2020 Launch Reports

Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec

January, 2020

The club's January launch was cancelled due to poor weather.

 

February, 2020

The club's February launch was cancelled due to poor weather.

 

March, 2020

The club's March launch was cancelled due to the Coronavirus (Cov-19) in keeping with CDC and NAR recommendations.


April, 2020

The club's March launch was cancelled due to the Coronavirus (Cov-19) in keeping with CDC and NAR recommendations.


May, 2020

The club's March launch was cancelled due to the Coronavirus (Cov-19) in keeping with CDC and NAR recommendations.

 

June, 2020

Rocketeers know how to overcome many challenges, including insects, spiders, dense cornfields, tall grass, lost rockets, snow drifts, extreme weather, strong winds, high heat and humidity, and so on. This year we learned how to overcome a pandemic: the novel coronavirus. On June 20th, after waiting 6 long months without any club launches due to weather cancellations and the worldwide COVID19 crisis, the Champlain Region Model Rocket Club finally held our first club launch of 2020. Vermont regulations began to allow outdoor gatherings in June, making it possible to hold a club launch under carefully restricted conditions. Even so, the US/Canadian border was still closed to international travel, and so our Canadian club members were not able to attend. See the club video for a special dedication to our Canadian friends.

This successful and joyful return to our St. Albans field site was attended by 8 CRMRC members and 5-6 guests. Club members arrived about 0900 hours to begin setting up. Approximately 8 cars and trucks were parked on the north side of the farm road. The low-power launch rack was set up 50 feet from the launch table on the north side of the farm road. We set up a second table about 6 feet behind the launch table for RSO work at a safe social distance from the LCO table. The two (blue) high-power pads were set up 100 feet north of the LCO table. For the K and L flights (Howie and Matt G), we moved the pad out to 200 and 300 feet respectively. Eric M set up his hybrid system in the main field as well. Three tarp shelters were set up at various locations around the field. John, Eric, and Howie kindly invited rocketeers to escape the sun under these shelters.

Following Vermont COVID19 regulations and federal recommendations, we practiced social distancing, wore masks and gloves, and frequently sanitized our hands with the hand sanitizer bottles available at two different locations. Rocketeers spread their workstations around the launch area in order to maintain proper distances. Club members were also required to sign a form indicating agreement with the COVID19 safety procedures for our club. Howie and James handled RSO duties. Howie served as LCO for most flights. James and Kevin K video-recorded flights. For added safety, rocketeers called out their own rocket specifications, motor, and so on, at the time of launches, rather than requiring the LCO to physically handle the paper launch cards.

The very first CRMRC flight of 2020 occurred at 1031 hours (Matt G Madcow Sport-X on AT H100W), and we all cheered this successful (if delayed) start of the 2020 CRMRC launch year. This flight was followed by 14 more successful launches and other adventures (see below). Finally, at about 1445 hours, club members began packing up the equipment and dismantling the shelters, leaving the field about 1515 hours. We were not able to stay together for a post-launch meal due to COVID concerns, but maybe next time.

WEATHER AND FIELD CONDITIONS:

We enjoyed light winds and almost perfect blue skies all day. One or two stray airplanes occasionally entered the area briefly (despite the NOTAM given to airports), and we had to wait a few minutes until they left. For most of the day, temperatures on the field were in the range of 90 F with medium humidity, although the interiors of our vehicles were much hotter. At approximately 1500 hours, the thermometer in the car dashboard of the club president showed 106 F. Due to the dry field conditions, we were not able to launch motors with titanium-based propellants like Skidmark, Metalstorm, and Dark Matter. On the other hand, the dry conditions made it easy to walk through the fields and ditches. Corn was standing in the east and northeast fields as usual for this time of year, but the corn plants were only about one foot tall. No rockets were lost. Our main field (north field) had low-cut grass, which was easy for walking and recovering rockets. The south field had a similar light ground cover.

AWARDS AND MILESTONES:

Junior L1 Certification: Alex S (Apogee Zephyr on AeroTech H219)
Closest to pad: Howie Pyramid (landed about 50 feet north of the pad)
Largest motor: AeroTech L1000W-SU, 2714 N-sec (Matt G LOC Sandhawk)
Smallest motor: Estes 1/2A3-3T, 0.6 N-sec (Michael Estes Fire Hawk)
First flight of 2020: Matt G Madcow Sport-X
Smallest/most compact design of a DD system: Howie 38mm DD
Farthest recovery: James, SuperDX3 on J394, recovered in the 4th cornfield 1 mile north of the launch site

MOTORS:

We flew 15 motors for a total of 8,036 N-sec or 1,807 pounds of thrust, which is equivalent to one M motor. Our motors included 5 low-power, 1 mid-power, and 9 high-power motors. The mean motor class was an I motor, the mode was H (4 H motors), and the median was H.

Our distribution of motors was as follows:
1/2 A: 1 motor (this is technically a separate class since it is half of A, but NAR just calls it 1/2A)
A: none
B: 1 motor
C: 3 motors
D: none
E: none
F: none
G: 1 motor
H: 4 motors
I: 1 motor
J: 2 motors
K: 1 motor
L: 1 motor

FLIGHT DETAILS:

Flight coverage video is HERE

Guest Alex S:
Apogee Zephyr, black/white/green, 4 in. dia., 56 in. tall, 4 lbs 7 oz, AeroTech H219 Blue Thunder (DMS) (233 N-sec).

Result: Good flight, landed near the tree line in our main field. Successful Junior L1 certification.Video at 12:04. Congratulations, Alex!

Member Michael W:
Estes Spirit, red/white/blue, 1.1 in. dia., 12 in. tall, 3.8 oz, Estes C6-5 (8.8 N-sec)

Result: Good flight, landed in the main field about 300 feet from the launch table. Video at 8:53.

Estes Fire Hawk: silver and red, 1 in. dia., 11 inch, 9 oz., motor 1/2A3-3T (0.6 N-sec).

Result: Good flight (video not available)

Estes Mercury Redstone (built by Ben G. last summer), 9 in. dia., 24 in. tall, 4 lbs 8 oz, red/white/black, Estes C6-5 (8.8 N-sec).

Result: Good flight, landed in the main field near the tree line. Video at 4:43.

Member Kevin K:
Estes Little Red, 1 in. dia., 8 in. tall, 1.7 oz, Estes B6-4 (5.6 N-sec).

Result: Good flight, landed in the north field, Video at 3:49.

Estes Little Red, 1 in. dia., 8 in. tall, 1.9 oz, Estes C6-5 (8.8 N-sec).

Result: Good flight, very straight and high, impressive altitude on C6-5 (approx. 1200 feet), landed in the east field (video not available).

Rocket Pop Madcow SuperDX3, 4 in. dia., 54 inches tall, 6 lbs 1 oz, AT H550 Super Thunder (312 N-sec), JCLR at 400 feet, altitude approx. 2700 ft.

Result: Fast powerful burn, good flight (video not available).

Member John A:
Madcow Little John, army green with white lettering, 4 in. dia., 48 in. tall, 7 lbs 8 oz., CTI I345WT (407.6 N-sec).

Result: Good flight, landed in the south field. Video at 5:36.

Member James:
Fiberglass Madcow SuperDX3, sliver and black, 4 in. dia., 78 in. tall, 10 lbs 11 oz, JLCR at 500 feet, CTI J394GR (970.4 N-sec), bright pink parachute (helpful in locating the rocket on the ground).

Result: Good flight (first all-fiberglass kit for this rocketeer, and he liked it). The chute deployed successfully, and rocket ended up about 1 mile north of the launch area, gently landed in the 3rd or 4th corn field, altitude: approx. 3900 feet (sim). Video at 7:39.

Member Ben G:
Attempted to fly Loki H90-10R in scratch-built 1:5 Patriot. Motor would not light despite several tries.

Member Eric M:
Attempted hybrid flight of Binder Velociraptor, 4 in. dia., 8 feet tall, 13 lbs, hybrid motor Skyripper K270, dual deploy with main set for 500 feet

Result: Did not ignite.

