View Single Post
Old 05-16-2019, 05:10 PM
Earl's Avatar
Earl Earl is offline
Apollo Nut
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,701

Originally Posted by lawndart
I remember now, I met Tim, John and Tom Binford at the Battle Park launch. They hunted me down because I had Georgia car tags. Sorry for the mix up.

Still love watching your old videos. I think they were better than any of the more recent attempts. TRA really should do a commercial quality LDRS (and maybe BALLS) video each year.

The first high power flights I ever witnessed first-hand was at a launch at Ft. Stewart (Georgia, near Savannah) where I first met Tom (had his TransAm then too) and he was just back from LDRS-8 at Hartsel like a month before. (This was like six weeks after John and I had done our Apollo 11 20th anniversary launch of my Saturn V at Complex 39 there at KSC, using the KSC countdown clock timed to the actual audio replay of the last three minutes of Jack King's launch commentary from 20 years ago that day.)

Anyway...John and I saw him fly several H and I flights, the first Smokey Sam flight I ever saw (an I in an EZI that had a smoke trail so thick it looked like you could go out and climb it), and an absolutely mind-blowing (at the time) Aerotech K900 flight in a minimum diameter rocket that just (figuratively) exploded off the pad. That K was also the first Medusa nozzle motor I ever saw. A couple of the Army dudes had pulled up to the tank range being used for that launch just before Tom lit off that K900. i think they were truly stunned! They had a look like "You mean *civilians* can buy s--t like this??". Tom also flew an Aerotech I32 at that launch that had something like a 20 second burn time. Flew it in a small min diameter bird and it just burned out of sight over our heads.

Bought my first high power motors from him at one of our early grass farm launches late that year (like December, 1989) and confirmed with an Aerotch H70 in an NCR Phantom 4000.

Wow, special, special times with special people. That will all be 30 years ago later this year, including the Apollo 11 anniversary flight John and I did at KSC that summer of '89 at KSC. In retrospect, I was just a kid of 26 at the time. Looked like one, too! But what a special dream come true that was to fly a Centuri Saturn V from KSC, right across the street from the VAB. We did it again there at KSC for the 25th and 30th anniversaries. Days long past now.

Earl L. Cagle, Jr.
NAR# 29523
TRA# 962
SAM# 73
Point 39 Productions

Rocket-Brained Since 1970
Reply With Quote