Ben and I
each threw a rocket into the Highlander and headed to Maryland’s
Eastern Shore Launch 182 (ESL) hours ahead of the expected beach
traffic. We stopped at Holly’s for breakfast before perusing the
hardware stores until it was time to setup the launch.
We arrived at the sod farm to soft lush green grass and super high corn
that were the result of the wet summer so far. The sky was cloudy but
the temperatures hovered in the mid 90s with the humidity not far
behind. We made slow work setting up the field in between constant sips
of water. Once the field was set up, Ben and I flopped in our chairs to
cool down and observe those eager to get their flights in the air.
Once I recovered from the heat and was satisfied with the wind direction, I took the once again repaired Shaken, Not Stirred
to the pads with a CTI H152 Blue propellant stuffed into the aft end
for propulsion. I meticulously adjusted the launch rail angle until I
was convinced that I had achieved the most optimal trajectory to keep Shaken, Not Stirred
out of the corn. A short countdown later and Shaken, Not Stirred
took to the skies where it camouflaged itself in the bright skies. I did not reacquire sight of Shaken, Not Stirred
until the decent. Shaken, Not Stirred
ejected its main on queue and slowly headed towards the tall corn. I
did not relish tramping into the very muddy corn field but my time
adjusting the launch rail paid off. Shaken, Not Stirred
came to rest ever so slightly in the corn with the main parachute
landing in the open field and acting as a bread crumb trail to the rest
of the rocket. See Shaken, Not Stirred redeem herself from last month’s flight here.
Ben was next with his Queen Anne’s Revenge
. Ben chose a CTI H143 Smokey Sam for his flight. Ben soon had Queen Anne’s Revenge
on the pad. Queen Anne’s Revenge
is not duel deployed and thus deploys its main recovery at apogee so
Ben spend a little more time adjusting the launch rail to his liking. Queen Anne’s Revenge
quickly ascended on its dark smoky plume until arching over at about
1,550 feet and deploying its main parachute and the famous Black Beard
pirate flag. Queen Anne’s Revenge
came to a soft landing in the soft soggy sod. See Queen Anne's Revenge plunder the skies here.
That was the only flight for Ben and I. We helped other flyers but for
the most part we tried to stay cool in what little shade could be found.
We soon closed the field for the night and relished the air condition
on the journey home.
Sunday morning Toni and I headed back to the sod farm with her Sally Ride
and my Mars Lander
Sunday proved worse than Saturday with the heat and humidity and we
found ourselves not wanting to spend the energy to prep and fly our
rockets. Instead, we stayed in the shade of the Range Safety Officer’s
awning conducting rocket safety inspections and tried to enjoy any puff
of breeze that attempted to make its way across the green humid sod. It
was hot, hot, and hot. Once again, we made slow work in packing up the
field before heading home with the much anticipated air conditioning. As
veteran rocketeers we know that we cannot control the weather and try
to make do with what the rocket gods choose to throw our way. Hopefully
August will bring better skies. Until the next launch . . .