Hi All, I wanted to give a report on Red Glare 2022 down at MDRA. They put on an excellent, well run launch. It was a three-day launch and I attended the last two days. I had a full M that I wanted to fly in a 5.5" diameter fiberglass rocket and I had a nice flight to 14,000 feet and change. The weather was perfect on Saturday and lots of neat rockets flew. The launch was great for all types of fliers and the A rack was just as full as the away cell. I highly recommend attending this launch in the coming years. Below is my flight report:
5.5", 122" fiberglass DX3 Aerotech M1939 - 14200 feet. Photo credit J. Craig Klimczak
Old LOC Tri-Star from the early 1990s on 3x G77-7. Only two lit and the rocket flew okay albeit lower and not straight. Photo credit Ken Potter
Launch Pad AS-37 Martel - Aerotech E20-4. It did not fly straight and I am worried the motor is too far forward. It still flew safely and recovered without issue. Photo credit Ken Potter
K-Pyramid which is a 18"-wide pyramid weighting 18 pounds at lift off. Aerotech K680-R. It flew straight and recovered well, but unfortunately it drifted towards the road and hit hard on asphalt. Minor damage and it can be repaired with some touch-up epoxy and paint. Photo credit Ken Potter
I flew the Martel again on a E20-4. It still did not flight straight, though it was quite windy and it could have simply weather cocked. I want to try it again on a calm day to better understand it. Photo credit Ken Potter
Thanks for the report on your launches. It sounds like an awesome time.
The Launch Pad rockets, while nice scale representations, are notorious for flying on the edge of stability. Keep working on it.
I've been adding Rail Buttons to my Launch Pad kits (Because Rod Whip Sucks!). I launched my AIM-4C Falcon, Sunday at the TARC launches. Using the rail, it flew up as straight as I've ever seen.
But getting back to your 14,000 foot launch, I want to hear more details, especially about the recovery. I take it you must have used electronics for full deployment? So what happened at ejection? What was the altitude of full deployment? What did you use for electronics? Did you have any tracking in it? And finally, how far from launch was the landing?
A full M, was this your first Class 3 flight or are you already at that level?
Hi Tim, Good call on the rail buttons. I built it with 3/16", 1/4" and 1010 rail buttons. I flew it on a 1/4" rod and I plan to try the rail next.
The 14,000 foot flight was recovered via dual-deployment. It weighed 56 pounds at liftoff and used a 3 foot drogue and 10 foot main deployed at 700 ft. I used two flight computers, a MARSA33 primary and an Altus Metrum EasyMega backup. I picked these electronics since they had accelerators in addition to barometers, which I reason is better for flights near Mach. (Many barometer-based computers use filters and lock outs, which may be fine, but I was not comfortable with that solution.) It also had a Featherweight GPS for tracking. The rocket drifted approximately 1 mile downrange and recovered without any apparent damage.