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Took the Girls to the Field...

Old 11-22-2008, 02:14 AM
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Default Took the Girls to the Field...

Looked outside and saw calm winds, checked the weather and it predicted calm winds for the evening. Packed a bunch of rockets into the family car and picked up my girls from school. On the way to the field one of them mentioned how the field looked like an excellent place to launch rockets from! Ohh yeah, I said, why don't we check out the field? They were surprised to see the rockets when I popped the rear hatch.

As we were about halfway out into the field the winds really picked up! Maybe 15mph or so from near calm moments ago. We prepared the Wacky Wiggler for it's second flight, my oldest pressed the button and away it went! Up, Up, Up and AWAY!! Never saw it again, I told the girls it went into orbit or that helicopter who kept flying over us grabbed it! Either I put a booster motor in the Wiggler or the ejection charge failed to fire. Gone!

To be fair to my other daughter, we lost one of her rockets too! Yes, yes, kids always want things fair so Dad chose one of the little one's Super Shot Shark Attack for it's 4th or 5th flight. That little rocket went higher then I've seen it go and disappeared! We saw and heard the ejection charge but that baby vanished into orbit or the helicopter got it too! Strangely that helicopter appeared in exactly the same place at the same time the rocket would have been in apogee. Hmmm...

After some boo boo faces we packed up and walked around looking for 1/2 hour then went home. The little one still has 2 rockets, one an Estes Mongoose, the older one has none now, her BullPup was retired after landing in a lake though we got it back with my rocket recovery device (fishing pole) but the engine mount went soft. So looks like another virtual trip to Tower to get some more rockets!

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Old 12-01-2008, 06:27 AM
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Default RE: Took the Girls to the Field...

Took the whole family to the field this time after a wonderful Thanksgiving. Same field, winds were out of the SE at about 5mph. First to blast off was the little Estes Stingray. Up, up and away it went! Lost sight of it until we saw and heard the ejection charge and never saw it again. Maybe it's with the Shark Attack now?

Next up was my eldest daughter's Estes Snap Shot. Perfect launch but curiously tracked into the wind, arced over at apogee and the ejection charge fired, chute came out but did not deploy properly. It was caught up in the shroud lines but it came down ok and was unharmed.

Next up was my wife's Estes Max Trax, turned on the altimeter but it soon quit as the battery was dead. Except for the nose cone, this rocket is the same as the Snap Shot and it too tracked into the wind and reached apogee with a successful chute deployment. While the family was chasing it down I readied the Snap Shot for another launch.

Snap Shot roared into the sky and at apogee the ejection charge fired sending the nose cone blasting 50 feet away with a partially deployed parachute again. The body of the rocket was coming down fast without a chute, it's gold flaked body made it easy to track and it landed about 200 feet upwind just missing the park bathroom. The nose cone with the camera inside landed on the other side of the bathroom and broke apart but the film was recovered for developing. As I write this, I now remember the first few flights of the original Estes Snap Shot also coming apart in the same way, the shock cord is not strong enough or long enough for the large nose cone with camera. We lost the nose cone of that one in the brush. Have to rummage through the garage and see if we saved the body, hmmm...

While the kids were chasing after the pieces of the Snap Shot, the Max Trax was readied for another flight. This time it stayed nearly over our heads and landed within the field, just barely, as a wind gust pushed it along. No damage, it was readied for another flight while I sent the kids back to the car to get our youngest daughter's Estes Mongoose.

The Mongoose was built out of the box with no modifications other then custom paint job. Because of the limited size of the field and slight wind I pulled the booster stage off and readied it for flight with a C6-7. Nice, fast launch and went out of sight! The kids saw the ejection charge and streamer deploy parallel to us but to the North a little and the winds carried it over the field while it descended. I came down near some trees, about 10 feet away from a guy with a metal detector looking for the lost treasure of the soccer players who usually inhabit the field. He paused and gave a funny look as my 3 kids came charging at him and was oblivious to the rocket landing almost on his head! When the girls brought it back, it had come down a little too hard and the tube was bent about 2-3" above the fins. I'll either try to straighten it out with a coupler or shorten it to keep it flying.

Next up was my vintage Estes Alpha that I built and flew as a boy. Last time it flew we nearly lost it, came down 1/2 mile away just feet from a canal bank. My wife urged me not to fly it anymore in this field with C6 motors and the kids were eyeing the playground nearby so we packed it in and went over the playground.

