View Full Version : First launch in like 10 years!

10-07-2007, 10:43 PM
Well it was a great weekend for me and the family. I got to launch some new birds and a couple of old ones and had a great time. I have some pad shots, my father shot some vids with his camera, he also played with the burst shot option. The wife and son played my support crew, and mom was the cheering section. The wind was blowing pretty good, the launch rod angle should give you a clue...

I have some pad shots from Sat. and am waiting on the stuff from my dad. Thought I would throw you some of 'em. The first launch of the day (1st since summer of '98) was my X-Prize Lucky Seven, it CATO'd right off the pad!!! The engine literally went from iginition to ejection in the time it took for the rocket to clear the rod. Some super glue and a few seconds remedied the wreckage and it went on to fly a perfect flight. My flight report consisted of Lucky Seven, Gauchito, Harpoon AGM, Bullpup 12D, Shell Shocked, Prowler (D modified), Firebird, Sizzler, and Maniac. The Prowler, Firebird, Maniac, & Shell Shocked were made back in 1998 and flew perfect on each of their flights. The sizzler used two streamers for recovery and the rest of the flights (15 total) were all recovered with the same 12" Estes chute. Nothing was damaged save for the Lucky Seven on its maiden voyage...

10-08-2007, 02:07 AM
Sorry to read about the cato but the rocket looks repairable.

I'm sure it feels great to fly (and smell) them birds after being away for so long ;)

10-08-2007, 07:38 AM
Well, this may be too late but go to the NAR site and turn in a malfunction engine report.

Great looking rockets and it sounds like a fun day had by all!

10-08-2007, 09:04 AM
Great pictures! I know that after my 30 year absence in the hobby it feels great to push the button and smell the burnt BP again! :)

10-08-2007, 09:27 PM
I thought about the engine report, It is one of the two used engines in my range box from the weekend but I am not sure if I know which one. I did fly 3 A10-3T flights that day and only had the one malfunction. But I had two packages mixed together in my range box so am not sure if I will have more from the 8 total I had... We'll see when I get out next time.

Yeah, it was great getting some rockets airborn and I know my little boy is gonna love it as he grows up (I tell my wife that is why I am really getting back into the hobby but I doubt she buys that ;) ) I definitely missed that BP smell that is for sure...

10-08-2007, 11:22 PM
Last week I did my first launch in about 10 years as well! And it was really more like 15 years as my 10-year-ago experience was a single launch shortly after I was married with a new starter set my wife bought me when she found out I used to do rockets. (I lost the poor Alpha III in an ill-advised C6-7 launch and lost interest...)

I had my rocketry interest rekindled by having to go to a hobby store to get my 3yo's "Power Wheels" toy repaired. I immediatly dragged out the rockets I had here, had my Mom bring the ones that are back at her place with her when she came to visit a few weeks back, and built a few new ones.

The launch went reasonably well. I was a little nervous as the launch area wasn't as big as I'd hoped due to some youth practices on some of the nearby athletic fields that I had hoped to use as part of the recovery effort.

I had several great flights with an unidentified Estes 3FNC rocket I built 15 years ago. I say "unidentified" as I didn't use the decals, etc, and simply sprayed the thing metalic silver. Unfortunately, on its last flight, one of the fins broke off upon landing, but it should be an easy repair.

I had less luck with my Skywinder. I had done some minor repairs to it, but evidently it needed a major overhaul -- It shot up beautifully, but the ejection charge blew it into 4 distinct pieces: Nose cone (which isn't supposed ot come off on that model), fin unit, one of the fins from the unit (which get glued on separately), and the helicopter blades (which decended very nicely, as opposed ot the other parts ;) ) Fortunatly all parts were recovered and it should fly again, once I use some better glue!

My new "Hi-Flyer" build had less luck. It suffered not one, but TWO CATO's. I had attempted to lunch it with some old engines that I probably bought 15 years ago (the silver rocket mentioned above also used some of them successfuly). The first flight, the rocket shot up about 5 feet and exploded. Nothing was badly hurt, but the rocket got very hot, and the decal bubbled a bit. It was reloaded, and shot again. This time the nearly exact same thing happened, only even more dramaticly -- it was as if the entire engine: propellent, delay, and ejection, all fired at the exact same time. The poor rocket shot up about 10 feet and came down in two pieces, due to a burned shock cord. But this time the rocket had gotten VERY hot -- it was still too hot to handle by the time I retrieved it. The decals bubbled badly, and the paint itself had even bubbled. I think the rocket will fly again, but will require a new shock cord and mount mount (the original was shockingly short anyway) and new paint job. Anyone know where I can get me a new set of hi-flyer decals? :)

Since the engines are so old, I don't plan on filing an engine report on them -- probably my fault due to improper storage at Mom's place!

I didn't get the guts to launch my newly-built SM-3 Seahawk, which has been sitting in storage, unbuilt, for about 10 years. Somewhat breezy conditions, the reduced size of the recovery field, and my experience with the other rockets and CATO-ing (although my D engines I would have used on it were brand new) made me decide to try it another day. The build turned out beautiful and I don't want to wreck it as it's now OOP.

I also did not launch any of my few remaining 'classic' rockets from the 80's -- most of which need some minor repairs. These include the Manta Bomber, Alien Invader, Stealth, and a Nova Payloder... I also have a LongShot (the original single-stage one) and a Mean Machine whcih might be too damaged to repair, as the tubes have been crumpled... (I may re-clone the Longshot as I still have the original decals -- the Mean Machine I may eventually just buy the new design, although I'm kind of partial to the old 80's look of it).

This time, though, the rocketry interest seems to have stuck around. Too bad it was rekindled so late in the season, though. I do plan on trying some winter launches out on a frozen lake early next season...


10-14-2007, 09:53 PM
Got a shot of the Firebird from the launch, thought I would pass it on.