2018 Launch Reports
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
There was about 6 inches
of snow everywhere including the road down but it was drivable. No one was planning
any high power motors so we held the launch just south of the road about 2/3s
of the way down, at the top of the knoll before the steeper section of the road
down to the large field. The forecast was for partly cloudy but it was almost
completely overcast with just a few seconds of sunshine as we were setting up.
The temperature was in the lower 40s but the steady wind between 10-15mph made
it feel colder. The wind would ebb and flow between 5 and 20mph, with the average
increasing as the launch went on. As we were packing up, the wind was over 20mph
and gusting to 36 and the skies to the south were blue.
There were a total of
12 flights with 13 motors: 3-C, 7-F, and 3-G. This was a total of a I with an
average motor and average per flight of an F.
The flights were as follows:
Guest Ebbe flew his
2.25 inch x 50 inch, white, red and black LOC IQSY Tomahawk twice. The first
time was on an AT F50-6T with a JL Chute Release (CR) set for 300 feet and a
JL Altimeter III which read 700 feet. The second time was on an AT G77-7R to
1217 feet. Both times the red parachute came out and expanded when allowed by
Guest Matt also launched
his blue and red 2.6 inch x 39 inch AT Initiator twice, both times with a JL
CR set to 300 feet. An AT F50-6T was also the first flight. An AT G64-7W was
the second flight. The yellow parachute came out and expanded as expected with
the CR. The second flight had the longest walk of the day to be recovered and
one fin was cracked.
Member Jim flew a black
and green Wildman Punisher Sport on an AT F39T with an altimeter III and a JL
CR. This flight had a pucker factor of 9.5/10.0 as it went up 203 feet and was
only 30 feet off the ground when the nosecone ejected and about 10 feet off
the ground when the chute fluffed to slow the rocket down.
Member James flew his
2 inch x 65 inch, gold and black Estes Mammoth twice in 2 different configurations.
The first flight was with a booster so the flight was powered by an Estes F15-0
and an Estes F15-6. The flight was almost horizontal when the booster lit causing
a greater than 1:1 flight, going 516 feet up and about 800 feet down range.
The same rocket flew much straighter on a single F16-5 and managed went up higher,
to 856 feet. The rocket separated on the second flight but will fly again with
Member Ben had 2 flights,
including part of the drag race which opened the 2018 flying season. His half
of the drag race was an Estes 1/10 scale Patriot on an Estes C6-5. The 1.6 inch
x 22 inch kit was classically painted in red, white, yellow and black. Ben's
big flight of the day was a custom 3 inch x 60 inch AMRAAM on a CTI G68 white
which was brought down nicely on a 24 inch red parachute.
Member Paul managed
3 flights. His first flight was also an Estes 1/10 Patriot on a C6-5 as part
of the opening flights for 2018. Paul's Patriot was white and lime green and
flew nicely. There was not real winner to the drag race. It was a nice way to
start the 2018 season. A yellow and teal 3 inch x 14 inch Estes Big Daddy flew
on an Estes C11-3 which did not go real high but the purple and white parachute
brought it down fine. Paul's big flight was a 3 inch x 42 inch Estes Leviathan
painted in magenta and black which flew on an AT F40-7W with a JLCR and altimeter
III. The rocket reached 695 feet before the parachute was ejected and then the
chute opened up for a successful recovery .
We packed up and were
off the field at 1:50. Thanks to everyone for helping with the setup and take
The forecast was for
sunny skies, 5-7mph winds and temps in the mid to upper 20s. Three inches of
snow from the previous night covered almost everywhere. The actual day felt
much colder because the winds started in the teens. As the day progressed, the
winds dropped but the clouds came in, so it never felt any warmer. Jim and I
arrived at about 0900 to drive down and on the way down I managed to get stuck
in a crusty snow drift from a previous snow storm. After about an hour of work
from almost everyone there, including a lot of digging and connecting a tow
strap, I was extricated and we proceeded down a different path to almost get
to the lower field. There was a drainage ditch between where the vehicles parked
and where we set up the launch equipment. It was filled with ice so it was a
skate back and forth to set everything up. We were ready to go about 1030.