Club President and Rocket Guru Howie D:
Wildman Mini Dark Star 38mm, unpainted red FG, 38mm dia., 22 in. tall, 2 lb 3.5 oz, CTI G68 White (107.8 N-sec), dual deploy with RRC3+ set for main at 300 feet (remarkably compact DD system).

Result: good flight (slightly unstable during the upward flight), successful deployment and recovery, landed in the east cornfield, about 500 feet east of our launch area, successfully recovered in the short corn. Altitude reported: 1121 ft. Video at 16:22.

Pyramid, 24 in. circumference at base of pyramid, 12 in. tall, 2 lbs, light blue, CTI H143 Smoky Sam (247 N-sec), altitude approx. 150 feet.

Result: Good flight, landed in the main field, about 50 feet from the pad (closest to pad). Video at 6:56.

Wildman 4-inch Dark Star Extreme, green fiberglass, 4 in. dia., 108 in. tall, 22 lbs, CTI K500RL (54mm, 1595.6 N-sec), fully redundant dual deploy with RRC2 and MARSA, main set to 500 feet.

Result: Launched at exactly 12:00 noon, good flight, successful deployment and recovery, altitude recorded on the two altimeters as 3902 feet and 3767 feet (average: 3835 ft). The whistling sound from the split-fin design was audible up to one-quarter mile north from the launch pads. The rocket landed safely on the eastern side of the north field. Video at 9:41.

Member Matt G:
Madcow Sport-X, silver, 3 in. dia., 36 in. tall, 2 lbs 9 oz, AT H100W SU (226.8 N-sec), streamer recovery (2 x 15-foot streamer).

Result: Good flight, first CRMRC flight in 6 months! Landed safely near the cars in the south field. Video at 2:10.

MAC Scorpion, 3 in. dia., 56 in. tall, approx. 3 lbs, recovery on 50-foot streamer, CTI J355 (54mm, 1189.5 N-sec).

Result: good flight, landed in the south field. Video at 14:14.

LOC/Precision Sandhawk with beautifully finished fins, 5.5 in. dia., 11 feet tall, 20 lbs, JL Alt3, AeroTech L1000W SU (54mm, 2714 N-sec), streamer recovery on a huge 150-foot streamer.

Result: Very impressive boost, nice straight flight up, whistling sound, streamer deployed successfully, rocket landed in the northwest field south of Maquam Shore Road. Post-flight inspection showed some damage to one fin and to the forward bulkhead. Video at 17:50.

 

July, 2020

On Saturday July 18, 2020, the intrepid rocketeers of the Champlain Region Model Rocket Club held their second monthly club launch of the COVID19 era. It was another safe and successful day of rocketry.

FIELD CONDITIONS
Arriving at the field at 0900 hours, we immediately spotted our old nemesis - the east cornfield - where the corn stalks towered ominously up to 8 or 9 feet tall (compared to only 1-foot corn at the June launch). On the other hand, the grass in the other fields was now green enough to safely launch sparky motors, such as CTI Skidmark, AeroTech Dark Matter/Metalstorm, and Loki Spitfire. The thick green grass stood 12-15 inches tall in our main field (the north field) and in the fields to the west and south. Club President and Rocket Guru Howie D reminded us to be careful not to lose tools or equipment in the deep grass.

WEATHER
Skies were sunny all day with just a few distant lines of larger cumulus clouds along the horizon, and occasionally a few small cumulus clouds in our area. The club anemometer and weathervane indicated that light winds 5-6 mph were blowing gently from the south/southwest for most of the day, including a few gusts up to 10 mph, but only occasionally carrying a rocket deep into the cornfield (cornfield adventures are discussed below). Temperatures were in the upper 80s (31-32 C) but it was not too humid, and overall the weather for this Saturday launch seemed more pleasant than other summer launch events in recent memory. By contrast, the National Weather Service had warned that Sunday would have a heat index up to 104 degrees, so we were glad to launch on Saturday instead. In fact, rocketeers felt quite comfortable if seated under the shade of a tarp shelter, especially since Kevin K brought lots of water bottles in a cooler, and Howie pulled out the large bag of candy from the launch box to keep the youngest fliers happy between flights.

SET UP
Kevin K installed the large model rocket CRMRC sign on the side of Maquam Shore Road near the entrance to the farm road, and soon 8-10 cars and trucks were parked near the bottom of the hill, mostly along the north side of the farm road. Tall midsummer weeds were growing on both sides of the farm road. Few troublesome insects or spiders were reported.

John A brought the launch pads in his truck (and then later the rods), while Howie D brought other equipment in his car. We set up the low-power rack 50 feet northwest of the launch table, and the two blue high-power pads 100 feet north. The high-power pads were placed approximately 15 feet apart, and we noted that rocketeers tended to prefer the pad on the left since it was 15 feet farther away from the cornfield. We angled most of the launch rails and rods 5-10 degrees toward the southwest in order to minimize the risk of a cornfield landing.

COVID PRECAUTIONS
As with our June launch in this COVID19 era, we followed the Vermont health protocols, US federal health recommendations, and the NAR special rules for the pandemic, including a required sign-in for each participant upon arriving at the field, and careful social-distancing and facemasks. Our launch and preparation tables were set up at appropriate distances from each other, and club members were responsible to manage their own launch cards and pens. Howie took hand sanitizer out of the launch box for people to use. Club members and guests conscientiously followed all the rules. Howie arranged his extra-large tarp shelter about 12 feet behind the launch line (parallel to the launch line), and John A, Kevin K, and Mike and Patty also set up their shelters at appropriate distances.

ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR LAUNCH!
The launch equipment was ready by 1000 hours, and we settled in for a full day of rocketry (6.75 hours total on the field). The launch was attended by 9 CRMRC members, 5 guest fliers, and approximately 8 other guests. Sadly, our Canadian CRMRC members were unable to attend again this month due to continuing travel restrictions during the pandemic. However, we were fortunate that our CRMRC official club vendor MAC Performance Rocketry came to visit from Albany. Besides launching their own rockets with us, the MAC owners (and CRMRC members) Mike and Patty C brought MAC rocketry kits and supplies for CRMRC rocketeers who had ordered in advance. For example, James purchased a sleek 54mm MAC Arcas kit with a nosecone bay. Mike and Patty also provided a generous gift certificate for the club raffle.

As a group, we launched a total of 27 rockets throughout the day, and Jim V was able to video-record most of these flights (see club video). By mid-afternoon, we had launched as many motors as we could afford for one day, so we began dismantling the equipment (1520 hours), followed by the club raffle, and then we loaded up to leave. The last cars pulled away from the launch area at the bottom of the hill at 1554 hours. For safety reasons, everyone went their separate ways for lunch, but we hope that the club can return to our traditional meals at Mill River BBQ soon.

Flight coverage video is HERE

AWARDS AND MILESTONES

Closest-to-pad for a fully deployed and properly functioning rocket: Stuart K, Quest Novia (landed about 20 feet east of the low-power rack)

Closest-to-pad for an undeployed or otherwise malfunctioning rocket: Ben G, Estes Interceptor (landed next to the lefthand high-power pad)

Farthest from pad: Mike C, MAC Zodiac (600 yards northwest)

Best landing in shrubbery: Howie D, Wildman Patriot

Most challenging cornfield recovery: John A, Madcow Little John, located about 500-600 yards inside the east cornfield, guided by Howie D and Kevin K over cellphone

Runner-up for most challenging cornfield recovery: David B, Estes Patriot. The rocket split into two pieces, both landed in the cornfield

Most persistent rocketeer: Ben G and his 10-year-old Loki H90Red motor. Ben tried 5 times (and also multiple times last month) to finally get the stubborn motor to fly

Best on-the-field solution to a rocketry problem: Howie using a pair of Big Uns to finally light the Loki H90Red for Ben G (see previous entry)

Unluckiest flight: Matt G, 38mm diameter Darkstar Mini, which caught a strong eastward gust of wind and sailed deep into the east cornfield with no visual or satellite contact. The rocket was lost.

Most prolific flier: Matt G (five flights)

Youngest rocketeer with a successful first flight: 5-year-old Matty L in Canada (grandson of Dave and Molly L.)

