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Feb 20th 2010 SEARS Launch Report

The Feb 20th SEARS launch at Green’s sod farm was the best launch that we’ve had this year. We had clear skies, cool temperatures, and no wind. We had many new flyers, HPR certifications and student teams. I am writing this from memory, so please forgive me if I forget to mention your noteworthy flights.

  Our monthly event was egg-lofting. [Disclaimer: many eggs were harmed in the pursuit of science. Please skip this section if you have an aversion to scrambled eggs] Greg Lane won the C motor duration event with his classic Eggstravaganza. At least one egg survived for over 20s. Greg’s Dueces Wild BT-70 upscale flew with 2 eggs. Ben White came in 2nd with a 16s flight in an Estes Omloid. Dr Roy’s Quest Courier had a ‘chute failure that resulted in a scrambled mess, but his open cockpit Cluster Bomb configuration turned in some nice flights. There was a safety issue regarding lack of a helmet on the eggstronaut, but the RSO allowed it since we did not have a sharpie handy. The Samson TARC team flew their egg-lofter design which has not been named yet. It’s a BT-80 rocket with fiberglass fins that they cut themselves.  They achieved good times with a ‘chute, but need to keep working towards this year’s streamer requirement.

  The AL USLI teams had successful HPR launches with their big projects. These college teams do math and try to figure out what motor will get their rocket closest to 1 mile. Once they get that dialed in, they will deploy a scientific payload during the contest. The winning team gets prizes and scholarship money. They all have a great chance at winning. There are no additional points for style, but I shall award flight of the day to the team that flew the Loki “L” Moon-burner. This is probably the worst motor for this type of competition, because it barely has enough thrust for a stable fight in a 12lb rocket but an 8s burn time is very cool.

  Kendall Brent flew the only hybrid in his Mad Cow ARCAS. Hybrids have a mixture of gas (N20) and solid (PVC) propellant, which produce a loud long burning motor. Next month is hybrid month for the advanced flyers, so get with Kendall or Greg if you are interested, and they may be able to hook you up with some loaner hardware.  FYI, the ARCAS is a sounding rocket that was used for scientific research. You may have seen the actual rocket; it was the big rusty rocket propped upagainst our equipment trailer that Dr Roy brought.

  Welcome new member Randy Folts, who flew a sweet Estes Alpha.

Congrats to the following for achieving NAR certifications:


Other notable flights include the following:

John Hansel’s PML ½ scale Patriot on an L motor. Perfect flight.

John Stein’s Estes Saturn V on an AT F motor W/ bonus dely. Deployment at 20’ AGL almost gave me a heart attack.

Greg Lane’s Pyramid on a G motor. Deployment after landing shot into the Porta-Potty. Glad it was unoccupied or we may have had to pay extra for servicing.

Chris Short’s LOC Magnum CATO. Did we find all the debris?

Chris Crews’ Performance Gizmo on a K motor. Somehow, he made room for a ‘chute, and it stayed up for a very long time.

Marty Wiggins’ scratch Shuttle Thang. Awesome hang time from both gliders.

Cliff Oliver’s BSD Thor. Can I have that rocket when you get tired of flying it?

Rick’s Applewhite Bumble Bee monocopter. We need to start calling “Heads down” instead of “Heads up”, but still no decapitations yet.

Gary’s Crazy Chicken featured a rubber chicken for a NC. He doesn’t like long recovery walks, so he made land in his chair.


Thanks to Russ Roberts for writing this report!


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