Wednesday, July 20, 2011

JMRC MMAR Joint Launch Report - July, 9, 10 2011

On July 9th and 10th JMRC and MMAR co-hosted a launch at the MMAR
field near Muskegon, MI. The field is adjacent to a water treatment
center with a large "lake" south of the field. The wind was primarily
from the South-South West ensuring that we all were aware the
treatment lake was nearby. The main launch field is an area of old
spill over ponds with many hay fields nearby and a thin line of pines
directly north of the site. The weather for both days was hot with it
considerably more humid and windy on Sunday. Regardless, the skies
remained rain-free and a lot of rockets were flown. People traveled
from as far away as the Cleveland, OH area and Indiana. Chris Pearson
from Skybusters was in attendance. Chris was involved in the very
first LDRS's and was a founder of North Coast Rocketry. I haven't seen
Chris in a long time and it was great to chat with him again. We also
had vendor support from Red Arrow Hobbies and Miller Motor Works. MMAR
provided food and drink support.

Memorable flights;

Bob and Rob Dickinson were involved in two big projects. The first one
flown on Saturday was a 12" dia, 14' tall Red Crayon. It weighed 100
lbs and was flown on a central Loki M1882 and 2 CTI L640's that were
started at first motion. It was a perfect flight to 3,584' and
recovery was on the main field. Bob and Rob built the model while
Eldred Pickett did the electronics. Scott Miller performed the igniter
prep and switch for the L640's.

The second project was a giant 16.5" dia, 13' tall V-2 that weighed in
at 130lbs! The motor configuration was similar with a Loki M2550
central motor and 2 CTI L640's started again at first motion. The Loki
M2550 has a remarkable blue flame that was visible for a long time.
The V-2 made it to 2,516' and was recovered nearby. Unfortunately the
lower fin can section landed in the water treatment "lake". The
Dickinson's claim it's a loss despite recovering it intact.

Tom Kurecka flew many of his beautiful rockets including Purple Haze
and his scale Mercury Atlas. Tom shot a lot of video, on-board and
ground based. He creates outstanding DVD's of our launches which are
greatly appreciated by the members.

Tony Haga flew his Rapid Oxidation on a SRS J261 to 1761' on Saturday.
Sunday he flew Dixie on a CTI K445 and 2 air-started CTI H295 Smokey
Sams to 3,750'. Tony also flew his Little John to 2,274' on a Loki

Dale Hodgson flew his SS-1 on a Loki K250 moonburner to approx 5,000'.
Dale captured some great on-board footage with a key fob cam. He built
a camera holder out of a large Tic Tac box that is a really cool

Chris Pearson from Skybusters flew a 54mm Kosden L1860 on Saturday.
Chris also helped out with ground prep on several projects.

Chris Palmer flew a small dia rocket on an Aerotech K1100 Blue Thunder
that screamed. Unfortunately it draped itself over two power lines and
then Chris started screaming. I can't blame him. He's had a bad
stretch of luck at this field.

Matt Johnson from MMAR flew a couple of interesting rockets. First was
a 1/13th scale Mercury Redstone that flew and recovered nicely. The
second was a tall launch vehicle looking design that used two 1/100
scale Saturn V's as strap-on boosters. There were 2 G69G motors for
the core and 5 D12's in each strap-on! The first flight on Saturday
suffered a cato when a forward closure failed at launch. The rocket
crashed a short distance away starting a small fire which was put out
quickly. Matt put it back together for Sunday and tried flying it late
in the day. Unfortunately another core motor cato'd with a near
identical flight profile.

I put up my 4' Marauder on a Loki J528 to 2,779' The flight absolutely
rocked and I got to use my new Tony Haga chute for recovery. The key
fob cam captured some really weird visual distortion during boost that
we're all scratching our heads over. It also captured the lower
section fall away when the apogee charge fired. My other flight on
Saturday was a failure that pretty much ruined my old NCR SA-14
Archer. It had a core Ellis G37 and outboard D11-Ps. Only the D11's
fired which was able to get it high enough to break several fins when
it fell. I also experimented with my Scissor Wing Transport and a key
fob cam. I captured some video, but it still needs a little work.
Sunday went much better with a great flight of my LOC Scout on a CTI
F240, and 4" dia Big Blue Bird Zero on a Loki I430 to approximately

Gerry Wellman flew his blue foam jet with a Smokey Sam motor for a
very nice flight. He also flew his 7 Toed Dog a couple of times trying
to light a 7 motor cluster of composites. I don't think he ever got
all 7 lit, but they were still great flights. Gerry was there with
Dave McVeigh of Red Arrow Hobbies showing off the Mercury capsules
that they have been working on. These are a work of art! Gerry is
working on an escape tower for them, though Dave said he has already
sold quite a few without the tower.

There were many more great rockets flown by folks I didn't know. There
was a nice Honest John, maxi Trident, and two Level 1 Cert Flights by
Brian Shepherd and Luther Miller


Maxi Marauder on a Loki J528

A slo-mo of the Marauder's ascent

Modified LOC Scout on a CTI F240-10

Dale Hodgson's SS-1 on a Loki K250 Moonburner

Blue Bird Zero upscale on a Loki I430