CLUB RAFFLE

Thanks to all of the rocketeers who generously contributed to the raffle, and to Mike and Patty of MAC Performance Rocketry and Paul S. for donating gift certificates. The raffle raised $130 for the club. Guest Lee K. won a $25 gift certificate for MAC Performance Rocketry. Member John A. won a $50 gift certificate for MAC Performance Rocketry.

MOTORS

We flew a total of 32 motors (including two Estes A8-3 launches in Canada by Matty L).

A 2 motors
B 4 motors
C 4 motors
D 6 motors
E 1 motor
F 1 motor
G 2 motors
H 2 motors
I 4 motors
J 6 motors
Total: 32

We burned a total impulse of 8,707 N-s, or 1,957 pounds of thrust, which is equivalent to a good-sized M motor (70% M). As a club, our mean impulse per motor was 272.1 Ns, which is equivalent to an H motor. Our median motor size was 25.1 N, which is a small E motor. Our motor distribution was bimodal with modes at both D and J (6 D motors and 6 J motors). The largest motor was a CTI J355RL (1189.5 Ns total impulse, 3-grain 54mmdia, 329mm long, 669g propellant weight), which was flown twice: Mike C. in his MAC Bolt and Matt G. in his MAC Scorpion. The smallest motor was an Estes A8-3 (2.5 Ns, 18mm dia., 70mm long, 3g propellant weight), flown twice by Matty G in Canada. Due to the corn hazard, no one attempted a multi-stage flight, but one rocketeer tried a cluster launch: David B. with 4 x D12-5 in his Estes Patriot (which landed in the corn but was later rescued).

Sparky percentage: 29% of all propellant burned by the club today was a titanium-infused formula (2493.4 Ns of 8707.1 Ns total). Sparky motors are clinically proven to destroy coronaviruses on contact.

FLIGHT DETAILS

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Guest Stuart K:

Rocket: Quest Novia, red and green, BT-20 dia, 10 in. tall, 1.8 oz
Motor: Estes C6-5 (8.8 Ns)
Result: Good flight, streamer recovery, landed near the launch table (closest to pad winner). Video at 1:38

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Guest Owen K:

Rocket: Quest Novia, green and black, BT-20 dia., 10 in. tall, 1.8 oz
Motor: Estes C6-5 (8.8 Ns)
Result: Good fight, apparently landed in the main field. Video at 3:39

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Guest Lee K:

Rocket: Aerospace Specialties SL520, silver and red, BT-50 dia., 18 in. tall, 2.4 oz
Motor: Estes C6-5 (8.8 Ns)
Result: Good flight, landed in the second grassy field to the north, just to the west of the corn. Video at 6:53

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Five year old Matty L (grandson of Member Dave L) built his first rocket, an Estes Tigres, and accomplished two launches in Montreal on July 14, 2020:
Motors: EstesA8-3 motors (2.5 Ns each)
Results: Launch 1 was absolutely picture perfect with a flight to about 300 feet, apogee chute deployment and a short descent to a soft landing about 100 feet from the pad. Launch 2 was similar but the chute fluffed open only 20 or so feet off the ground. Great first flights, Matty! Video at 0:17

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Guest David B:

1. Rocket: Estes Big Bertha, blue, 1.64 in. dia., 24 in. tall, 3.6 oz
Motor: B6-4 (5.6 Ns)
Result: Good straight flight, good deployment, landed in the main field about 50 feet north of the high-power pads. Video at 19:47

2. Rocket: Estes Patriot (an out-of-production Estes model), red, 3 in. dia., 39 in. tall, 1 lb 4.3 oz
Motors: Cluster of 4 D12-5 motors (4 x 16.8 Ns = 67.2 Ns)
Result: During flight, the rocket suffered an unplanned separation, and the booster landed in the east cornfield south of the launch site. The nosecone and parachute landed in the east cornfield about 300 feet east of the launch site. Both pieces were recovered eventually. David B and Matt G found the booster near the west edge of the cornfield. David B and James found the nosecone and parachute farther north in the cornfield. For that portion of the recovery, James carried the tall white pole, and John A gave them directions over cell phone until they finally spotted the red nosecone in the corn. If the nosecone had been painted a shade of green, they might have never have seen it among the green corn rows. Video at 17:04

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Member Michael W:

1. Rocket: Estes Pulsar, pink and black, 1.64 in. dia., 19.8 in. tall, 0.37 oz
Motor: Estes B6-6 (5.6 Ns)
Result: Good flight, but no video available.

2. Rocket: Estes Mercury Redstone, black red and white, 2 in. dia., 19 in. tall, 4.8 oz
Motor: Estes C6-3 (8.8 Ns)
Result: Good flight, landed just past the high-power pads in the main field. Video at 1:03

3. Rocket: Estes Red Flare, red yellow and black, 2.6 in. dia., 24.4 in. tall, 8.8 oz
Motor: Estes D12-5 (16.8 Ns)
Result: Good flight, caused a dog in the audience to start barking. The parachute did not fully unfurl, but the rocket landed safely in the main field without damage. Originally, the motor would not light after 3 tries with regular Estes lighters, so we switched to an Estes Sonic lighter, and it finally worked. Video at 12:49

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Member Ben G:

1. Rocket: Estes Interceptor, red white and blue, 1.3 in. dia., 24 in. tall, 4.5 oz
Motor: Estes B6-4 (5.6 Ns)
Result: Straight boost but underpowered, landed before the chute opened, landed next to the lefthand high-power rack (closest-to-pad for an undeployed rocket). Video at 5:40

2. Rocket: MAC Black Fly with user modifications to the airframe, 2.2 in. dia., 30 in. tall, 1 lb 13 oz
Motor: CTI F59WT (57.0 Ns)
Result: Good flight, good parachute deployment, moderately fast clockwise rotation during the descent, landed about 100 feet northwest of the lower-power rack. Video at 19:03

3. Rocket: Scratch-built Patriot, red white and yellow, 3 in. dia., 48 in tall, 3 lb 3 oz, with Pnut altimeter and Eggfinder GPS, and JLCR set to 400 feet
Motor: Loki H90-10LR(234.4 Ns)
Result: Good flight. The motor was 10 years old, took a long time to ignite the motor, finally flew when Howie put in two WM Big Uns lighters together. The rocket landed safely in the south field. Video at 15:44

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Member Kevin K:

1. Rocket: Estes Little Red, red in color, 1 in. dia., 10 in. tall, 1.8 oz
Motor: Estes B6-4 (5.6 Ns)
Result: Good flight, speedy little rocket, landed on the northwest side of the main field in front of the ridge line. Video at 2:34

2. Rocket: MadcowSuperDX3, red white and blue, 4 in. dia., 54 in. tall, 6 lb 12 oz, with JLCR set to 400 feet, Eggfinder GPS, Eggtimer Proton altimeter
Motor: AT I280 Dark Matter (561.0 Ns)
Result: Good flight, loud sparky motor which caused a dog in the audience to start barking, successful JLCR deployment at 400 feet, landed in the main field to the northwest, near the ridgeline. Video at 11:50. The landing location of this rocket turned out to be fortuitous since Kevin K happened to be retrieving this rocket at the moment when John A lost his Madcow Little John in the cornfield. With his vantage point from the ridge line, Kevin had a line of sight that complemented the line of sight that Howie had from the launch area. See details below.

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Member John A:

1. Rocket: Madcow Little John, green with Army-style lettering, 4 in. dia, 48 in. tall, 8 lbs 0 oz, with JLCR set to 500 feet
Motor: CTI I540WT (634.6 Ns)
Result: This fateful flight started out smoothly and had a successful parachute deployment, but then the rocket landed very far into the east cornfield. Video at 13:19. Fortunately, Howie D and Kevin K had good lines-of-sight on the rocket landing from two contrastive vantage points. As CRMRC members gazed forlornly at the vast and foreboding cornfield, our ever-optimistic Club President Howie asked Kevin K to do a conference call on cell phones among himself, Kevin, and John, so that they could guide John to the rocket. John bravely hiked deep into the dense and spider-ridden cornfield, carrying the tall white pole (approx. 8 feet tall) so that Howie and Kevin could see his location. John eventually found the rocket, approximately 500-600 yards east, far out in the middle of the cornfield. We all celebrated another successful (though arduous) recovery of a rocket in the cornfield with CRMRC teamwork.

