Sunday, April 3, 2011

First launch of the year! (pt. 1)

Today was my first launch of 2011, a METRA launch as usual. The conditions were warm, but windy. I had 4 flights, with only a few minor problems. But the most important news is that I have finally made my first on-board rocket footage using the small spy camera purchased last year. The footage is pretty good (for a first time) and I will be posting it soon. Sadly, at 450 MB, it will take me another day to get it up on Youtube. I will also prepare the images from this launch, and make a full post tomorrow. But I wanted to start with some of the prep. work from before the launch.

At the last minute, I decided to fix up three nosecones that were never quite finished. They have been riding around in a plastic bag since 2006 waiting for a good sand job and a coat of epoxy. Anyway I typically use my closet for this because I can close it after and limit fume exposure. The cones are left to drip dry, and the epoxy coat winds up nice and even. But in this case, there was something wrong with the duct tape, and it did not hold very well. 30 minutes into the process, I heard a clunk sound. One nose cone fell into the box used to catch drips of epoxy. As a result the cone has some cosmetic defects that will require sanding and a redo later. But it will work just fine until then, and is just one of three 2.6 inch cones anyway.

Also, the motor supplies were lined up to see what remains from last year. Not a bad stockpile. Granted 7 of these motors were used today. Probably a good enough excuse to get out and order more.

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