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lawndart 05-15-2019 11:46 AM

US Rockets ad in latest Sport Rocketry
 
I should be famous :)

The photos featured in the latest ad in Sport Rocketry magazine are of me and my Swarm (with payload section). Flew it on a full load of G80s. Didn't have enough ejection oomph to pop the chute. It floated sideways all the way to the ground. No drift. No damage. Ready to fly again.

Still have it (and a Swarm JR). Getting ready to repaint both of them. Will fly at an MDRA launch in the near future.

Large clusters are big fun.

tbzep 05-15-2019 11:51 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawndart
It floated sideways all the way to the ground. No drift. No damage. Ready to fly again.

You, sir, do not deserve the title of "Lawndart". :mad:



:p :D



.

lawndart 05-15-2019 12:14 PM

3 Attachment(s)
More photos (maybe) :)

tbzep 05-15-2019 12:22 PM

Nice green field. It obviously gave it a little cushion. :cool:

Earl 05-15-2019 04:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawndart
More photos (maybe) :)


Dale-

How long ago/where did that flight take place? I remember when I was first getting into high power in the late 80s, I thought the Swarm would be a neat 'fun' rocket to fly. Alas, never did get one.

Have you ever flown it 'fully loaded'?


Earl

lawndart 05-15-2019 04:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Dale-

How long ago/where did that flight take place? I remember when I was first getting into high power in the late 80s, I thought the Swarm would be a neat 'fun' rocket to fly. Alas, never did get one.

Have you ever flown it 'fully loaded'?


Earl



I don't want to think how long ago that flight was. My beard was still brown, I weighed 30 ibs less, and I actually made it to the monthly launches in Lilly. Honestly don't remember. It was before I bought the Swarm Jr. Maybe 15 years ago?

It only made that one flight with 16 G80s. I wanted to put a nice paint job on it. Knda of a Saturn Ib but yellow and black. I painted the Swarm Jr the same all yellow and have flown that on D12s a couple of times.

In the middle of moving and packing up 30+ years of rocket stuff. Amazing what I've accumulated in that time. Still have parts to rebuild my first HP rocket (AAA Magnum Pennyslvania Crude)!!!! And some Vulcan motors.

Remember meeting you, Tim E. and John Cato at Battle Park in 1991 or 92.

Earl 05-15-2019 06:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawndart
I don't want to think how long ago that flight was. My beard was still brown, I weighed 30 ibs less, and I actually made it to the monthly launches in Lilly. Honestly don't remember. It was before I bought the Swarm Jr. Maybe 15 years ago?

It only made that one flight with 16 G80s. I wanted to put a nice paint job on it. Knda of a Saturn Ib but yellow and black. I painted the Swarm Jr the same all yellow and have flown that on D12s a couple of times.

In the middle of moving and packing up 30+ years of rocket stuff. Amazing what I've accumulated in that time. Still have parts to rebuild my first HP rocket (AAA Magnum Pennyslvania Crude)!!!! And some Vulcan motors.

Remember meeting you, Tim E. and John Cato at Battle Park in 1991 or 92.


Oh, ok. Yes, time does fly, doesn't it. And things do accumulate! ;)

Actually, seems you made it down to one or two of our 'HOTSHOT' launches maybe 92-93 timeframe. We held a spring and a fall launch each year until the latter 90s. We'd have folks in from typically GA, FL, SC, TN, AL and sometimes a couple other states. Two thousand acres of contiually mowed sod farm turf made for a great launch site.

Earl

lawndart 05-15-2019 06:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Oh, ok. Yes, time does fly, doesn't it. And things do accumulate! ;)

Actually, seems you made it down to one or two of our 'HOTSHOT' launches maybe 92-93 timeframe. We held a spring and a fall launch each year until the latter 90s. We'd have folks in from typically GA, FL, SC, TN, AL and sometimes a couple other states. Two thousand acres of contiually mowed sod farm turf made for a great launch site.

Earl


Yep, drove up to Virginia for the Battle Park launch in Fall of 1991. Joined TRA. Almost bought a set of Syner-Jet reloadable hardware.