2. Rocket: Madcow Little John, green with Army-style lettering, 4 in. dia., 48 in. tall, 7 lb 15.5 oz, with JLCR set to 500 feet
Motor: CTI I223SK (434.1 Ns)
Result: Nice skidmark launch, chute deployed properly at 500 feet, rocket gently descended with a slight clockwise rotation, landed in the main field on the northwest side in front of the ridge line. Video at 5:58

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Member James:

1. Rocket: MAC Menace, blue and white, 4 in. dia. 48 in. tall, 6.13 lbs, head-end dual deploy with RRC2 set to 300 feet and Altus Metrum EM set to 500 feet, Featherweight GPS and Eggfinder GPS (built by Ben G), motor ejection backup
Motor: CTI H225WT (273.2 Ns)
Result: Good boost on the White Thunder propellant, the rocket turned itself slightly into the wind during boost as expected, charges and chute deployed properly, and the rocket landed in the main field, about 700 feet northwest of the launch site. The apogee was 1927 ft according to Featherweight. Video at 16:21

2. Rocket: Madcow Fiberglass SuperDX3 Extended, silver and black, 4 in. dia., 102 in. tall, 14 lb 0 oz, dual deploy with RRC2 set to 300 feet and Altus Metrum EM set to 500 feet, Featherweight GPS and Eggfinder GPS, motor ejection backup
Motor: CTI J520SK (848.4 Ns)
Result: Good flight and recovery. During the upward flight at about 500 feet, the tall rocket weathercocked rather sharply into the south wind. James had added 24 inches to the airframe length of this rocket (for no particular reason), and Eric M correctly predicted that the rocket would be over-stable. The rest of the flight was perfectly fine, and the rocket landed softly in the thick grass on the north side of the farm road, about 300 feet east of the highway. Max speed 102 mph, apogee at 1690.5 ft, averaging RRC2 (1692 ft) and PerfectFlite APRA (1689 ft). The two altimeter readings only differed by 3 feet. Video at 8:11

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Member Matt G:

1. Rocket: Estes Goblin, green and black, 1.33 in. dia., 14 in. tall, 4.6 oz
Motor: Estes D12-3 (16.8 Ns)
Result: Good straight boost, landed near the tree line in the main field. Video at 4:08

2. Rocket: Estes Super Big Bertha, white black and red, 2.5 in. dia., 36.8 in. tall, 13 oz
Motor: Estes E16-4 (33.4 Ns)
Result: Good upward boost, but streamer became stuck in the airframe, landed in the south field just south of the cars. The booster section lawn-darted, and it sustained damage in the upper third of the booster. Video at 3:17

3. Rocket: Wildman Mini Darkstar, red, 38mmdia, 22 inch tall, 21 oz, with JLCR set to 500 feet
Motor: AT G64 White Lightning (118.8 Ns)
Result: Flew east over the cornfield, lost in the cornfield. The rocket separated at apogee, but the chute did not open, so we unfortunately could not see where it landed. The rocket was lost. Video at 0:44

4. Rocket: SBR Thor, yellow and black, 4 in. dia., 85 in. tall, 6 lb 9 oz, streamer recovery
Motor: CTI I236 Blue Streak (413.0 Ns)
Result: Good flight on Blue Streak motor, nice whistling sound during the upward flight (due to the fin design), successful recovery on a long streamer, landed safely near the first tree line in the north field, amid some continuing discussion among club members about the efficacy of streamer recovery on heavy rockets. Video at 10:35

5. Rocket: MAC Scorpion, tan, 4 in. dia., 72 in. tall, 9 lb 4 oz, with JL altimeter, streamer recovery (50 feet length)
Motor: CTI J355RL (1189.5 Ns)
Result: Good flight, but no video available.

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Member Mike C (MAC Performance Rocketry)

1. Rocket: MAC Zodiac, shiny dark blue, 4 in. dia., 72 in. tall, 11.0 lbs, drogue-less with dual deploy on RRC3 set to 500 feet
Motor: CTI J394GR (970.4 Ns)
Result: Good flight, successful deployment, landed about 600 yards northwest in the 3rd or 4th field (hay field). Mike drove out to Maquam Shore Road heading north, and then recovered the rocket successfully from the field. Video at 14:04

2. Rocket: MAC Bolt, tan/multicolored, 3 in. dia., 65 in. tall, 9.0 lbs, dual deploy with RRC3 set to 500 ft and motor ejection backup
Motor: CTI J355RL (1189.5 Ns)
Result: Good flight, landed in the west side of the north field. Video not available, but there is a still photo of this rocket at 20:24 in the club video.

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Club President and Rocket Guru Howie:

1. Rocket: Wildman Dark Star named Gold Star, gold, 2.4 in. dia., 30 in. tall, 2 lb 4 oz, drogue, JLCR set to 300 feet and RF tracker
Motor: CTI G57CL (107.8 Ns)
Result: Good flight, landed just north of the main field in the second field to the north (in taller grass). Video at 4:53

2. Rocket: Wildman 1:4 Patriot, red white and yellow, 4 in. dia., 60 in. tall, 11 lb 2 oz, dual deploy with RRC2 set to 500 feet and another RRC2 set to 700 feet
Motor: CTI J381SK (659.9 Ns)
Result: Good flight, very straight boost, loud Skidmark motor, apogee 1921 feet (measured on altimeter), successful deployment, landed softly in a large shrub along the first tree line of the north field. The parachute, booster, nosecone, and shock cord were spread out gently across the shrubbery and nearby grass. Video at 9:16

3. Rocket: Wildman Darkstar 3, sleek black fiberglass with the distinctive Dark Star split fins, 3 in. dia, 108 in. tall, 10 lbs 8 oz, RRC set to 500 feet, RF tracker
Motor: CTI J354WH (818.7 Ns)
Result: Good flight, apogee altitude 2816 feet, successful deployment at 500 feet, smooth recovery northwest of the launch site, just past the main tree/shrub line. Video at 17:36


August, 2020

The August 2020 club launch of the Champlain Region Model Rocket Club was another great success for rocketry in the pandemic era. Our day is nicely summarized by the following quote from Club President and Rocket Guru Howie D:

The biggest excitement of the day was the weather: the wind, or lack thereof, and clouds, or lack thereof. This was evidenced by about a half dozen rockets landing within 50 feet of the pad, including at least one high power. The small group also meant there were not that many flights, so in spite of being a perfect day, we were off the field by 1400 hrs.

WEATHER AND FIELD CONDITIONS

Arriving at the field in St. Albans around 0900 hours, CRMRC rocketeers were greeted with lush green grass in our main field, low winds, and comfortable temperatures in the mid to upper 70s and lower 80s F throughout the day (25-27 C). For example, at 1015 hrs, the temperature was 75.73 F and the humidity was 57.5 percent at ground level. The clear skies above us were a perfect shade of deep blue, with just a slight line of cumulus clouds far away along the horizon. Later in the day, these clouds began to cluster more closely into the eastern half of the sky over our site, but not enough to disrupt any flight plans. For much of the morning, winds were calm to variable at 2-3 mph, and then later in the day we observed some brief gusts up to 5-6 mph, as measured on the club anemometer at the launch table. Most of these light breezes were from the south, southeast, or east, which meant that almost all rockets landed safely nearby in our main field or nearby to the north. Only one rocket caught enough of a west wind to land in the east cornfield with its dense and ominous rows of 12 or 13-feet tall corn stalks. But even that misfortune (Ben G, Scratch-built AMRAAM on CTI G68WH) was mitigated by the fact that the rocket did not go far into the cornfield, and two club members established clear lines-of-sight as it landed, as discussed below.
Tall late-summer weeds (and nice wildflowers) filled the ditches on both sides of the farm road and within the middle of the road as well. Rocketeers parked along the farm road, so they had to push their car doors into these tall weeds in order to get out of their vehicles. Even so, rocketeers reported that there was very little standing water in the ditches, and so it was easy to move between fields and along the road.

In other words, it was truly a perfect day for rocketry in every way, except for two persistent problems: Too much corn and too few Canadians. Once again, none of our Canadian club members were able to join us due to international travel restrictions in the pandemic. See below for a Canadian report.

