Dickieville Newsletter ... June 2006

Brie's end of season Tennis Team party

RPI reunion... you can see all the gory details here if you want

Dave runs the Chase Corporate Challenge (3.5 miles) in 26:01

To the right, Tasha continues to look insanely cute.

Best Father's day ever:

<- Cool Gift

Family game ->

^ Surf and Turf ^




Second Launch Day!

Father's day was also the second launch day of the year.  There were new kids in town… from right to left, the jumbo-sized Hawk MIM-23, standing a little over three feet tall, the Phoenix AIM-54 reborn (a new one to replace the one lost on the composite fuel engine), my first two-stage rocket, the Renegade (aka “doomed to crash and burn”), the Shuttle Express E2X with it’s two side-mounted gliders, and the repaired Intruder.

The Intruder didn’t even make it to the launch… I kind of missed the launch guide when I repaired the wing tips, and then snapped one wing tip off carrying too many things to the launch site. 



We started with the E2X on a “C,” which worked pretty well for the main rocket body.  The gliders detached at apogee, as expected, but instead of gliding they came down like arrows and plowed into the ground, snapping the wings off.  Bummer.

Launch two was the Hawk (takeoff below), and it was beautiful, straight as an arrow, the weight of the rocket making the time for liftoff longer and more dramatic.  The parachute deployed perfectly and it came down very close to where we launched it from.  Sweet.

The mighty Hawk takes off!

Launch three was the Renegade, which I’d had some problems with.  It’s the first two stage rocket I’ve built and I didn’t realize how tight the tolerance for the placement of the two engine blocks had to be.  As a result, the booster stage engine was recessed into the engine compartment, making it difficult to insert the igniter.  I did manage it, however, and the sucker launched… then, a few seconds in, the booster stage fired the separation charge that ignites the main engine and separates the two stages.  Unfortunately, the coupler was a little tight.  Instead of separating the stages, the charge blew the main engine mount right out the front of the rocket, creating a little whirling dervish as the less than aerodynamic main engine spun around crazily, spewing smoke and flame.  Bummer, but it was pretty amusing.

See the Renegade crash and burn

Launch four was the Hawk again, and again, it was a beautiful flight, perfect parachute deployment, and flawless recovery.   
Launch five was the Phoenix reborn.  A nice launch, but it took off pointing a little down wind, and went substantially higher than the Hawk.  As a result, when it came down on its chute it was right at the tree line, and got caught in a tree about ten, twelve feet off the ground.  I managed to recover it, but one of the square fins broke in the process.

     Launch...               Looking good...       in the trees

So, on launch day two, the count stands at four in five… five rockets launched, four damaged.  I can repair the Phoenix, the E2X, and the Intruder.  The Renegade is a little more iffy.  Still, looking forward to it, and now that Will is into building as well as launching, we are going to be hip deep in model rockets, I think. 

Building rockets

Hawk construction... using cardboard cutouts to hold the fins in position while gluing them. 

It's together, time for the paint job.


Top of the Hawk and bottom of the Phoenix dry off, using my super-high-tech rocket holder for the Phoenix.

To the left, Will builds the E2X.  Below, the final product, ready for launch.