August 12th Mill Springs Launch Report

The August 12th launch event at Mill Springs had twenty-eight participants launch eighty-three rockets. Following a few days of scattered showers, the day turned out to be mostly calm with favorable winds and partly cloudy skies, although heat and humidity was a factor later in the afternoon.

Special spare part creations that were started at the Thursday SoAR meeting arrived at the field for flight testing. Competing for honors were Glenn’s Loopy Larry’s Aerobatic + Snake Oil, Jorge’s I Don’t Know, Bill’s Katie, and Jeff’s Lil’ Hoss. Glenn’s entry lived up to its name and failed flight qualification loopily as did Jeff’s Lil’ Hoss that remained perched and unrecoverable. Both Katie and I Don’t Know had successful qualifying flights and in the end the marvelously creative and striking rocket named Katie won the event.

Also of interest was Mike Nehez’s sleek looking scratch built IQSY Tomahawk flown on a B6-4 then a C6-5 and Russell Puryear’s LOC Onyx that streaked skyward on an E30-6. Tom Kinard flew his Estes Ventris on a E16-4 and an Estes Leviathan on a F27-4R. Linda took her Estes Big Daddy up on a C11-3, then higher on a D12-5, then higher on a F40 and I believe that was the end of that. Michael Shimer brought a couple of Space X Falcon 9s and had four successful flights on D12-5s. All-in-all much fun, action, and many successful flights.  See these  Event Photos

Motor Ignition counts:
1/2A – 4
A – 14
B – 28
C – 14
D – 17
E – 6
F – 2

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“Halt and Catch Fire” Season Premiere

SoAR participated in a small way in the upcoming fourth and final season of AMC’s drama, “Halt and Catch Fire,” which is produced here in Atlanta, and will start on Saturday, August 19. Check your listings for AMC (the “Walking Dead” channel!).

The episode that SoAR assisted in should air September 16, but that is just a guess based on production order. Production order and airing order are not always the same, and there’s always a chance our scenes could end up in the editing suite bit bucket. We’ll know for sure closer to air date.

In the meantime, if you’re interested you can catch up on the series on Netflix. It is about a group of people who’ve lived and worked together in the computer industry from the dawn of the personal computer in the early 80’s through the beginnings of the World Wide Web in the early 90’s. This season is set in 1994. Warning: this is a drama that deals with adult situations and has strong language.

How is SoAR involved? Well, without giving out spoilers, we can tell you that a number of SoAR members built rockets that are flown by most of the major cast members. Jorge, Roy, and Glenn assisted on the set when the rockets were flown. And… that’s about all we can tell you here until after it airs! Glenn gave an excellent rundown on the SoARChat list, which you may see in other forms later.

So here’s the fourth season trailer:

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July 8th Mill Springs Launch Event Report

On a typical midsummer day where relentless heat and humidity came early and spent the day at the July 8th Mill Springs Launch Event there were thirty-seven rocket enthusiasts ready to launch ninety-one rockets and saucers. We had many first-timers who braved the heat to come out and watch, learn, and participate in an exciting day of rocketry.

Of special interest was Gabe’s version of Robert Goddard’s “Nell”.  From history (March 16, 1926), Goddard’s rocket rose just 41 feet during a 2.5-second flight that ended 184 feet away in a cabbage field. Gabe’s Nell had a similar albeit shortened flight on a B6-4 (minus the cabbage patch). His Sputnik on a A10-3T and scratch built Gyroc (flown by Chris) on a A8-3 performed very nicely. Steve Bellio had an impressive flight of his PML Amraam 2 on a F42-4T and got everyone’s attention with the Pyramid of Doom flown with a G75-4M but I believe this time will be remaining at field for now. Glenn Harper also had an outstanding flight of his LOC “Expendable” on a F36 which arrived back safely mid-field while Keith Frazier took an Estes Mammoth and built a F15-0/F15-8 chad for a one-way flight path somewhere way west.

From a craftsman standpoint we were wowed by Kevin Boyd’s beautifully detailed Xarconian Cruiser that was flown successfully on a C6-3 and Sara C. flew a nicely decorated Princess Rocket on a B6-4 that went straight off the pad and easily recovered. Eric Wilfert’s DRM (Der Red Max) was also impressive on the pad and got a good workout with five flights on B6-4s and B4-2s.  Event Photos by Kevin Boyd

Motor Ignition Counts:

  • 1/4A – 1
  • A – 21
  • B – 35
  • C – 24
  • D – 4
  • E – 2
  • F – 4
  • G – 1
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Southern Thunder 2017 Video!

Here’s a short video covering this year’s Southern Thunder launch, focusing on SoAR member Lee Childers’ Level One certification flight. Video by Lucius Williams.

