List of the contest events:
There will not be a Porta Potty ordered for this launch. Set up is expected to begin around 8:30 am and we will fly in to the early afternoon or until the wind gets to be too strong. If the weather conditions for the upcoming launch deteriorate or if the fire hazard becomes too high, we will try to notify everyone via our normal modes including the website, facebook, and twitter.
UROC member Matt Steele has been in the Ukraine for the International Rocketry Competition (Internats) this past week. The Federation Aeronautique International (FAI) is the governing world body, covering not only spacemodeling and aeromodeling, but all aspects of aviation. Each member country is represented within the FAI by its national aero club, which in the United States is the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). The NAA delegates authority for aeromodeling and spacemodeling to the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). The AMA sponsors the US Spacemodeling Team, as well as a number of aeromodeling teams.
The U.S. Team for a WSMC is selected by a flyoff process that is held at the opening weekend of NARAM one year prior to the WSMC. The flyoff is open to all U.S. NAR members. In between the biennial WSMC, regional FAI-sanctioned international competitions called “World Cups” are held each year, each with 4 or 5 of the 8 WSMC events. U.S. FAI fliers use these to practice their skills in preparation for a WSMC or for the US team-selection flyoff. Of the 25 or so that are held worldwide each year there is typically one of these held in the US, the “Capitol Cup” in Mansassas, VA in September of odd-numbered years and the “CanAm Cup” in Muskegon, MI every June.
This year the US Senior team won the Gold Medal in Class S2P - Precision Eggloft and Emma Kristal won the individual Gold Medal.
The United States S1B altitude team won the Silver Medal Team members included Steve Kristal, Dr. Bob Kreutz and Matt Steele. Dr. Bob also won individual gold with a truly fantastic flight. The team bested 15 other teams and came up just a very tiny bit short of winning the gold.
Matt was also awarded an individual gold medal for Scale Altitude. (A scale model of a rocket judged on accuracy of scale, then flown to the highest altitude.) This means Matt will be bringing home an individual gold medal, a Team gold medal and a Team silver medal. (He competed in 3 events and he is bringing home a medal from all 3 events.)
Congratulations Matt and all of Team USA for a fantastic showing!
UROC's own Clair Mills has developed a new contest for HellFire flyer's this year that should prove to be quite a challenge...
Due to confusion caused by too many rules last year, things are going to be simpler this time.
The fine print:
* A successful flight means that the rocket has to completely leave the pad and be recovered in condition to fly again. The judge has complete discretion as to whether a flight is considered successful. No strapping a 1/2 A on the side of your Level 3 bird!
** A "letter" includes 1/8 A, 1/4 A, 1/2 A, A, B, C... through M
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Fred Williams. Fred passed away on Thursday, April 21st after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Fred was a former club president and a long time member of the Utah Rocket Club and he will be missed.
Visitation Monday April 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary.
Visitation Tuesday April 26 from 9:45 am to 10:45 am at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary.
The morning started out rather brisk with temps in the 40s but fortunately no wind. In fact the skies remained clear and the air fairly calm for the whole day. At 7:30 in the morning, it was quiet and peaceful as I was setting up my launch gear. After the sun came up, it started warming up nicely. We had our usual group of competitors there with a new addition, William Cooper. In the foreground are Randall and Cathy Redd with Fred Williams setting up. As people started showing up we started getting our Egglofters up to take advantage of the calm air. Bruce Bell won top honors in Eggloft with a 655 meter flight using an Aerotech E20-7 motor. William Cooper was close behind with an excellent flight to 624 meters.
B Boost Glider and B Helicopter were dependent on catching a thermal to turn in a good flight. The time for a non-thermal flight in Helicopter and Boost Glider was around 60 seconds. The models that turned in the best times flew closer to noon when the thermals were more abundant. The Helicopter of choice seemed to be the Gyro Chaser from Apogee. While the Boost Glider of choice was the Condor also from Apogee.
