WAC Roll Your Own 2013

Finally, a report from a fairly recent launch.

For the first time in my four and a half years of flying with WAC, I finally had a free schedule for a June launch that wasn’t either Tripoli-L2+-only or canceled due to fire danger. Because I head off to college in mid-August, Roll Your Own will likely be my last organized launch of 2013, and will definitely be my last WAC launch until FITS 2014. It’s fitting, then, that I finally finished my biggest, baddest project to date in time for this launch.


WAC Roll Your Own 2013

To read a long-winded verbal history of my greatest achievement in rocketry to date, as well as to see photos and videos of my flights at Roll Your Own, click below (reader beware, it’s a bit wordy).

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Fire in the Sky 2013

Happy 4th of July! What better way is there to celebrate our nation’s independence than to read a very late launch report from the Pacific Northwest’s premier launch event, Fire in the Sky 2013.

Due to how hectic my academic year had become by Memorial Day weekend, I was only in attendance for Saturday and Sunday. My photo albums can be found at the links below.

Saturday: http://simav8rproductions.smugmug.com/Rocketry/2013launches/FITS131/29715661_JW8TDm

Sunday: http://simav8rproductions.smugmug.com/Rocketry/2013launches/FITS132/29891381_9vbvpD

To read about my flights at FITS this year, click below.

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WAC AP Checkride 2013

Another late launch report.

Let me describe AP Checkride like this: On Saturday, it was windy enough that NOAA listed the weather in Mansfield as “dust”. Due to the windy conditions, there was very little flying going on. So little flying happened that I actually don’t have a photo album to show for this launch. I do, however have three photos from Sunday, when I successfully completed my NAR Level Two certification flight.

Same Old Blues lifts off on a Cesaroni Pro38 5G J285 for my successful NAR L2 cert flight.

Same Old Blues lifts off on a Cesaroni Pro38 5G J285 for my successful NAR L2 cert flight.

Because the rocket I intended to fly for my L2 wasn’t ready yet (see my upcoming Roll Your Own launch report for more on that), the always-reliable Same Old Blues was drafted in to fill the role. A Cesaroni J285 made for a nice boost to 4017′. This was also the first flight of my BRB900 GPS tracking system, and it worked perfectly in leading me to the rocket.

All in all a productive weekend… even if I only have three photos to show for it.

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).