If there is only one thing that UROC members can agree on, it's that every launch has a story. Below are just a few of the stories, reviews, and experiences of UROC members, the press, and others regarding their experiences at a Utah Rocket Club event. If you have a story that you'd like to share we'd love to see it!
During HellFire 17 we fired 317 motors of various sorts over 4 days. Overall skewed more to high power on Friday as one might expect during the Research launch. The predominant motor was "I" class impulse - many fewer C and below unlike previous years. We're all getting aggressive in our old age.
Total Engines fired 371
A -14 0
A -12 1
A - 15
B - 16
C - 41
D - 23
E - 23
F - 28
G - 52
H - 45
I - 56
J - 34
K - 21
L - 9
M - 5
N - 1
O - 1
The weather was beautiful with light winds all day though with increasing high clouds as the afternoon progressed. We had a great many more flyers than I expected with launches from B to L motors. We had 4 low power pads and 2 (sometimes 3) medium power pads and USU's trailer pad. These were pretty much booked solid until 2PM.
Lots of spectators came out, we might see some new members later. The small PA system worked just fine - just don't stand directly in front of the speaker when you make an announcement. The rest of the launch equipment behaved itself.
We had a number of Christmas packages to be launched; all of dubious stability. Bob Morstadt supplied a small ad-hoc pad that we put out 300' to avoid accidents. This was very successful and the rockets justified this distance.
We had a number of successful 2 stage flights including Bob's Nike with 5 D's and Fred William's pretty rocket. Fred flew a number of cameras that I'm hoping for some video from.
USU flew their USLI competition rocket on an L which after ignitor problems probably reached their required altitude but did not separate and came in ballistic about 1 mile north. When we left at 2:30 they were still hunting for the impact though they had found some pieces. Jim Buchmiller was reasonably close to the impact point and reports that the chute came out just before impact but by that point it was going too fast to make much difference. I inspected this rocket before hand and the construction was fairly good with two strato-loggers and a Raven for the aero-spike control. It didn't appear that they had any telemetry to see what was happening.
We wrapped up at 2:30 and Ken and I put all the stuff back in the trailer.
Even though the launch was late in the year, the UROC flyers were able to launch over 100 flights on Saturday.
As you can see we did have quite a few scouts attending, hence the large amount of A, B and C motors. It wasn't all small motors though. There also a good number of I, J and K motors.
HellFire 16 was a success for 2011 and UROC.
Here's the first bit of data compiled from the salt... Motor usage for the entire event. Even the fact that some of these motors were used in complex project (multiple motors in a single rocket) we had over 400 flights! Very respectable numbers. As you can see the C motors are waaaay off the curve.
The day’s weather started off in the low 50s with a constant wind of around 12mph. With the exception of a few short periods, the wind continued throughout the day. The USU team began to show up about 8:30am and continued to come in throughout the morning. There were about 30 people onsite related to the project.
In addition to the USU team there were some UROC members onsite. Tim Boschert, Matt Parkin and his family, Neal, Chris, and Lizzy Baker, Doug Robinson, Randall and Cathy Redd, Steve and Wesley Anderson and several others that I've probably failed to mention. Doug Robinson flew his new 5.5" creation on an I266 for a perfect flight. There were numerous model rocket flights by Matt and his family and Chris Baker lofted a few as well.
On Saturday, November 18th, the mid-power rocketry class culminated in the launching of the rockets that had been built on the previous Saturday. The class was offered by the Utah Museum of Natural History and taught again this year by UROC member Frank Whitby, assisted by yours truly, Jim Yehle, and Tobin Yehle. The kit chosen for this year's class was the Gangsta from Binder Design.
When the day started at 8am the winds were already better than 5mph with gusts to 10mph. We knew then that there would have to be a strategy to flying competition rockets in this kind of weather.
Most of us would quickly get the Parachute Duration (PD) rockets out of the way while wind was at its calmest because the wind would only get gustier as the day progressed. The winners would put their first flight up with a medium sized chute (about 18 to 24”) so as to be able to get it back. The second flight, which doesn’t have to be returned, contestants went for the gusto and put up 30” chutes and bigger.
Pioneer ?99 turned out to be the biggest contest that the Utah area has seen in a long time. A total of sixteen contestants participated in a weekend of great weather that produced some excellent flights. Four events were held: B BG, C Streamer, D Helicopter and E Dual Egg Duration.
Across the fierce white of the Bonneville Salt Flats, rocketeers set up green, blue and tan tarps tied with thin white ropes last weekend. Beneath the covers was a scurry of activity. Rocketeers assembled motors and put the finishing touches on their rockets as they prepared them for launch. Under certain shelters were tables of kits and parts for purchase at this clandestine spot.