The Scale models were turned in and judged. We definitely have a better crop of scale models this year as modelers are getting better at building them. Bruce Bell flew a well-made D-Region Tomahawk to a second place while Mark Snaufer had a beautiful Delta II. In team division there were 2 extremely excellent models from Pod Bay Doors (Matt Steele) flying a TCMP-2 and Dizzy Dog (Fred Williams and Randall Redd) flying a RAM-B. Both of these models were NARAM quality and were about as close to perfect as I have seen. There was only 20 points separating them after static judging. The RAM-B suffered some damage from a problem with the flight and the TCMP-2 came out on top.
Tim Van Milligan of Apogee Rocketry and his daughters are planning to attend Pioneer 2015 this weekend. If any UROC club members want to place an Apogee order for delivery this weekend Tim can bring it over. They can choose “store pick-up” as the shipping option from the Apogee web site and then leave a comment when ordering to have Tim bring it to the field. This will save on shipping and Hazmat fees.
Ken Eva was a talented UROC modeler that was taken from us far too early. Each year, UROC honors him by hosting a meet in his memory.
The 2015 edition of the Ken Eva Memorial Meet featured a number of challenigng events. First up was the NAR Contest version of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) event. In this event, contestants fly an egg to 300 meters and 60 seconds on the same flight. Two flights are required, and the contestant with the best combination over two flights wins – provided the egg didn’t break or crack on either flight! Altitudes are provided by altimeters. This event takes some practice to get right. Mark Snaufer took first in C Division by hitting a duration on the mark at 60 seconds on his first flight, and only 16 meters low of the target, followed by a 57 second flight and 33 meters low on his second flight. Bruce Bell took second place in C division when his model flew much higher thyan the target on his first flight. Clair Mills followed up in third place. The Pod Bay Doors team, led by Matt Steele, won Team Division with a stock NCR Bounty Hunter kit with flights just 3 meters over the target each time!
B Boost Glide saw Mark Snaufer combine a very nice first flight (with a return) with a flyaway second flight that caught two consecutive thermals. It went out of sight going up around two and a half minutes, and was never seen again. Clair Mills was actually ahead of Mark after the first round, but didn’t catch the big lift on his second flight, and finished second. Bruce Bell ended up third with a 110 second flight on his second attempt. The Pod Bay Doors also lost a model to the thermal gods to help them win Team division over the Dizzy Dog Team (Randy Redd and Fred Williams).
B Helicopter Duration was also won by Mark Snaufer, who used good flights of 41 and 75 seconds from his Apogee Gyro Chaser to edge Clair Mills and Bruce Bell. The Pod Bay Doors found another good thermal to put their Rotaroc into, and got a flight of 98 seconds.
Sport Scale brought out the nice models. Unfortunately, Clair Mills’ beautiful Bomarc pranged badly! Mark Snaufer won with a two stage Wac Corporal, followed by Bruce Bell’s IQSY Tomahawk. The Nike Smoke of the Pod Bay Doors won Team Division, followed by the Dizzy Dog Juno.
Meet Champions were Mark Snaufer (C Division) and Pod Bay Doors (Team). UROC gained another 9700+ points in the national club standings.
Pioneer 2015 is scheduled for May 30 with the same events. Hope to see you there!