There were a total of
12 people at the launch, including 3 guests and 9 members (including 2 who had
joined this month). The most exciting thing of the day was member James attempting
his L2 certification flight. See the flight results below to see if he was successful
(no spoiler here).
There were a total of 16 flights with 17 motors: 3-A,4-C, 1-F, 6-G and 1-J. This was a total of a J with an average motor and average per flight of an F.
The flights were as follows:
Guest Amelia flew a
CRMRC saucer on an Estes C6-5. Her father had flown Estes as a kid and did not
think the CRMRC saucer would fly. It was a typical CRMRC saucer flight and he
was very impressed. Amelia and her family were the advance party to see if it
was worthwhile for a home school group to get involved in rocketry. They let
me know they would be contacting the club for some learning and a launch.
Guest Noah launched
an Estes Cardis on an Estes C6-5. The flight was textbook and the 1 inch blue
rocket floated down on its parachute without damage.
Member Mike's first
flight was a silver and red Estes Firehawk on an Estes mini A10-3T. The small
rocket almost disappeared from the push of the motor but it flew just fine and
was recovered intact. His big flight of the day was a black and red Estes Big
Bertha on an Estes C6-3. The short delay was just fine for that rocket and it
came down under chute.
Member Ben flew a red
and white custom rocket called Vesta on a CTI F29-9 Imax motor. This 1.6 inch
diameter, 34 inch tall, 1 pound 2.5 ounce rocket had a JL Chute Release (JL
CR), PerfectFlite Firefly altimeter, and an Eggfinder tracker. The PerfectFlite
reported 1010 feet in altitude, and the JL CR which was set to 400 feet did
its job for a very nice flight.
Member Matt flew a blue
and red Aerotech Initiator on an AT G76-7G with a JL Altimeter 3 (JL A3) and
a JL CR set for 300 feet on board. The up part was great but the parachute did
not come out of the tube so the rocket hit the frozen ground hard and a fin
Member Jim flew an orange
and black Rocketry Warehouse Formula 54 on an AT G64-8W. It also had a JL A3
and a JL CR release on board. Jim has become consistent with these types of
flights and the 1 pound 13 ounce rocket drifted down nicely on a 24 inch red
parachute which fully inflated at around 300 feet.
Member Ebbe had the
only complex flight of the day with his US Rockets Dual 18mm. The red, black
and white rocket flew on 2 Quest A6-4 motors which were lit on the pad. The
first flight for this rocket lit both motors and it flew straight up. Both ejection
charges went off, separated by about half a second, and the rocket drifted to
the ground safely. An Estes D12-7 powered Ebbe's flew his gray and yellow Estes
Storm Caster to another nice flight. His 2.25 inch x 50 inch, white, red and
black LOC IQSY Tomahawk with a JL CR set for 300 feet and a JL A3 flew on an
Estes G40-7. This flight came down in two pieces. The airframe floated down
without damage but the nosecone and parachute drifted far north. Ebbe was able
to find this after the launch.
Member Paul managed
5 flights. A 42 inch by 1.2 inch blue and white scratch built Blue Bird Zero
flew on an Estes C6-5 for a low and slow flight. Paul also flew a blue and pink
Estes Storm Caster on a D12-7 for another nice flight. Paul had 3 G powered
flights. A blue Madcow Skipper on an AT G64-7W to 1966 feet as reported by JL
Altimeter 2 (JL A2) and the JL CR set for 300 feet opened the parachute for
a gentle landing. Paul flew a Binder Design Excel Jr. which was painted dark
and sky blue on a AT G76-7G with a JL A2 and a JL CR set for 300 feet to 1740
feet. The JL CR did its job and the rocket floated down gently on its 16 inch
pink parachute. Another Binder Design, an Aspire, flew on an AT G77-7R with
the same electronics on board and came down with the chute opening at 300 feet
(no altitude recorded).
Member James had the
big flight of the day for his L2 certification flight. His black and red 4 inch
by 70 inch Madcow SuperDX3 was propelled on a CTI J330 Classic. Inside the rocket
was a JL A3 and a JL CR set to 400 feet. The J propelled this 6 pound 4 ounce
rocket to 3724 feet and the combination of motor ejection and CR opening at
400 feet brought the rocket down undamaged in the field just south of the road
we use to get to the lower field. Congratulation James on his successful L2.
