SpringFest 2001 - El Dorado Dry Lake - Day 2

The second day was much better for me! I had stayed up the night before fixing and repainting SkyDream2. I had purchased a motor that I had previously sim'd out as being right for the rocket and built it carefully. The weather was absolutely great. Almost no wind, 70 degrees and sunny. SkyDream flew great and I started the day off happy.

In addition to my flight, there were a lot of great rockets to see. Andy and Joanne Woerner flew their 1/5 scale V2 on a full M1939. What a great flight. Click here or on the image below to see a 3.3 MByte MPG movie of the flight.

I sure noticed the engines on this one. Here's the biggest rocket of the weekend. The Gates brothers had a beautiful flight with their rocket Porthos II on an N2000 with six, count-em, six outboard K250's. Click here or on the picture below to see a 2.2MByte MPG movie of the flight.

In summary, I'd sure like to thank Andy and Joanne, Kevin, Phil, and Bruce, the "Rocket Reverend", Ryan, the guys from Rocket Silo, the other vendors I dealt with, Dick and all the guys from the Lucerne Test Range and Las Vegas Tripoli for making this such a fun and rewarding weekend.

Onwards and upwards!

Flight #1 - SkyDream #2 (I211-M)
Level One Certification!!

Click here to see a 2.7MByte MPG movie of this Level 1 Certification flight

This time I went with a motor I had previously simulated. I estimated the I211-M would fly the rocket to 674 meters in 11.52 seconds, ejecting about 1/2 second after apogee.

The rocket flew pretty straight and true. In my own humble opinion, it was a nice flight! The ALTS2 altimeter beeped out 2313', not too far off from my estimate of 2211' (674m). The fact that the rocket actually went a little higher means that it probably ejected even closer to apogee than the 1/2 second I'd estimated, despite what the guy on the video says. Anyways, there was no damage to the rocket, and Kevin and Andy were there to witness it, so now I'm a level one rocketeer. Yeah!

Flight #2 - SPRS #6 (G38-7FJ Econojet)
with Garmin ETrex GPS Receiver

Click here to see a 3D Graph of the GPS data from this flight.

Now that I had regained my manhood, I was able to click back into my agenda. I had wanted to fly the GPS receiver to a higher altitude to see what kind of data I would get (in preparation for building GPARS, my "Global Positioning Automatic Recovery System"). So I loaded the GPS receiver into the new red nosecone, I slapped on a second parachute on the rocket to account for the extra weight, put a G38 in it and sent it up to about 1200 feet.

One cool thing about the GPS receiver is that it records a track of it's location every second. You can click here to see a 3D graph of the flight. You can see where I carried the rocket out to the launch pad and back to the truck. The straight line is the ascent, and the broken line is the descent. The accuracy appears to be pretty good. I would guess +/- 30 ft in this case. Should work well for GPARS.

You can also click here to see a 1.9 MByte movie of this flight. The dual parachute recovery is very pretty.

Flight #3 - SPRS (G38-7FJ)
Steerable Parachute Demo

Well, now I was fully back in the swing of things. I thought I'd try to show off SPRS. So I assembled the system, packed the parachute and checked the electronics, put in another G38, and launched it for the crowd. The parachute deployed perfectly, and I was able to fly it as desired.

Click here or on the image above to see a 4.0 MByte MPG movie of the SPRS taking off and the parachute flying under radio control! Probably the highlight of the day for me was when, after I had landed it, a small cluster of people gathered around and asked me questions about it. More than with my level 1 certification, I felt accepted into the ranks.

Back to Day 1 ...