Flew my certification flight at a HOTSHOT launch in 1992 overseen by Tim Eiszner. Flew my Magnum PA Crude on a Vulcan H100 and then put it in the woods on an H242HF. Russ Duntonthen tried to entice me to buy an Energon L1000. Wish I had done it.

Also flew an Estes Patriot on a 4 D12 motor cluster. One motor lit on the pad, the other three lit just as the model went horizontal and it flew across the field and under the irrigation system.

Attended HOTSHOT launches until TARA got their field in Lilly.

BTW, I still pull out your LDRS tapes to watch. Digitized most of them to save the VHS tape. Love hearing folks talk about the powerful J motors delaminating plywood fins.

tbzep 05-15-2019 07:07 PM

Ross and his German shepherd director of mobile hobby shop security, Tim Eisner, John H. Cato, Jr. Registered Architect...names from the past. :cool:

Earl 05-15-2019 07:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawndart
Yep, drove up to Virginia for the Battle Park launch in Fall of 1991. Joined TRA. Almost bought a set of Syner-Jet reloadable hardware.

Flew my certification flight at a HOTSHOT launch in 1992 overseen by Tim Eiszner. Flew my Magnum PA Crude on a Vulcan H100 and then put it in the woods on an H242HF. Russ Duntonthen tried to entice me to buy an Energon L1000. Wish I had done it.

Also flew an Estes Patriot on a 4 D12 motor cluster. One motor lit on the pad, the other three lit just as the model went horizontal and it flew across the field and under the irrigation system.

Attended HOTSHOT launches until TARA got their field in Lilly.

BTW, I still pull out your LDRS tapes to watch. Digitized most of them to save the VHS tape. Love hearing folks talk about the powerful J motors delaminating plywood fins.


Yeah...that's all been a few years ago. It was a great launch site.

I sometimes wonder how many of the thousands and thousands of tapes I shpped that are still 'in use' today. I was just making the shift to DVD when I had to shut things down due to family health reasons around '05. Thought it would be for just a relatively short period, but it wound up being permanant. The last couple of productions were available on either VHS or DVD and I had plans to go back and do remastered versions of the older productions on DVD. Life just never allowed that to happen.

Hmmm...delaminated plywood fins on J motors. Kinda sounds like my LDRS-10 EZI-65 flight on a J125. Delaminated and shreaded those stock fins big time. As Ron Shultz told me afterwards "yeah, we only recommend up to the J100 on a stock EZI".

I rebuilt that EZI that next spring with airfoiled 1/8" G10 fiberglass fins. Never had a shread problem after that! ;)

Earl

tbzep 05-15-2019 07:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Hmmm...delaminated plywood fins on J motors. Kinda sounds like my LDRS-10 EZI-65 flight on a J125. Delaminated and shreaded those stock fins big time. As Ron Shultz told me afterwards "yeah, we only recommend up to the J100 on a stock EZI".

There's a reason its name was the EZI-65. ;)

Earl 05-15-2019 08:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
There's a reason its name was the EZI-65. ;)


Well, there's always one in the bunch that can't leave well enough alone! :o

Actually, I knew it was pushing it some but was hoping it would hold out ok. Got about 3/4 through the burn before it started skywriting. And my very first ever LDRS flight. Oh well. But my minimum diameter Vulcan L750 flight in an all-fiberglass bird held just fine...all the way to 19,000 feet.

Can't believe that's all nearly 28 years ago. Wow.


Earl

Jerry Irvine 05-15-2019 08:16 PM

When I first saw your photos, my first thought was not, "look at that cluster", or "look at that rocket". It was "where is all that grass"? Lawndart is only guaranteed possible when fully surrounded by lawn.

Thanks for rating a national ad.

BTW we have Swarm w/payload in stock for immediate delivery. We only sell it with payload now, same price. I blame Dale.

http://v-serv.com/usr/kits/swarm.htm

Jerry

LeeR 05-15-2019 08:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
Nice green field. It obviously gave it a little cushion. :cool:


Definitely. A “lawn dart” on that field just means the nose cone gets pushed back in up to the shoulder if it started to slide out ... :)

tbzep 05-15-2019 08:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Can't believe that's all nearly 28 years ago. Wow.

My one and only LDRS was XV which was 23 years ago in 96, IIRC. It was both a great LDRS for me, but a dark time of TRA politics and bans.

