The first UROC launch for 2017 was held on Saturday, March 18 and into Sunday March 19. We had a good number of people attend over the two days and in general the launch was a success. We had the trailer onsite Friday night so we were ablle to begin setup early on Saturday morning. We had a good number of helpers to carry pads out, set up the range marking and wire the control system. The launch was set up as a Tripoli Research launch and we had pads set up for Model Rockets up to non-complex M motors. The largest motor flown over the weekend was an L and it was a succesful flight. FAA coordination was handled by Jim Yehle and went smoothly. Our waiver was open from 8am to about 5pm on Saturday and until we closed up operations on Sunday around 2pm.
Overall the launch was great, highlights included beautiful weather on Saturday and Sunday morning. Of course wind picked up around 12:30 and lasted most of the rest of the day Saturday. It was never strong enough not to be able to launch but folks were tired and the night launch just didn't happen. We had a good number of people camping out on Friday and Saturday night in rigs ranging from tents to big fifth wheel RVs. Everyone had a great time talking, listening to music at cooking meals.
If you attended the launch and have some photos or videos you like to share please submit them to the website.
HellFire, sponsored by the Utah Rocket Club (UROC) takes place this year August 3,4,5,6. Though HellFire is technically an amateur launch, we’re talking serious rocketry here. Participants from around the country launch rockets ranging from foot-tall wonders to towering monsters that weigh in at over one hundred pounds, feature high-tech electronics, use a propellant similar to that used on the space shuttle, and lift off with 750 pounds of pure thrust.
Now in its 22nd year, HellFire continues to grow. Many people attend not to launch, but simply for the thrill of watching. Between launches, visitors enjoy examining rockets and components close-up and speaking with the experts who build and launch them.
Spectator Admission to HellFire is free and the public is welcome. HellFire will be held on the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah. Take Exit 4 on Interstate 80 and follow easy-to-spot signs. The event takes place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, August 3 through Sunday, August 6.
Discounted registration for flyers is available for UROC members.
Many more details to come over the next weeks.
Tips for visitors:
UROC is pleased to announce that our own Jim Yehle will be presenting a discussion about making your own experimental rocket motors at our March 11th Member Meeting. If you have been interested finding out more about EX motors and what all the interest is in the Tripoli Research Launches this is the meeting you don't want to miss. Jim has been building his own high-power motors for a while now. Like everything Jim does, he immerses himself in his projects to learn all that he can. If you have experience with EX rocketry yourself, please attend and share your knowledge with the group as well.
One thing I have found about rocket construction is that there’s not just one ‘right’ way of doing things, in other words there can be many different approaches that can work on a given application. Here’s one way I’ve come up with to fiberglass body tubes and come up with a nice smooth finish all at the same time. I usually fiberglass whole lengths of tubes at one time and cut them to the length needed afterwards.
I generally use ‘flex phenolic’ tubing but the method works well on paper tubes also as long as you sand the gloss layer with a course sandpaper such as 80-100 grit to allow the epoxy to ‘soak’ in the tube. Some have recommended peeling the outer layer of ‘glassine’ off but I’ve never been that ambitious and have had good results just sanding. I lay out the fiberglass flat, roll the body tube up in it the desired number of layers (depending on motor impulse level anticipated), and cut the cloth with a little overlap on the joint and the ends. If you cut it straight with the weave in the cloth you will have minimal loose strings to deal with, if you have any pull these loose to avoid them causing lumps in the finished product.
The next step is where you may need a little help, roll the tube tightly in the cloth and while holding the cloth rolled up on the tube have your helper roll a leg of women’s nylons down over the tube to completely envelope the tube and the cloth
At this point I use a twist tie to hold the open end of the nylons leg closed. After you get it tied off you can go back and smooth out any wrinkles that may have shown up under the nylon ‘veil’. This is generally easier if you start with ‘queen sized’ nylons on the tubes 4”- 6”, but is fairly easy with ‘normal sized’ nylons on anything smaller. At this point you have the hard part done; you can don the latex gloves and mix up a batch of epoxy. I generally use the stuff that cures in 30 minutes or so. I’ve found using the cheap paintbrushes available at Wal-Mart on the smaller tubes or the smaller paint rollers on the bigger tubes minimizes the mess and makes epoxy easier to apply. Hold the tube horizontal and start laying that stuff on!
When you get the whole tube coated and the epoxy worked in so the cloth goes transparent work out any bubbles you have and hang it up by the twist tied end to cure. If you didn’t use too much epoxy it shouldn’t run down too much but after 15 minutes or so you can turn it over to even out the ‘flow’. After it’s cured just trim off the ends (I use a power miter saw because I’m lazy), and sand the entire tube with the orbital sander of choice in long smooth strokes while turning frequently. This usually goes quick since the nylons provide a nice smooth finish by themselves.
Well that’s it, this method may not be to everybody’s taste but it’s worked for me for years on a lot of rockets from ‘G’ power level up to full ‘L’ (I couldn’t find big enough nylons for 7.6” tubing).
Tracy “Woody” Wood - TRA#4828 L3
PS - If you don’t care for filling spirals on tubing but don’t feel your rocket needs the extra strength of Fiberglassing just pull a leg of nylons down over the tube with no fiberglass cloth underneath and epoxy coat the same as above (after sanding on paper tube). It will add some strength with minimal weight gain on the finished rocket and fills those nasty spiral marks.