Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Launch Report #44: CATO 173

(Yikes, almost six months since I last flew a rocket..)

I finally got out to a CATO launch on Saturday. I had math team practice beforehand (the depths of my nerdery are astounding, neh?) so I only had time to fly three rockets. Still, lots of fun.

First was the first flight of the MLAS. It's still not quite finished - needs some fillets and some paint - but enough so to fly. I put it up on a C6-3, and thanks to the extra nose weight I added it flew perfectly straight. One parachute got a bit melted, but there was no damage.

Second was the Multi-Goon on three B6-4s. Somehow, it didn't work right. I think that one igniter got pulled out slightly while I was wiring up the cluster, and it ignited late, causing the rocket to spin in midair immediately after leaving the launch rod.

Third was by Fliskits L-13 on a D13-4W White Lightning reload. The 18mm reloads have a lot of punch, and this one was no exception. Unfortunately, the L-13 wasn't quite stable. Just off the launch rod, it took a 90-degree left turn and heading for the northern horizon at about 30 feet altitude. Fortunately, it's a light and draggy rocket, so after the motor burned out it floated pretty gently back to earth. No causalities, and the only damage was a small scale detail (replaceable) which got knocked off by the launch rod.

Interestingly, these three flights now put me at a recorded total of just over 3,000 Newton-seconds of impulse burned.

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