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).

FHC Fly Day – 9/15/12

Because of the cancellation of WAC’s Autumn Glare launch, I had this weekend open. It turned out that Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection was hosting one of its free fly days yesterday. I think my quick turnaround on this event makes up for my deplorable lag time in processing my photos from other events.


Flying Heritage Collection Fly Day - 9/15/12

The flying program yesterday consisted of the collection’s P-47 Thunderbolt, “Tallahassee Lassie”, and their Il-2 Shturmovik. It was the first public flight of their Il-2 since the collection aquired it, and it is the only airworthy Il-2 in the world.

Photos from Abbotsford

Finally, after a month of editing, I have posted my 200-plus photos from this year’s 50th anniversary Abbotsford International Air Show.


Abbotsford International Air Show 2012

Unfortunately, these photos aren’t quite up to the quality standards I usually like to hold myself to. The lighting at Abbotsford is always terrible for any act before the late afternoon, and this year in particular presented very hazy conditions. The upshot is that the haze made for some of the best vapor I’ve ever seen in the fighter demos.

Now that I’m done with the photos, I will have time to focus on my long overdue videos from this event, and possibly the even more overdue videos from JBLM. If I suddenly have even more time, I may even get to work on the videos I took at an unplanned mystery event I stopped at on the way home from Abbotsford.

This is the last air show I’ll be attending this year. All that I have left on the calendar now is one more WAC launch in Mansfield (assuming the conditions out there get better in time for it; T minus 38 days and counting).

Seafair 2012

I have uploaded my photos from this year’s practice run of Seafair’s Boeing Air Show. Highlights include an F/A-18F Superhornet, Some of Paul Allen’s beautifully-restored playthings, and the incomparable Blue Angels.


Seafair 2012

As was the case at the time of my last post, I’m still waiting for more storage before I work on my videos from JBLM and Abbotsford. The photos from Abbotsford will also probably be a while, as I have over 1500 of them to cull through and edit. The lighting there this year was especially terrible (it’s always bad, but this was something else), so quite a bit of editing will be needed.

The next event I have planned is WAC’s Autumn Glare launch. T -29 days and counting.