were itching to fly as the February 2012 Rocket Launch was a
bust due to very cold and windy weather. Toni was out of town
but Ben was home from college for the weekend. I bribed Ben with
a hot breakfast at Holly’s which got him out of bed at 06:15 AM.
We left the house to pick up Ben’s girlfriend before heading to
Maryland’s Eastern Shore for some good eats. After a nice
breakfast, we made the short hop to Higgs Farm. As usual, the
Eastern Shore Brigadoon bubble that surrounds Higgs Farm had its
own weather that contradicted the forecasted weather of mild
temperatures and low breezes. Rocket veterans of Higgs Farm came
prepared as the weather within the bubble was cold with strong
winds smacking the rocketeers in the face along the flight line.
We made quick time in setting up the field.
Momoko offered her rocket to Kristin to fly. Ben proudly
explained all the intricacies of rocket flight to Kristin and
soon they had the rocket on the pad. Cherry Child
scooted off the
pad on its F29 motor and arced over before ejecting its chute.
However, the chute must have been packed too tight as it never
landed in the soft field without any damage.
I waited for others fly to gauge the winds. Once satisfied, I
had my newly repaired Shaken, Not Stirred
prepped and on
the pad. There were fears of Shaken, Not Stirred
landing in the
spectator area and doing damage to someone’s vehicle or worse,
damage to the rocket. The launch rail was slightly adjusted
using my patented Optimal Trajectory Alignment Process and once
happy, I armed the electronics and posted my flight card.
The apogee charge never fired during January’s launch causing
some damage to Shaken,
. The altimeter was cleaned and tested in a
vacuum chamber of my design (bucket and shopvac) and seemed to
function normally in my test configuration. Shaken, Not
bolted from the pad on its Loki H144 and arced
over at 1,290 feet where the much anticipated drogue was
successfully deployed. The mains deployed on queue at 400 feet
safely came to rest along the flight line.
Not Stirred 41th flight here.
Ben and Kristin were next with the dusty Legend of Zelda
was already prepped from Red Glare XI but never
got the chance to fly. Ben explained to Kristen how the motor
worked as he assembled the Loki I405. Soon Legend
was on the pad for the first time in over a
year. Kristen gave the rocket a good luck kiss and wagers were
made on prediction of the actual altitude before Legend of Zelda
took to the skies. Legend of Zelda had a straight trajectory to
1972 feet before it arced over and deployed it drogue. The mains
were ejected at 700 feet however they did not deploy. Again it
seemed that the chute was packed too tight. You would think
these Aerospace Engineers would know how to pack a chute ;). At
the last possible moment, Kristen’s good luck kiss kicked in and
the main parachute inflated just as Legend of Zelda
came to rest
without any damage. See Legend of
Zelda’s flight here
. I won the bet with my
prediction of 1,975 feet, if anyone was wondering.
The rest of the day we stayed warm by helping clean out and
reorganizing the club’s sea container and filming other flights.
As typical for a March launch at Higgs Farm, the winds stop and
the temperatures rose just in time to close the launch for the
night. Ben treated us to dinner on the journey home. It was good
day and we had zero repairs. See all the fun here
are looking forward to Red Glare XII which is April 13-15, 2012.
Until the next launch . . .