The scale models were judged for their static scores Saturday evening. My Saturn 1b
ended up in second place. I made made a few additional pieces to help the launch to succeed. My major concern was whether the motors’ ejection charges would push out the recovery devices or spit out the motors. I was extremely happy when the parachutes appeared at apogee. All four motors worked great. Unfortunately the rocket spun to hide two of the flames in the photograph Terri took.
Two of the fins were damaged upon landing. The escape motor tower was also snapped in half by the impact. This cost me a few flight points, but I still maintained second place. Its next flight will utilize larger parachutes to minimize potential landing damage.
A nice surprise was to discover an air and space museum in Kalamazoo
. We swung by the Air Zoo
on the way to Wisconsin
. It was a lot of fun and a nice break from driving. They had one of the SR-71 Blackbirds
given to NASA
after the Air Force
retired them. NASA
used them for various high speed experiments.
There were some interesting space related items too. El Kabong
grabbed my attention. It was used to test methods of landing the Gemini
spacecraft on land instead of water. Many of the drop tests resulted in crash landings which earned it the El Kabong
nickname. The idea of using parasails
for guided landings has always fascinated me. It was neat to see an actual vehicle which used this method.
Saturday was the first day of the US team tryouts. One of the events I wanted to compete in, S4 boost glider, was held in the morning. I decided the night before to skip it this year. I was just too far behind in building my gliders, and there were quite a few people competing for a spot on this team. One of the designs popular in this event is a swing/flop glider. This is a design I have not attempted before. They usually perform well in competitions, but I will probably stick with my current gliders using a fixed wing.
All members of the unofficial Team Texas attended the flyoffs. James Duffy and Tony Reynolds both competed in the scale and scale altitude events at the last World Championships. James is from the Austin area like myself, and Tony resides in Dallas. One difference was Tony did not enter a scale model this time. He did enter models in most of the other events. You can see him and his son George placing a rocket into a launch tower. I believe he performed well in the S6 streamer event, though he may be the alternate.
James only entered a scale model like myself. One of the unique rules for this tryout allowed a boilerplate model to be flown rather than our primary model. James simply used the Little Joe model he took to the World Championships for scale judging. He brought along a test version to perform the actual flights. The pictures shows his launch with a four motor cluster.