Cami and I arrived at Hartsel, CO around 9am Saturday morning. The
weather was wierd up there (8800') in the mountains. We figured
launching our Thoy Phoenix/Aerotech I112J would give us an idea what was
going on aloft. IF the winds were fair, THEN our plan was to go for a PR
altitude attempt with my Raptor V and a Vulcan K motor. I had finally
gotten our hands on a couple of Vulcan K500 Hellfire SU motors (thanks
power to weight ratio!!
The test flight of the Phoenix was nominal, except it went WAY down
range. The Thoy launched a tad over 4 pounds at 6g's and obtained 210mph
before a routine motor eject charge deployed the chute at ~1500' apogee.
However, the PML 34" chute brought the rocket down about ONE MILE away
to the NW, so something WAS going on aloft. We recorded only a 5mph wind
from the SE at the launch site.
Everyone enjoyed watching the epoxy black Phoenix slowly lift-off on the
Black Jack motor with a gentle chute deployment and a very nice flight.
But, we were nervous about the wind shear, so decided to make another
flight before I let it all hang out with the Vulcan.
Next up was our LOC EZI-65 at 4.5 pounds and an Aerotech I435T motor.
This motor was recalled by Aerotech last year and we were curious if
they had solved the motor's CATO problem. INDEED, the I435T ROARED into
the sky with a GIGANTIC plume and there were lots of OOH's and AAH's
from the spectators. It launched at 38g's... the I435T LIVES up to our
expectations! The stock EZI obtained ~500mph and chute ejection took
place at 2600' apogee. Although, the wind at the launch site was from
the W at 6mph, the rocket took off on its bright yellow 44" chute to the
East. It disappeared behind a ridge, still 1/4 mile high in the sky! :(
I set out in the direction of the ridge and after a 3 mile walk down
range spotted a yellow spot on the horizon. When I turned around with
the rocket, the wind was blowing so hard I had to lean against it. I was
in shirt sleeves and the wind chill was freezing me. A rain cloud was
heading my way. Well, making a long story short the weather changed,
again, and I made it back okay. But, the m***of the story is when you
fly rockets at Hartsel be prepared for the high altitude and respect the
weather. It changes suddenly.
My PR altitude attempt will have to wait 'til next month. I'm keeping my
eye on the weather and thinking about taking my mountain bike. Or,
maybe, I could get Cami to go after our rockets. :)
TRA 3492 L2
LEUP CO 12143