SET-UP AND ATTENDANCE

Set-up was completed by 0930 hours. The low-power rack and two blue high-power pads were set up in the main field in their traditional places north of the launch table, with the low-power rack at 50 feet from the launch line, and the high-power pads at 100 feet. For the K motor that Howie flew, he moved one of the blue pads to 200 feet. Our launch rods and rails were tilted 5-10 degrees west, away from the east cornfield (more about that later). Tarp shelters were set up by club members John A (white shelter), Gary (white shelter), Jim V (blue shelter). Club President Howie decided not to set up his large presidential shelter since we had enough shade from the three small shelters, and the weather was comfortable even without a shelter. Jim V once again kindly video-recorded each flight, and then posted a YouTube club launch video of all flights.

For the first part of the morning, there were 9 CRMRC members on the field (including the return of Member Gary!) Two guests arrived later to bring our total to 11 people. Finally, late in the morning, two more guests joined us to make a total group size of 13 people. One of the guests was a Vermonter L3 rocketeer who told us interesting stories about working on a huge six-inch diameter (152mm) Gorilla O-motor, back when Gorilla Rocket Motors was a separate company.

HEALTH SAFETY

As with prior launches in the pandemic era, everyone at our CRMRC launch conscientiously and strictly followed federal and state health guidelines, including physical distancing, face coverings, using hand sanitizer, and handling our own launch cards and writing instruments.

Flight coverage video is HERE

AWARDS AND MILESTONES

Closest-to-pad: Although it is purely a matter of luck, the closest-to-pad award was fiercely contested this month since so many rockets landed nearby, due to the very light winds. The final winner was declared to be Gary and his Estes Spirit, which landed just 2 or 3 feet from the low-power rack.

Best on-the-field solution to a rocketry problem: Howie D and Noah G using two different lines-of-sight to triangulate an angle for Ben to retrieve his rocket successfully from the cornfield

Best cornfield recovery: Ben G, Scratch-built AMRAAM on CTI G68, landed approximately 50 yards into the east cornfield. See details below.

Most complicated launch: Matt G and his two-stage glider Estes Multi-Roc. The rocket launched and deployed successfully, although the glider sailed out of sight.

Most realistic rocket-plane flight: Jim V and his X-15, which turned sharply in a wide arc while still under power, then crashed before parachute deployment (no damage).

Most prolific flier: Matt G with 5 flights

Rocketeer most likely to experience quantum entanglement, superstrings, the Higgs boson, fermions with half-integer spin, Lorentz transformations, and other constructs of theoretical physics: Noah G and his first flight (54mm MAC Arcas)

MOTORS

We flew a total of 26 motors in 25 flights as a club, burning through 3622 Newton-seconds of total impulse for the club, which is equivalent to a mid-sized L motor. The largest motor was a 4-grain 54mm CTI K445CL (1637 Ns total impulse) flown by Howie in his extended Giz-GW. The smallest motor was an Estes 1/2 A3-2T (1.0 Ns total impulse) flown by Michael in his Estes Firehawk. There was one complex flight: Matt G and his two-stage Estes Multi-Roc (B6-0 to B6-6), which also included a glider released at apogee.

Overall, our mean motor size was 139.3 Ns total impulse, which is equivalent to a G motor, and the median size was 17.0 Ns, which is a D motor. B6 motors were especially popular on this day (7 B6 motors), and B was the mode of the motor classes that we flew. The next most frequently flown motor size was G (5 G motors), and then D (3 D motors).

Here is a full list of the distribution of motors that we flew:

1/2 A: 1
A: 2
B: 7
C: 2
D: 3
E: 2
F: 0
G: 5
H: 1
I: 2
J: 0
K: 1

FLIGHT DETAILS:

Member Ben G:
Scratch-built AMRAAM, gray with two sets of fins, 62 in. tall, 3 in. dia., 2 lbs 3 oz
Motor: CTI G68 White
Result: Good flight and deployment, but landed about 50 yards into the east cornfield. Ben ventured into the field carrying a tall white PVC rod, approximately 12 feet tall. Fortunately, Howie had recently added 4 feet to the length of the rod. Howie and Noah both had good lines-of-sight on where the rocket landed, providing accurate triangulation with an angle of about 25-30 degrees. This turned out to be crucial since the corn was highly dense and far above eye level, and there were late-summer tassels at the tops of the corn stalks. Ben found the rocket after about ten minutes of searching, guided by cell phone and by encouraging shouts of directions from CRMRC members. Exiting the cornfield also proved to be challenging since the ditch along the western edge of the cornfield was filled with tall thick cat-tail plants, although the ditch was not waterlogged. Video: 7:41

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Member Noah G:

MAC Performance Rocketry Arcas with 29mm motor mount, unpainted MAC canvas phenolic, 40 in. tall, 2.2 in. dia. (54mm), 2 lbs 6.5 oz, carrying a Lithosphere Rocketry ArdIU (built by Ben)
Motor: CTI G68 White
Result: Good straight flight, landed safely between the main tree line and the next tree line, dodging the very tall tree north of our field (which is always eager to snatch a stray rocket). Video: 15:16
========

Member James:

MAC Arcas Modified, white and red, 3.0 lbs, 50 in. tall, 54mm airframe modified to be a minimum diameter rocket, with Additive Aerospace 3D-printed fincan and flyaway rail guide, Featherweight GPS and Eggfinder GPS mounted in the MAC nosecone av-bay. Three altimeters were attached to the shock cord: JL AltimeterIII, Perfectflite APRA, and RRC2 as a ride-along.In addition, since the name of the meteorological ARCAS sounding rocket originally stood for All-Purpose Rocket for Collecting Atmospheric Soundings, James mounted a small hygrometer inside this MAC Arcas to measure humidity and dew point during the flight (Senonics Minnow 1.0TH Hygrometer, with 1 Hz sampling rate).
Motor: AT G74-6 White Lightning (DMS)
Result: Successful test flight, although the parachute deployed late (about 6 feet above ground level, no damage sustained). Apogee altitude: 476 feet. Landed in the main field in front of the tree line. The hygrometer measured 54.6 percent humidity at ground level before launch, and dew point 65.1 F. Then at apogee, the humidity was 64.6 percent and dew point 69.7 F. Video: 2:14

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Member Gary:

1. Estes Spirit, red white and blue, 18 in. tall, 1.25 in. dia., 3.8 oz
Motor: A8-3
Result: Low flight, did not separate until after hitting the ground, but undamaged. Landed about 3 feet north of the low-power rack: closest-to-pad winner. Video: 0:12

2. Estes Spirit, red white and blue, 18 in. tall, 1.25 in. dia., 3.0 oz (anomalously lighter in weight than it was in its previous flight with a smaller motor)
Motor: Estes B6-4
Result: Good flight, descended gently under parachute (with a clockwise rotation). Landed about 10 feet from the low-power pad. Video: 9:42

3. Estes Red Gold, red and gold, 18 in. tall, 1.25 in. dia., 3.1 oz
Motor: Estes B6-4
Result: Good flight, rotated very rapidly while descending under chute, landed in the main field. Video: 2:30

4. Estes Firebird, white, 24 in. tall, 1.25 in. dia., 2.9 oz
Motor: B6-4
Result: Good straight boost, good deployment, descended under chute with a slow clockwise rotation. Landed about 10 feet north of the high-power pad. Video: 6:45

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Member Michael:

1. Estes Drifter, red and silver, 18 in. tall, 1 in. dia., 3.7 oz
Motor: Estes B6-6
Result: Good flight up, good separation. The chute did not unfurl, but the rocket was not damaged. Landed in the main field. Video: 1:19

2. Estes Farside, blue and black, 25 in. tall, 1.64 in. dia., 2.4 oz
Motor: Estes B6-6
Result: Good straight flight, good deployment, gentle landing. Landed about 10 feet east of the launch table. Video: 5:22

3. Estes Firehawk, white and red, 11.2 in. tall, 0.74 in. dia., 1 oz
Motor: 1/2 A3-2T
Result: Good flight and separation, but parachute did not unfurl. Landed in the main field about 15 feet north of the low-power rack. Video: 8:27

