Launch Report

May 13, 2000
Billings, MT

Temp: 45 to 62
Wind: 5 to 15 mph
Where: BLM land at 17 mile marker

Flights in order
Aerotech ArcasG64-7W
Aerotech ArreauxG33-7J
7.5" IrisJ570-W (3)
Aerotech ArcasH180-10W
Estes Big BerthaC6-5
Estes AstrocamC6-3
Vaughn Bros. Javelin 4.0J275-W

Much nicer weather than last month, with one 20 minute rain delay. Joined by several other rocketeers, our largest crowd ever. My first launch was the Arcas on a G64-7W for a nice flight. Next was the Arreaux on a G33-7J. Then after a long prep I flew the big Iris on a cluster of three J570-Ws for a very nice flight. The Missile Works RRC2 reported 1938 feet, and the AltAcc recorded 1764 feet. The cluster adaptor ejected ejected at apogee, but landed next to the rocket with no damage to the casings. The rear centering ring/thrust ring on the adaptor broke. The nose cone stayed on with the four shear pins, and the main charge blew the chute only partially out. The second altimeter blew the main chute out completely, but the pilot chute had wrapped around the chute lines so the chute only partially deployed. The rocket landed hard but sustained no damage. My next launch was the Arcas on a H180-10W. Then I flew the Big Bertha on a C6-5, followed by the rear-facing Astrocam on a C6-3. My last flight of the day was the Javelin on a J275-W. It had an excellent flight, but we saw a smoking object separate from the rocket when the drogue came out. It turns out the motor casing and the Aero Pack retainer were ejected. Post flight review shows that the epoxy holding the retainer broke, likely due to weakening from repeated heat from the motor. Overall a good day except I was unable to locate the 54/852 casing.

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