Earl 05-15-2019 09:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
My one and only LDRS was XV which was 23 years ago in 96, IIRC. It was both a great LDRS for me, but a dark time of TRA politics and bans.


Orangeburg, SC.

That one (and LDRS-19 in 2000 at the same site) were by far the most convenient of the 14 LDRS's I attended 1991-2004. It was just a little over an hour's drive away. That was VERY nice. But yes, the politics and 'stuff' at the time (well, 94 thru about 98) were unfortunate.

Earl

lawndart 05-15-2019 09:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Irvine
When I first saw your photos, my first thought was not, "look at that cluster", or "look at that rocket". It was "where is all that grass"? Lawndart is only guaranteed possible when fully surrounded by lawn.

Thanks for rating a national ad.

BTW we have Swarm w/payload in stock for immediate delivery. We only sell it with payload now. I blame Dale.

http://v-serv.com/usr/kits/swarm.htm

Jerry


That Super Sod farm was a great launch site. Too bad we had flyers that wouldn't follow directions to stay off the neighbors property (pecan grove with very shallow irrigation system) or would use the field on days other than scheduled launches. The Super Sod folks were fantastic to us.

TARA and SoAR are always seeking new HP capable fields. I'm fortunate to have just bought a house in Chestertown, MD 30 miles north of MDRA's launch site. Can't wait to finish packing and moving. First launch I attend I'm going old school with USR, Rocket R&D, and NCR (before Estes) rockets. Maybe some THOY and AAA stuff thrown in the mix as well.

rraeford 05-16-2019 07:14 AM

Dale,
For someone as math-challenged as I am, when I read your post my mind quickly calculated the cost of that many G80s. Wow. I never bought a Swarm or any of its cousins but I loved watching them fly. Don't remember being there for that one though.

BTW, my wife recently reminded me of our trek to Austin, TX for Narcon 2002. Seems like just a short while ago. Two full-size men (well, me anyway) in a Miata pulling a trailer. Sounds like a college trip. That was fun and a little claustrophobic.

Romie

Jerry Irvine 05-16-2019 07:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawndart
First launch I attend I'm going old school with USR, Rocket R&D, and NCR (before Estes) rockets. Maybe some THOY and AAA stuff thrown in the mix as well.
Maybe I should send you some previously certified motors. :D

Speaking of Darrel . . .

ghrocketman 05-16-2019 10:16 AM

Bans are "Badges of HONOR".

tbzep 05-16-2019 10:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
Bans are "Badges of HONOR".


lawndart 05-16-2019 11:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rraeford
Dale,
For someone as math-challenged as I am, when I read your post my mind quickly calculated the cost of that many G80s. Wow. I never bought a Swarm or any of its cousins but I loved watching them fly. Don't remember being there for that one though.

BTW, my wife recently reminded me of our trek to Austin, TX for Narcon 2002. Seems like just a short while ago. Two full-size men (well, me anyway) in a Miata pulling a trailer. Sounds like a college trip. That was fun and a little claustrophobic.

Romie


G80s were cheaper then. But that's one of the reasons it hasn't flown since.

Sorry about almost killing us driving through the rain storm in the Miata. I still have flashbacks.

lawndart 05-16-2019 11:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Irvine
Maybe I should send you some previously certified motors. :D

Speaking of Darrel . . .


I have some CD and USR G motors in my stash. I always loved it when Tom Binford would pull out some firestarters.

tbzep 05-16-2019 11:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawndart
I have some CD and USR G motors in my stash. I always loved it when Tom Binford would pull out some firestarters.

Binford put up one of the first large clusters I ever saw at Spears Range in Manchester, TN. I believe the name of the rocket was "The Motor Eater". Seems like it was yellow. He had some G or H Silverstreaks that he air started with thermalite and maybe a K550 core. I don't know how he got all his larger rockets stuffed in that Trans Am.

lawndart 05-16-2019 12:15 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I remember going over to SPEARS to see Dennis LaMonth's (sp?) Dragon's Breathe flight(?). I think there was a camera crew (maybe from the BBC) there to capture the demise.

