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SEARS February 2nd 2008 Launch Report

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

SEARS 572 had its monthly launch in Samson, AL on Feb 2nd, 2008. You could not beat the weather as it warmed up nicely with high clouds and low winds. Our event was Egg Loft. Zachary Wilson won and chose the Exoskell from the prize pool. The Auburn SLI Team brought their 6 inch rocket with a instrument payload. They launched it on L motors. Greg Lane had a successful M flight with the Mighty Mo to 5352 feet. He also launched his new X15 rocket on a K550. Launch was fine but the chute did not fully deploy. It can be repaired. We were pleased to have Rob Wilson his wife Corinne, their three children and his Father and the In-Laws, Roger & Connie Leete. Thanks to John Hansel for the setting up the heavy duty launch gear and Randy, Kendall and John for the LCO support.

Wilson Family Rocketeers

Rob Wilson with kids.


SEARS January 5th 2008 Launch Report

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

SEARS 572 had its monthly launch in Samson, AL on Jan 5, 2008. The day started out cool, but warmed to the upper 60s in the afternoon. The winds were mainly light.  They got up to about 10 mph around noon, but fell as the day wound down.
The day was one of the biggest attended in SEARS history.  There were 18 vehicles at the launch.  The totals were 18 fliers and 102 flights.

Many came to see the flight of the “Hewes Space Special”.  The maiden flight was not great, as the rocket nosed in.  John says it is repairable.

John Hansel and Heather Parker with the the Hewes Space Special. Heather did the excellent artwork.  (more…)

SEARS December 1st 2007 Launch Report

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

The SEARS Dec 1st Launch in Samson was a Christmas present in itself! We were blessed with great weather having a high of 69 degrees and winds under 10 mph. Our event was ‘Tis The Season and John Hansel won the event with his Christmas Tree rocket. John Hansel also brought his Hewes Space Special to show. See it fly at the January 5th Launch.

John Hansel's Christmas Rocket John Hansel's Hewes Space Special
John Hansel’s Christmas Tree Rocket John Hansel’s Hewes Space Special


SEARS November 3rd 2007 Launch Report

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

SEARS 572 had the monthly launch in Samson today, 11-3-07. The day started out cool, with no breeze at all.  The winds picked up as the day worn on and were 10-15 mph by the time we left at 2:00 PM.
There were only 7 fliers for the day.  Those who could not make it missed a good day. There were 9 high power flights, with the biggest one being John Hansel’s Super Shadow on a J420.  Jack Kale was the most frequent flyer, with  9 flights.

Randy’s Scratch Rocket on an I Marty’s Shuttle Thang

See more pictures and the videos in our gallery.


Webelos Rocket Rally Oct 27 2007

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

SEARS supported this years Webelos Rocket Rally near Elberta, AL.  There were 38 participants. Each Webelo made two individual launches. SEARS flew several demo rockets including an 4 inch AMRAAM on an I211 motor.  We also setup the mass launcher. There were twenty Starhawks in the mass launch.  This is a very enjoyable event at the skydiving center.  Richard Gean has invited us back for next year. There were a number of webelos that remembered last years launch.


SEARS Research Launch Report for Oct 21st 2007

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

The first SEARS Tripoli research launch was held on the afternoon of Oct 21st 2007 at Samson, AL. Kendall Brent did a static burn of a sugar motor and launched several rockets with sugar motors. See Kendall’s report below for the details. We also had some commercial motor launches.  Chris Short brought a friend Halley from Auburn. Chris and Halley are members of this years Student Launch Initiative.  John Hansel, Greg Lane and Chris Crews also attended.  All flights were successful except for one CATO. The pictures are available here and the videos are here.

Click thru the slideshow below of the static burn of a sugar motor in a three inch PVC casing.

Thanks to Chris for setting up the research launch and Kendall for showing us his motors.


  • Kendall Brent Says:
    I came with 5 research motors, 4 to fly and one for a hole in the ground static test. There were 3 KNSO sugar motors. Two of these were singal use PVC with remachines aerotech nozzels. Big sugar is a 3 inch PVC motor useing a 54mm aerotech nozzel bored out to 9/16. The singel fuel grain was cast as a 1/2 by 1 1/2 C slot in a 9 inch 3 inch coupler. The total grain weighed 2.75 pounds. This motor was static tested and burned as expected. The other PVC motor was made from 1.25 PVC useing a remachine 29 mm aerotech nozzel bored out to .25 inch. The singel fuel grain was a C slot cast in a 5 inch 38mm liner tube with a .125 by .75 slot. This motor power a flight with a PerfectFlite timer for recovery. The other Sugar motor was a 3 Bates grain in 54mm Loki case. This motor suffered a CATO soon after ingition(see video) . Cause of CATO is expected to be either inhibitor failure or cracking of the grains at ignition. A 4 grain 38mm CPAP (Tiger Tales) was used to take my Firestorm 54 to 2900 ft. The final motor was a research Hybrid which failed to fill. The cause of the failure turned out to be a defective Press to connect fitting in the motor.
  • SEARS Oct 6th 2007 Launch

    Sunday, October 7th, 2007


    We had a overcast day in Samson, AL with steady 8-10 mph winds. Our event was Odd Rock Day. Cliff Oliver of Panama City won the event with his Spook Rocket.

    Cliff Oliver's Spook.

    Our special feature was the Snitch Invasion Mass Launch. I believe we had 21 Estes Snitch rockets on the pad and all but one flew. 

    Snitch Mass Launch via ATC-2K Pad Side Cam

    John Hansel had an interesting launch of his Nike Smoke on a Contrail M Hybrid. He expected 3000 feet and only got 600 feet. There will be some analysis on why it under performed.

    See more pictures and the videos.    

    Thanks for a great day!  A special thanks to the Panama City group who make the trip and contributed to the Snitch Invasion! The next launch is Nov 3rd. and the event is Scratch Rocket Day. Fly any Scratch Rocket on a green flight card and you have a chance to win a prize.


    SEARS Sept 8th Launch Report

    Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

    SEARS 572 held its monthly launch on Sept 8, 2007.
    The temperatures were warm. They climbed into the low 90s, but the humidity was not too bad. The winds were higher than forecast. They peaked out between 10 and 15 mph.

    The event was cluster and drag race day. We had several entries and John Stein won the prize drawing.
    It was great to see he and Sherry back at a launch.