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Old 12-12-2020, 08:01 AM
A Fish Named Wallyum's Avatar
A Fish Named Wallyum A Fish Named Wallyum is offline
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Default Disappointing Energizer performance - B6-4 Field, 12-10-20

I had planned to launch at high noon on Thursday, but my wife had other plans that delayed things until later in the afternoon. Conditions were a lot better in the morning than when I set up, with a noticeable breeze playing with the flags and pushing things toward the softball complex, so I set up in deep left field. I had a box of about 20 rockets prepped and ready to fly and with a new set of Energizer Max batteries in the launcher, I felt pretty good about knocking the box out.
The Estes Equinox, known better among older fart rocketeers as a beefed up Centuri Scram Jet. would be first off the pad, but the Semroc Point was the first on the pad. New, slutty igniter, new connecting wires and a C6-3 load, I was sure this was going to finally go. Two times I counted it off, pushing the button so hard that I thought it was going to push through the back of the launcher. Nothing. This is at least the fourth time I've failed with this one. Next time will be with a new C6-3, new igniter and new batteries.
So, the Equinox became the leadoff hitter by default. Great performance out of this one. The redesign has consistently been a much better flyer than any of my Scram Jets ever were. This A8-3 flight left the pad fairly straight and ejected mid-field, recovering just behind third base in the grass. It was never in trouble and I was hoping this meant that the breezes wouldn't mess with my day much.
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Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

Build floor: StickerShock Vader Max

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes Air Commander, Indicator, Long Tom, Luna Bug, Menace, Nike Apache, Ricochet, Solar Warrior FRW Kormoran AS.34, Maverick AGM-65B, Star Blazer XL Quest Intruder Red River Stratos, Semroc Cyber III, Excalibur, Firefly, S.P.E.V., Texas Firefly

Ready to fly: Semroc Point

Last edited by A Fish Named Wallyum : 12-12-2020 at 08:17 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2020, 08:51 AM
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Second rocket grabbed from the box was the MPC Nike Patriot, which last flew here on this field in 2005. Talk about a night to forget. I hung three in the trees and blew the new Semroc Taurus to pieces. After that night the Nike Patriot was taken home and sprayed with primer in preparation for a new paint job. It's still in that primer.
This is a bulky bird, so it would be a B6-4 flight. An A8-3 would barely clear the rod. It left the pad and headed toward center field, tipping over right before ejection. Before the flight I'd prepped the original MPC parachute with some powder since it had been balled up for 15 years. I got a little heavy-handed with the powder, and that white spot you see at ejection is more powder than smoke. After ejection it rode the light breeze back to a quick recovery at shortstop. Now it's going to get that paint job. I swear it is.
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Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

Build floor: StickerShock Vader Max

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes Air Commander, Indicator, Long Tom, Luna Bug, Menace, Nike Apache, Ricochet, Solar Warrior FRW Kormoran AS.34, Maverick AGM-65B, Star Blazer XL Quest Intruder Red River Stratos, Semroc Cyber III, Excalibur, Firefly, S.P.E.V., Texas Firefly

Ready to fly: Semroc Point
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2020, 09:20 AM
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Flight #3 was the FRW Rumble Bee, an upscale of an Estes DOM plan the Bumble Bee that I never really warmed to. It flies fine, but the combination of paint issues and the fact that it was just thrown together with parts I scrounged from the shop floor combine to put a stink on it that rarely gets considered for flight.
Well, today was a lucky day for it. It happened to be in reach when I was prepping the previous night and got grabbed. A8-3 flight was surprisingly high and even more surprisingly straight. There is one tree left on that hillside from back in the days when a virtual forest tormented me, and the Bee was heading very close to it. The fact that the parachute couldn't be bothered to inflate saved the day as the Bee fell a lot more quickly than expected. Chances are a full chute would have either taken it into the tree or worse, into traffic on US 27. I've had my fill of rockets bouncing off cars in 2020. As it was, it landed on the hillside near the tree and parking lot. It was a pretty hard hit, and the nose cone stuck the landing.
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__________________
Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

Build floor: StickerShock Vader Max

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes Air Commander, Indicator, Long Tom, Luna Bug, Menace, Nike Apache, Ricochet, Solar Warrior FRW Kormoran AS.34, Maverick AGM-65B, Star Blazer XL Quest Intruder Red River Stratos, Semroc Cyber III, Excalibur, Firefly, S.P.E.V., Texas Firefly

Ready to fly: Semroc Point
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2020, 10:15 AM
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After missing the previous launch spectacular because of a missing launch lug, the Semroc Excalibur was finally ready for launch. This was a project I'd undertaken when I got sent to a remote location for work for a week, a location that offered isolation and about two hours of actual work for an 8 hour shift. After suffering through two days of boredom, I began packing the Excalibur along with a bag of building supplies and finished it up in an afternoon. Well, except for the launch lug.
Paint was still in the forecast on this sunny Thursday, but I had high hopes for the flight. It would be an A8-3 and I was hoping for a flight path like the first two flights. The Excalibur left the pad quickly and the flight was as high as expected over short center field. The ejection charge sounded extra healthy and the sound of the body halves impacting was clearly heard on the ground. I scanned the skies around it for pieces, but nothing flew off, which was a plus. It came down perfectly straight and landed on the infield near third base. Upon inspection the Excalibur was found to have a fairly nasty Semroc dent at the top of the lower body tube. My fault. Since I had done the build at work, I'd used the parts in the bag, including the elastic shock cord. I typically double the elastic, but hadn't on this build, and I paid for it.
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__________________
Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

Build floor: StickerShock Vader Max

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes Air Commander, Indicator, Long Tom, Luna Bug, Menace, Nike Apache, Ricochet, Solar Warrior FRW Kormoran AS.34, Maverick AGM-65B, Star Blazer XL Quest Intruder Red River Stratos, Semroc Cyber III, Excalibur, Firefly, S.P.E.V., Texas Firefly

Ready to fly: Semroc Point
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2020, 10:29 AM
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Odd about the battery issues you are having. But, a pretty successful day, other than the “Semroc Dent”.