Using my rocksim demo, I've drawn up scale rockets for the RIM-2B Terrier with booster in 10 and 25 scale, RIM-24B Tartar and RIM-2D Terrier with Booster and RIM-8 TALOS with Booster. The Talos won't fly at all as it's too heavy with 3 sets of through the wall fins. I spent more time developing the Terrier and Tartar drawings and think they'll make fine short field rockets with smaller motors.

I have an Estes 3-Stage Comanche that has yet to fly and a customized Estes Guardian with a baffle kit and D-size motor mount. Have to find a larger field to launch from. There's a club that launches once a month out in the Everglades at a sod farm, they have those 6 and 15 foot high rockets that require FAA wavers...

Ohhh!!! Speaking of the FAA, when we shot the Mongoose it left a nice trail of smoke, and a Cessna came out of nowhere and went right through the smoke trail with the rocket over it in apogee. Now I remember why I lost sight of it, the Cessna got in the way! Wonder what the pilot was thinking when he saw a rocket go straight up in front of him and fly through its smoke? I surmized that they must of switched runways, wouldn't want one of our rockets getting stuck in a plane! Feds wouldn't like that either I suppose!
Old 12-01-2008, 07:59 AM
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Default RE: Took the Girls to the Field...

I took my kids and one neighbor out Friday and launched a Bull Pup, Fat Boy, Estes Eagle Boost Glider, and older Estes X-29 Boost Glider, a Very old Estes Space Shuttle Boost Glider, and our homemade rocket car. There was also a little kit, I cant recal the name of it that my daughter decided would look better pink that got launched once.
The rocket car didn't fare too well this time out.
Aside from the little pink job getting a broken fin the only other craziness was the shuttle. This is the second time I've tried to launch that thing. Notice tried. We launched it...it just doesn't fly. LOL
It looks way better on the shelf.

The kids love this stuff and I'm happy to be a part of it with them.
Old 12-01-2008, 12:34 PM
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Default RE: Took the Girls to the Field...

Glad you had a memorable time as well. Right now I'm putting together an Estes Echostar for my 7 year old, the 4 year old has been "helping" me assemble it.

We had a Bullpup, made some nice flights until it landed in a lake. It was recovered but the motor mount went soft and that tail cone didn't want to come out so I could put a new one in there. It sits in the shelf retired now. Never tried those glider models, do they drift far away?
Old 12-01-2008, 02:19 PM
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Default RE: Took the Girls to the Field...

One tip I meant to mention on the shock cords is that I use a pc of kevlar thread from the tube to the elastic. I haven't lost one yet.

Properly trimmed they circle the rocket and land within 20' of the rocket on a calm day. With a little breeze they land within 50 yards.
Old 12-01-2008, 02:34 PM
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Default RE: Took the Girls to the Field...

I take my 13 yr old daughter and one or more of her friends every couple of months to my flying field with rockets. Reminds me, I am about due again! We've lost several of the tiny 1/2A size rockets... but the bigger ones usually come back to us quite well.

My five year son old just doesn't like the whooshh sound of the rockets... so he won't go with us. He has some sensory integration issues so I don't push it.
Old 12-01-2008, 02:51 PM
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Default RE: Took the Girls to the Field...

I've been taking mine out since they could walk. My son, 9, likes the rockets more than the planes. My daughter, 5, is just getting started. I think she likes painting them the most.
Cheap rockets and cheap paint keep them from parking in front of the boob toob and gets them outside.

The cars are also a big hit.[8D]
Old 12-02-2008, 07:34 AM
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Default RE: Took the Girls to the Field...

Was eyeing those cars as a possible stocking stuffer. Something to do outside in the street without having to wait for proper weather or travel to the right field. I think I'm going to pick up one of those Estes Designer's kits and let the girls make some custom rockets. Have to buy some pink and purple paints!

The Echostar is coming along nicely, it's going to get a baffle with heatshield and a nylon 18" parachute. It came with a long nylon shock cord so I'll have to see whether this one would benefit from a kevlar cord or not. I was going to make the booster for 24mm motors but decided to leave it because of the limits of our local field. Have to put together an order for some A10s, B4s, B6s and C5 motors too, all we have left are C6-7s!

Old 12-02-2008, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: Took the Girls to the Field...

The elastic just doesn't hold up to repeated launches. I use the kevlar thread and the little round elastic cord you get from an office supply store.

I have one of the Estes cars and it's ok but not as cool as the box makes it out to be. We use old monokote tubes with a nosecone and airplane wheels. I even make my engine mounts by fiberglassing over an old engine wrapped with wax paper, then I cut a short pc of the old engine to use as a stop lug glued into the end of the fiberglass tube.

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