And Tom Binford seemed to always have a big box of cool motors in that TransAm. Especially after a trip to a West Coast launch.



Something cool I found packing up my workshop - a bag of 13mm reload hardware Tom made. C20s and D20s.

tbzep 05-16-2019 12:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawndart
I remember going over to SPEARS to see Dennis LaMonth's (sp?) Dragon's Breathe flight(?). I think there was a camera crew (maybe from the BBC) there to capture the demise.

And Tom Binford seemed to always have a big box of cool motors in that TransAm. Especially after a trip to a West Coast launch.



Something cool I found packing up my workshop - a bag of 13mm reload hardware Tom made. C20s and D20s.

Yes, but I wouldn't call Lamothe's rocket with the Dragon's Breath motor a "flight". More like a rapid disassembly! lol
I believe Tom had a screw manufacturing business so he could probably have turned out 13mm hardware by the thousands if he wanted. I talked to him at Spears, LDRS XV, and a couple other Manchester launches. Pretty laid back fellow, iirc.

lawndart 05-16-2019 12:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Oh, ok. Yes, time does fly, doesn't it. And things do accumulate! ;)

Actually, seems you made it down to one or two of our 'HOTSHOT' launches maybe 92-93 timeframe. We held a spring and a fall launch each year until the latter 90s. We'd have folks in from typically GA, FL, SC, TN, AL and sometimes a couple other states. Two thousand acres of contiually mowed sod farm turf made for a great launch site.

Earl


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.

Earl 05-16-2019 05:10 PM

Quote:
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

rraeford 05-16-2019 07:50 PM

That was a fun trip. I got to meet Shrox, Jack Hagerty and several other people I had only known by name before. Spent too much money and ate too much. That drive back in the endless pouring rain was brutal. I can still remember asking, did we just drive across the centerline?" I still have flashbacks too.

Would do it again in a minute if I had the chance. Maybe in a larger car though.

Jerry Irvine 05-17-2019 05:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawndart
TRA really should do a commercial quality LDRS (and maybe BALLS) video each year.
I am in the process of doing one for NARAM-60 just passed. It is expensive and time consuming. Key word professional.

Jerry

tbzep 05-17-2019 07:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
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

Did you have to jump through many hoops to do your commemorative launches on site?

Earl 05-17-2019 07:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
Did you have to jump through many hoops to do your commemorative launches on site?


A few, but it was not what I would call 'harsh'. We initially made a written proposal to KSC Public Affairs office of basically what we wanted to do. Then we went down and met with a group of their safety folks about six weeks before the event and went over in detail with them what we were going to launch, how we would do it, etc., and showed them some video of one of our test launches with the Saturn V (Centuri 1/100 scale with a five engine cluster of an Aerotech E with four Estes mini A motors) and the scale pad and tower John had built.

The recovery area there across the street from the VAB right by the countdown clock where we launched is not too very large...the Turning Basin where they barged in the large Saturn stages and later the Shuttle External Tank is right there, and 'splashdown' was a real concern (though luckily we had a 'land landing' for the actual flight).

KSC was planning a big open house event for that Sunday, July 16, 1989, along with a big event with the Apollo 11 crew in the VAB parking lot right across the street from our launch site. I think they had something like 20,000 people on site that day. We launched right after the Apollo 11 crew event, with the countdown clock running towards an 11:00 a.m. launch time. Clock was already running and counting down when we got on site at about 6:30 that morning. At 10:57, they started playing the last three minites of Jack King's launch commentary from Apollo 11, sync'd with the clock. We had a flame/smoke device (pre-approved by the KSC Safety folks) to simulate the build-up of the real Saturn F-1 engines. At zero we lit the Aerotech E, and at first motion on the pad of the Saturn, a microswitch fired the four outboard flashbulbs for the mini-A motors.

It was a lot of fun, but to say we were nervous would be an understatement. It was a great event to be a part of, and over the years doing three of these events (the other two for the 25th and 30th anniversaries were done at the Visitor's Center) allowed us to meet many of the past people involved with Apollo, including some of the astronauts like Neil and Buzz and a number of the old program managers and such who you could tell were just happy to have people 'remember' what they did all those years ago. Could have talked with some of them for days. Now most all of them are gone.

Earl


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