Skye Dance XXXII
It sure was a fun launch! The first launch of 2002, Skye Dance XXXII roared into the clear blue Kimbro skies the afternoon of Sunday, January 27th. Conditions were perfect...skies were clear, temperatures were in the mid 70s, and winds were calm close to sunset. Unfortunately, several fliers were out of town so only 4 fliers took advantage of the excellent conditions.
Charlie Barnett flew the largest rocket, a modified Bruiser EXP. The 7.5 inch diameter rocket stood over 10 feet tall and was powered by an experimental ammonium nitrate (AN) motor rated as a K450. The rocket also had 2 outboard G104s, set to fire as the rocket rose above 1 inch on the rail. The two G104s would provide over 50 pounds of thrust for 1 second, providing an initial "kick" to get the big rocket moving fast. The boost was spectacular! The 3 motor cluster fired and the huge rocket accelerated rapidly. The long burn K450 AN motor functioned perfectly and the rocket reached a max altitude estimated at 2,000 feet. Unfortunately, the recovery electronics were not turned on prior to launch (gotta use those checklists!). At apogee, the big rocket laid over and fell horizontally, spinning rapidly. The rocket hit flat a few hundred yards downrange, suffering moderate damage.
Charlie also successfully demonstrated his new radio locating equipment. He launched a tiny transmitter using another experimental AN motor, this one rated as an H100. Without tracking smoke, the small rocket utterly disappeared into the blue. It was never seen visually after burnout. However, using his homemade receiver, Charlie tracked the rocket until it disappeared over the ridge, then successfully reacquired the radio transmission upon topping the ridge and recovered the rocket. A very impressive flight and recovery.
Steve Rogers brought out his beautiful, 8 inch diameter, scale V2. For his first flight, Steve chose an awesome G33. That's right, an 8 inch diameter V2 flying on a long burn, low thrust, G33 Black Jack. The flight was fantastic. Did I mention that the entire rocket only weighed 2 pounds? The rocket is constructed of a light balsa framework, covered with one layer of newspaper. Check out the details at:

Steve also launched a rocket boosted glider using an Estes D12. The beautifully built glider used a canard for elevator control; during the boost the canard was streamlined in a trail position, and at burnout the motor ejection charge moved the canard to a nose up position. That was the plan...unfortunately, the motor ejection charge was so powerful it blew the whole nose of the glider off, including the canard. So, the glider streamlined straight down and was totaled. Sigh. Steve also flew an Estes Maxi-Alpha using the new Estes E9. The flight and recovery was perfect.
Tom Montemayor put up two flights, starting with his Mountainside Hobbies V2. Powered by an Aerotech H238 Blue Thunder, the 4 inch rocket accelerated fast and straight off the pad. Motor ejection deployed the chute at apogee for a perfect flight and recovery. Next, Tom brought out his reliable Bad Attitude powered by a Kosdon K700. The rocket boosted beautifully and the streamer deployed right at apogee. Unfortunately, the 200 foot main charge fired at about 2 feet and the rocket hit before the main fully deployed, damaging a fin. This Adept altimeter had a history of low deployments, but this was the lowest ever. The altimeter has been declared unreliable and will not fly again. The rocket reached a max altitude of 4,096 feet.
Marlin Philyaw returned to Skye Dance with a rebuilt tube-fin rocket. The unpainted 3 inch rocket used five tubular fins for stability and a pencil bank nosecone. Power was provided by an ammonium nitrate I160 motor and onboard electronics provided apogee deployment. The boost was straight and spectacular as the AN motor functioned perfectly. At apogee, the ejection charge fired and blew the nose off, but unfortunately the parachute was not pushed out of the airframe. The rocket lawn darted uprange and was totaled.