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December 2022 Launch Report

December 2022 Launch Report

Today was one crazy day of flying!

We had all kinds of flights: zig-zags, circles, lawn darts, pavement darts (pavement won every time), CATO’s, cars targeted, no-go flights, separations, and even a few great flights. Thankfully nobody lost an eye!

Motor totals:

  0 – ¼ and ½ A motors

  6 – A motors

11 – B motors

24 – C motors

14 – D motors

10 – E motors

  4 – F motors

  0 – G motors (1 attempt)

Total of 69 motors on 66 flights.

Weather was cool, but winds light and the sky clear. Turned out to be a nice day for flying and we had a good-sized crowd, especially for a winter launch. The motor totals reflect the fine weather as we had more larger motors than smaller stuff, and Michael even dared a booster flight, which was “interesting.”

Charlie started the proceedings with the customary Snitch. That was the last good flight for Charlie this day, which is not normal. Eric’s Christmas Tree took off nicely, but couldn’t steer a straight line. It survived, but proved that Christmas trees are not meant to fly by themselves. Neil’s Big Red Max was an early success on an F23. Evan flew his Christmas “Major Award” (possibly made in Italy) a couple of times.

Things went downhill from there. Rockets seemed to be attracted to the parking lot, hitting a few cars, but I don’t think any substantial damage was done. There were a few CATO’s involving the dreaded E12’s that went up in spectacular fireballs (pictures in the Gallery). (Read the forum post on my proposed “fix” to help avoid these incidents and save your rockets.) Ray’s nice “Door Knob” took a CATO hit, but he persevered and launched it successfully afterwards. So it can be done on an E12 after all! There were a bunch of rockets that traced interesting paths in the sky. Loops, 90-degree turns, and corkscrews. It was all quite entertaining, as long as it wasn’t your rocket that was the star of the show.

But we had success too. Dan’s Helicopter recovery is always a sight to see as it “flashes” on the way down. A few similarly spinning “Tazz” flights were also fun. Donald flew his “Omloid” a few times, ending the day with a scrambled egg. Josh had a number of nice-looking rockets make some great flights for a research project he’s working on. Isora also made several good flights. Jim had several nice flights, which continues to astound us as to the length of streamer that he can fit into a rocket!

Many flights were also there to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 17 mission, plus some other space program milestones. We saw Mercury’s, Gemini, Little Joe’s, Saturn 1B, and several versions of Saturn V’s make flights. Often flights included some fun facts provided by Franz.

Thanks also to Joe and Joan, who decorated the field for the holidays, brought some refreshments, and even dressed the part!

We also had a few guests. A group of students from Red Bank Catholic were working with Charlie and got a good introduction to rocketry. They perhaps learned that “rocketry is hard” but I hope also that it can be “a blast”.

We also had a visit from, who set up a tent full of goods for sale. They have an outstanding line of rocket kits, motors and building & finishing supplies, from a variety of brands, in many sizes from Micro Maxx to “the big stuff”. They were kind enough to offer us a 15% discount (and no shipping!), which a few of us took advantage of. Speaking to them at the end of the day, they said they enjoyed the afternoon and would be back at some future launches. This would be great since they carried just about any kind of motor or kit you could want, and then some.

Next launch is scheduled for New Year’s Day. Yes, it’s a holiday, and might be chilly, but what better way to start the new year than by launching some recently acquired Christmas presents into the sky!

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