest-ever-hobby-rocket Saturn V. Steve had the beautiful rocket – 36 feet tall and 40″ in diameter – on display at Red Glare VI last weekend and I knew I had to see it fly.

Since Steve’s incredible project got so much local media coverage, the crowd was very impressive, with at least several thousand people coming out see the one flight. Given the large number of people who had never been to a high power launch before, it was nice to see that MDRA members were clearly marked (with yellow vests), coordinating with the FM radio and walkie-talkies, and doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the crowd. The distances were safe, MDRA members made sure everyone was on their feet and aware of the launch, and as far as I saw everything ran smoothly.

Some shots of the crowd:

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And here’s the Saturn V seen from the public flight line:

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With a central P10,000 motor surrounded by 8 N motors, the Saturn didn’t sit around. I have some pictures of the crowd at the launch and video of the flawless recovery (the rocket stuck the landing, standing upright in the field!) but during the boost I was all eyes, so I’ll have to borrow others’ video of the launch. Here’s the first clip to show up on YouTube, and I’m sure there will be others that track the entire flight soon:

As soon as it was clear the chutes were out, I jogged over to the other side of the flight line so I could get a clear view of the landing. Unfortunately my camera doesn’ have a very strong zoom so you can’t really tell the rocket is straight up once it lands – I can’t wait to see full footage and photos of the flight.

Congrats to Steve Eves!

(Note that this was only the third P motor I’ve seen in person. The first was the ill-fated Mercury Redstone CATO at LDRS 18 in Argonia, KS and the other was the Cow last weekend. I remember when an M was a big motor!)

Update: Check out the awesome liftoff photos at Dick’s Rocket Dungeon.

Neil McGilvray’s “The Cow” – P10,000

Welcome to my new rocket blog! I’ll post more on the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association (MDRA)’s Red Glare VI, but for now I wanted to go ahead and post a video from the launch. Neil McGilvray made the fifth flight of his massive rocket, “The Cow.” Weighing in at somewhere over 400 lbs, the Cow boosted on a single P10,000 motor. Two words: holy cow.