Steve Corrigall Passes

corrigallSad to report another passing in SoAR’s family. Steve Corrigall, who was SoAR’s vice president for some time, and filled many other roles, died on January 23 after an eight-year battle with Multiple Myeloma. Services will be held in Massachusetts. Steve’s family encourages that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made in Steve’s memory to the Mulitple Myeloma Research Foundation at 383 Main Avenue, 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851. Ad Astra.

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Launch at Lilly Saturday, February 6th

The first high power launch of the year has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 6th at the Lilly launch site, 10AM to 5PM.

Of course, any model or high power rocket can be flown with high power maximum altitude of 5000 feet. That’s 1/4A on up, but if your rocket is “K” impulse or higher, or weighs greater than 60 lbs, let us know beforehand.

A $10 suggested donation will help us cover the porta-potty fee.

Help with setup/tear-down/range duty would be very much appreciated, so sign up!

After the launch, plan to have dinner with us at the Sonny’s BBQ at exit 136 (Perry Ga.).

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Time to Renew!

It’s the time of year when all of us (except those who joined in the later weeks of 2015) become ex-members of SoAR. What to do? Just go to the Join SoAR page and renew! Takes only a minute or two! Or if you must, you can send a check to Jeff through the mail.

To check your membership status, go to About/SoAR Members (Click Here for Member List) and note the renew column to the right of your name.  If “2016” is shown, your 2016 dues are now due.  If “2017” or greater is listed then your membership is up-to-date for this year.

Your membership dues go to maintaining one of the best launch setups in the country, keeping it available for all our launches, and many outreach launches besides.

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December Mill Springs Report

Every now and then you get to a launch and the weather is prefect. Not too hot, not too windy…just perfect. Saturday December 12th was one of those days. Almost no wind and temperatures in the low 70’s. Two groups of Cub Scouts came out so the launch got hopping early on. Steve Bellio and David Cain both flew on “G” impulse motors to make liars out of those who say that Mill Springs is strictly a low power field.

Many thanks to the Scouts Leaders who bring their Scouts to our launches. It is fun, but it’s also work…..THANKS!

The motor breakdown is as follows:

  • ¼A – 2
  • ½A – 1
  • A – 24
  • B – 34
  • C – 27
  • D – 7
  • E – 9
  • F – 5
  • G – 3

Total: 112 motors in 111 flights (one was a two-stage rocket)

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Report From Lilly (November)

Well, actually, we haven’t got a report yet, but we have Kevin Boyd’s photos!

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November 14th Bert Adams Launch Report


The launch event held at Bert Adams Scout Camp was fortunate to have perfect November weather with very light winds, mild temperatures, and plenty of blue sky.  The field was easy to navigate and presented very few recovery challenges.  There were just over 200 launches accomplished with over one hundred total participants loading the launch pads.

T.J. Frishe helped get spectators excited with his Estes Leviathan on a F20-4.  Jim Cain brought out an interesting scratch-built X-Wing design with a 3-D printed nose cone with helicopter recovery boosted skyward on a D12-5 and also wowed the crowd with a Mean Machine on an E9-4.  Monica Helms launched her heads-up flight of the scratch-built Serenity on an F15-6 (SoAR members can see photos of this unique model in the SoAR Business Group Discussion) and the Space X Dragon on a G79W.  Kevin Scholberg brought out many Art Applewhite saucers and other unique rockets including a scratch-built Day Glow II that was eye-catching (which was fortunate for the successful tree recovery team).  Steve Bellio launched his 9” Pyramid on a F23-4FJ which was awesome to watch (twice), had a successful flight and recovery of his LOC EZI-65 on a G78-4G, and an Estes stretched-out Argent on a E30-4T.  David Fields arrived with a selection of his own designs including his three stage (D12-0, B6-0, A8-3) F-7 that arched out over the tall trees in the distance and seemed to leave earth’s orbit (okay, slight exaggeration) but was soon returned by a scout from a neighboring field.  Wow – merit badge!  David also had a great spectator flight of his F-13 R/C boost glider.

And these were just some of the standouts.

Motor ignition statistics: Six 1/2A, thirty A, seventy-nine B, fifty-four C, eleven D, nine E, eight F, and three G.

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Report from Lilly (September)

We had a super day at the Lilly launch on September 19. The weather was temperate, lower in humidity and even the gnats behaved. However, the breeze was not so compliant. Twenty-nine flyers popped off 128 flights over the course of the day.

The stats are as follows:

  • ½A – 1
  • A – 5
  • B – 8
  • C – 22
  • D – 13
  • E – 21
  • F – 15
  • G – 19
  • H – 18
  • I – 5
  • J – 4
  • K – 1

In that mix were three clusters and three staged rockets. If anybody knows which motors were used in the box of crayons, we can update the stats accordingly.

There was an interesting variety of rockets in the mix. Among the multiple drag races during the day was an eclectic match between Glenn Harper’s 24” Wocket saucer and March Briner’s upscale Applewhite Stealth powered by a J244 and an H123 respectively. Perhaps the most interesting drag race of the day was Dan Sitz’s Box of Crayons. It was a launcher filled with six crayon rockets and painted to look like, you guessed it, a crayon box. The relay in the launcher almost did the trick, igniting five of the six crayons.