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June 10th Mill Springs Launch Report

Light winds and summertime temperatures helped bring out thirty-six participants to launch 123 rockets at the SoAR June Launch event at Mill Springs. Activity at the pads was steady throughout the day. Jacob Schwartz filled the skies with rocket boosted gliders by launching his Estes Astron Skydart II with a C6-3 and a B6-2 as well as a simultaneous launch of his Fliskits Tri-Glide (three gliders) on a C6-5 and an Estes Shuttle Express (two gliders) on a C6-3. Steve Bellio got his LOC EZI-65 to roar off the pad with a G75-4M, got in two flights of his Estes Partizon with F44-4Ws, and sent his 9” Pyramid of Doom downfield on a G77-4R. Kevin Boyd flew his LOC Star Fighter on a E30-4 and his Estes QCC Explorer on a D12-5 – always beautiful going up.

Coyote Rocketry was in attendance to help keep everyone in good supply of engines and to provide refreshment for the many participants and family members who got thirsty. During this event we also had a Bullpup contest that had some outstanding entries and was judged for overall construction detail and accuracy as well as a required successful flight and recovery (needs write-up).

Check out these event photos by Kevin Boyd

Motor ignition counts:

  • 1/2A – 4
  • A – 6
  • B – 60
  • C – 31
  • D – 15
  • E – 2
  • F – 3
  • G – 2
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May 27th Dawsonville Launch Report

The May 27th Dawsonville Launch Event had twenty-five participants launch sixty-two rockets.  The field having received plentiful rain in the preceding weeks was in healthy growth mode, which although beautiful in a nature-loving way, made some recoveries search and rescue missions.  Some of the highlights included Andrew Robinson’s heads-up Grits Blitz (scratch-built from round grits containers) which was attempted on a B6-4 (too long of a delay), a C6-3 (oops… unstable), and finally successful on a B6-2.  For mid-power excitement, there was Lee Childers’ Estes Goblin going up on an E9-8, David Sleeman’s Estes Leviathan sent up on a G40-7W, and Jeff Eshbaugh’s Estes Argent powered by a G76-7G.  We also enjoyed seeing some rare models such as Ken Frye’s Shrox Stiletto flown on a D12-5 and his Estes Exo-skell on a D12-3.  Event Photos

Motor Ignition counts were as follows:

  • 1/2A – 1
  • A – 4
  • B – 16
  • C – 13
  • D – 14
  • E – 10
  • F – 2
  • G – 2
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Everett’s Saturn V Gets National Stage In NAR Magazine

The construction of Everett Stowe’s 1/24th scale Saturn V, last flown at GRITS a year ago, is featured in the cover article of this month’s (May/June 2017) bi-monthly Sport Rocketry Magazine, the official journal of the National Association of Rocketry. Plenty of drawings, and photographs by Kevin Boyd and Roger Smith, accompany the article.

If you’re a member of the NAR, you should already have this issue, or should be getting in the next few days! If you’re not a NAR member, too bad! But you might be able to buy this issue at one of the two HobbyTown USAs in the area, either the one in Kennesaw on Barrett Parkway, or the one in Duluth on Satellite Boulevard near Gwinnett Place Mall.

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A Visit To Kevin’s Rocket Cave

A weird scheduling conflict in March caused the RocketTalk meeting to reconvene just a few hundred feet away at Kevin Scholberg’s house where we just talked and marveled (and some drooled) over his bunches o’ rockets.   Here’s a few pictures…
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Sport Rocketry!

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Where Do I Fly My Rocket?

(minor updates, April 2017) 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 very short guide to flying a model rocket in the metro Atlanta area.

First of all, know that most park systems in the metro area have rules against flying objects of all types. Sometimes you can go fly a rocket or two in your local park, but at some point a friendly policeman will come by and say you can’t do that. That said, there is one park where we have gotten assurances that model rockets are allowed: Garrard Landing Park on Holcomb Bridge Rd near the Chattahoochee River. The entrance to the park is in front of the Johns Creek Environmental Campus; just follow the signs back to the park. Garrard Landing is suitable for the average Estes beginner rockets.

Schools, church athletic fields, and, of course, private property can sometimes be used if you approach the appropriate people first.

The best advice we can give is for you to wait and attend one of SoAR’s launches, where you don’t have to worry about permission, or even whether your launch equipment works, since we provide it, along with free recovery wadding! We try to have two launches a month, usually one in Alpharetta for smaller model rockets, and one at another location for all model rockets. And then we have our GRITS launch in south Georgia in late winter for rockets of all types.

And keep checking the web site. You never know when we’ll find other locations where we can fly.


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