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May 2014 Launch Report
May 17, 2014 at Centreville Sod Farm

The summer flying season is here already. Ben and I selected a few rockets and headed over to Maryland’s Eastern Shore for the first summer launch of the year at the Centreville Sod Farm. We killed some time at a local hardware store and relaxed around Ewing Pond wishing we had brought some fishing tackle. The launch does not start until noon on Saturdays due to the sod farm being opened a half day for business so we had a little time to squander.

We arrived at the sod farm around 11:00 AM and with the help from fellow flyers made quick work setting up the field. The skies were blue, the temperatures mild, and the breezes light. Unfortunately, the direction of the breeze would carry rockets into the nearby trees. As usual, I let the more impatient flyers fly ahead of me so I could judge the upper winds.

Once satisfied, I prepared Shaken, Not Stirred and took it to the pads. Some quick adjustments to the launch rail angle were made to ensure that Shaken, Not Stirred stayed clear of the trees. Shaken, Not Stirred popped off the pad at ignition and continued to 1,165 feet over the spectator line before separating and deploying her drogue. Shaken, Not Stirred continued to descend to 300 feet where the mains were successfully deployed. It looked like Shaken, Not Stirred was going to land into the crowd but the rocket managed to touch down in the soft green sod just to the other side and behind the spectator line. Click the video to the left and enjoy another flight of Shaken, Not Stirred.

Ben was next with his Legend of Zelda. Legend of Zelda was damaged almost a year ago during a hard landing. Ben has since repaired her and was itching to get Legend of Zelda back into the air. Ben chose a Loki I405 motor for propulsion and had Legend of Zelda on the pad with the launch rail adjusted to his liking. Legend of Zelda squirrelled off the pad during its ascent and separated on queue at apogee. Legend of Zelda danced during it decent and ejected her mains at 700 feet. It took another 100 feet for Legend of Zelda’s mains to fully deploy. Legend of Zelda came to rest over top of the large sod sprinkling system. Click the video to the left and see Legend of Zelda take to the skies again.

JP was up next with his partially repaired and partially freshly painted Redskins themed rockets named after Sean Taylor. JP chose to go low and slow and selected a G116 White for propellant. The G116 accomplished what it needed and lifted Sean Taylor to about 600 feet where the rocket deployed its main at apogee. Sean Taylor came to rest close by in the soft sod. Click the video to the left to see Sean Taylor fly.

Sean Taylor was our last flight of the day. We assisted other flyers and filmed additional flights before it was time to shut down the launch for the evening. We hung around the field in the setting sun not wanting to give up the beautiful evening until the increasing darkness signaled that it was time to go home. It was a great day and we all went home without any repairs. See other ESL 191 flight videos here. Until the next launch . . .

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.
Legend of Zelda tangled in the large sod sprinkler system

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.

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Legend of Zelda being inspected at the RSO table
Shaken, Not Stirred lifting off on a CTI H120 Red
Toni rtrieving Sally Ride
Click above to see Shaken, Not Stirred's flight video
Legend of
        Zelda tangled in the large sod sprinkler system
Shaken, Not
        Stirred lifting off on a CTI H120 Red

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Legend of Zelda being inspected at the RSO table