Congratulations go to Tim Johnson and his Level 2 flight with his “Ready Freddy” under J240 power.

But luck was not with all flyers. The I150 in Glenn’s Superbird featured “bonus” delay that led to a less than optimal recovery. Patrick Adams discovered that an Odd’l Rockets Up Cup does not play well with a CHAD-staged C6-0/A8 combo. March’s Jupiter C because a Jupiter “2A” when the central C of the A10/C6/A10 cluster did not ignite. Tom Kinard flew, rather ignited, the only ½ A of the day. His competition-style rocket glider hung on the pad when a gust of
wind torqued the wing.

Throughout the day, Mario Panebianco operated a booth promoting breast cancer awareness. As he solicited donations to his cause, he hawked “Dudes for Boobs” t-shirts and collected signatures on his honking big Pink Journey bird. The Journey posted a thrilling flight with a K375NW motor. If you see him at a future launch, please contribute to his worthy cause.

After the launch, a small group of hungry SoAR members invaded the Sonny’s BBQ in Perry for mass consumption, plenty of gab, and eclectic humor. No surprise there.

—report from William Bercini, filling in for Jeff Coons.

Monica Helms’ video of the launch:

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September 12th Mill Springs Launch Report


Moderate temperatures and mild northwesterly winds pushed away morning clouds to make for a very delightful day for our September 12th Mill Springs launch event.  We had sixteen participants loading the pads at a leisurely pace to launch sixty-two rockets.  Motor selection included five 1/2A, sixteen A, nineteen B, fourteen C, six D, four E, and a single G.  The B6-4 was the most prevalent selection.

Of special interest was Gabriel’s New Way Sky Spike shaped like a railway spike but actually flew straight and true on a C6-3.  There was Joel Downs Estes MIRV with a spectacular flight starting with a B6-0 booster stage igniting three MIRV rockets each on A3-4T separating into their own trajectories.  Glenn Harper tempted fate with his One Big Rush on a G74 which was recovered successfully with a little help from the SoAR tree recovery team (a.k.a. Jorge with a long stick), and we had a few CATOs that provided some ground-level drama.   Kevin Scholberg launched an Estes Ascender on an E15-4W and completed a dozen other flights while Marcus had an excellent flight with his Sky Dart II glider as well as his Space Shuttle.

So a moderate-size turnout making for a very comfortable and relaxing day to participate and to be a spectator on a late summer afternoon.

Photo coverage provided by Kevin Boyd: Mill Springs September 12th photos

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2016 Slate of NAR National Events Announced

NAR President Ted Cochran announced the dates and locations of NAR’s National Events for next year.

NARCON, the technical conference and convention will be held February 26-28 in Dayton, OH. There will probably be a tour of eRockets and Semroc’s new facility.

The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) Finals will be held May 14 at the Great Meadow in The Plains, VA.

Of most interest locally, the National Sport Launch will be held May 28-30 at the same place where Southern Thunder is held, in Manchester, TN.

Finally, NARAM-58, the NAR’s week-long Rocketry Festival and Annual Meet will be held July 23-29 in Walnut Grove, MO on a 3000 acre field! The competition events are:

  • Plastic Model Conversion
  • E Scale Altitude (altimeter)
  • G Streamer Duration
  • D Rocket Glider Multi-Round (per Rule 9.12 we are prohibiting use of Radio Control in the event , i.e. free flight only)
  • C Parachute Duration Multi-Round
  • A Helicopter Duration
  • ½ A Super-Roc Altitude (altimeter)
  • Open Spot Landing
  • Research & Development
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Launch Event Report for August 8th


The launch event at Herb Belins’ field in Ball Ground was held against a scenic backdrop of rolling hills and a blue sky peppered with cumulus clouds and with calm to moderate winds. This large field attracted seventy-eight participants who achieved a total of one hundred and eighty-five launches. This made for a very busy day with many extraordinary rockets streaking skyward to sight-challenging altitudes.

Although some recoveries required good stamina to navigate the hilly terrain the large open area provided excellent recovery results. Including the many multi-stage and cluster motor flights, the total engine ignition count was as follows: A – seventeen, B – twenty-eight, C – fifty, D – twenty-five, E – forty-five, F – eighteen, G – thirteen.

The most popular motor choice was the C6-5 followed by the E9-4. The many mid-powered flights, beautiful scale models, high-lofted gliders and Ron Stancil’s R/C boost gliders made this event a spectator bonanza and an enjoyable day for all those who came out.

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Pictures from Southern Thunder

18822041319_84a95c856b_qKevin Boyd’s photos from this past weekend’s Southern Thunder launch in Manchester, TN can be found here and here. Enjoy!

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Sport Rocketry!

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Where Do I Fly My Rocket?

(minor updates, Nov ’14) A dilemma faced by many: “I, or my son or daughter, received a model rocket for Christmas (or birthday, or graduation, or other occasion). Where do we go to launch it?”  So here is a short guide to flying a model rocket in the metro Atlanta area.

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