Flight Log - Intuit Team Launch

So, finally the big day rolls around for the Intuit Team Launch. I thought I would arrive early, but somehow managed once again to be sleep deprived before the launch. When I got there Ron and Steve were already helping Andy setup the launch pads. It was cold (60-65) and windy (15-25 mph gusts).

My initial plan was to fly the Arreaux a few times to get the show going, and then to switch over to "photographer at large" and attempt to (a) get pictures of everyone with their rockets, and (b) film a few flights. However, a few problems arose with that plan. First, as I was was about to fly the Arreaux for the first time, I tried my new JVC video camera and it didn't work. Later inspection revealed that the mini-dv tape was munged, and I could have fixed it by putting in a new tape, but I never got around to it cuz of the second thing that happened.

I flew the Arreaux the first time on a F25-6W, and it went quite high. High enough, combined with the wind, that it came down about 40 yards out in the bay to the east of the flight line. As I left the munged tape recorder and climbed over the berm and saw it out in the water, I realized I had a decision to make ... let it sink with the $89 pen cam, or retrieve it. I chose the later with little regard to the fact that it was cold and windy and March 25th. So I took off my shoes and shirt and swam out and got the rocket, swam back in, and was sitting on the bank, wet and cold and just a little miffed when Pat Kingsland drove up and found me. That kind of cast a palor on the day for me.

However, I wasn't the only one to lose a rocket in the drink. Another near fatality with water rescue was Floyd's beautiful Honest John. He had done a wonderful job of detail work on it, and it looked great in it's subtle army green drab paint job. After a succesful flight on a D12-3, we decided to fly it on a E30-4. Although the rod looked angled enough, cuz of the high thrust boost, it just shot straight up, deployed great, and drifted peacefully into the same rocket-eating-bay that had snagged the Arreaux. Floyd managed to only get half submerged to get to his rocket (I had to swim on my back on the return trip :-), but I believe the rocket will fly again. In the picture of folks working on their rockets below you can see the Honest John on the table before the near-fatal flight.

A truly painful fatality was Joyce's rocket. She had worked very hard to make it look and fly great, which it did. When it came down, it too was in the middle of the bay to the east of the launch area, and unfortunately, it sank before drifting to shore. Finally, for water retrievals, there was Jim's Initiator, which flew on an F motor, but failed to deploy it's parachute, instead doing a graceful ground-to-water ballistic missle flight into the bay to the west of the island. Fortunately, it drifted to shore and was picked up by Dave Haslim before we left the launch site.

Next time we will have to bring a fishing pole and a casting setup or something to retreive wayward rockets that wanna go swimming!

The day was not all water retrievals and lost rockets though. There were some great flights that didnt mess up! Fang's two stager worked great, Steve Palmer's Big Daddy flew multiple times (even after lawn-darting one time), David Hull's Fat Boy flew great as well (as I remember). Dave Haslim's AIM-9 Sidewinder, Eduard's rocket-glider, and Craig's superbly crafted Quest rocket (with silk parachute) also all flew well. Jeff Brown flew his mosquito, but surprisignly chickened out from flying either his Aerotech Mustang or his 3-to-5 stager (the Mustang would have probably done o.k. on an E30-4). Kevin, who had finished his rocket only moments before launching it, had good, if not great, flights, inasmuch as his rockets went up, came down, and didn't suffer any damage or hurt anyone. In fact, everyone got a chance to fly their rockets and almost all of them were picture perfect flights!

Thanks again to Andy Woerner for his help in setting up the launch and getting the permits, Ron Artigues for doing so much work to make it happen, Dave Haslim, for getting the food and stuff, and of course, to Rita for buying all these silly rockets and inspiring us on to greater heights. Like I said before, I'm sorry I didn't get more picture and/or films, but I still hope this web page will serve as a little reminder of the fun time we had at our Intuit team launch.

Flight #1 - Arreaux #15 (F25-6W)

Sent the rocket up to about 1000ft to a few appreciative murmers. Set it to film a hi-res movie from liftoff, or so I thought. It came down in the water. I swam and got it. It was cold. The camera would have kept the pictures through it all if I had remembered to throw the arming switch, which I didn't!

Flight #2 - Oh Baby #14 (E30-4T)

Finally recovered enough to think about flying again. Stuck an E30 in Oh Baby and shot it upto 450 ft or so. Didnt attach the shock cord to the rocket, though. The body did a core sample, my custom built nose cone and the yellow parachute drifted into the bay to the east to sink unrecoverable (not going swimming again, he says).

Flight #3 - Arreaux #16 (G40-10W)

Will the Arreaux fly again? I proved it next by cramming together the still-wet rocket and sending it to a good 1500 ft on a G40-10. HA HA HA ... however, I was not trusting enough to put the camera in it for the rest of the day. So it was a no-payload flight.

Flight #4 - SPRS #8 (E30-4T)

Well, maybe this will work out ok. Demo'd the SPRS on a slow and low flight. It deployed ok and I seemed to have nominal control. Folks clapped. I decided to spiral it down well short of the berm as the capsule was unable to fly faster than the 20-30 mph winds.

Flight #5 - Arreaux #17 (G80-10T)

OK. So, now the challenge was on. Could I kill the Arreaux? The G80 shot it up to 2000 ft (nearly out of sight). It nearly went in the water, but didn't.

Flight #6 - Arreaux #18 (G40-10W)

As everyone was eating lunch, and the wind was kicking up. I decided to do one last launch. The Arreaux refused to die on the G40, and still looked as impressive as ever during flight, even though the tube was soggy and looked ready to buckle, it reached probably 1800 or so feet. It just keeps going and going!