Saturday, August 22, 2009

Launch Report #32: CATO 152

Absolutely awesome day. I had good luck with chutes and such. My only regret is that I forgot to put sunblock on. No pictures, sorry.

First came my downscale Odyssey on an A10-3T and Nuclear Mosquito on a C6-5 on the first rack. The Odyssey went up fast to about 300 feet and ejected near apogee. It came down fast and safely on the streamer.

The Nuclear Mosquito was a different story. It boosted fast and straight to around 700 feet and the 12" chute ejected just past. It started drifting, and drifting, and drifting... over the road. I ran out to find it, and there it was only about 50 feet from the road. Ross Tracey was there looking for his Talon II which had drifted way away on an F and 36" chute, and I helped look for a while. After 30 minutes of no luck, I finally spotted it two fields over about a third of a mile from the launch pads. It had landed with the chute visible in the tree and the rocket on the ground. Perfect recovery.

Next came Rama on a D21-4. I stiffened the fin joints with CA before flight and stuffed in a homemade 24" nylon chute. The Q2G2 igniter was easy to use - better than an Estes igniter. Unlike the C6-3s I've tried before, the D21 made a fast, clean boost and ejected just past. The 24" chute was a good match and it landed just at the edge of the bushes on the other side of the neat treeline.

Fourth was the GBU-24 Paveway III on a C6-5. Nice flight to around 600 feet. It drifted back and landed right by the pad.

Fifth was the Comanche-3 on a D12-0 / B6-0 / A8-5 combo. It staged nicely three times, arced over a bit, and ejected just past. The streamer tangled and it came it fast and stable but undamaged. I found the sustainer, and someone else kindly brought in the 24mm booster. Ah well; I have the fin patterns, and BT-50, and tube connectors. I can make another one!

Sixth was the Deltie Thunder on a D12-3. Once I'd secured it against the wind, it boosted fairly straight and ejected about 1 second past. The glider straightened out almost immediately thanks to the curve put on the back wing. It glided perhaps 300 feet in 10 seconds before hitting a tree. The shock cord mount pulled out of the booster, but nothing was damaged besides that except the craptastic Estes chute which melted. I had to climb a tree about 15 feet to rescue it from a small branch that caused no damage to it. I was able to hand it to a Cub Scout dad (several dozen cub scouts came to fly Wizards on A8-3s) so as to not have to climb down the tree while holding it.

Seventh was the Nantucket Sound on an E18-4W reload. I borrowed an Interlock igniter clip and it made it a lot easier. It boosted fast and loud and smoky to about 500 feet and ejected about 1.5 seconds past. The chute failed to open, and the nose shroud popped off. The clay weight fell fast and nearly clonked Al Gloer in the head. The chute opened just before landing and the remainder of the rocket landed undamaged. All I need to do is make a new shroud and use epoxy clay to keep the weight in. On the plus side, the motor case stayed in and soaking it in vinegar cleaned it right out.

The final flight was Lord Gavin on a D12-3. It didn't weathercock at all and drifted away on the 12" nylon chute. Sad day. The loss of the rocket is no biggie, but I *liked* that nice nylon chute. Oh well..

Stats and de-typoing coming later.


@eloh said...

Birthday or Christmas...add digital camera to the list.

The EGE said...

I'm planning to get two fairly soon... a nice one with 10MP and5x or so optical zoom for regular use, and a cheapo one that shoots video for flying in a larger rocket.