record heat of early summer abated somewhat for this late June launch
at the Central Sod Farm. Toni and I left early in the morning to beat
the Bay Bridge traffic to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We stopped at
Holly’s in Grasonville to enjoy a nice breakfast and kill some time.
The rocket launch does not start until 12:00 noon at the Sod Farm on
Saturdays so Toni and I had some time to waste. The secret during
summer is to get across the Bay Bridge early, ahead of the Ocean City
traffic, and then relax until it is time to fly. After breakfast, we
browsed through a hardware store and then did some antiquing until it
was ready to set up the field.
The sod was soft and
lush due to the massive watering system pumped by a very large diesel
engine housed in a tin shack. The constant clattering of the diesel
engine did not detract from the soft green grass, blue skies, and the
light cool breezes. This was an unusually nice day at the sod farm in
late June and no one was complaining. The field was quickly set up and
we were soon ready to fly.
First to the pads was the first high powered rocket that I ever built and was used in my level 1 certification. R2/V2
is an easy rocket to prep and still fun to fly. Add some wadding, pack the parachute, throw an engine into it and R2/V2
is ready to take to the skies. R2/V2
was taken to the pad with a Loki G80 as its power plant. R2/V2
quickly ascended during launch and ejected its parachute at apogee
which occurred around 800 feet. Again the LCO expressed his extreme
satisfaction as R2/V2
swaying back and forth under its yellow canopy in the light breeze,
until softly landing in the soy bean field without any damage. See R2/V2’s nice flight here.
Shaken, Not Stirred
is a little more complex to prep due to its duel deployment and its
barometric altimeter. Also, the poor man’s repair of the Q-Cam was now
complete. A poor man’s repair involves taking something apart that one
has no business taking apart, blowing on it, cussing at it, throwing it
against the wall, putting it back together, and then for some
unexplained reason having it start to work. I excel at poor man’s
repairs so I taped the Q-Cam onto Shaken, Not Stirred
for its first flight since being damaged at Red Glare VIII during Sally Ride’s
recovery odyssey. Shaken, Not Stirred
bolted off the pad on a Loki H144 and ejected its drogue at 1,268 feet.
It quickly descended under the small drogue until the altimeter ejected
the main at 400 feet. Shaken, Not Stirred
came to rest in the soy bean field, just past the tin shack that housed the clattering diesel pump. See Shaken, Not Stirred’s flight and onboard video here.
If you look closely, you will see the Chesapeake Bay in the distance at apogee.
Shaken, Not Stirred
was our last flight for the day. Toni did not have time to prepare a
rocket and chose not to fly for this launch. I clean my motors before
laying back and enjoying some sandwiches. We drank plenty of liquids as
we wandered the field lending a hand wherever we could and filming
other flights. See the day’s launch activities here.
breezes kept constant which provided some relief under the hot sun. The
field talk was about the recent LDRS event in California that some
members attended. LDRS will air on the Science Channel on July 5, 2010,
at 09:00 PM. Before long the launch was over and Toni and I started our
trek back to Maryland’s Western Shore. We were hot, sun burned, sticky,
and smelled slightly of spent rocket fuel, but it was all good. We
ended the day watching the sun set as we relaxed and cooled in the
pool. Until the next launch . . .