Last gasp of 2019
Another one of those strange, shirtsleeve Christmas weeks around these parts. B6-4 Field is looking pretty dry and I'm hoping to find it empty after work. Temps are supposed to be in the 60's with light breezes. I've got a box of old and new birds that I'd like to get some flight time in with. We have a cornfield launch scheduled for next Saturday, but I can't bear to let a day like this go to waste. Someone let my wife know that we're having leftovers tonight. :cool:
I actually got a launch window before the weather set in, but I'm still having launcher issues. I prepped a huge batch the night before of first flight birds and others that were in need of a flight this decade. Igniters were freshly dipped in the acetate melted ping pong ball and black powder mixture and didn't seem to be the issue. I think my old Quest pistol grip is giving up the ghost. I was on the field for nearly an hour and managed three flights before I got discouraged and packed up. Leading off was an Art Applewhite 24mm Hourglass that I won years ago in an EMRR contest. Previous flights included a lot of smoke and an occasional spinning flight once it cleared the rod. The D12-3 flight never showed a hint of wanting to spin, instead screaming straight up into the low level clouds and arcing back over US 27. My initial thought was that it was a goner, but I heard the ejection charge clearly and saw the hot pink hourglass heading out toward short center. Perfect flight that made me want to find another plate to get the 24mm saucer fixed and flying again. Great small field rockets.
Another great small field bird is the Quest Area 51 Saucer that was little more than a throw-in on an Ebay lot several years ago. Like the Applewhite Hourglass, lots of smoke and noise, but in this case you can guarantee that it won't overfly any field, even on a C6-0. Like the other two flights on the day, I filmed this one with the slo-mo camera on my cell phone. The video not only shows the flight, but also the struggle to get it airborne due to the launcher issue. When it does go, it does so slowly. Unfortunately my attention span makes it impossible for me to do two things at once for an extended length of time, and once the Saucer leaves the pad, we get an extended slo-mo crotch shot as I watch the flight, totally forgetting about the phone still recording. I eventually recover and manage to catch the last few seconds of the recovery. The Saucer rattles and groans on the way down, then kicks it all up a notch upon impact. I'm having trouble getting my iPhone and computer on speaking terms or the video would be linked to here.
What would turn out to be the last flight of the day was the refurbished Estes HiJax payloader that I hadn't flown since 2002. (My brother in law and I flew them as night flight birds at B6-4 Field.) I don't remember what the issue was, but the HiJax wound up with a broken payload tube and missing nose cone. Earlier in the spring/summer I had picked up an Estes AirWalker after recognizing the nose cone and payload tube matched the HiJax. The flight would be on a B6-4, but was a bit too robust for conditions. The HiJax screamed back toward the road and into the low hanging clouds/fog. I lost it at first, and didn't hear the ejection charge, but I kept an eye on the sky over the field and was rewarded as the HiJax recovered all the way across the field on the hill. If not for the light arc over the road, it would likely have been another B6-4 Field tree victim, but as it was it landed six feet up the hill. The trip through the fog did cause the payload tune to be soaked, but it was nice to get it back in the air again.
Bill, I have a new, but opened, Quest pistol grip controller if you want it.
Let me know.
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