Monday, January 25, 2010

Slightly late... Plaster Blaster 1/1/10 launch report

Yeah this has taken awhile but I sorta got hung up editing vid. I marvel that Apple's Final Cut Pro 7 supports neither AVCHD nor Flip MinoHD formats natively. Guess what though -- Adobe Premier CS4 does!! WTF, Apple? Git yo shite togetha. Rant mode off.
I didn't think I'd be able to fly this month because I was backup shooter at a wedding for my buddy Jaime on Saturday. However, our club scored an FAA waiver all day Friday, 1/1/10, so I went for it. El Bee accompanied me and fun was had by all even though the crew was sparse. Actually when you have Jack Garabaldi vending AND flying, Russ Sands successfully attaining his L3, and Paul Snow bustin' out a K1999 no options exist except to have a good time. Here are my select photos for the day.
I flew light-ish today as it was short notice but I'm still happy with the results. I started with my Loc Bullet on a J825 for a thermite ignition test. I experienced ignition system issues and had three sequential misfires with an electric match + 0.5 g of thermite. The fourth time was sort of the charm with the match popping, the thermite doing something without emitting smoke, and the J825 igniting about 8 seconds too late for me to catch a photo. The flight was awesomely fast and now I know to use at least 1-2 g of thermite next time since instant ignition is my goal.
Then El Bee and I took it easy and flew a super convenient Cesaroni Pro29 159G118 Blue Streak motor in my trusty Aerotech Arreaux for a very quick and cool ascent. Again we captured no photos but the rocket landed on a moto burm and again managed to avoid destruction.
Next we flew the same Arreaux on a Cesaroni Pro29 176H123 but this time El Bee caught a great video with the Flip MinoHD video camera (watch in HD on YouTube):
Finally I started prepping my new Viciously Mean Machine design which suffered from unusable curvature of the payload section last month. I substituted the Em Sem Fity payload section, dubbed this kludge as VMM v0.75, and planned to fly it on the Cesaroni Pro54 1016J360 Skidmark. As always the dual deploy electronics took awhile to prep but the flight was pure greatness (prep photo ©El Bee):
Unfortunately I did an awful job of catching the liftoff because I was busy pushing the launch button and watching the flight. I like that our club offers control over one's own flight but it greatly complicates photography and videography. (Watch in HD on YouTube):
The flight portion sucked but El Bee caught a nice liftoff sequence and here's the best frame (click for larger version):
I recently had my 1Ds III serviced and it nailed the focus on most shots today. The detail in the flame of that shot is awesome! It looks sorta like flamey fur:
Oh and here's another bonus... this flight attained 9,217' and I believe that's a record that should make it into Rick's altitude record database! There's another Pro38 J360 record from 2005 but this Pro54 J360 Skidmark wasn't released until 2009 so it must be new and different! :P Heh heh.

The windless, perfect day ended beautifully with one of the most enduringly stunning sunset's I've seen in my life! (photo ©El Bee):