4. Estes Drifter, red and silver, 18 in. tall, 1 in. dia., 10 oz
Motor: Estes C6-5
Result: Good flight, good parachute deployment, counter-clockwise rotation. Landed in the main field about 150 feet north of the launch table. Video: 13:13

========

Member Jim V:

1. Estes Big Bertha, yellow and black, 24 in. tall, 1.6 in. dia., 3.9 oz
Motor: Estes C6-5
Result: Good flight, descended under chute with a slow clockwise spiraling motion. Landed in the main field, about 200 feet north of the launch area. Video: 3:31

2. SNG Aero X-15, black, very sleek and realistic-looking model rocket-plane, 20 in. tall, 1.6 in. dia., 8 oz
Motor: Estes D12-3
Result: Spiraled sharply while still under power, flipped over, crash-landed about 15 feet north of the low-power rack, ejection smoke could be seen above the crash site, making it look like a realistic crash of a rocketplane. Video: 7:28

3. Estes Honest John, army green, 23 in. tall, 1.6 in. dia., 7.6 oz
Motor: Estes D12-5
Result: Nice straight boost, long burn, rocket descended gently under chute, with clockwise rotation. Landed in the main field in front of the tree line. Video: 10:09

4. Estes Crossfire, red and black, 15 in. tall, 1.0 in. dia., 2 oz
Motor: Estes A8-3
Result: Good launch but the parachute did not open. Jim V noted that the plastic parachute was 25 years old. Landed safely in the main field about 15 feet west of the cat-tail ditch beside the east cornfield. Video: 16:15

========

Member Matt G:

1. Estes MultiRoc, white, two-stage with glider, 22 in. tall, 0.75 in. dia., 4 oz
Motors: Estes B6-0 to B6-6
Result: Good two-stage launch, booster landed nearby in the main field. The glider properly separated and began gliding, but then it glided out of sight: lost. Video: 0:45 (the flight video is horizontal because James turned his phone sideways while recording, for no apparent reason)

2. Estes Goblin, green and black, 22 in. tall, 1.0 in. dia., 4.3 oz
Motor: D12-7
Result: Good launch, quite high, spiraled down under chute (clockwise spiral). Landed in front of the tree line in the main field. Video at 1:36

3. Estes Super Big Bertha, black and purple, 34 in. tall, 2.6 in. dia., 15.7 oz
Motor: Estes E16-4
Result: Good flight, descended on a long streamer. The streamer stretched out behind the nosecone but did not appear to support the weight of the main airframe (which trailed behind higher in the air, rather than below the streamer). Video: 2:58

4. MadcowSportX, silver, 36 in. tall, 3.0 in. dia., 2.5 lbs
Motor: AT G138 Blue Thunder (even though this is a G motor, it is a high-power motor since it is a fast-burning formula with average thrust greater than 80 N/s)
Result: Good launch and separation, descended smoothly on a long streamer, landed in the main field before the ridge line. The streamer appeared to be supporting the weight of both the nosecone and the booster since they were both hanging below the streamer during the descent. Video: 8:46

5. MAC Performance Rocketry Zodiac, white and black, 42 in. tall, 54 mm dia., 2.2 lbs
Motor: CTI G80 New Blue Thunder
Result: Nice straight boost. Landed safely past the tree line. Video: 14:23

========

Member John A:

1. Madcow Little John, army green, 48 in. tall, 4 in. dia., 8 lbs 4 oz, carrying JLCR set to 500 feet and Featherweight GPS
Motor: CTI I303 Blue Streak
Result: Good flight, good straight boost. JLCR deployed at 500 feet at the exact moment that Howie predicted it had reached 500 feet. Landed in the main field below the ridge line. Video: 4:21

2. Madcow Little John, army green, 48 in. tall, 4 in. dia., 8 lbs 2 oz, carrying JLCR set to 500 feet and Featherweight GPS
Motor: CTI I345 White Thunder
Result: Good flight, almost identical to the I303 flight. JLCR deployed at 500 feet, and the rocket landed gently in the main field below the ridgeline. Video: 10:52

========

Club President and Rocket Guru Howie D:

1. Custom-built Fat Boy III, brown and red, 12 in. tall, 2.6 in. dia., 1 lb 1 oz, carrying JLCR set to 300 feet
Motor: CTI E31 White Thunder
Result: Good launch, chute did not unfurl but no damage. Landed in the main field. Video: 0:25

2. Hangar 11 King Arthur, purple and red with interesting rectangular wooden fins, 60 in. tall, 4 in. dia., 4 lbs 9 oz, carrying JLCR set to 300 feet
Fun fact: This kit requires no gluing for assembly, and people have bought, built, and flown this kit on the same day at a launch event.
Motor: CTI H152 Blue Streak
Result: Good boost, good separation after apogee, chute deployed perfectly as planned at 300 feet, landed in the main field approximately 200 feet north of the launch table (booster briefly stood vertically in the grass after landing, almost like a SpaceX booster, then fell gently to the ground). Video: 5:55

3. Giz Gone Wild (Wildman Gizmo extended), black with bright pink lettering, 63 in. tall, 5 in. dia., 19 lbs 4 oz, dual deploy with MARSA and PerfectFlite altimeters, first main charge set for 700 feet
Motor: CTI K445 Classic
Result: Nice straight flight, loud CTI Classic motor, charges deployed properly after apogee (including backup charge that was larger than the initial charge, just in case there is any problem with separation), then a motor backup, then main deployment at 700 feet. During the gentle descent from 700 feet, the parachute rotated clockwise, but the rocket itself did not rotate because Howie used a rotator link. The booster landed about 600 feet east of the Maquam Shore Road. The nosecone landed separately, as planned. Video: 11:40
The PerfectFlite altimeter read 3635 feet for the apogee altitude, and the MARSA gave three altitude readings: 3554 feet (barometric), 4155 feet (integration), and 3530 (Kalman filter), for an average of 3746 feet.Motor burnout occurred at 3.4 seconds, which was 0.3 seconds sooner than the published specification (3.7 sec).The time to apogee was reported as 18.5 sec (barometric), 17.2 sec (accelerometer), and 17.3 sec (Kalman filter). The peak speed was 505 feet/sec (344 mph).The peak acceleration was 6.39 g, which was a surprisingly high reading for the g-force since the rocket seemed to take off somewhat slowly from our vantage point.

==============

CANADIAN UPDATE

Due to weather cancellations and then the Covid pandemic, our Canadian CRMRC members have been unable to launch with us in St Albans for the past eight months (since the December 21, 2019 winter solstice launch). In this section of the report, we provide a partial update on their rocket activities over the past month:

Member Paul S is active in his daily posts on the Rocketry Forum (find him as Dr. Wogz). He has been an RF member since 2009, and he is now up to 5384 posts and 727 likes, which is an average of 1-2 posts per day. Although other CRMRC members are involved in RF, we think that Paul has the most RF posts and likes, although this has not been empirically verified. Despite the pandemic, Paul has continued to post build threads on RF and to host design contests for an RF 3D printing subforum. He also continues his 40 years of supporting his local hobby shop (http://www.tedshobbyshop.com/) in Montreal, and his build pile of kits at home grows higher after he visits the shop, along with his stock of rocket motors. He also continues his work in Lego shows, including a 3x3 plate moon base.

Member Daniel M reports that he finished building a Patriot in December 2019, and he is waiting to launch it as soon as conditions allow.



September, 2020

CORNFIELD STATUS

Early in the morning, the greatest question on the mind of every CRMRC member was: Will the cornfield be harvested or not? When Club President and Rocket Guru Howie D drove down Lake Street, heading toward St. Albans Bay and our field to the north, he noticed that several of the nearby cornfields had been harvested. Alas, none of the fields near our launch site had been harvested yet, and 10-foot-tall corn stalks waited menacingly in these fields. But we have hope for next month: Sitting at the farm across Maquam Shore Road was a corn harvester and trucks for transporting the harvested corn. The best news came at the end of our launch day when we noticed that several men had moved the harvester into position to work in the field at the other end of the farm road. Help is on the way! Hopefully, the weather will stay dry, and they will harvest our cornfield ahead of our launch next month.