However, one thing has me curious — how are you having such great weather now? Heck, we have a couple inches of new snow, but it looks and feels like the middle of Winter here. Bitter cold. I suppose I have just forgotten that this time of year weather can vary dramatically. Last Saturday was shirt-sleeve flying weather down in Pueblo.
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In the Paint Shop: Farside-X, Tiger Shark, Super Goblin
Last Completed: Semroc Squire
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2020, 11:01 AM
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Fifth in the flight order would be another nekkid bird, the Estes Indicator. Also a recent build, it was one of the rockets picked up during an Estes clearance last year. It got shuttled to a closet during a cleanup and wasn't unearthed until a couple of weeks ago. Although not meant to be, it turned out to be the only mini engine bird that flew this day. (That was more of a battery issue than anything else.)
Despite the mini power, the Indicator left the pad quickly on the 1/2A3. Altitude was excellent and the 4 second delay meant that it was well tipped over when the ejection charge fired. No problems here as the very tiny vintage chute brought it in for a perfect landing in short center.
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Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

Build floor: StickerShock Vader Max

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes Air Commander, Indicator, Long Tom, Luna Bug, Menace, Nike Apache, Ricochet, Solar Warrior FRW Kormoran AS.34, Maverick AGM-65B, Star Blazer XL Quest Intruder Red River Stratos, Semroc Cyber III, Excalibur, Firefly, S.P.E.V., Texas Firefly

Ready to fly: Semroc Point
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  #7  
Old 12-12-2020, 11:04 AM
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A Fish Named Wallyum A Fish Named Wallyum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeR
Odd about the battery issues you are having. But, a pretty successful day, other than the “Semroc Dent”.

However, one thing has me curious — how are you having such great weather now? Heck, we have a couple inches of new snow, but it looks and feels like the middle of Winter here. Bitter cold. I suppose I have just forgotten that this time of year weather can vary dramatically. Last Saturday was shirt-sleeve flying weather down in Pueblo.

Maria and I were on vacation Wed-Fri, and jus happened to pick days when the December temps were in the 50's and 60's. Just lucky. Today was supposed to be rainy and nasty all day, but the sun is out and the clouds are all puffy and white. Should be decent enough for me to sneak off the the field to check flying condition later. I might get a few in later today.
__________________
Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

Build floor: StickerShock Vader Max

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes Air Commander, Indicator, Long Tom, Luna Bug, Menace, Nike Apache, Ricochet, Solar Warrior FRW Kormoran AS.34, Maverick AGM-65B, Star Blazer XL Quest Intruder Red River Stratos, Semroc Cyber III, Excalibur, Firefly, S.P.E.V., Texas Firefly

Ready to fly: Semroc Point
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  #8  
Old 12-12-2020, 11:49 AM
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Next up was a hybrid that I call the Hot Mess. It came in an eBay lot and needed only a new shock cord to be flyable, and I'm not sure there was much that could be done anyway. It looks to have been put together in the same way a lot of my shop floor birds, mixing and matching parts to come up with something flyable.
This would be a B6-4 flight because something needed to be done to counteract the massive amounts of ugly on the pad. And because I'm really not concerned about losing it. The B6-4 flight left the pad heading left over the middle of the field to about 350', but headed toward deep right center at ejection, and things looked ominous as it drifted down toward the trees at the top of the hill. In the end it stopped just short of being in trouble and landed halfway up the hill.
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__________________
Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

Build floor: StickerShock Vader Max

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes Air Commander, Indicator, Long Tom, Luna Bug, Menace, Nike Apache, Ricochet, Solar Warrior FRW Kormoran AS.34, Maverick AGM-65B, Star Blazer XL Quest Intruder Red River Stratos, Semroc Cyber III, Excalibur, Firefly, S.P.E.V., Texas Firefly

Ready to fly: Semroc Point
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2020, 12:17 PM
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Great photos. How many flights have you made so far in 2020? Did you break the 200 mark?
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Old 12-12-2020, 12:26 PM
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Flight #7 was the only Estes Baby Bertha that I ever built as a Baby Bertha. I bought them by the handful, but all except for this one became a Goony of some kind. A true tweener on this field, Baby Bertha based rockets are great performers on A8-3 or B6-4 flights. I chose an A8-3 for this flight, likely because that was what was closest when I was doing prep.
The flight was a signature B6-4 Field flight, right to the center of the field off the pad, then a quick recovery drop on the stock Estes chute. Really nothing unusual to point out about this flight. It was as expected, rod to sod.
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__________________
Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

Build floor: StickerShock Vader Max

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes Air Commander, Indicator, Long Tom, Luna Bug, Menace, Nike Apache, Ricochet, Solar Warrior FRW Kormoran AS.34, Maverick AGM-65B, Star Blazer XL Quest Intruder Red River Stratos, Semroc Cyber III, Excalibur, Firefly, S.P.E.V., Texas Firefly

Ready to fly: Semroc Point
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