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Winternationals 2007 - Day 1

A full report with pictures will have to wait until later. The banquet this evening lasted until after 11:00 pm and I'm just too tired to be able to process all the photos from today's launch.

I didn't take as many photos as I should have or had expected to take. I ended up spending more time working on a couple of our rockets than I had planned.

Our new Akavish took up much of our time. We had finished building it the night before and on site we discovered that the furry decoration on the rocket interferred with the launch rod. We fixed that problem and set up the rocket to fly on an Aerotech G38.

"3 .. 2 .. 1 ... Liftoff!" Well, not quite. We heard a loud pop and saw smoke come out the top of the rocket - not a good sign for a rear-ejection rocket!

After the other rockets had flown and we were able to recover the Akavish, we discovered that the G38 motor had failed. The second one in a row of mine to fail. The motor's casing was shattered. The failure blew a hole in the top of the rocket - actually ejecting a 1/4" thick 4" diameter plywood bulkhead glued into the top of the rocket.

Fortunately the rocket wasn't difficult to repair. We just glued the bulkhead back into place then glued the top of the spider's head back.

I assembled a G54 reloadable motor and we launched the new Akavish a second time. This time the rocket stuck on the launch rod for a few seonds after ignition resulting in a low flight. The ejection charge fired after the rocket had hit the ground. And the parachute failed to eject even then.

I discovered that the rear-ejection pod was getting hung up on the shock cord, so I filed a new notch in the motor mount's centering ring so that wouldn't happen again.

I assembled another G54 motor and we launch the rocket for a third time. As they say, the third time is the charm! The rocket went almost straight up, arced over, then began falling to earth. About halfway down the parachute deployed from the rear of the rocket. The rocket floated head-first to the ground. The head hit and the rocket made a single bounce - LANDING UPRIGHT ON ITS LEGS!

I'll continue my trip report (and include photographs) later .....

Monday, January 29, 2007 - I've finally uploaded photographs from the WinterNationals to the WinterNational 2007 Photos gallery.

[Posted: 2007-01-28 | Updated: 2007-01-29]

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