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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June Launch Report from Mill Springs

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The June 13, 2015 launch event was held on a typical summer day with blue skies and calm to moderate variable winds coming across the field. We had thirty-nine participants with a large turnout of family and friends providing support. There were one hundred and twenty one launches accomplished throughout the busy day. Many boost gliders were flown with fantastic results in the small thermals produced by the warming air. Motor selection favored the C6-5 with a total of thirty rockets streaking skyward to neck-craning altitudes and long descents, some finding the neighboring ball field to be recovered. Motor counts were as follows: 2-1/4A, 9-1/2A, 22-A, 23-B, 39-C, 12-D, 12-E, 5-F, and one G80-6T lifting Steve Bellio’s LOC Short EZI-65.

The day saw good variety of activity with the boost gliders, saucers, multi-stage, cluster motor configurations, and a pair of Estes Swifts sent out of sight by Nathaniel Smith, but actually recovered within minutes (good eyes!). I was amazed by Marcus’ scratch built Space Shuttle which performed realistically by launching the shuttle off of the boosters and which came down at an easy glide angle. David Fields brought out a Saturn V scale model that was attempted on an E20-4W but experienced a Bernoulli Lock Effect on the blast deflector and failed to accelerate up the launch rod while catching fire. I hope we can discuss this perplexing phenomenon at our next club meeting.

Although the trees claimed a few prized models, and we experienced a couple of motor failures with dramatic results, the majority of launches were impressive flights followed with smiles of success. Good crowd, busy day and a lot of fun!

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April 11th Launch Report

The April 11th Launch Event at Mill Springs was held on a picture perfect day. Blue skies prevailed while the winds remained mostly light to calm, and what did come along was frequently down the length of the field. Many rockets landed very close to the launch pads, including some that were reaching well over 500 feet in altitude. All of this favorable weather led to a busy day with forty-two participants launching an impressive total of 152 rockets. Motor selections included one micro, one ¼ A, five ½ A, forty-three A, fifty-three B, twenty-nine C, nine D, fourteen E, two F, and one G40 by Glenn Harper on his Leviathan’s last spectacular voyage.

The most remarkable launch was of an Estes Condor by Matt Boyd that lofted twin gliders. One of the gliders circled down in a gentle downward spiral, but the second glider seem to defy gravity and appeared to keep a constant altitude as it circled down the field for what seemed like a few minutes, finally landing gently on the grass at the far end of the field. A really amazing flight. Also of note were the numerous mid-powered flights with almost all of these successfully recovered. Most impressive was a launch of a LOC Ariel by Steve Bellio on a cluster of three E16-4 motors. Wow. There were other low power cluster launches (B & D) and two low power two-stage launches (A & B). Best Triathlon contest 250 foot flight was by Joel Downs who reached 255 feet. Lots of variety and lots of action provided a thrilling day for all spectators who came out to enjoy the event.

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Sport Rocketry!

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March 28th Launch Report

daves-cone-rocketThe March 28th launch event at Mill Springs was held on a blue sky but cool and windy day. We had twenty-eight participants launching a total of eighty-seven rockets, saucers, cones, and spools. There were a good number of multi-stage and cluster engine configurations resulting in the follow total motor ignition count: One 1/4A, two 1/2A, nineteen A, thirty-six B, sixteen C, nine D, twelve E, and two F. The winds blowing cross-field proved to be a challenge throughout the day; however, the number of rockets failing to reach the ground was not significant considering the altitudes being obtained.

Herb Howe put up a generous assortment of oddities with thrilling power selections for boost. David Fields brought out his Mercury and Gemini scale subjects that flew very well, and also an amazingly indestructible (well almost) cone shaped thing he called F-14 that provided four heads-up flight performances. Steve Bellio got top billing with mid-power launches including an interesting E30-4T on center with two C11-5s on his Heavy Duty Beauty. A Radio Shack Flashlight was launched straight and true by Joel Downs, although its reintroduction to earth was a bit abrupt. Roy dug out an old B6-2 that he had for twenty-four years and launched in an Estes Black Diamond. The engine worked good as new. Glenn Harper won the A Super-Roc contest with a 76cm rocket reaching an altitude of 328 feet. Overall it was an active day with many participants and family enjoying the afternoon.

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SoAR Contest Schedule Announced

SoAR Contest Director Tom Kinard has announced a series of contests which will be held at SoAR Mill Springs launches (and one high power contest to be held at the GRITS WinterNationals) throughout 2015. These are not official NAR contests but some have similar rules and objectives. The schedule and rules may be found on the SoAR website’s Contest page.

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Dale’s Bucket O’Rockets Still Here!

At each SoAR launch there is usually a bucket (white, about 12″ diameter), whose location on the field is chosen at random, that is designated as Dale Windsor’s Bucket O’Rockets. Land any part of your rocket in that bucket (after a safe flight and recovery!) and you’ll win a jackpot of rocket kits. If no one gets in the bucket at a launch, the prizes will roll over to the next launch, and another prize will (seldomly!) be added!

In the eight+ years that we’ve been doing this, only a couple of rockets Read more

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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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