Randy's Level 1 & 2
After attending my first High Power Launch at
Bomber field in Monaville, Texas, I decided it was
time to move on from my Mid Powered Rockets. I
ordered and built a Rocketman Thunderchicken.
While painting it with Yellow flourecsent paint the
results were less than spectacular. I got
agravated and shot on a coat of Metalflake Blue.
The finish was great. Since I had never seen a
blue chicken I decided to call it the Blue Goose.
For a twist in the spelling I went with Blew Goose.
I built this kit with intentions of going for level 1.
But since it is a 300 mile drive up to the launch
site at Monaville, I decided to go ahead and
purchase a second kit to use for level 2 if my
level 1 was successful. This was about the same
time that Ky came out with his Rocketman
Freedom to Fly Explorer-7. It fit the bill just right.
A call to Ky and a couple of weeks later had me
building the Explorer. Both the goose and the
explorer were built basiclly stock by the
instructions with the exception that I added about
10 extra feet of shock cord to each kit. After all it
was my certification flights and I didnt want to
take any chances. As a side note I called the
Explorer "The Nightmare" because every time the
UPS man would deliver another package my wife
would say, "This is just a bad dream."
Preparations For my level 1 on the
Thunderchicken, I loaded up an Aerotech H128.
For safety's sake I also loaded an ejection
charge and attached it to my Olsen M2 altimeter
set to fire at 1.5 seconds after apogee. This gave
me the motor charge at apogee and a safety
charge after that. I have seen too many rockets
bite the dust after a long delay. The day was
windy so I reefed my Rocketman R4 chute about
1 ft shorter on the shroud lines and put the
rocket on the pad. 5-4-3-2-1- launch and off she
went on a picture perfect flight to 1046 ft. Not a
lot of altitude but I had it at the maximum of 20
degrees into the wind to try to send it as far up
range as possible. The wind was howling at close
to the 20 mph maximum for a safe launch. It
weathervaned a little into the wind and ejection
was with the rocket travelling pretty close to
horizontal to the ground. Thanks goodness for
the soft deploying chutes. Deployment was
perfect and the rocket decended stable to a
recover about 1/4 mile downrange. Level 1
For my level 2 the very next day, the wind was up
early again. I went ahead and loaded my
Explorer-7 with an Aerotech J-350 and set up my
Olsen M2 to work with the same deployment
scheme I used the previous day on the
Thunderchicken. Motor at apogee followed
shortly by the altimeter charge. Since this rocket
projected out at 3000 ft. on the simulators I used
the same plan of getting it as far upwind as
possible before deployment. After everything was
loaded and prepped I waited for a drop in the
winds. And waited and waited. Finally about an
hour before our waiver closed the wind dropped
enough to hopefully insure a recovery in the
same county I launched in. I loaded her on the
pad and the LCO launched. The explorer headed
upwind but did not weathervane much. The flight
remained at about the 18 degree angle it was
launched at. Deployment was at apogee but it
took a few seconds for the chute to open. That
was no problem though. These Rocketman
chutes open very softly. The drift was stable and
the rocket was recovered about 1/2 mile
downrange. Level 2 successful.
|A Nightmare, a Chicken and a Blue Goose
Lead to Successful Certification
|Level 1 BlewGoose in flight,
|Randy and the BlewGoose on the pad.
|with The Nightmare before the flight.