|Place||Contestant||Number||Section||Prototype||Static||Flight 1||Flight 2||Total||Points|
|1||Snaufer, Mark||29609||523||WAC Corporal||630.0||150.0||78000||600|
|2||Bell, Bruce||20636||523||IQSY Tomahawk||610.0||100.0||71000||360|
|3||Bell, Sally||85169||523||D-Region Tomahawk||470.0||100.0||57000||240|
|1||Team, Pod Bay Doors||T-201||000||Nike Smoke||610.0||150.0||76000||600|
|2||Team, Dizzy Dog||33||523||Juno||530.0||100.0||63000||360|
|3||Team, Pod Babe Doors||T-202||000||Nike Smoke||370.0||100.0||47000||240|
|Place||Contestant||Number||Section||Flight 1||Flight 2||Total||Points|
|1||Team, Pod Bay Doors||T-201||000||106||20||126||570|
|2||Team, Dizzy Dog||33||523||26||26||342|
|3||Team, Pod Babe Doors||T-202||000||17||17||228|
|Place||Contestant||Number||Section||Flight 1||Flight 2||Total||Points|
|1||Team, Pod Bay Doors||T-201||000||98||98||630|
|2||Team, Dizzy Dog||33||523||31||31||378|
|2||Team, Pod Babe Doors||T-202||000||31||31||378|
|Place||Contestant||Number||Section||Flight 1||Flight 2||Total||Points|
|1||Team, Pod Bay Doors||T-201||000||1952||1952||600|
|2||Team, Pod Babe Doors||T-202||000||858||858||360|
|3||Team, Dizzy Dog||33||523||812||812||240|
Ken Eva Memorial Meet 2015 Meet Champions
|Place||Contestant||NAR Number||Section||Total Points|
|1||Team, Pod Bay Doors||T-201||523||2400|
|2||Team, Dizzy Dog||33||523||1320|
|3||Team, Pod Babe Doors||T-202||523||1206|
Here is way to estimate or "guesstimate" descent impact loads. First, get an estimate of the descent rate. One way to do this is to go into Rocksim and choose a tube. Just use the "mass over-ride" option to assign the mass of your rocket. Then attach a parachute to the tube and look at your descent rate. This is how fast your rocket will fall with your chosen parachute diameter. Now, you can estimate the equivalent drop height (H) for your rocket without a parachute by using the following formula:
H = 0.5 x ( (velocity)^2 ) / 32.2
"H" is the drop height in feet
"velocity" has units ft/sec.
32.2 ft/sec^2 is the acceleration of gravity.
As an example, if your rocket has a descent rate of 20 feet per second, the impact will be the same as if the rocket was dropped from 6.2 feet. Imagine dropping your rocket from 6.2 feet on the salt flats or the Pony Express without a parachute! This will be the same impact load. If you can make your parachute large enough to slow the descent rate to 10 feet per second, your equivalent drop height will be only 1.55 feet.
Originally printed in Extreme Rocketry Magazine
Rocketry is one of those things you do in life that has no in-between. You have either a complete success, or an unmitigated disaster. Every flight, including failures, is a new andunforgettable learning experience. While some of the disasters can be attributed to bad or defective equipment or materials, a lot of failures can be attributed to incorrect preparation.
You certainly feel bad when you forget wadding in your Big Bertha, but it pales in comparison to forgetting something when flying your Big Kahuna. And the more we pay attention to the successes and failures of others and ourselves, the more we learn and the better our chances are for successful flights in the future.
Flights with a regular model rocket are basic. Wadding-parachute-motor-igniter-plug and you're off to get a launch pad. Mid- and high-power rockets are more complex, so more things can go wrong. The lack of proper preparation reminds me of one flight I saw. The rocket represented a considerable investment of time, effort and money for this person. The lift-off, boost and coast were perfect, and separation charge fired at apogee. However, during separation, everybody saw the one little "oops" this rocketeer forgot: to fasten the shock cord to both sections of the rocket. The upper part of the rocket came in under parachute, but the booster came in ballistic. Ouch.
Trying to document all of the possible ways to go wrong would fill a James Michner novel. Here is a small list of failures what I have either witnessed or been guilty of myself: All it takes is something like a forgotten O-ring in the motor and you get a CATO. Or there's not fastening the shock cord correctly and you get more pieces coming down than went up. Forgetting to arm the recovery electronics gets you a ballistic rather than parachute recovery. Using the wrong size launch rod will send your rocket off in unwanted directions, if it cleared the rod at all. Forgetting wadding turns your parachute into either a melted wad or the equivalent of a screen door, both bad for future flights. Not verifying your CG on assembly can turn your vertical flight into a horizontal one. That's not a good way to get the crowd to do the Wave.
Since we are all rocket scientists, I decided to take a "page" from the professional rocket scientists and write check-off lists, or "procedures" as they call them, for rocket preparation and launch evolutions. Even in the middle of the Apollo 13 disaster, everybody had a procedure for everything. If there wasn't one, you wrote it to make sure everybody was clear on what they needed to have and what they were supposed to do. This made sure everybody was "on the same page."