As for today, the corn managed to briefly capture two rockets, both of which were recovered through the clever triangulation and steely-eyed determination of the club. One lost rocket took about 15 minutes to recover, and the other took about half an hour. Teamwork made it happen, as at least 3 people had a line on the rockets as they dropped into the corn. That and a tall rod with a bright pink flag on the top enabled us to direct the rocket owner where to go.

WEATHER

When we arrived at 0900 hours, temperatures were in the low 40s. The wind was primarily blowing from the north and northwest, at variable speeds 0-5 mph at first, then gradually increasing during the morning. By noon, we were observing occasional gusts up to 8 mph, and by the end of the day, our club anemometer measured 14.8 mph as the maximum wind speed recorded at some point during the day. As for the sky, we enjoyed mostly clear skies with a few thin high-altitude clouds early in the day, and then small scattered cumulus clouds in the afternoon. The air temperature was 54 degrees when we left the field at 1425 hours.

ATTENDANCE

There were 6 club members for the first part of the morning from 0900 to 1100 hours, and then another member arrived at 1100 hrs (which is the customary arrival time for that member). Several guests arrived during the next hour, bringing our total participants up to 7 club members and 5 guests, including 2 children, who represent the future of human aerospace endeavors.

Note: Canadian rocketeers were unable to join us again due to pandemic restrictions on international travel. See the end of this report for news from Canadian CRMRC members.

HEALTH PRECAUTIONS

As always during the Covid pandemic, all CRMRC rocketeers and guests strictly followed federal and state safety procedures, including our system of formal on-site registration, face coverings, social distancing, hand sanitizer, and other health precautions.

SET UP

Club members arrived at 0900 hrs and began setting up. We parked our vehicles on the grass on the south side of our main field (north field), which eventually hosted a total of 8 cars and trucks. The north and south fields had been recently mowed, leaving a soft blanket of short green grass for easy recovery of our rockets. Howie, Jim, and John had kindly brought the heavy CRMRC equipment in their vehicles, and we spent about 45 minutes setting it up. Considering that the wind was blowing from the north and northwest, we angled the launch rods and rails 10-20 degrees toward the northwest. This placement proved to be effective, as most high-power rockets landed conveniently in our main field or just past the tree line to the north. Smaller, lighter rockets were more likely to drift farther east or southeast in the wind. Some landed in the south field, and two landed in the east cornfield, as discussed. We flew continuously for four hours until 1400, happily enjoying the reasonably good flying conditions and comfortable weather of this early autumn day, then packed up and left the field at 1425 hours.

AWARDS AND MILESTONES

-Closest-To-Pad Award: Howie and the famous Howie Pyramid (on AT G78)

-Most Improved Rocket Award (MIR Award): Jim V and his X-15, which flew perfectly straight because Jim had added 4 ounces of weight in the nosecone (compared to the August 2020 flight)

-Shrubbery Award with Thistle Bonus: Howie landed his PML MR1b in a thistle bush along the first tree line in our main field

-Thug Award: Jim V flew his Binder Thug II for the first time since the fiery demise in June 2018

-Flier with the most low-power flights: (tie) Ansel with 3 flights (A3, C6, C6) and Michael W with 3 flights (C6, C6, B6)

-Flier with the most high-power flights: Howie with 3 flights (H123, J354, G88)

-Most spectacular spiraling trajectory during launch: Michael W and his Estes Phantom Blue on Estes C6-7

-Longest streamer: Matt 150-foot streamer

-Best cornfield recovery: Ben G about 300 feet due east, Estes Heatseeker on AT D10-7

-Runner-up for best cornfield recovery: Matt G about 100 feet southeast, Estes Multi Roc on C6-7

-Best salvage work: Ben found the lost fin of the SuperDX3 that James had lost to a CATO in November 2019. This bright-red wooden fin had waited in the cornfield throughout the whole winter, then through the spring tilling and planting of the cornfield, and then the full growing season, before finally being recovered by Ben. The fin has a large crack down the middle, suggesting that heavy farm equipment crossed over it.

-World record for most consecutive flights with exactly the same rocket: John and his ever-reliable Madcow Little John (record not empirically verified)

-Best on-the-field solution to a rocketry problem: Awarded to all CRMRC members who provided the crucial sight-lines, cell phone calls, and other assistance needed for recovering the two rockets that landed in the cornfield

MOTORS

We flew a total of 23 motors in 23 flights (no complex/staged flights), totaling 4564.6 Newton-seconds of total impulse for the club. This is equivalent to a 78% L motor. Our mean motor size was 198.5 Ns (24% H motor), and our median motor size was 39.7 Ns (98% E motor). The most popular motor was the Estes C6 (5 flights on Estes C6). The smallest motor was an A3-4 Blue Thunder (2.5 Ns total impulse) flown by Ansel on his Estes Bandito. The largest motor was a CTI J295 Classic (1196.3 Ns total impulse), flown by Matt G on his MAC Scorpion. The loudest motor (most likely) was the CTI I180 Skidmark flown by John A in his Madcow Little John.

Motor distribution:
A 1
B 1
C 5
D 3
E 2
F 0
G 2
H 4
I 3
J 2
Total: 23

FLIGHT DETAILS

Guest Ansel S

1. Estes Bandito, green/black/yellow, 0.74 in. dia., 11.2 in. tall, 1.1 oz
-Motor: Estes A3-4 Blue Thunder
-Result: Good flight of this speedy little missile. The parachute did not appear to unfurl properly, but the rocket landed safely in the grass in the main field, northwest of the launch rod.
-Video at 13:44

2. Estes Alpha III, black and orange, 1 in. dia., 12.1 in. tall, 2.2 oz
-Motor: Estes C6-5
-Result: Good flight and deployment, landed near the first tree line in our main field.
-Video at 11:51

3. Estes Outlaw, blue/white/pink, 1.35 in. dia., 22 in. tall, 3.3 oz
-Motor: Estes C6-3
-Result: Good launch and parachute deployment, landed near the ridgeline in the main field.
-Video at 15:22

====================

Member Ben G

1. Estes Heatseeker, red and white, 1.1 in. dia., 24 in. tall, 3.5 oz, reflective silver streamer recovery
-Motor: AT D10-7 White
-Result: Slight chuff of the AeroTech motor and then a good launch, good streamer deployment. Unfortunately, the rocket drifted east into the cornfield, landing near the ditch/shrub line far out in the middle of the field. Fortunately, several CRMRC members had good lines of sight at the time of the landing, including Howie at ground level and also John A and James S who happened to be standing near the ridgeline in the main field where they could see the rocket landing clearly (about 50 feet higher altitude). Ben carried a 6-foot rod with a pink flag for visibility in the field. Howie and Ben communicated via cell phone, and John and James communicated with Howie using arm motions, shouts, and cell phone texts. Even with this triangulation from multiple angles, it was still challenging for Ben to locate the rocket in the dense corn, but he eventually recovered it.
-Video at 10:24

2. Scratch-built Aerobee, red and white, 1.6 in. dia., 30 in. tall, 8 oz, carrying ArdIU
-Motor: Estes E28-4 Blue Thunder
-Result: Good loud boost, good deployment, landed near the ridgeline in our main field.
-Video at 15:53

====================

Member Michael W

1. Estes Phantom Blue, blue and silver, 1.5 in. dia., 12 in. tall, 0.27 oz
-Motor: Estes C6-7
-Result: Large amount of spiraling during the boost, but otherwise a good flight and recovery. Landed in the open grass in the south field.
-Video at 2:04

2. Estes Savage, pink and white, 1.3 in. dia., 31.8 in. tall, 4.4 oz
-Motor: Estes C6-7
-Result: Good straight flight, but the ejection charge did not fire until the rocket hit the ground. The 7-second delay was too long for this flight, and the rocket lawn-darted into our main field. The forward end of the cardboard booster section suffered serious damage, but Jim V later repaired it by slicing off the broken portion of the booster, leaving a smooth connection between the airframe and the nosecone. The rocket can be flown again.
-Video at 6:07

