Return to the Launch Pad

Top Border

October 2014 Launch Report
October 11-12, 2014 at Centreville Sod Farm

Ben 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 Stirred.

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 . . .

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.

Return to September 2014

Go to next launch
Shaken, Not Stirred landed with a thud due to elextronics failure

V2 stuck the one point landing
Toni rtrieving Sally Ride
Click above to see Shaken, Not Stirred's flight video
V2 stuck the one point landing
Shaken, Not Stirred landed with a thud due to elextronics

Return to the Launch Pad