Flight report: Saturn V launch at RATS

Flight report: Saturn V launch at RATS

Post by Ted Cochr » Mon, 25 Oct 1999 04:00:00



The core motor roared to life.

The Saturn V slowly rose, and when it was two inches off the base, a lift
switch started the airstart timer. The model accelerated slowly, small
pieces of frozen condensation falling from its sides. Not bad, for dry ice
from Livermore.  

The noise startled the shore birds, which took wing just like they do down
south.  It was a picture postcard moment, the smoke and the rocket and the
water and the birds,  until a startled dove swerved directly into the path
of the Saturn!

"Got your back,"  I heard from behind me somewhere.

"In season?" asked the same voice.

"Affirmative," the LCO replied.

BLAM!  BLAM!  BLAM!

A volunteer state trooper had come all the way from New Mexico to see the
launch. They always carry their 9 millimeter service weapons (you never
know when you might encounter a fugitive from New Mexico). This guy was
also a pretty good shot--the dove, neatly quartered, fell well clear.

"Stay, King.  The range is closed."

He'd brought a retriever, too.

I made a mental note to never, ever, speed in New Mexico. I struggled to
concentrate on the Saturn.

All four outboard C6s lit simultaneously, and the model accelerated
briskly. The strong winds had died down a bit, but the big rocket still
struggled in the breeze. Through the autotracking binoculars, I could see
that the nozzle vectoring system was working furiously to maintain a
vertical trajectory, but it was getting the job done.

The wind-driven salt spray lashed my face.  A pity all those people had
stayed away from RATS, all on account of a measley Canadian cold front
with fresh gale force winds. All-weather model rocketry is not for the
faint of heart. Nor for the thin of wallet.

I heard faint metallic clicks as the State Trooper reloaded.

There was a brief instant of silence signaling the end of the burn for the
SIV-B.  It kicked itself away perfectly, and three chutes opened in a
coordinated disreefing dance.  It was glorious.

Pop!

Three fins kicked out of the upper stage, and then five more C6s caught fire.

I started to wonder whether luck would hold, and I'd avoid a CATO.  A CATO
wouldn't _necessarily_ be bad, though--a guy flying a Comanche at Tripoli
Southern Minnesota earlier today had the D12 CATO badly, but it lit the
upper stage and he got a recovered flight out of it.  I'd flown Tethys on
a J350 a bit later; it went 3950' vertically and over a mile horizontally,
and still didn't clear the field.  But it was close.

It could have been closer, but it wasn't, and a great time was had by all.

--tc

My opinions only.

 
 
 

Flight report: Saturn V launch at RATS

Post by Gordon S. Hlavenk » Mon, 25 Oct 1999 04:00:00


Quote:

> The Saturn V slowly rose...
> It was a picture postcard moment, the smoke and the rocket and the
> water and the birds...
> All four outboard C6s lit simultaneously, and the model accelerated
> briskly.
> ...the nozzle vectoring system was working furiously to maintain a
> vertical trajectory, but it was getting the job done.
> ...
> I heard faint metallic clicks as the State Trooper reloaded.

Video.  I want video.

--

              Grammar and spelling flames welcome.
     Yes, that's really my email address.  Don't change it.

 
 
 

Flight report: Saturn V launch at RATS

Post by BULLPU » Mon, 25 Oct 1999 04:00:00


You've been hangin out with Costanza too long.

Bill Rossi
             \\\///
           (O)(O)  
--oOO----(__)--------------
: I WILL WORK FOR :
: ROCKET MOTORS :
:-------------------oOO-----:
          |__|   |__|
           |~|    |~|  
          ooO  Ooo    http://members.aol.com/BULLPUPP/index.html

 
 
 

Flight report: Saturn V launch at RATS

Post by Rocketwr » Mon, 25 Oct 1999 04:00:00


Quote:
>Video.  I want video.

I have lots of RATS videos. Not sure if I cought Ted's Saturn flight on tape
though. If you want you can purchase a video from me and see if its on there :)

By the way I forgot to mention no refunds if the Saturn footage does not exist
;)

Ray Halm
Buffalo Rocket Society (BRS)
Prefect / Tripoli Western NewYork #85

All views expressed here are my own and do not reflect those of the Buffalo
Rocket Society, Tripoli WNY or NAR WNY.

 
 
 

Flight report: Saturn V launch at RATS

Post by Jim Z number » Mon, 25 Oct 1999 04:00:00


     That was a spectacular flight, Ted. I'm glad I made the 6 hour drive....I
knew not everyone would tke the cancellation seriously.  Were you able to stick
around to see my Windcheater go up on the triple hybrid cluster? Sweet!

      Jim Z "#2"
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
          -Aesop

(to e-mail, remove polite decline)

 
 
 

Flight report: Saturn V launch at RATS

Post by Gene Costanz » Mon, 25 Oct 1999 04:00:00


Not too many guilty of that, huh, Bill?  :-)>
 
 
 

Flight report: Saturn V launch at RATS

Post by Ted Cochr » Mon, 25 Oct 1999 04:00:00




Quote:
>     That was a spectacular flight, Ted. I'm glad I made the 6 hour drive....I
>knew not everyone would tke the cancellation seriously.  Were you able to stick
>around to see my Windcheater go up on the triple hybrid cluster? Sweet!

I tried to find you afterwards to ask whether you deliberately made the
three hybrids harmonize like that (and how???) or was it was sheer luck?
It sounded like a Dylan harmonica riff!  Midnite train to Georgia or
something....

Way awesome.

--tc

My opinions only.

 
 
 

Flight report: Saturn V launch at RATS

Post by Gene Costanz » Tue, 26 Oct 1999 04:00:00


Anybody happen to see where my G125 Estes Big Dawg or my G55 VB Extreme
24 went? No one turned 'em in, did they?

I missed the countdown for the BD when Francis
"please-don't-call-me-Frankie" Ford Coppola and I were talking about a
script (something about a Polish immigrant who dreamed he had started
the Industrial Revolution after taking a hit of Mesc).

I was sidetracked when they called the Ex24 when Pamela
"please-don't-call-me-Pammy" Lee was asking me what I thought about her
surgery-induced "deflation".

I ain't bringing any so-called "friends" to launches anymore, dammit!

 
 
 

Flight report: Saturn V launch at RATS

Post by MikeTEAC » Tue, 26 Oct 1999 04:00:00


What? No Escape Tower?

Sheeesh; these low-tech BARs......

-Mike