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View Full Version : Sport/Fun Launch @ Needville, TX 03/22/08


dwmzmm
03-22-2008, 09:56 PM
We had our sport/fun launch down in Needville, TX today at Robert's Ranch, the new launch
site for the Challenger 498 NAR Section. This comes after nearly a half dozen postponements since the end of 2007 due to the frequent rainy weather this part of Texas
has been getting. Well, today was nearly perfect for launching model rockets, with winds
anywhere from 0 - 5 mph (direction was variable) with just a few clouds in the sky and
very pleasant temperatures.

For better organization, I'm going to "break" this thread down by name of model flown,
so stick around and enjoy the narratives and pics. Jeff Roberts, who's also a member of
this forum, will likely pitch in his take since he was present along with his daughter and brother.

First launch up, the Squirrel's Work Gremlin!!

dwmzmm
03-22-2008, 10:02 PM
I brought my Squirrel's Work Gremlin to "put it up there" on a D12-7 and recovered via a
12" parachute to see how the flight from launch to recovery would behave at this new launch site.

It did really "scream" up there and took a while to drift down on the plastic parachute. In fact, we almost couldn't find it once it landed downwind; the distance from the launch pad
had fooled us a bit (landed a lot closer than it appeared). Thanks to the Robert brother's
use of the golf carts, our legs got a pretty good rest from having to traverse the area to
recover our models.

I've flown this particular model over the past several years, using both the D12's and C6's
(you can see my EMRR product review by going to that website).....

dwmzmm
03-22-2008, 10:11 PM
Next up I wanted to fly my vintage FSI Maverick on an Estes E9-6 with a 12" nylon parachute. This one turned out to be an unexpected surprise.

At ignition, the Maverick just sat on the pad, with a lot of fire and smoke belching out.
Apparently, the nozzle became dislodged and the burning propellant seem to burn for
about 8 - 10 seconds, with no noticeable movement or acceleration by the rocket (remember
the failed Gemini - 6 launch?!). Even the smoke delay and ejection charge burned through
the nozzle end.

After deciding it was safe to approach the slightly smoldering rocket, we find the pad a mess.
The Maverick's lower section, particularly one fin, almost caught fire but didn't. The clay
cap of the ejection charge was still in place, as the series of photos below show:

dwmzmm
03-22-2008, 10:20 PM
Once the "excitement" of the failed Maverick launch attempt subsided, I decided to fly my
daughter's Estes SR-71 on a C6-5 (no she wasn't with me). Of the two previous launch
attempts of this model, the first was successful, and the second was a complete failure.
With the rather calm winds (or even no winds) we had today, this flight should be a good
one.

And a good one (no, let me change it to a GREAT one!!) it is! The C6-5 gave it a perfect shot
up to an almost straight up flight, with a perfect ejection and 18" chute deployment. Model
landed not too far behind us.

Sorry that I missed the SR-71 at launch; I typically avoid trying to take pictures of liftoffs
with this sorry digital camera I have :mad:

dwmzmm
03-22-2008, 10:31 PM
Next up was my vintage Estes E2X model I bought back in 1977 as the Challenger - 1
Starter Set (go look at the Estes 1977 Catalog at Ninfinger and you'll see). I've had this
model for this long and still love to fly it from time to time (although the plastic fin can has gotten pretty warped from the repeated C6-7 flights over time!).

Flew this with the C6-7 again, along with an original Estes 12" checkerboard parachute (and
it STILL has the original shroud tape strips attached to the original shroud lines that came
with this chute!).

The C6-7, predictably, took it nearly out of sight but we were able to follow it drifting to our
left. Then, it happened; got snagged on a tree. As the pics below shows, our excellent recovery team went to work to spare no expense in getting it down and returning it to its
owner! Thanks Jeff and company!

dwmzmm
03-22-2008, 10:38 PM
I had planned on flying several models I'd brought using the D12-5's, but found once
I got my gear out that I didn't have any D12-5's with me! I did have my 2050 interchangable
adapter and was able to use it on my Hawk's Hobby Super Mark, one of my favorite demo
and sport models.

I used a C6-3 (an engine I've used for this model several times with great results). We got
a good 300 foot altitude or so with a very gentle touchdown. Another excellent flight for
the log books!

dwmzmm
03-22-2008, 10:44 PM
While I was getting the Super Mark on its flight, Jeff Roberts was prepping his Estes
Canadian Arrow for flight. Although it still had the primer, I had thought he'd glassed
the model as it felt very well done and extremely smooth to the touch.

Using the E9-4, Jeff got an excellent flight from liftoff to recovery. For once, I was able
to actually capture the launch with my digital camera! Pics of that flight below:

dwmzmm
03-22-2008, 10:52 PM
Next up, and the last launch of the day, was Jeff's Maniac. He chose to fly it two stage (using
a booster section that came from a previous model) using the D12-0/D12-7 combo. I know
little about the history of this model, so maybe Jeff can chime in when he gets the chance.

What actually happened was the model, following liftoff, went cruise mode about 35 - 40
feet up and flew horizontally for the duration of the flight. After staging, the upperstage
basically "skipped" off the ground like a stone skipping off the top of water, then impacted
into the ground at a high rate of speed. The pics below tells the story:

There you have it, the full report & pics of our launch at Needville, TX today. Thanks Jeff
and family! Looking forward to the Challenger Memorial Regional Meet to be held there in
two weeks.

luke strawwalker
03-22-2008, 11:41 PM
Do you have the name of that hobby shop you were telling me about this AM handy?? The one over on 6? TIA! OL JR :)

dwmzmm
03-22-2008, 11:53 PM
Do you have the name of that hobby shop you were telling me about this AM handy?? The one over on 6? TIA! OL JR :)

Jeff:

Sorry, I got pretty tired after a rather long day, then uploading the pics and writing this
thread (AND filing the MESS report as well as several flight logs from today).

