The Utah Rocket Club's official schedule is set and is available on the website for your viewing pleasure. Among the changes from last year, the club has reduced the number of member meetings in favor of quality over quantity. While the club does have some very good presentations throughout the year at meetings, if a specifc presentation is not planned the meetings are very administrative and not very interesting to the general membership. So, some of the monthly meetings have been deemd Administrative and will be for the officers and board members to plan activities and address issues. Members are still more than welcome to attend but should not feel obligated to do so.
An additional launch date after HellFire has been added to the schedule and an additonal Sport Competition has been added to the first half of the year. There will be additional workshops, contests and other events added to the calendar as they are confirmed.
We hope that these changes to the club's activity schedule continue to improve the overall enjoyment of our members.
UROC's upcoming launch for October 14 is a go. We anticipate the launch only taking place on Saturday (Oct 14) as opposed to a two-day launch due to the low temperatures but it looks like we should have a pretty good day. A porta pottie will be onsite and the trailer is expected to roll in around 830am or so on Saturday morning. The more folks we have to help set the equipment up the quicker we can get flying. We do expect winds to increase later in the day so the earlier we can get the launch system up and running the more flight time we will have.
It's safe to say that Halloween is many people's favorite holiday. This appears to be the case with Mitch. He has come up with a couple of contests for us to participate in at the UROC Launch in October (14 and 15) to get us all in the Halloween spirit.
1. Best Halloween themed/decorated rocket - Entries will be judged first. The highest ranking rocket to successfully fly safely is the winner. Mitch will be providing prizes for these contests (thanks Mitch!) Fiirst prize is two G motors. Second prize is a Quest kit.
We will also be holding a "Most Repeated Flights" Contest, basically, whoever has the most successful, safe flights with any one rocket during the October launch will win. Same prizes for this contest as for the Halloween contest (Thanks again Mitch!).
In the event that a minor wins the first in either contest, the motor will be presented to their parents or guardian.
We'd really like to thank Mitch for the donations and the great ideas for the contests and would very much like to ask everyone to participate. We've got a few weeks to go before the launch and really looking forward to some greatr competition!
This launch will be held as a two-day event if the weather is cooperative. We have permission from the BLM for overnight camping at the launch site. We invite members to camp out Saturday evening and take advantage of the great weather early on Sunday as well. This launch will be held under the Tripoli Research rules. Also be aware that only members of UROC are allowed to participate in the launch. If you are not a member you can sign up online or at the launch.
As always, we will need help running the launch, RSO, LCO, pad managers and lots of help setting up and tearing down the range. We do have a Porta Potty ordered for this launch. Set up is expected to begin around 8:00 am and we will fly in to the early afternoon or until the wind gets to be too strong and if the weather permits maybe start up some model rocketry in the evening.
Sunday morning should prove to be some excellent flying time. The range should be set up, ready to go long before the wind catches us.
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's May launch was held as a two-day event on Saturday, May 20th and Sunday, May 21st. We had a good showing of UROC members as well as some new members. A small group of members camped out Friday night and Clair and Maureen Mills brought the trailer out Friday night as well. As a result, after a pretty cold night, the range began to be set up early on Saturday. The range was in place and ready to fly by about 9:15 am. A safety meeting was held where Neal Baker (club president) and Jim Yehle (Tripoli Prefect) provided information about the launch rules and other safety concerns. Weather was very good on Saturday, temperatures were in the high 60s and winds were surprisingly low all day. With the exception of a few late afternoon bursts the wind was as tame as any of us have seen out there. Flights continued until around 5:00pm on Saturday.
Attendance was very good for this launch with close to 85 - 95 people in attendance at the high point on Saturday. Throughout Saturday there were just around 70 seperate flights and about 13 on Sunday. There were a mix of L1 through L3 certification attempts (17 with TRA and NAR combined)
Many of the cert flights were succesful including veteran UROC member Kirk Weaver who re-certified both Level 1 and Level 2 this weekend. Another highlight of this launch was Gene Hendrix's succesful TRA Level 3 flight on an M2500. It was very evident after the launch on Saturday that the vegetation conditions on site already are not going to permit a June/July launch at the Frank Hunt Field due to the extreme fire hazard.
