Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Flying The Pitsco Solid Fuel Rockets

Today is the 22nd June, 2016. This has taken longer than I care for, I admit. It has either been too hot, too windy, or too rainy. If the rockets were going to fly, it had to be today. The temperature, while a bit warm, was at least not too oppressive, and the air was relatively dry.
I arrived at Hickory Street Park in Fernandina Beach just before 11am local time. Setting up was quick. Both rockets had been prepped before I even left home. First up was the older of the two, the "Cardinal", the one I initially built in 2014. Somewhere along the way, however, I had managed to lose the engine. Fortunately, I had a couple of Estes' A10-3T's, roughly the equivalent of an A8-3. Making an adapter was easy, and that would what carried the Cardinal aloft.

At 11:05am, I did a five second countdown and pressed the launch button. A second and a half later, it seemed, the Cardinal was aloft. It got good altitude for the small engine, and soon drifted back down to within a short distance of the launch pad, basically an RTLS (Return To Launch Site).
Canary was next.

I found the delay of launch on the Cardinal suspicious. As it turned out, there was a good reason for it; the batteries in my launch controller were dying. After two failed attempts, I decided to open up the controller and replace the batteries (word to the wise. Always carry spares). This time, the Canary went up, immediately after the launch button was pressed, zooming upward on the thrust of its A8-3 engine. Time was about 11:25am.
Both rockets performed solidly. Aside from my recommendations where their construction was concerned, I feel that these are very decent little performers.
Oh, and I shot videos of today's launch. Not the highest quality, mind you, but fun nevertheless.