March 15, 2008 saw our return to the flying field in Price, Maryland to test our fate with the Rocket Gods once again. The winds were howling from the north but we were determined to fly and improve on our previous embarrassment. Once again I had my James Bond themed 5-foot rocket, Shaken, Not Stirred , flying on a Loki H-144. We also had Ben's 9-foot rocket, Legend of Zelda (no decals as of yet) flying its maiden voyage on a Loki I-405.
I tripled checked my shock cord connectivity between the sustainer and upper section, successfully completed all self diagnostics of my electronics, and connected the igniter. At the end of the countdown, Shaken, Not Stirred , slightly struggled against the
high winds until the motor came up to full pressure and accelerated the rocket past the launch rail with a thunderous roar. Shaken, Not Stirred flew straight and true in the high winds and achieved an altitude of 1462 feet where the drogue parachute successfully deployed at apogee and more importantly, the rocket held together. Shaken, Not Stirred quickly descended at 54/feet a second until at 700 feet the main parachute dutifully deployed slowing the descent to a more safe 25/feet a second. The winds grabbed the main parachute and quickly sent Shaken, Not Stirred on a more horizontal then vertical trajectory where it finally touched down about a half mile from its launch point. The winds still filled the main parachute and dragged the rocket along the muddy field with its fins plowing the dirt until finally coming to a rest, with me running after it. Final inspection after retrieving and cleaning the rocket showed no damaged and I live to fly another day.
We transferred the electronics to Ben's rocket, Legend of Zelda , and completed a similar preparation process at the launch pad. The Rocket Gods are always kinder to Ben and as the countdown started, the winds laid down. The I405 engine is twice as powerful as the H class motors and Legend of Zelda crackled off the launch pad with such noise that it forced everyone to take notice. The rocket quickly ascended out of sight and finally arced over at 1964 feet where the drogue parachute and smoke successful deployed. It descended quickly on its small 18 inch drogue until the main parachute was deployed at 700 feet. The Legend of Zelda gently touched down a mere 100 yards from its original launch point, much to Ben's delight.
Our next flight will be at Red Glare IV, which is one of the largest rocket events east of the Mississippi with a FAA waiver to 17,000 feet. We are planning on flying my large 7.5 inch V2 at this event, weather permitting. See MDRA for more information. Check out the photo section. As proud as we are of our rockets, we are small fries compared to the big boys. Spectators are always welcomed.