Finally, after almost 3 months of burn bans, bad weather, bad field conditions, no waivers and scheduling conflicts, Skye Dance XXII roared into the blue the weekend of March 25th and 26th. Conditions were typical springtime; breezy afternoons and calm evenings. Waivers were scheduled for 2.5 hours each day, from 4:30 till sunset (around 7:00) to take advantage of the light evening winds. Five fliers put up eleven flights with power ranging from a middle H to a full K.Tom Montemayor
had the most flights of the launch, putting up 5 rockets while burning 6 motors. On Saturday, Tom flew his 4 inch scratch built Spectra II using a Kosdon I255 Dirty Harry. The rocket achieved a max altitude of 2028 feet and recovered safely. The I255 reload uses the same case (640 ns) that the J450 uses, and with the J450 the rocket reaches 3000 feet. So, using the black smoke motor causes a 30% performance penalty. You've got to really like black smoke and not care about performance to use these motors. Tom also flew his Bad Attitude using an Aerotech J800. The 4 inch fiberglass rocket reached 3625 feet at a max velocity of 518 feet/second. Max loading was 8.1 Gs. Dual barometric deployment brought the rocket back safe and close. Tom also flew Spectra I using a Kosdon I300 for a successful flight and recovery. On Sunday, Tom flew Stud Duck
using an Aerotech J275. The rocket deployed at apogee (no altimeter) and drifted far to the north, disappearing over the horizon. The rocket spent the night in the field and was recovered undamaged the next day. Tom also flew his scratch built Gemini-Titan on 2 Aerotech G40s. Both motors fired simultaneously and the rocket reached 1701 feet and recovered safely. Mark Carlson
burned the most propellant and certainly had the most spectacular flight of the launch. Mark warmed up with his trusty PML Eclipse flying an Ellis Mountain J330. The flight and recovery were perfect and the altimeter indicated a max altitude of 2187 feet. Next, Mark flew his latest scratch built creation, a 6 inch diameter phenolic rocket. The rocket used a Black Sky altimeter for two step deployment backed up by a timer. With an empty weight of 27 pounds, Mark chose the Aerotech K700 for the first flight. The full 2560ns K motor had no trouble lifting the heavy rocket
to a max altitude of 3204 feet. Max velocity was 417 feet/second and max loading was 5.7Gs. The rocket deployed it's drogue right at apogee and it's main at 500 feet for a perfect flight and recovery. Finally, Mark flew his Arcas on a J135 to a max altitude of 2932 feet. A perfect flight ending to a perfect day!Tom Kindel
achieved Tripoli Level 2 on his first attempt using a modified PML Tethys. Tom lengthened the rocket, added an electronics compartment and added dual deployment capability. For his certification flight Tom used an Aerotech 54mm J275 for thrust and an Adept altimeter for onboard intelligence. The rocket boosted fast and straight
and deployed a small drogue chute right at apogee. The main chute deployed at 250 feet (it looked a lot lower) and the rocket was recovered undamaged for a successful certification. Congratulations Tom!Ken Kryszak
, prefect of Tripoli San Antonio, drove up to fly his newest custom creation, Troika. The beautifully detailed rocket has a core 38mm motor mount and up to 4 outboard 24mm mounts. For this flight Ken chose a core H242 Blue Thunder and 2 Estes D12s in the outboards. The custom onboard electronics was supposed to airstart the D12s one half second after liftoff. Unfortunately, the battery voltage was too low and the airstarts did not fire. This did not effect the overall flight as the H242 accelerated the rocket powerfully off the pad
and deployed a main chute right at apogee. Before the flight, we heard Ken say that the continuity light sure looked dim. Should have replaced those batteries, Ken!
Finally, Terry Parks flew the first hybrid ever flown at Skye Dance. Terry used an Aerotech J390 hybrid to power his 4 inch fiberglass Hawk Mountain Bad Attitude. After HOURS (at least it seemed like hours) of filling, cooling, venting, weighing, filling some more, venting some more, cooling some more, etc., the rocket was finally ready for flight. The button was pushed, the motor fired, and the heavy rocket began struggling for altitude. After two seconds it was at least 100 feet up, still trying to make up it's mind as to which direction it wanted to go. The ascent stopped immediately at motor burnout, and the onboard intelligence deployed the drogue and the main a quarter second later. The rocket landed safely and undamaged about a hundred feet from the pad. The altimeter indicated a max altitude of........uh.......you won't believe this......440 feet. It sure seemed like an awful lot of trouble to go 440 feet. It was spectacular - there was never any danger of losing sight of the rocket. Anyway, it was a successful flight. Next time, it needs MORE POWER!