WAC Autumn Glare Launch Canceled

Unfortunately, due to fire danger, WAC’s Autumn Glare launch in Mansfield has been canceled. The next launch is the Jack Frost APfest on October 20th-21st. T minus 40 days and counting.

In other news, I have finished editing my photos from Abbotsford, and will probably be uploading them in the next few days. I also hope to get to work on my videos from both JBLM and Abbotsford at some point this week.


FITS 2012 Photos and Launch Report

For rocketeers in the Pacific Northwest, Memorial Day weekend means one thing… Fire in the Sky.

FITS was as great as ever this year thanks to everyone who volunteered and the hospitality of the people of Mansfield. Thanks again!

CLICK HERE to view my photo album from Saturday.

CLICK HERE to view my photo album from Sunday.

Although I also attended the launch on Monday, I didn’t take any photos.

Click the “Continue Reading” link below to see my launch report as well as photos of my flights at FITS.

Continue reading

AP Checkride 2012 Launch Report

After last month’s disappointing weather, it was nice to finally get back out to Mansfield to fly some high-power.

On Saturday I got my high-power season off to a great start with the first successful flight of the recently-modified Same Old Blues on an AeroTech I245 Mojave Green. The altimeter data for this flight indicates a maximum altitude of 1882′ and a maximum velocity of 313ft/sec (214mph).

Next, I re-prepped Same Old Blues and flew an AeroTech I211 White Lightning, the highest impulse motor I have flown to date.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

It seems fitting, then, that this flight also set a new personal best altitude, with the altimeter reading of 2514′ (my old record was 2178′). However, this flight brought to my attention a bit of a spin problem with Same Old Blues which I hadn’t noticed on other flights. It isn’t a really bad spin, but it is wasted energy and a bit of an annoyance to the perfectionist writing this post.

My next flight was the venerable Solar Express on a Cesaroni F120 Vmax. The F120 is a fun motor for this rocket. It’s off the pad in the blink of an eye but doesn’t go high enough to cause recovery headaches. This flight did happen to land in the swamp north of the racetrack, but no water damage occurred.

My final flight of the launch was on Sunday, with the Solar Express on a Cesaroni F36 Smoky Sam.

To see the rest of my photos from the launch, CLICK HERE to head over to my SmugMug album.

T-minus 23 days and counting until FITS 2012!

Spring Festivus Cancelled

Unfortunately, due to both the weather reports for Mansfield and the conditions in the mountain passes, WAC’s March launch has been cancelled. This means that I’ll have to wait until next month’s launch to get any new photos up.

In the meantime, I’ll work on adding to the Element Collection page, as I have acquired some new samples since the last time the page was updated.

WAC Jack Frost AP Fest 2011

This year’s October launch at Mansfield was a great event. Unlike previous years, the event was held at the Snell Ranch launch site, and it was unusually warm for an October launch (not a complaint, just an observation). It was also my first launch using the new Canon 30-700mm telephoto lens I had purchased.  The new lens works great, and the incredible sharpness of some of the photos I got made it worth every penny (to me, at least). I can’t wait to give it a try on more flights next year.

As for my flights, I made yet another attempt to use the Chute Tamer in Same Old Blues, this time flying it on an AeroTech I245  Mojave Green. Unfortunately, I missed getting a photo of liftoff. The boost was perfect, but when the time delay I had programmed into the Chute Tamer passed, the ‘chute wasn’t released, causing the rocket to tumble drogueless to a landing right in the middle of the gravel road on the east side of the launch site. Fortunately, because I built Same Old Blues like a tank, the only damage was aesthetic. The corner of one of the fins is pretty beat up and the payload bay has a case of road rash on the side it impacted on. With this flight, I decided to abandon the Chute Tamer all together.

My other two flights at the launch went great, both of them with the always-reliable Solar Express. The first flight was on a Cesaroni F59, and the second was on a Cesaroni F36 Blue Streak.

My photo album from the launch can be found at the link below.



Now that the flying season is over (well, for high-power at least) it’s time to start digging into the to-build pile I’ve made over the summer. I have to paint the replacement fin I put on my DynaStar Rising Star (which has been on the work table since the launch in April… of 2010), build the PML Mystic I won in the NARCON photo contest, consider building the FlisKits Proxima Centauri also won at NARCON, and then decide what my next high-power build will be.

Expect more news on new builds later on.