Sunday, March 15, 2009
LDRS-6 & the Black Brant II
This is a pic taken of me at LDRS-6 in August of 1987.
Hartsell Colorado. The launch site was 8800ft ASL.
Jogging is NOT recommended.
We saw a number of rockets, that were said to be
perfectly stable at home fields, go unstable in flight
due to the thinner air.
Of course, this being LDRS, a lot of rockets had bigger
motors in them than ever flown at home. Please take
no notice at this time of how the motor protrudes
from my rocket.
I'm holding my FSI Black Brant II. A fine kit for it's day
and an excellent flier. I did a great job on it, and it
drew a lot of compliments, though I left off the myriad
screw head details. Each fin was composed of 7 pieces;
a 1/32"ply core with airframe tongues, a tapered
hardwood spar on each side, for the airfoil highpoint,
then 4 pieces of sheet balsa to complete the structure.
This was a lot of work, but it made it a lot easier to
sand an accurate airfoil, and made for a much sturdier
fin and mounting than the stock 1/4" balsa.
In 1987; Reloads didn't exist, Glassing was rare, and I
know of only one altimeter flown at the entire launch.
The too long motor is an Aerotek G25. One of the great
moonburners of the past. 4.7 second burn! I had signed-up
to have Chuck Rogers do altitude tracking but the LCO
launched me early by mistake. Too bad, 'cause it was
really up there!
I finally lost the Black Brant years later in a
ridiculously small patch of woods a very short distance
from my house. I looked many times, it just vanished.
I was 27 when this pic was taken, not a grey hair to be
seen. The antique safety glasses I'm wearing were given
to me by a friend. I had the stock green torch lenses
replaced with blue-block lenses which are great for
rocket tracking. Any paint with red or orange pigment
stands out big-time. Those glasses were so ME, long, long
before steam got riveted to punk.
One Saturday morning, I dragged my butt to work after a
vile night of debauchery. I turned to a co-worker, tapped
on the glasses and said; "I'm wearing these glasses for
your safety, not mine."