Shoot for the Stars, 2001
The Dallas Area Rocket Society (DARS) sponsored Shoot for the Stars the weekend of October 27th and 28th, 2001. The launch was held at their Windom launch site in far North Texas, which features thousands of acres of cleared fields (this time of year). Conditions were absolutely perfect for high power rocketry, clear skies, temperatures in the low 70s and winds less than 5 mph for most of the day. With a normal waiver to 11,000 feet and telephone authorization to 23,000 feet, this site is among the best in Texas.
Unfortunately, only one Tripoli Austin flier, Tom Montemayor, made the 4.5 hour drive from Austin. Tom put up two flights on Saturday, his scratch built Dynacom "Unshredable" on a Kosdon M1130, and his scratch built two stager, "The Integral", on a J415 first stage and a J180 second stage. Both flights functioned perfectly and dual barometric recovery brought both rockets back undamaged within a half mile of the pads.
Tom's Dynacom, "Unshredable", is constructed of Dynacom 5.125 inch diameter fiberglass tubing and uses .125 inch G10 fins. The rocket has proven itself to be an extremely strong, reliable and unshredable launch vehicle and has achieved supersonic flight with ease. The rocket has flown 5 times, twice with M motors (an Aerotech M1419 and a Kosdon M1130) and three times using the Aerotech L952. This flight, using the Kosdon M1130, achieved a maximum altitude of 10,881 feet at 26.7 seconds after liftoff. Maximum velocity was 1081 feet/second or 98% the speed of sound. The rocket deployed an 18 inch drogue chute at apogee and a 96 inch chute at 750 feet for a soft landing.
Tom poses with Unshredable
Successful recovery
Tom's two stager, "The Integral", is scratch designed and built using glass reinforced LOC tubing. The first stage deploys it's main chute at first stage apogee (usually around 2600 feet) and the second stage uses dual barometric recovery, deploying a streamer at apogee and a main parachute at 250 feet. Adept electronics power both the staging timer and the altimeters. This was flight number 14 for this rocket, and the second flight using the J415 first stage and J180 second stage combination. The liftoff was fast and straight, and under first stage boost the rocket achieved a maximum velocity of 498 feet/second at 3.4 seconds after liftoff and an altitude of 990 feet. Staging then occurred and the second stage motor (the J180) fired at 4.7 seconds after liftoff. The second stage achieved a maximum velocity of 777 feet/second at 6.7 seconds after liftoff at an altitude of 2700 feet. The second stage ultimately reached a maximum altitude of 7,461 feet where the streamer deployed. The rocket descended fast but controlled under the large streamer and the main parachute deployed at 250 feet. The rocket landed softly less than a half mile from the pad.
Tom poses with The Integral
Alan Davis successfully achieved his Tripoli Level 3 certification flying a beautiful scratch built 4 inch diameter rocket, "Phaser", using an Aerotech M1315. The rocket reached 11,600 feet and recovered successfully using two step barometric recovery. Alan's excellent description of his rocket and the flight can be found on his web site at:
Alan also flew his scratch built "T2" in a drag race with Glenn Carey out of Brownwood, Texas. Both rockets were identical and used Aerotech K185 long burn, white lightning motors. The flights were fantastic as both rockets chased each other high into the sky.
Alan poses with Phaser
Alan and his launch team prepare for flight.
Drag Race: Two K185s lift off.
Mark Sims attempted to set a K motor altitude record using an Aerotech K250 powering his scratch built, minimum diameter carbon rocket. The 10 second burn, full K motor was projected to send the rocket to an altitude of over 20,000 feet. The flight was fantastic and the rocket was successfully recovered using an onboard transmitter. The flight did not set a record as the altimeter indicated an altitude of just over 19,000 feet.
Rags Fehrenbach flew his beautifully built and painted Ultimate Endeavor on an Aerotech K550 for a beautiful flight and recovery.
Mark Sims K250 liftoff.
Four miles of smoke!
Rags K550 lifts off.