April 10, 2005

Lobster Ears

Man, I was an idiot yesterday. I had such a wonderful time at the rocket launch. Everything I flew worked to perfection, there were boy scouts and a high school physics class and junior ROTC and TARC rocket contest teams all over the place, in short, big fun the entire time. So much fun, in fact, that I never got around to putting on any sunscreen.

I am one hurtin' unit right now. I wore a ballcap to protect the ol' solar panel, but my ears and back of my neck are toasted to a screaming hot pink. I've got a nice little 'V' where my shirt was open too. Fortunately I'm prepared for this, because I'm stupid like this once a year or so, and I've got this soothing blue aloe gel that I've been coating myself in. Just going out into the sun in painful today, so no launch for me. Dammit.

Ted's Groove Tube - AT H165-M - Great Meadow

On the plus side, yesterday was excellent! I said that, didn't I? Oh well, a detailed report (like you care) will be coming in the next day or two, but for now, I'd like to show you a picture that was taken yesterday by a student from Oakton High school. His name is Enrique, and I understand that he's the official photographer for the school's SLI team.

What's SLI? That stands for NASA's Student Launch Initiative, and these young ladies and gentlemen are headed to Huntsville, Alabama to take part in it. They're the next generation of engineers that're going to take us to Mars and beyond.

Enjoy the picture, click for full size. The rocket is an upscale of the Centuri Groove Tube, which was a tube-finned kit from the 70's and 80's. My version is about five foot tall, is 2.6" in diameter, and it's taking off on an Aerotech H165 Redline motor. The intensity of the flame washes out in photographs, but it's bright screaming red (yes, sorta like my ears). This is an amazing photo, and Enrique did an excellent job capturing a difficult shot.

Posted by Ted at April 10, 2005 01:00 PM
Category: Rocketry

Hey,Ted!Glad you had a good time yesterday.I woke up with my sinuses all jammed up and my head uh throbbin' like a team of jackhammers right behind my eyes.That pretty much set the pace for my whole day.
Woke this morning feeling a bit better so I decided to go.Sorry you missed us.
For the most part there weren't many people at all until about 1 or 1:30.Then they just poured in.I managed to get off my Mean Machine,my Baby Bertha and my 24 mm Big Red Max.That was it for my flying for the day.
When I first got there I spent the better part of an hour talking to one of the regulars.My appologies for forgetting the name.He's the big Coast Guard guy with the break in the middle Mean Machine,the upscale yellow tube fin rocket and the yellow and blue Aerotech Mirage.
I also spent a while helping Bart assemble the club Bruiser as well as the I-284 for it.Beautiful flight.
Besides all of that I spent about an hour jawin' with Ken while he rounded up all of the goodies for my Loc Forte' rebuild.Better!Faster!Stronger!
I'm not really worried about getting that done real fast because I have other things in line ahead of it like several Goony Rockets as well as several Flis-Kits and some other stuff.However,as soon as it is done I think I will use it to do my Level 1 cert.
I had not wanted to use the Forte for yet another cert seeing as how I had used it to TRA cert level 1 several times already.I wanted to do something different.
When it's done being rebuilt,however,it will be a whole new bird with an extended airframe and a piston ejection system.In other words it will be 100% brand new from the lug up including a new nose cone.It actually cost less to rebuild it than to build a new kit.Almost $20 less.
Hell,even if it cost twice as much I would still do it because you know how much I loved that bird.Lot of firsts there.
Well,anyhow,I hope to see ya at Battlepark.Oh,and BTW I will probably be quite the crispy critter come tomorrow,too.

Posted by: Russ at April 10, 2005 04:44 PM

Great about yesterday! Too bad about today. Today was the first truely gorgeous day of the year. Too bad I slept through most of it!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at April 10, 2005 06:10 PM


Posted by: Tom at April 11, 2005 06:27 AM

Great photo! I notice the rocket isn't (or doesn't seem to be) going straight up. Is the wind affecting it already?

Posted by: Victor at April 11, 2005 08:05 AM

Yes, there was a fairly stiff breeze off and on during the day, so there was some tilt on the launch pad into the wind. This rocket actually flew up and over Enrique's head on the flight (about 1500' I'm guessing). The tube fins are draggy but super stable, so even though the rocket is being pushed sideways by the wind, it stayed pointing straight up for the first few hundred feet before beginning to arc. You can also see how fast it was already moving by the smoke trail, it's still very much intact in this shot.

Posted by: Ted at April 11, 2005 09:34 AM

That is a great shot, and really difficult to get. Sounds like much fun.

Posted by: JohnL at April 11, 2005 11:37 AM
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