WAC Jack Frost AP Fest

After two weeks’ delay due to fire danger, WAC’s last Mansfield launch of the year was not as heavily attended as most October launches. Adding to this, the Navy and Air Force were using the airspace on both days. Regardless, it was a fun event for those who turned up. For me, it was a great opportunity to try out a new camera.

CLICK HERE to see my photos from the launch. Read on to hear about my flights over the weekend. I decided to just sit back and watch my own flights at this launch, so I don’t have any photos to show in this post.

Unfortunately, I was unable to finish the project I had in mind for this launch in time to actually fly it (more on that build later). Instead, I decided to fly low, slow, and simple all weekend.

Saturday proved to be too windy for me to be comfortable flying most of the rockets I brought with me (I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to wind). This presented the perfect opportunity to fly the Estes RTF Skyhawker that I won at the FITS raffle this year. After swapping out the included ‘chute for a 6′ surveyor’s tape streamer, the rocket landed within 50’ of the pad on all three of its flights. The first flight was on a B4-4, and the two subsequent flights were on C6-5s.

The next day presented better weather and allowed me to fly some of my larger rockets. First off was my Madcow Rocketry 4″ Little John on an AeroTech H180 White Lightning. RockSIM estimated 1800′ for this flight. Except for a slight angle off to the east, the boost was perfect. The rocket landed just north of “the swamp”. Shortly after recovery, our flight window closed for an hour as the Navy used the airspace. Right on time, a Prowler from NAS Whidbey Island flew by to the south under the cloud deck.

While the Navy training flights meant we couldn’t fly Class 2 rockets, Class 1 flights were still allowed. Next up was my Madcow Rocketry Solar Express on a Cesaroni F120 Vmax. This is probably my favorite motor for this rocket. A quick boost off the pad is followed by burnout only less than a half-second after liftoff. The high thrust and low burnout altitude make the whistling produced by the holes in the fins readily apparent. The whistle was audible all the way to apogee at about 900′. The Solar Express landed in the plowed field to the north of the racetrack for a nice, easy recovery.

Besides the occasional trip to the park for some low-power flights, I’m most likely done with flying for the year. Now it’s time to finish the project I intended to fly at this launch. I will also begin work on my NAR level two certification (which is set to fly at WAC’s first launch of 2013).

2 thoughts on “WAC Jack Frost AP Fest

  1. Great write-up, William. I had not heard about the Navy flight on Sunday. Glad to hear that the devoted fliers were treated to a show while they were grounded.

  2. William- I don’t recall if I asked you for high-res copies already, I meant to but got interupted in mid-thought. I loved the shot of the redline just leaving the pad #20 and the shot of Bogart, #31. With your permission and with a credit line, I would like to put the redline shot in the launch controller manual, which will be on the WAC website eventually. -Robert

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