We packed up and were off the field at 2:00 with everyone crossing the ice multiple times to pack up the equipment. Thanks to everyone for helping with the setup and take down.
A video of the day's
launches is HERE
Sunday, March 4, 2018 - Special Launch
This was a special launch set up to help a team from Northeastern University get their qualification flight for the NASA Student Launch, along with any other launches CRMRC members wanted to fly. This year's NASA SL tasks are to fly a rocket as close to 5280 feet as possible and then do one of the following:
1. Identify a target on the ground
2. Deploy a rover
3. Determine position on a NASA grid
The team from Northeastern
is doing No. 2, the rover although it was not part of this qualification flight.
The field was extremely
muddy, so all vehicles were stopped before going down the final hill. Even then,
some vehicles had a tough time getting back to Maquam Shore Road at the end
of the launch. The weather was overcast to mostly cloudy, with the winds going
from 5-25mph to the south and light flurries almost the entire time. Temps were
hovering around freezing. Cloud ceiling was not an issue for the first two flights,
but it was for the qualification flight. At the launch was 9 students from Northeastern,
one guest who coaches another NASA team, one other guest and 3 CRMRC members.
Everyone helped lug all the launch gear from where we were parked to a spot
where almost at the tree line north of the field at the end of the road, about
1/4 mile. This included the yellow launch pad and the 1515 rail. This was not
an easy task in all that mud and required multiple trips by everyone.
The day consisted of
3 flights, with a average per flight of J and total of an L. The flights were
Member Ben flew a custom
blue and gold 1.5x upscale of a Dark Zero on an Estes D12-5. This acted as a
test flight for the two bigger flights. The rocket went to 570 feet and was
recovered successfully in the same field from which it took off.
Guest Arun, one of the
members of the Northeastern team, attempted his L1 certification flight on a
custom red black and gold rocket called NVSC In Amber Clad. The rocket weighed
8 pounds, 1 ounce, was 4 inch by 50 inch, and flew on a CTI H152 Blue Streak.
Onboard were 2 Stratologgers set for apogee/apogee + 1 second, and 700 feet/600
feet. The flight up was nice but very short, only going to 823 feet and the
apogee charges preceding the main charges by less than a second. The rocket
came down under parachute and landed between the fields in tall grass with the
laundry in a small tree. Everything was easily recovered and this rocket managed
to avoid getting muddy, an amazing feat given the field conditions. Congratulation
to Arun on his successful L1.
Guest Aiden, as the
only L2 certified person on the Northeastern team, was documented as the flyer
for the qualification flight. This rocket was custom designed and built for
the NASA requirements. It weighed 48.6 pounds, 6 inch diameter, stood 11 feet
tall and had 6 altimeters, including PerfectFlites and Stratologger CFs, which
were primary/backup pairs to separate the rocket into 3 parts. Red fiberglass
tubing was used (one of the Northeastern University colors). Once set on the
pad, things became interesting to arm the altimeters. The lowest set of altimeters
was about 8 feet up and the highest set about 12 feet off the ground. The team
did not bring a ladder so invention was required. For the lower set, someone
climbed on another person's shoulders (with muddy shoes wrapped in plastic bags
to prevent covering the bottom person with mud). For the higher set, this team
then stood on a table. If the switches had been a few inches higher, this method
would not have worked and another way would have needed to be found. Once everything
was set, everyone retreated to the launch table where we waited for the cloud
ceiling to get high enough. This took about 15 minutes before the button was
pushed and the CTI L1115 Classic lit. The thrust caused mud to splatter everywhere
as the rocket took off (you can see this in one of the pictures quite well)
and the rocket went up just fine. Coming down was a bit interesting. The aft
section of the rocket landed just south of Maquam Shore Road, about 4000 feet
from where it was launched. Given the wind, this was just about where it could
be expected. The upper section had an issue with one of the Stratologgers which
caused the main to come out at apogee, 5596 feet up. This section had a GPS
tracker inside and the team watched it continue to float further and further
south on their computer. It was still several thousand feet up when it crossed
over the shore of Lake Champlain, continuing over the frozen (but unsafe to
walk on) lake moving south. Then, at about 500 feet, it started drifting east,
eventually over the relatively narrow 1000 foot wide St. Albans Point, with
Kamp Kill Kare State Park at the southern tip. Amazingly, it landed on the point,
and everyone watching on the computer cheered. The team recovered the aft section
by driving on Maquam Shore Road and picked up that part, which was only about
20 feet from the road. The upper section on St. Albans Point would be picked
up after all the launch gear was hauled back through the muck and mud to the
Less than 15 minutes
after the big launch, the winds kicked up and it started heavily snowing corn
snow. This would have prevented that big launch, so we got it in just in time.
