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.

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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.

Element Collection Page and Some Rocket Building

As pointed out in my last post, I have changed the theme of this website. Not only does this change make it blend in more with my YouTube channel and SmugMug account, it also makes it possible to display the portal for my newly-created Element Collection page. I have three elements up at the moment (hydrogen, radium, and polonium), but have several more that will be added as time goes on. This page replaces my “radioactive collection” feature, and will help with my goal of making this site more about my scientific exploits in general along with the rockets and air shows.

Speaking of rockets, I have started construction on the next member of my high-power fleet. Being a lightweight rocket with a 54mm motor mount (the largest I’ve put in anything to date), I’m planning on using it to break my personal best altitude. I’ll post more details when time allows.

Theme Changes

As some of  you may have noticed (which, according to the site stats, none of you have), I have changed the theme in order to better facilitate some of the new features I’m adding. For the time being, though, this change will probably mess things up, so please excuse the disarray as I run around patching things up.

2011 Flight Stats and Some Forthcoming Changes

I’ve crunched the numbers on my flight statistics for the 2011 rocket launch season. My total number of flights in 2011 was 16, eight flights less than what I did in 2010. Those flights add up to a total impulse of 2011.4Ns for the year, which is approximately a 57.1% K motor. My average impulse per flight for the year was 175.7Ns, a 57.1% G motor. My most flown rocket was the Madcow Solar Express with seven flights, and my most flown impulse class was F, representing six flights. This year, I hope to increase the number of total flights, and I expect to see a higher average impulse. More on that later…

In other news, I’ve started work on the Scientific Miscellany page, which will soon be complete. This page is meant to show off the nerdy stuff I do that doesn’t involve airplanes and rockets. Besides simply adding more content to the site, I’m hoping that this will draw more people in, seeing as right now two of the three subscribers to this site are people I know personally, and the other one is me.  I’ll also start featuring this site more prominently on my SmugMug and YouTube accounts.