Me and my SO drove from Orange County out into the mojave and to Lucerne
for this months ROC launch. We got there at about 9:30am. It was a
beautiful morn to launch some rockets. Light winds and temps only in the
80's when we got there.
I had brought the entire stable as it existed that day, the Engage,
Equinox, Deltie, the the LOC Forte. Turns out most of them made the trip
for the scenery! 8^)
The main objective was to fly the Forte. The Forte is my first rocket
using anything larger than a Estes 24mm SU D12. First large rocket,
first RMS... you get the drift...
First thing I did was prep the 29/40-120 RMS with a F40-4 reload. I
followed the instructions and had no problems preping the motor. I
deburred everything, and used just enough grease to make the O-rings
slippery. I double checked myself at each step making sure I got things
orientated the way the instructions (dated 12/96) told me to, complete
with copperhead ignitor. I did follow RMR advice and made sure the
masking tape at the top of the grain wrapped onto the liner tube.
I installed the RMS in the rocket and socked it down using the .032"
brass Kaplow Klips with 8-32 cap screws. I loaded the "cellulose"
wadding, the LOC supplied chute, and made my way to the check in line.
I was assigned pad 9 and when the LCO pressed to button: ....nothing.
Well Pad 9 had been having problems. I was a bit skeptical about the
alligator clips used at the pad piercing the copperhead (masked off on
each side). A pierce would cause a short. Plus the teeth don't give much
contact. The are not flat tips. Okay they move me to pad 16.
3...2...1... launch.... Nothing.....
Mind you, each time this happens I have to wait a full round until I can
go out and check on things. And if I have to pull the rocket then I have
to wait another round before I can get another pad assignment! To top
things off, there was a high altitude window so they switched to
launching the rockets that needed the waiver (I understand that of
Remove the rocket from pad 16 and ask someone for an ignitor. But noone
had one the would fit thru the nozzle without taking the aft closure
off. I was VERY skeptical about that. I'd heard too many *bad* things...
Bottom line is after yet ANOTHER problem on Pad 16 and being switched
back to pad 9, Rick O'Neil of ROC got me a great little dipped ignitor
that fit up the nozzle. By now, the LCO is having fun teasing me, having
announced the rocket 4 times!... 3..2..1.. launch!
Finally the whoosh generator ignites... welcome to large model rocketry
(LMR)... The Forte flew great. The delay was right, and the deployment
almost at apogee (though *** the shock cord). Unfortunately it was
already close to 2pm and the evil 'W' was kicking up. By the time I got
to the rocket it had been dragged across the desert floor by the chute
enough to scratch up the body tube and a couple of fins ( all of which
has already been re-sanded and repainted).
The Kaplow Klips worked perfectly, I need to use more wadding as the
shock cord is slightly scorched in a couple of spots (never loaded
wadding in a 3" tube before!). The chute is fine... Other lessons: buy
aftermarket ignitors on site for all RMS flights and keep the
copperheads for toothpicks... when the wind is blowing get cracking on
the recovery so you are underneath it as it comes in...
The Forte is the only rocket I got to fly Saturday but it was worth the
trip (and going to Big Bear Lake up in the mountains afterward wasn't
bad either! That's how you get the SO interested in rocketry!).
Next month, one more F40 to fire and buy a certified 'G' or two from
CHPR for it. Hopefully with decent ignitors I'll get more than one
flight in 4 hours!
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NAR# 70988 Tripoli: 5678 IAR# 43