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TTRA's January, 2009, Launch

Bracha and I made our first, and certainly not our last, visit to the Tripoli Tampa Rocketry Association's monthly launch in Plant City.

We followed the travel directions as posted on the TTRA web site, and easily found the location. It's a large cow pasture complete with ... uhh ... cows. We also saw some donkeys and several wild deer.

We also saw a lot of rockets.

Bracha and I flew our Tikva. It's a six-foot tall, four-inch diameter, twenty-pound rocket that is able to carry two video cameras.

For this flight, I only installed one video camera for this flight. It's a new Panasonic SDR-S10 that I bought just a few days ago. The camera is small, lightweight, and shock resistant. That last thing proved useful during its first flight.

I bought a K555 "Green Tornado" reload from Jim of Gorilla Motors. It took a while to assemble the motor, install the ejection charges, and untangle the lines to parachute.

Click the icon below to watch a video of the flight.

Tikva Flight

The K555 was just a little too powerful and caused "fin flutter." This caused one of the Lexan fins to break in half. But, the rocket continued to fy straight. At apogee (1615'), the drogue parachute deployed, but the two halves of the rocket separated. The bulkhead at the bottom of the camera bay had come loose.

The booster section came down under the small drogue parachute. The upper section fell until it reached 700' and the main parachute deployed. The shock of deployment at a high speed caused the camera to be ejected from the rocket. Although the camera fell several hundred feet to the ground, it was undamaged.

AstronMike flew his large, foam-board, gliders several times. His last flight was a spectacular one using an Ellis Mountain G20 motor which took the glider to what looked like about 2000'. It then glided straight away from us for about a mile, landing near the trees (and cows) at the far edge of the field.

We witnessed a couple of hybrid motor flights including one by Robert Synoski.

Brian Coyle also flew a hybrid rocket.

Brian's three-inch diameter Performance Rocketry G3 roared to over 1700' on a Skyripper J263 motor.

Click the icon below to watch a slow-motion video of the launch:

January TTRA Launch

Additional photographs from the launch are in the gallery at:


[Posted: 2009-01-18 | Updated: 2009-02-18]

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