Skye Dance XXXV
Finally, a great day with great field conditions. Skye Dance 35 blasted off into the clear blue Kimbro skies Saturday, February 1st, 2003. Temperatures were in the low 70s and winds were southerly around 10 mph.
Mark Carlson started off the action with his Estes Big Bertha powered by an Estes E9. The flight demonstrated acceptable wind speed and direction, so the high power flights began. Mark then flew his newest rocket "Turn Two", a scratch built, 4 inch, 10 pound rocket using dual barometric deployment. It's first flight was powered by an Ellis Mountain J330. The boost was beautiful and the Black Sky altimeter deployed the drogue right at apogee. Main deployment occurred on schedule, but the shrouds were tangled and the rocket landed harder than expected, suffering no damage.
Mark then demonstrated his EX motor building skills by launching his homemade, single use H motor. The AP motor was estimated to be an H150 and performed perfectly, though parachute deployment did not occur. Fortunately, the rocket fell horizontally, spinning all the way down, and suffered no damage on impact. Grumpy that he couldn't get a chute out, Mark launched his glassed Estes Sidewinder using an F24. Deployment was at apogee for a perfect flight and recovery. Finally, Mark launched his Arcas using an Aerotech J135. The 4 inch rocket lifted majestically into darkening skies, deploying a drogue at apogee and the main at 400 feet for a perfect flight. Max altitude was 2,800 feet.
Mark with "Turn Two"
J330 Boost
H150 EX Boost
J135 Twilight Liftoff
Tom Montemayor had a great day, starting with his trusty "Spectra". Powered by a Kosdon J280, the veteran rocket reached a max altitude of 2,039 feet. Dual deployment brought the rocket back close, though it would have been a lot closer if Tom had noticed that the altimeter was set to deploy the main at 1500 feet. Talking to himself all the way to the rocket, Tom swore that he would check the altimeter settings before every flight! Yeah, right.
Tom then brought out his newest creation, a scratch built, dual deploy, 7.5 inch all carbon rocket. The loaded weight of the behemoth, named "Nazgul", was 40 pounds, and Tom chose an Animal Works L1060 Green Gorilla for the first flight. LIftoff was loud and spectacular, a vivid green 6 foot flame lifting the rocket slowly off the rail at 4Gs. Max velocity was 387 feet/second and the rocket reached a peak altitude of 2,784 feet. A small drogue was deployed at apogee and main deployment occurred at 750 feet for a perfect first flight. An M is next for this bird! If you're not up on Lord of the Rings, the Nazgul were the flying black creatures that bore the Nine.
Tom with Spectra
J280 Boost
Tom with Nazgul
L1060 ignition and liftoff
Ed Jacoby had a great EX day, in spite of a broken rib, launching his homemade EX "Ed-tech" AP propellant in his Nike Smoke.   The propellant was a "white lightning" look alike, and though it may have looked like white lightning, it sure didn't perform like white lightning. Packing a mid-K total impulse, the Smoke screamed skyward like a bat outta hell ("hemi powered", according to Marlin) and disappeared high in the blue. Eagle eye Carlson spotted it on the way down, and dual deployment landed it close to the pads. Max altitude was 5,446 feet at 14.6 Gs. A great flight!
Ed with his Nike Smoke
Charlie Barnett helps "old broken rib Ed" right the rocket.
K800 (or so) boost
Click the thumbnails for larger images.
A couple of Waco EX experts (or is that Waco EXperts) drove down, Charlie Barnett and Marlin and Maggie Philyaw. Charlie built an EX motor using AN propellant and an Aerotech 38/720 hardware. Marlin supplied the scratch built rocket (using auto parts, of course) and using electronic, apogee only deployment. Yikes, another screamer. The lightweight rocket roared skyward as the EX motor performed perfectly and deployment occurred right at apogee. Even with a tiny chute, the rocket landed close to a mile north of the pads, high in a tree. The friendly landowner cut the tree down and Marlin recovered the rocket, damaged by a kid throwing rocks at it as it hung in the tree. "Dual deployment!" said Tom .
Uh, Marlin, your nose is crooked. I mean the ROCKET'S nose!
J power, provided by AN propellant.