Launch at Dawsonville/Ball Ground This Saturday

IMG_0495Fall temperatures will greet us at the October launch at the large field between Dawsonville and Ball Ground, GA this Saturday, October 22, from 10AM to 3PM. Everyone is welcome to come on out and watch or fly rockets. Bring your rockets and motors; we provide recovery wadding and launch pads!

At the start of the launch, the skies will be mostly sunny and the temperature should be just above 50F, rising to 67F by the end of the launch, so come with sweaters/jackets. The wind will be eight MPH out of the northwest.

There are a number of ways to get to the field; one possible set of directions from GA 400 and 369 can be found here. The field can also be reached from GA 53 *, and from I-575 and GA 369.  *For those coming from the north it will be best to avoid going through downtown Dawsonville this Saturday as there is a festival that will cause road closures and detours on 53 and 9.

This field can support up through G-powered rockets. The main part of the field is about 1400′ x 1400′ with an adjoining field to the east that extends the width to about 2400′. The terrain is very hilly, with about 100′ difference in elevation at places. Parking will be just inside and to the west of the gate, while the launch area will be a couple hundred feet south of the gate.

For the time being, no sparky motors may be used.

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October Mill Springs Launch

We managed to eek out fifty flights Saturday at Mill Springs Academy, despite all the wind from the back-side of Hurricane Matthew.

A scout troop came out early before the winds really got started, and they provided the majority of the flights for the day, flying a lot of Estes CrossFires and Estes Comet Chasers on a variety of motors from A to C, and got most of them back, by jumping the trees to the south and using that field as the recovery area.

The launch was notable in that almost all flyers were newbies (to our launches, at least), though David Sleeman and son Michael stopped by to make a couple of flights. William Bercini drove up from Macon to help Roy out with running the launch.  Lee Childers was one of the first timers, though he’s obviously got some building skills as he showed off a nice Mercury Redstone with detail wrap from (Understandably, Lee wasn’t willing to fly that beautiful model in yesterday’s wind!), and flew a couple of rockets decorated for his daughter including a Der Pink Max decorated with a Hello Kitty skull and crossbones!

Gabriel brought out a box of odd-rocs including a Sputnik, a Dare To Be Square, and a Vortico or two, and Lee Miller flew his Applewhite Priority Stealth.  Just the types of rockets to fly in higher winds for assured recovery.

Here are the motor counts:

  • 1/2A – 2
  • A – 14
  • B – 18
  • C – 13
  • D – 1
  • E – 2

Join us in two weeks for a launch at the Ball Ground field, where hopefully the winds will be less and we’ll be able to get some high altitudes.

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September Lilly Launch Report

sea-wolf(from William Bercini)

Mother Nature gave us a break from the oppressive heat just in time for the September Lilly launch. The weather conditions were nearly ideal for on Saturday, even the gnats gave us a bit of a break! Some thirty-one folks, young and old, posted flights that first day. Among the young folks participating was Login Davin. This was Login’s first visit to a SoAR launch. Assisted by his adult mentor, Lee Greenway, he spent most of the day working on “Project Hijinx”. Using a simple altitude tracking device, he collected data on the same rocket using three different nose cone shapes: conical, ogive, and elliptical. We wish him well on his science project.

The rest of us were not being quite so serious. And speaking of “not-so- serious”, our own Kevin Scholberg posted what was perhaps the most unusual flight of the day. He had flight-converted a $3 “flying disk” toy. But taking it to the next level, he CHAD-staged it with two C6-0 motors. In spite of some naysayers, the whirling disk put in beautiful flight. But Kevin was not alone when it came to creative designs. Chevis White had a small fleet of beautifully crafted original designs. Among them was his scratch bird, “The Squid”. It featured tube stabilizers and a canted cluster motor configuration (a la Fliskits Deuce). Its maiden flight on two E28 motors was a sight to behold. Read more

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September 10th Mill Springs Launch Report

img_1635At the September 10th Mill Springs launch event we had twenty-one participants launch ninety-one rockets at a steady pace into the warm sunny sky. Moderate breezes were mostly favorable and did not complicate most recoveries although unfortunately, a few models remained at high perch. Some very talented craftsmen brought their sleek creations for first flight and we also saw some rockets that had been stored for many decades back out on the pads. A 1974 vintage Estes Vega was launched by Dave on a B6-4 and Roy Green brought an Estes Juno-1 / Jupiter-C (late 1980s vintage) and installed a C6-3 for flight. Jose Morales Jr. came with his beautiful scale models that were viewed at the last club meeting on Thursday and all flown on C and D engines. We also saw David Tripp fly his Century Hustler on a F27-4R and Kevin Boyd launched his Estes Leviathan with a E20-4. Also of profound interest was Kevin Scholberg’s “The Dude” (7.5′ tall and uses a balloon for the body) launched twice with D12-3s, and his steampunk styled “Pot Metal” also flown on a D12-3. For more action, I was wowed by Kevin Boyd’s drag race of two Baby Bertha’s streaking skyward on C6-5s and Keith Frazier’s Alphas on B6-6s. It was a fun day!
Motor ignition counts were as follows:
1/2A – 4
A – 7
B – 27
C – 34
D – 14
E – 6
F – 1

Event photos provided by Kevin Boyd:


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TARC 2017 Rules Released

The 2016 Team America Rocketry Contest ended just last week, and today the NAR and AIA have made the rules for next year’s contest available. Boiled down, the rocket must weigh less than 650 grams, have two body sections of different body diameters; the lower section must be 1.65″ (Estes BT-60) or smaller, and the upper should be large enough to enclose one large hen’s egg. Both tube sections must measure at least 150mm long, while the rocket in total must measure at least 650mm long. The rocket must be painted or decorated (i.e. it can’t be left the natural color of the materials). A maximum of 80 newton seconds power may be used (generally, a single “F” motor). The two pieces of the rocket must be recovered separately; the egg section must be recovered by a parachute. The target duration of the egg section is 41-43 seconds, the target altitude is 775 feet.

TARC is open to teams of students currently enrolled in grades 7 through 12 (public, private, or home schooled), sponsored by a school or non-profit youth/educational organization. Applications may be made from September 1 to December 2, 2016. See the TARC website ( for more information.

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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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