Procedures are essential to a person like me. I would forget my head, as the saying goes, if it wasn't permanently attached. I run down a procedure to make sure I don't forget something every time I leave the house. If I didn't, I would leave at least one essential thing behind, every time. I started using procedures years ago when I was SCUBA diving. It is embarrassing to get to the dive site and discover you forgot your weight belt, regulator or fins (or all of them) as I did on several occasions.
The source of my organization comes from my Palm Pilot. Not only do I use it to help keep me organized, I can also recover flight data from my onboard computer into it while on the flight line as well. I mention Palm specifically because there is a shareware program called HandyShopper that I use for these lists. I use the Aisle #'s as step #'s so that I can easily adjust the order of things in a procedure if I have to. In practice, after completing a step, I merely check it off, just like if I had just grabbed the bread or eggs. If you don't have a handheld computer, clipboards and paper served the professionals for years.
The best way to develop your own procedures is to sit in a quiet area and go through everything in your mind, start to finish. After you have imagined them, write them down and go through the list again. Then go and perform the procedure, adding notes and adding/changing steps as you go. As with all endeavors in our lives, your mileage may vary. The standard that you should aim for is that anybody can understand and complete your procedures. Imagine yourself in a full body cast with your jaw wired shut. A fellow rocketeer of approximate experience should be able to get you to the range, prep and fly your rocket without any "input" from you.
The first list is the material preparation procedure. You make sure your rockets are ready, double check you have everything, test electronics, dip a few igniters, whatever you need to do to make yourself ready. This will prevent the proverbial running around like a headless chicken the morning of the launch, which cuts into flying time. Doing this over an evening or two during the week gets you 90% ready. All you have to do the night before is quickly check everything before packing it into the car to make sure no one has "borrowed" something. I verify my range box, motor box, etc. are properly stocked by writing in the bottom or on the cover of every compartment what is supposed to be there, so anything missing jumps out you.
Next you can concentrate on the family. Lay out clothes for everybody, make sure your club ID's, cash for range fees and so on are on hand (preferably packed in your range box).
The next procedure is car-packing. The order that I use to pack the vehicle is the opposite of what I will need on the range. Things that have to come out first (tables, chairs, etc.) go in last. If you pack everything but food and drink the night before, you can do it calmly and you have the time and leisure to double-check and properly secure the items. You also make sure the vehicle is up to the job. Check the fluids, tires, gas and so on. If your alarm doesn't go off and you wake up late on launch day, you can jump into your clothes, dash out to the car and drive off, with the worst consequences being you have forgotten food, drinks and family members.
Once you are on the range and set up, you can relax a bit and take a break. Fly some model rockets, catch up with club members, volunteer as RSO/LCO for a shift, whatever. Your prior planning has given you this break.
Once you are ready to launch a big rocket, pull out its' pre-flight procedure. You will probably need an individual procedure for each of your HPR rockets. This procedure should take your rocket from cold (unprepared) to warm (ready for RSO and the launch pad). The number of individual steps is not important. Clarity of the steps is important. Thirty-seven steps to load and secure the motor into the rocket might be a bit of overkill, but you don't want to have just "stick it in and tape it down" either. Make sure your flight card is filled out, electronics are installed and ready, your CP/CG ratio is good and everything is connected and ready to go.
Now comes the final countdown. Get your rocket approved by the RSO, draw a pad from the LCO, and head out with the rocket and your final preparation procedure. Verify the launch pad can handle your rocket, put the rocket on the pad, insert the igniter, arm the electronics, take the rocket from warm to hot (ready) and head back to the range head to ready your cameras.
If you have invested the time in developing your procedures, you have eliminated 98% of human error on your part. You have done everything you could to ensure a safe flight that ends in a recovered rocket.
The investment of time you spend at home developing these procedures will save countless hours and rockets on the range. As the military puts it, "The more you sweat in peacetime, the less you will bleed in wartime."
Safe and successful flying!
Remember, the things you need FIRST go in LAST.