Perchlorathon April 2010

This was my first time at a Frank launch and it sure didn’t disappoint. I had actually decided on going the night before around midnight, and finished mixing up a 54mm 3 grain TTS load to put in my Laser LOC. Around 2am I went to bed and got a few hours of much needed “beauty rest” before heading out to Lucerne at 6:30am.

The crowd was light and very friendly, and Frank was there in all his minivan-driving short-wearing glory. After spending some time meeting some new people and chatting with Frank on things from TMT certification to Chinese food I began cutting the recently cast 54mm grains. While I was prepping my rocket there were several interesting flights that allowed me to get some wind sprints in. Next launch I will be doing some stretching beforehand so I don’t pull a hammy.

Since there were no rails available I was forced to tape a ½” lug to the side of the rocket with electrical tape (what could go wrong, right?). I additionally placed my cheap ebay video camera on the side to record the flight. As I announced my flight everyone moved behind their cars, including Frank who moved his chair even further back which made me chuckle a bit. After a five countdown things got interesting. The motor burned perfectly but the rocket sustained some rod whip and had a squirrely boost before suddenly becoming stable. The weird thing is as that I have flow the same configuration (as well as smaller and longer motors) with perfectly straight flights. The loaded rocket had 2.5 calibers of static stability and was fine in that respect. However, the Laser Loc fins have a short span and therefore don’t restore the rocket to equilibrium as quickly as a rocket with larger fins after the flight has been disrupted. See the video below and you be the judge.

J418 Onboard video

Anyway everything turned out fine and the rocket recovered undamaged with good video. I had a lot of fun and it was great talking with Frank who must have asked me my name 10 times throughout the day. One time he called me Joe, which, was a lot closer than his second favorite choice of Matt….I’m sure he’ll get it eventually. His wife was a real kick to, the dynamic of this couple was histerical. It was a real pleasure to say the least.