Skye Dance XXXI
Happy New Year!
It didn't look good for our traditional New Year's Eve rocket launch and fireworks show; forecasts were calling for sleet, freezing rain, snow, low clouds, high winds, volcanos, earthquakes; the works. But, as December 31st, 2001 got closer, the forecasts starting getting better so we decided to have the event as scheduled. As we gathered at the field, skies were clear with north winds around 12 mph and temperatures in the low 40s. By late afternoon, skies were becoming overcast with a high cirrus layer and the winds dropped off to less than 10 mph. Time to start flying!
Mark Carlson flew three rockets during the 2 hour waiver, starting off with his LOC Forte powered by a G64. Next, Mark flew his scratch built "Turn One" powered by an Aerotech J425 Redline for a beautiful flight. Finally, Mark launched his modified Skyraider on an Aerotech K550. The liftoff and boost was spectacular against the twilight sky. All 3 rockets were recovered safely and undamaged.
Ed Jacoby put two spectacular flights, both powered by experimental homemade propellant. Ed's first flight was with his Bad Attitude powered by a custom GREEN formulation. The motor was approximately a K900 with a 2.5 second burn time. The flight was spectacular with a vivid green flame boosting the Bad Attitude over 5000 feet. Two step barometric recovery brought the rocket back close to the pad. Next, Ed brought out his 3 inch Nike Smoke powered by an experimental BLUE formulation. The 38mm load accelerated so fast it appeared to just vanish from the pad....a flash of violet/blue, then it was gone. An amazing flight. We finally spotted the rocket high in the air and it was recovered safely. Fastest flight of the day!
Stu Barrett attempted a cluster flight in his old LOC Magnum. Stu chose three old, single use motors, a core I115 White LIghtning and two outboard F50 Silver Streaks. The liftoff was spectacular as the Silver Streaks filled the sky with sparks. But the motors did not all fire at the same time, resulting in the rocket leaving the rail at a 45 degree angle. The rocket flattened out in a near horizontal trajectory and impacted about a half mile downrange, destroying the rocket.
Tom Montemayor only had time for one flight, launching his reliable, old, scratch built "Spectra" on a Kosdon J450. The boost was fast and straight, and two step barometric recovery brought the rocket back safely close to the pad.
As darkness fell and the temperatures dropped, the bonfire was lit and the fireworks show began. Most of the fliers had stopped at roadside fireworks stands on the way out, and as the new year approached the sky was filled with colorful displays that popped and whistled in celebration. Mike Strang seemed to have better fireworks than the rest of us and we eagerly await his show next year.
Happy New Year!