It took about 30 minutes to get everything on the field back into the vehicles,
and then everyone took about 10 minutes trying to scrape the mud off their shoes
and pants. From there, we went to the Bayside to celebrate success, with the
Northeastern team detouring down St. Albans Point to collect the remainder of
Member Jeff took the following photos of the day: CLICK HERE
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - Montlhy Launch
This launch was postponed
one day to Sunday because the winds on Saturday were in the high teens with
gusts of almost 40mph. It turned out to be a good decision as the winds on Sunday
were in the low teens and dropped off as the day went on, to almost calm by
late afternoon. The skies started mostly sunny and by the end of the launch,
it was a cloudless sky. The downfall was that the temperatures started in the
single digits F (-15C) and did not get above the teens. The cold temperature,
in combination of the starting winds made it feel like -13F (-25C).
The week before the
launch, it had snowed about 12 inches but it was so windblown by the time of
the launch. There was only 2-4 inches of snow on the open areas. With the extreme
cold and thin snow, the ground had refrozen, not the muck and mud we had to
deal with two weeks hence. The snow in the drainage ditches was level with the
field and covered with a crust. As long as you stayed on the crust, walking
over the ditches was like level ground. If you did post hole (break through
the crust and sink), you would end up to your waist without your leg touching
The road down was drivable
and had a snow crust that could be broken easily by a car or truck. Most people
attending the launch chose to drive all the way down. Some were more conservative,
and parked at the top so they would not even chance getting stuck. A wise move
for those without 4WD or snow tires or lacking ground clearance.
The launch was set up
to enable the larger rockets from the NASA teams from UMass Amherst and Northeastern
to fly Ls off the yellow pad at 300 feet, Gs-Js were on the blue pad at 100
feet (which was moved to 200 feet for a K), and Gs on down on the red pad, at
50 feet. Setup was cold and took a while, but by 10:15, everything was ready
to go. This launch was attended by about 30 people, including 4 CRMRC members.
There were a total of 19 flights totaling an M, and averaging an I. The distribution
included: 1 - 1/2A, 2 - C, 1 - E, 3 - F, 5 - G, 2 - H, 2 - J, 2 - K, and 1 -
L. This included both an L1 and L2 certification flights.
Member Michael had 3 flights. The smallest flight of the day was a black and white Estes Puma on an Estes 1/2A3-2T. This only went up about 25 feet and hit the ground before the ejection charge went off. Michael's other two flights were both on Estes C6-5s, with 8 times the power, these went higher. A 1 inch x 14 inch red and black Estes Journey flew just fine and the parachute did come out before hitting the ground. A black and yellow Estes Helicat about the same size as the previous rocket had the same results.
Guest Daniel's smaller flight was an Aerotech Arreaux on an AT F50-4T. The rocket flew straight up and came down nicely on a yellow parachute. Daniel's large flight was a black and white Madcow Black Brandt II. This design is based off of the Canadian Black Brandt II, flew on an AT G61W-M but the M delay was well past apogee. But the parachute did eject and the rocket came down safely.
This was a day that
member Ben had been looking forward to, and it did not disappoint. Ben's preliminary
flight was an Estes Ventris in red, white, and black colors flew on a CTI F36-7
Blue Streak. The flight up was good but the nosecone came off on the way down,
but everything survived. Ben's big flight was his Junior L1 certification flight,
using a somewhat long burning CTI H90-12 Classic motor, a JLCR set for 300 feet
and an Eggfinder to track the rocket. All of this was put in a red and white
custom Vesta which was 1.6 inch x 36 inches. For such a small rocket, it went
very high, around 4000 feet, and was only trackable by the Eggfinder. The rocket
did come down and the JLCR worked just fine. There was no damage and it was
a successful L1 flight.