Overall this was a very succesful launch, the night launch did not occur as most folks went back to town in the evening, but the time shared after the launch for those who did stay out into the evening was enjoyable.new friendships were made and old ones strengthened.
It rained during Saturday night and into Sunday morning but it died off by around 9 and the range was able to be activated and a little over a dozen flights were flown including a perfect flight for Ron Blosch's newest creation on a J800. We had some great help and support with clean up on Sunday and the launch was finished by 1:00pm, just prior to the next storm that rolled through.
Thanks to everyone that helped with setting up, fire control, tear down, range duty, and just being great members of UROC. Make sure to check out the UROC Group on Facebook and UROC's own Gallery for shared photos
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.
This is a status update for the upcoming September 17 Research Launch - Hazardous wildfire conditions have resulted from low fuel moistures and hot, dry weather. These conditions are expected to persist with extreme fire behavior possible. So far this season, the majority of fires have been human caused. It is the policy of the Bureau of Land Management to take all necessary actions to protect human life, the public lands and the resources and improvements thereon through the prevention of wildfires. The Frank Hunt Field (our launch site) is currently under a fire restriction status. As predicted, this restriction has cancelled our upcoming launch scheduled for September 17.
This is a status update for the upcoming September 17 Research Launch - Hazardous wildfire conditions have resulted from low fuel moistures and hot, dry weather. These conditions are expected to persist with extreme fire behavior possible. So far this season, the majority of fires have been human caused. It is the policy of the Bureau of Land Management to take all necessary actions to protect human life, the public lands and the resources and improvements thereon through the prevention of wildfires. The Frank Hunt Field (our launch site) is currently under a fire restriction status. This may affect our upcoming launch scheduled for September 17.
UROC’s president has been in contact with our BLM representative and based on that discussion we are moving ahead with the assumption that the launch will proceed, however this will be entirely up to the discretion of the Utah Fire Authority and BLM. As always, UROC will comply with their recommendations. The status of this launch could change as late as the Thursday prior to the event so please plan accordingly and monitor this site (www.uroc.org) for updates to the status of the launch.
Launches over the next two months have had their dates changed slighty from what had been posted previously. Please note that our next launch is a Tripoli Research Launch taking place on April 18th and then followed the next month by a NAR Sport Launch on May 16th. Please make note of these changes and always check this website prior to heading out to a UROC launch. As always, these dates are subject to change or cancellation without notice.
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.
If you were having a hard time deciding what day to come out to HellFire the decision was just made for you…This is the biggest single motor launch HellFire has had. Blown Fuse will be flying on Thursday, July 31st 2008 during the Tripoli Research Launch portion of HellFire.
Blown Fuse is built and flown by Ron Weigel, Jerry Hughes and Jack Blair. The rocket has flown before, the first flight was at Balls 15 where it reached an altitude of 17, 200 feet AGL and again at Balls 16 where it reached an altitude of 15,200 feet AGL.
Blown Fuse is a 10" fiberglass filament wound airframe with 1/2" Baltic birch fins that have a fiberglass overlay. The complete rocket is just about 16’ tall and weighs in at about 90 lbs without a motor. With the motor installed the rocket weighs in at just around 200 lbs.
The rocket will fly on an EX motor which was also mixed and cast by Jerry, Ron, and Jack that equates to a P7000 and utilizes the Wimpy Red propellant formulation.
Recovery of the Blown Fuse will be dual deployment configuration. Deployment will be controlled by a pair of Olsen altimeters (Go Olsen or Go Home!) With a Rocketman 8ft ballistic drogue chute stuffed into a Rocket Rage deployment bag. The Main parachute will be a Rocket Rage RRQS210 also stuffed into a Rocket Rage Deployment bag.