The guy's name is Matt Keller, and the hobby shop is RC Hobby Shop located at
13837 Southwest Freeway, Sugarland, TX 77478. They have a website:

http://www.rchobbyshop.com

I hope to visit them sometime in the very near future. Maybe he'll support us if we can
support him....

dwmzmm
03-22-2008, 11:56 PM
I'm not sure what the deal is; the rchobbystore website was working several weeks ago
when I accessed it. Maybe it's going through some "upgrades."

tbzep
03-23-2008, 10:01 AM
I'm not sure what the deal is; the rchobbystore website was working several weeks ago
when I accessed it. Maybe it's going through some "upgrades."

Looks like he let his domain expire.

JRThro
03-23-2008, 10:13 PM
Dave, it sounds like you had a great day for a launch, and some great flights, today!

I plan to come out again soon. My interest in rockets had waned a bit over the last 6 months or so, but it's come back again. Also, I just had arthroscopic surgery on my knee again, so I should be walking better again fairly soon.

dwmzmm
03-23-2008, 10:19 PM
Dave, it sounds like you had a great day for a launch, and some great flights, today!

I plan to come out again soon. My interest in rockets had waned a bit over the last 6 months or so, but it's come back again. Also, I just had arthroscopic surgery on my knee again, so I should be walking better again fairly soon.

Hi John, great hearing from you! Sorry to hear about the arthroscopic surgery; I know that
must be really painful.

We did have a lot of fun yesterday at Robert's Ranch. Didn't have to do much walking around to recover as we (seen in the photos) could use the golf carts to get around the area easily. Jeff and his brother (and Jeff's little girl) are a joy to fly rockets with, and their property is really super for this purpose.

We'll be there again in two weeks for the Challenger Memorial Regional (sport flying will be
welcome), and then on April 13th we have an outreach with some Cub Scouts at the George
Bush Park along Westheimer Parkway from 2 - 4 PM. Whatever you do, take care of your
knee first. We'll be here when you need us.

luke strawwalker
03-24-2008, 08:49 PM
I'm not sure what the deal is; the rchobbystore website was working several weeks ago
when I accessed it. Maybe it's going through some "upgrades."

Hmmmm... I've bought some stuff there before. I go by there when I can just to check out what they've got, if nothing else. My brother buys some RC monster truck stuff from them too.

I thought at first you were talking about the HobbyTown USA over on HWY 6 in Sugarland, in that new shopping center over there between Hull Airport and Richmond Road. They were pretty good; I bought some rocket stuff from them, along with some paints and modeling supplies and my brother got some RC truck parts there too. They were REALLY nice folks, doted on Keira and really friendly and talked to us and asked about our interests and all. They even used to carry all the magazines, HPR, Extreme Rocketry, and Sport Rocketry. I picked up a few here and there, along with a bunch of park flyer, quiet flyer, etc. type mags. I was on a field trip one day with debate over in that area and after the kids got settled into their routine, I took the bus over and parked and went in there for awhile just to check stuff out and waste time :) They had REALLY sold down and they told me they couldn't afford to keep the whole storefront, so they had talked to the center management and were going to put a subwall in to divide the store in two and they were going to squeeze all they could into one half. Sorta like a little 'shotgun store' if you know what I mean. Last time I was over that way they had gone out of business.

Sorry to see them go; HTUSA had a little bit of everything and could really get you thinking in new directions. The folks that owned it were just super. It's a hard business and getting harder every day for brick-n-mortar stores, because the internet can just beat em all to pieces on price, because of a store's overhead. Still it is SO nice not to have to order EVERYTHING...

Later! OL JR :)

dwmzmm
03-24-2008, 09:22 PM
Hmmmm... I've bought some stuff there before. I go by there when I can just to check out what they've got, if nothing else. My brother buys some RC monster truck stuff from them too.

I thought at first you were talking about the HobbyTown USA over on HWY 6 in Sugarland, in that new shopping center over there between Hull Airport and Richmond Road. They were pretty good; I bought some rocket stuff from them, along with some paints and modeling supplies and my brother got some RC truck parts there too. They were REALLY nice folks, doted on Keira and really friendly and talked to us and asked about our interests and all. They even used to carry all the magazines, HPR, Extreme Rocketry, and Sport Rocketry. I picked up a few here and there, along with a bunch of park flyer, quiet flyer, etc. type mags. I was on a field trip one day with debate over in that area and after the kids got settled into their routine, I took the bus over and parked and went in there for awhile just to check stuff out and waste time :) They had REALLY sold down and they told me they couldn't afford to keep the whole storefront, so they had talked to the center management and were going to put a subwall in to divide the store in two and they were going to squeeze all they could into one half. Sorta like a little 'shotgun store' if you know what I mean. Last time I was over that way they had gone out of business.

Sorry to see them go; HTUSA had a little bit of everything and could really get you thinking in new directions. The folks that owned it were just super. It's a hard business and getting harder every day for brick-n-mortar stores, because the internet can just beat em all to pieces on price, because of a store's overhead. Still it is SO nice not to have to order EVERYTHING...

Later! OL JR :)

I never did get to go see Hobby Town USA; back just before they opened in Sugarland, I think all of the Challenger 498 club members who had published e-mail addresses got an
e-mail from them announcing their grand opening and specific discounts club members
could receive. I "sat" on that opportunity for a while; then when my curiosity got to me
later, planned on making a trip there only to find out they were no more :( .

I'm going to check with RC Hobby anyway and see about getting some clear dope and the
18 mm RMS hardware the owner said he'd could get for me. Will let you know what develops. I really need the clear dope for the clear fin halves of my K-36 Saturn - V.....