The finale of the day was the long awaited maiden flight of my 3D printed Soyuz. Things didn't go exactly as planned. The G77-4R/L motor failed to work, even after I put four igniters through it.
Every one of the igniters worked perfectly and you could clearly hear them go even at 30ft. away, but no result. I am awaiting a response from Aerotech.
I dug through my field box and found a G80-7T that I bought at Hobby Lobby about 7 years ago. I never used it because I didn't have a model that could handle it or a site large enough to fly it.
I knew the delay was a bit long but figured it would lessen my chances of drift since it was very breezy. I put it in and it lit instantly. I launch everything from a fully topped off car battery and my rig has never failed to light anything so the G77 has me baffled.
My concerns about lifting that 2.5 lb. Soyuz off a 6ft rod were unfounded. That thing shot off the pad like my Ranger with three C motors. My launch rod was aimed about 3 degrees into the wind and this had worked well all afternoon, so I left it that way. The Soyuz went down range and for a while actually seemed to fly horizontally. It tilted down and started back in. The chute blew at about 400 ft. and I saw the two halves separate. The booster came tumbling in while the top glided smoothly over the tree line. I took off after it, trying to keep an eye on both pieces.
I knew the booster was in the field at the west end of the site because I saw it come in, but couldn't see the impact because of the trees. We searched until dark with no success.
We went back Monday evening for 2 hours and still couldn't find it. Tuesday was rained out. I needed a better plan than just wandering around. My sister shot some good video of the whole flight. Using stills from just before impact and an aerial view from google earth, I was able to reference some trees and plot a line across the aerial view. We returned Wednesday evening to test it. We followed that line and managed to find the booster. My wife spotted it under a tree. Good thing she was to my left because I couldn't see it from the right side of the tree. It was about 800 ft. from the pad. It took an hour to find the top half as it was buried in tall grass.
She also gets another gold star for spotting that as well. Plus now I owe her big time because it was also our anniversary and we should have been at a nice restaurant, not out in the bushes looking for my rocket.
I am glad to get it back and even happier that every single piece is accounted for. I can't wait to put it back together and try again. Did I mention that the Soyuz was a birthday gift from my wife?