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Last updated: Nov 30, 2002
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TARC demo launch (11/30/2002)

[Ted Cochran] Tomorrow afternoon, I'll be launching some rockets with the Apple Valley High School Team America Rocket Challenge team. I've put in an FAA notification, and expect to launch one or maybe two large model rockets in addition to some smaller staged rockets. (A Phobos on an econojet, for sure--they need to see some AP motors fly so they can make an informed design choice later). They've supposedly been building some practice rockets as well. Forecast looks good--partly cloudy, 26 degrees, winds SSW at 5.

If you want to come and help with a demo flight or two, feel free. Let me know ahead of time. To get there, go south on Cedar Ave to the end of the freeway part of the road. At the first traffic light (140th) , turn right for about 1/2 mile. Field is on the left. [You can go up to the next traffic light at Hayes Road, turn left, go to the first left, and park in the lot].

We have permission to use the field. I'm going to see if we can use the field during the winter, too, especially for the TARC qualification flights. It's better for that than any of our winter fields, I think.


[Ted Cochran] Glen, David, Stuart, and I came at 11. It took a little longer for the kids, but by 11:30 or so we had about five or six team members plus the teacher. It was pretty cold, overcast, and intermittently breezy, but flyable.

I launched a Maniac on a D12-7, a Quest Navaho on a B6-0 to C6-7, and the Phobos on a G35-4. The Navaho went down wind a bit at staging and made it to the road; everything else stayed on the field. Lots of oohs and aahs for the Phobos--the first AP motor of any size that they'd seen. Glen and Stuart launched a few rockets, too, as did the kids. There were a few, um, anomalies. One of Glen's rockets didn't stage, and one of the kids lawn darted an SR-71. But all in all the kids left pretty excited!

Of course, the sun came out right as we were leaving.....

The field is probably adequate for TARC events, although Glen told us about an alternate field that is sort of close that might be even better.


[Glen Overby] From memory... attendees

Ted Cochran

Stuart Lenz

Dave Whittaker

Glen Overby

Teacher and about five students.

The cloud deck was only about 1,500-2,000', and it turns out that the FAA has a big radar a few miles directly north of the site. I wonder if they'd be willing to help out with tracking? -)

Ted thought that the field was bigger than the White Bear Lake site. If you include the school and parkinglot on the other side of the school, it definately is. Eastview Highschool + Park a few miles east is larger, but has more fences.

I flew four, coresampled two.

- I started out with a "wind test dummy" -- a stomp rocket + streamer on a B. It didn't drift far.

- Next I flew my yellow generic BT-56/3FNC with non-swept rounded fins on a C6-5. Nice flight; it didn't drift far either.

- I made a first flight of another curvy-fin rocket with a transition (upper body tube being larger than the lower body tube). At ejection, the nosecone and parachute went one way and body went another... specificly, straight down.

Upon impact, one fin snapped off at the root and the coupler pushed into the upper tube a couple of inches. Well, it turns out that I never glued the kevlar shock cord to either body tube -- it must have been simply looped through the [homemade] transition and at ejection it simply cut through the transition. Oops!

- I again prepped my 3FNC with two stages C11-0 to a C6-5. It failed to stage and the upper stage coresampled, taking out half of the body tube and part of the streamer. I blame this on (1) the coupler between stages being too loose and (2) the fins not being quite lined up, causing an early drag separation.

Stuart flew a few rockets. I think one of them was Alan's "MASA rocket" design, and an AAMRAM. The students also made several flights.  Ted flew a big fiberglassed rocket on a "G". 

So far this week, all I've repaired 2 rockets, completed construction of 3 scratchbuilt model rockets and have started on 2 mid-power rockets. Now I'll have to see about putting up a temporary painting booth in the garage.

[ed. Alan Estenson]

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