Monday, February 7, 2011

Plaster City Launch - Feb. 2011

We benefitted from yet another late-winter, wind-free launch in the Imperial desert this last weekend. We're tremendously lucky to live in SoCal. I decided to be a Luddite and fly only motor ejection this weekend (no electronics) so I could fly more rockets and concentrate on video and photography. Shocker that I STILL only had two flights but at least the photos and vid didn't suffer. I posted numerous shots here (click play to start slideshow). Please post comments with corrections and/or motor info that I missed.

First I flew my fiberglass 4" Madcow Nike Smoke on a CTI K940 White Thunder reload. The flight was amazingly kick-ass and was far faster than I'd expected after the slow K400 Green^3 flight last month. The liftoff thrust:weight was 28:1 for a good time. I walked about 1.25 miles S-SE to find this sucker with my radio beacon. Just call me "1-Mile Radius G". Here's the liftoff:
I also Gorilla-Taped a $5 keychain camera to the side and the video is pretty good considering the convenience and cost benefits:
[That looks way more compressed than the original raw footage so I'll need to figure that out and post a better version later.] I adjusted the delay to 11.5 seconds for this 8 lb. 14 oz. flight but you saw that was about 3-5 seconds too short and the 'chute popped way too early. Also the shock cord wrapped perfectly around the camera's lens on the descent thus cutting the usable video short. I'll get it right next time and recommend those cheap Ebay perv-cams. Oh and the flight video file consumed roughly 1.05GB for 25 minutes so a 2GB micro-SD card should suffice for most folks. I bought two 8GB cards because I didn't know so save yourself some dough.

Then I flew my DarkStar Lite on an older AT I200 motor with perfect recovery just South of the launch site (note the inadvertent mini-roll of Gorilla Tape on the fin... D'oh!):

I'm as shocked as you that it didn't also drift over 1 mile South. Cheers to another excellent launch at Lucerne next weekend!