and I left early in the morning in the blowing wind and rain
wondering if the legend of Brigadoon would hold true and we
would arrived at the launch field in a bubble of good weather.
This was not the case. The winds whisked the rain about the
soggy sod fields until we were cold, wet, and tired. Ben and I
cried uncle and headed home at about 03:00 PM with no flights
for the day.
Sunday morning was the opposite with blue skies and low winds. I
made the solo trek to the Central Sod farm and assisted setting
up the field for the day’s launches. The low winds had
sufficiently dried the sod and the warming sun was a far
contrast to the previous day.
I prepared Shaken, Not Stirred with a CTI H120
Red. I installed Shaken, Not Stirred on the pad
once I was happy with the landing trajectories of those that
flew before me and I knew I would not end up in the vast soy
bean fields or the trees lying in wait on the edge of the woods
of Mordor. This would be the 71st flight of Shaken, Not
Shaken, Not Stirred took to the skies in a hurry
and started its arc at about 6 seconds into the flight. It was a
noticeable longer arc than normal and I realize that the
electronics did not fire the apogee charge. Luckily I also had
an 8 second motor backup which fired late, separating Shaken,
Not Stirred so the rocket would not come down
ballistic. I held my breath hoping that somehow the mains would
fire but that never occurred. Shaken, Not Stirred
landed with a thud with only the drogue. Luckily those in
attendance never noticed and I was able to retrieve Shaken,
Not Stirred without the making the walk of shame.
Upon retrieving Shaken, Not Stirred, it became
apparent that the electronics were still beeping continuity.
This meant that it never detected launch and never armed the
ejection charges. Some post analysis will have to be performed
to determine if a cause can be found. See Shaken, Not
Stirred fly and somehow survive to the right.
I also had my old 5.5 inch V2. I decided to try
to redeem myself with the V2 and an I236 for
propulsion. The V2 is an apogee deployed recovery
system using a timed charge from motor ignition. The V2
popped off the pad and immediately took a V2 like
trajectory into the wind. Luckily the main parachute was ejected
and after a few nervous seconds, deployed. The V2
slowly descended under the orange mains until partially sticking
the landing in the soft sod behind the flight line. See the V2
take to the skies once again.
Those were my only two flights of the day. I filmed other
flights and assisted until it was time to close the field. I
hung around enjoying a beer before starting my journey home in
the setting sun. Until the next launch . . .