Member James was able
to get 3 flights off the ground, including flying the same rocket twice on different
motors. A gold and black Estes Mammoth flew on both an Estes F15-4 and an AT
G40-7W. The F15 is a long burn motor which makes for relatively slow takeoffs
and thrust for a long time for light rockets. The G40 is also somewhat long
burning although it has roughly 3x the average thrust of the previous motor.
The G flew with an JL Alt III inside. Both flights were straight up, successful
parachute deploy and safe recovery. Having just gotten his L2 last month, James
decided to fly his L2 rocket, a red and black Madcow Super DX3 on a CTI J381
Skidmark. The 4 inch x 67 inch rocket took off with a loud road and sparks and
smoke trailing behind. On board was a JLCR set to 300 feet and a JL Alt III.
Everything was text book and the rocket landed across the field to the northeast.
Member Paul had the
most flights, 5, including his attempt at L2. The smallest motored rocket was
a green scratch built Fat Boy on an Estes E15-7 with a JL Alt II onboard. Despite
an initial safety check on the launch system and a stutter step on the pad,
the short, fat rocket had a nice flight. An Estes Leviathan flew 3 times, twice
on an AT G64-7W and one on an AT G69-7W. All of these went straight up with
white smoke trailing and landed successfully. Paul's big flight was a Madcow
Super DX3 painted in white and purple on an AT J350-10W with both a JLCR set
to 300 feet and a JL Alt II inside. The white plume was again straight up and
the nosecone was ejected somewhere near apogee and the JL CR did a great job
opening the chute at about 300 feet, with the rocket landing to the west for
a successful L2 certification.
The UMass Amherst rocket
team flew their NASA competition rocket on a CTI K940 WT. This maroon and grey
rocket was 6 inch diameter by 103 inches in length and had an RRC3 and Raven
3 on board to handle the deployment duties. The 24+ pound rocket managed 2546
feet before all of the electronics took over to bring the rocket down safely.
The rocket landed only a couple hundred yards away from where it took off, so
we were able to watch the main deploy "up close and personal." The
UMass team cheered as the parachutes deployed and the rocket landed.
The Northeastern University
rocket team flew their NASA competition rocket on a what was supposed to be
a CTI L820 Skidmark. As soon as the motor lit, the white smoke out the back
ruled out the Skidmark; likely a CTI L851 White instead. The rocket was a little
underpowered as it lifted off, and gave a little wiggle as it ascended, but
it managed to end up going straight up. The 6 PerfectFlite Stratologgers handled
all the deployment duties successfully and this time everything worked as expected.
All of the deployments happened just as expected and the main came out where
we could easily watch the flight.
As for me, I managed
two flights. I flew my ever reliable light blue Styrofoam Pyramid on a borrowed
AT H178 Dark Matter (Dark Matter is AT's equivalent of CTI's Skidmark). Because
of the tremendous drag, the rocket does not get very high so everyone gets to
see the entire flight "up close and personal." The noise reverberated
until the motor burned out and then the pyramid flipped over and floated to
the ground. My large flight was my 20+ pound black Giz Gone Wild!, which is
an extended Performance Rocketry Gizmo, which flew on a CTI K600 White. There
were 2 RRC2s on board to handle the deployment duties, set for apogee &
500 feet, and apogee + 1 second & 300 feet. The rocket flew straight up
with white smoke trailing to 5146 feet before it separated and came down. I
had inadvertently forgotten to check to see if the fincan was connected to the
lower shock cord, so it came down without a parachute. It was found as a core
sample, with the black fins sticking up out of the white snow. This did not
cause any damage though. The remainder of the rocket worked just fine using
a freebag to pull the main parachute out of the rocket. This meant the nosecone
came down separately from the rest of the rocket. The main parachute ended up
in a tree but the rocket was on the ground. Everyone helped to get the parachute
out of the tree without damage.
The launch concluded
around 1500hrs (3pm) and everything was packed up and ready to leave at 3:45.
The winds had dropped and were almost calm by the time we left, and there was
not a cloud in the sky. The temperature was still in the teens, but it was a
great day. Member Jim has posted a launch video HERE