> Good, cluster rockets should *not* rely on motor(s) for deployment.
>Look at the messages that are posted on RMR
> about "how to cluster" from folks that do not have a clue. I've had to turn
> away more than a few cluster rockets as an RSO.
> In my opinon, they have the potential to be the most dangerous flights. I
> have seen some real bonehead/terrifying flights that slipped past the RSO.
I like clustering primarily because after being in rocketry for 5 years
as a kid and then 4 more as a BAR, single-motor flights don't get my
adrenaline going anymore. But you're right, there are way too many
power prangs, land sharks, and other problems caused by bad clustering
technique and poor or non-RSO'ing. I have made some dumb mistakes too,
as witness by a LOC Magnum*** from an 80' pine in Orangeburg, but
always had a backup system to get a chute out. The worst clustering
mistake I ever saw was in Cobleskill, September 1996. A large (7.5")
rocket power pranged in on a K550 because it was groundstarted along
with four G104's. Anyone who knows the least bit about clustering
should have seen what was wrong with that flight long before it ever
made it to the RSO table. Anyone reading this who doesn't immediately
know what the problem was, and thinks they want to try clustering,
should get a 2x24mm rocket such as an Estes Impulse or a LOC Starburst
and work their way up.
Beyond bonehead mistakes, the laws of mathematical probability when
doing clusters work against you. Let's say the igniters you are using
work 98% of the time (i.e. Firestars), and your motor lights without
chuffing and spitting out the igniter without lighting 95% of the time.
If you are doing a 3-motor cluster, the probability of a successful
ignition is now only 80.7%. Then you still need a good recovery
deployment. Not an undertaking for novices.