3. Estes Farside, blue and white, 1.6 in. dia., 25 in. tall, 2.3 oz
-Motor: Estes B6-4
-Result: Nice high flight of this lightweight rocket, good deployment, landed in the south field just west of the east cornfield.
-Video at 9:51

====================

Member James S

1. Madcow FG-SuperDX3, black and silver, 4 in. dia., 80 in. tall, 11 lbs 12 oz, dual deploy with RRC2 and Altus Metrum EM set to 300 and 500 feet respectively, motor ejection backup
-Motor: CTI I255 Red Lightning
-Result: Good flight, good DD chute deployment at 500 feet, landed in the northwest part of our main field near the ridgeline. The RRC2 measured apogee altitude as 956 feet. The Altus Metrum measured apogee as 991 feet, maximum speed 130 mph, maximum acceleration 3.38 g, descent rate 48 fps (32.8 mph) before chute deployment, then slowing to 24 fps (16.4 mph) after chute deployment, boost duration 3.0 sec (the I255 motor specs say 2.0 sec burn time), coast to apogee for 4.5 sec, total flight time 36.2 seconds.
-Video at 1:14

2. MAC Arcas Modified (modified with MAC FastBack retainer and Additive Aerospace 3D-printed fin can), red and white, 54 mm dia. (2.13 in.), 60 in. tall, 4 lbs 2.5 oz. Dual deploy with RRC2 and Altus Metrum EM set to 300 and 500 feet respectively. Also carrying a PerfectFlite APRA altimeter, and Additive Aerospace flyaway railguide.
-Motor: CTI H123 Skidmark (38mm)
-Result: Loud Skidmark boost, good smooth flight, good DD at 500 feet, landed in the northwest part of our main field. Apogee measured as 1572 feet (PerfectFlite APRA) and 1517 feet (RRC2). The flyaway railguide was recovered by Howie 10-20 feet from the launch rail.
-Video at 8:59

====================

Member Matt G

1. Blue Tube Basic Blue, gray, 3 in. dia., 63 in. tall, 4 lbs 10 oz
-Motor: CTI H225 White Thunder
-Result: Good flight, recovery on 50-foot streamer, landed in front of the ridgeline in the northwest part of the main field.
-Video at 0:13

2. Estes Multi Roc, white, 5/8 in. dia., 25 in. tall, 2.7 oz
-Motor: Estes C6-7
-Result: Good launch (slightly unstable during the second half of the boost), successful deployment at apogee, but unfortunately drifted back to the east and landed about 100 feet into the cornfield. Matt and James recovered the rocket after searching for about 15 minutes in the cornfield, following the detailed triangulated directions provided by Howie via cell phone. For visibility in the corn, Matt carried a 6-foot rod with a pink flag on the top.
-Video at 4:05

3. Estes Super Big Bertha, black and purple, 2.6 in. dia., 36.8 in. tall, 15.5 oz
-Motor: Estes E16-4
-Result: Good smooth flight, successful streamer recovery in front of the main tree line.
-Video at 6:27

4. MAC Scorpion, tan, 4 in. dia., 73.5 in. tall, 9 lbs 9 oz, recovery on 150-foot streamer
-Motor: CTI J295 Classic
-Result: Good boost with 4.0-second burn time (according to specs), good deployment, streamer landing (rather fast landing). The rocket landed under streamer in our main field about 300 feet west of the launch rod, with the bright red/orange streamer stretched out artistically across the green grass.
-Video at 12:40

====================

Member Jim V

1. Binder Thug II, blue and black, with a stylish graphical decal personally designed by Sticker Shock, 4 in. dia., 33 in. tall, 3 lbs 9 oz, carrying JL Alt3 and JLCR set to 300 feet
-Motor: CTI H123 Skidmark
-Result: Good straight launch on a loud Skidmark. JLCR released properly but the chute did not unfurl. Jim recovered the rocket without damage near the first tree line. The nosecone had buried itself about 5 inches into the ground, but there was no damage to the nosecone - just a little smear of dirt.
-Video at 5:17

2. SNG Aero X-15, black and yellow, 1.64 in. dia., 20 in. tall, 12 oz
-Motor: Estes D12-3
-Result: Great flight, very straight, very realistic, very cool flight of this model rocketplane. Jim had added 4 ounces of weight to the nosecone, so it was stable. Landed in our main field about 200 feet northwest of the launch rack.
-Video at 12:16

3. Estes Honest John, green, 1.64 in. dia., 23 in. tall, 2.4 oz
-Motor: Estes D12-5
-Result: Good flight, good deployment, landed in the main field about 250 feet west of the launch rack.
-Video at 14:11

====================

Member John A

1. Madcow Little John, dark green, 4 in. dia., 48 in. tall, 8 lbs 4.5 oz, carrying Featherweight GPS and JLCR set to 300 feet
-Motor: CTI I180 Skidmark
-Result: Nice loud Skidmark launch, good flight and JLCR deployment, landed near the ridgeline in the northwest part of the main field. Altitude recorded as 982 feet (Featherweight tracker)
-Video at 2:52

2. Madcow Little John, dark green, 4 in. dia., 48 in. tall, 8 lbs 4.5 oz, carrying Featherweight GPS and JLCR set to 300 feet
-Motor: CTI I345 White Thunder
-Result: Nice, loud, fast boost on the fast-burning CTI White Thunder propellant, landed near the ridge of the hill in the northwest part of our main field, altitude recorded as 1380 feet (Featherweight tracker).
-Video at 8:07

====================

Club President and Rocket Guru Howie D

1. PML 3-inch AMRAAM, gray, 3 in. dia., 55 in. tall, 4 lbs 14 oz, RF tracker, JLCR set to 300 feet
-Motor: CTI H123 Skidmark (29mm)
-Result: Loud Skidmark with billows of dark smoke, good straight flight, late deployment but safe landing under chute. Landed in our main field in front of the first tree line.
-Video at 3:34

2. Wildman 3-inch Darkstar, black fiberglass, 3 in. dia., 84 in. tall, 11 lbs 11 oz, dual deploy with RRC set to 500 feet, RF tracker
-Motor: CTI J354 White
-Result: Beautiful boost on the CTI White formula, nice straight flight, good dual deployment at 500 feet, landed just past the first tree line. Apogee altitude reported as 2660 feet (RRC).
-Video at 6:51

3. The Famous Howie Flying Pyramid, light blue, sturdy styrofoam, built from a 24-inch wide piece of styrofoam into a tetrahedral triangular pyramid, hypotenuse of each side is about 34 inches (24*sqrt(2)), diameter 39 inches (in terms of a circle with an equilateral triangle inscribed), 1 lb.
-Motor: AT G78 Mojave Green
-Result: Small chuff of the AeroTech motor, then pressurization and a nice flight upward on the bright Mojave Green propellant, arced over smoothly at apogee, descended gently, then DOINK onto the ground as planned. The pyramid-shaped rocket landed about 15 feet from the rail (closest to pad).
-Video at 13:24
-Important technical note from Howie about flying pyramids: For a pyramid rocket to be stable, the center of mass must be in the top third of the pyramid. This is why the motor mount is so high on all pyramids.

4. PML MR1b, red and gray, 3 in. dia., 24 in. tall, carrying JLCR set for 300 feet
-Motor: CTI G88 Smoky Sam
-Result: Good straight boost, good deployment, landed on the south edge of the tree line in our main field. Howie found that the rocket had landed in thistle bush, and numerous thistles were latched onto the shock cord when he recovered it (approximately 16-20 thistles; see photos in the video).
-Video at 14:44
-Fun Fact about this flight: The CTI G88 motor is a high-power motor even though it is in the G class. Its total impulse (84.3 Ns) is lower than the cutoff of 160 Ns for H motors, but it is a high-power motor since its average thrust (88 N/s) is greater than 80 N/s.

Flight coverage video is HERE

=========================

CANADIAN MONTHLY UPDATE

Our CRMRC members in Canada were unable to cross the border due to the global pandemic. In the absence of a trip to St. Albans this month, Member Paul went camping in a tent in Canada at minus 2 degrees Celsius (28 F). He also installed Open Rocket in a new PC. He is considering other ways to use the money he has saved by not flying any rocket motors during this long era of Covid.


October, 2020

 

November, 2020

 

December, 2020


 




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