Date: Saturday, 1/4/97
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: The family farm in South Boston, VA
Winds: Calm to 5mph (Perfect!)
Sky: Clear (Gorgeous blue!)
Temp: 73F (Unbelievable!!!)
Who: Me, my wife & son, and about 15 various aunts, uncles cousins and
After three months of construction, and a couple of months waiting till
the right time, we watched my Saturn V fly. Superb!!! Read on!
Here's what we launched:
Mongoose (single stage)
Saturn V (Estes 1/100)
AstroSat LSX (new 1997 model)
Wizard (with a mini engine)
Mongoose, B4-4, Streamer
Excellent flight! Nice height, but we can definitely go higher. On the
next flight we'll switch to the next largest engine. Will also entertain
an initial two stage flight. Good and straight. No damage. Also
possibly a candidate for a wind test rocket.
Saturn V, D12-3, 2-24" & 1-18" Chutes (no spill)
Nice slow launch! Realistic. Could even see a flame of aprox six inches.
Rose to about 150-200 ft before ejection. Both main BT chutes deployed
great. Nice descent. No damage on landing. Very small chip off of one
fin. But.. 18" chute on the upper stage separated from the shock cord.
The cord actually came untied somehow from the swivel! So the upper stage
plummeted to the field which was soft. No damage!
One problem: The launch escape tower broke off of the Apollo capsule
during transportation. I read another RMR post from someone who had the
same problem. My advice: Make the tower removeable. Same advice given in
the post I had read. Wished now I had followed it! The tower is fragile.
Otherwise, a fantastic flight that impressed everyone and was great for
me to see. That baby's gonna fly again!!!
This is the 1/100 scale Estes model discontinued in the early 90's. D
engine mount. I recommend it as a terrific build. Fastastic looking.
Hard to find. When you do, expect to pay aprox. $70.
AstroSat LSX, B4-2, 18" Chute (with spill)
This is one of the new Estes models. I have to say that I have no serious
problems with it's design. I was afraid it would be like the Bandit with
the external shock cord mount. Not so. The shock cord is anchored to the
engine mount. Really!!! Seems like good through the wall mount for the
fins. The engine mount wasn't the same as the Bandit's. No ribs. Easy
build. Fast. A bit heavy due to the plastic. Definitely a toy rocket.
But a decent rocket that my son loves. Two pretty cool satellites on
streamers ejected with the parachute. Kids loved it! I recommend it as a
Phoenix, D12-3, 18" Chute (no spill)
Classic rocket. Good scale model. Watch out for fragile fins. The
flight was great!!! No damage. The D12-3 looks like it's the right delay
for the way I built the model. Ejection at apogee.
Broadsword, D12-5, 18" Chute (with spill)
Another classic. Now discontinued. Buy any you find! Easy build. The
flight was majestic. Very nice arc over at apogee. Good ejection and
recovery. Right chute selection with spill. Always a crowd pleaser.
Will entertain AT E engine for this rocket even in the small fields I
Astrocam, C6-7, 12" Chute (no spill)
The popular camera rocket. I must be on my 9th exposure by now. I always
forget to take an extra photo on the ground holding the camera. I think
I'll develop the film soon. Nice flight! No problems. Very high (for
me!). Looks like a vertical ground shot. Don't use an 18" chute. Way
too much drift. 12" chute with spill ends up descending too fast.
Mean Machine, D12-5, 18" Chute (with spill)
I was not pleased with my LCO!!! The youngster (15) failed to count down.
I have him the controller and key and he pressed the button!!! Booo...
Hisss... I lectured him a little and we launched again with a 10 to 0
countdown. Besides, we missed the photo op on the first launch! He'll
Great rocket. Built it before I knew to build it in two pieces. Still
crimping damage from an attempt to recover on a single 12" chute. Great
height! Always a crowd pleaser. Impressive. Good for photo ops.
Wizard, A3-4T, Streamer
Great little wind test rocket. This time, I launched it on a mini engine.
This was a trick I learned from Adrian Hurt (the Scot). The height was
superb. Lower cost to fly when using mini engines. Used an empty 18mm
casing as an adapter. This works for all of the lightweight rockets
(Viking, Zinger, Reliant, Yankee).
ARV Condor, B4-2, Streamer
Second flight on this bird. At first, I was unhappy with the trim job I
did on the gliders. But this time, they really looked like birds! Sea
Gulls. They darted, dived and swerved on the way down. Just like birds!
Kids loved it. No damage. Safe recovery. I'm moving on to a larger
Well, hope you enjoyed the report. We all certainly enjoyed our launch!
This was my second great launch of the holidays (the first I didn't
report). But we were blessed with great weather for both launches.
Thanks to all who helped me build the Saturn V!!!
Fly Baby Fly!