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I Love the Smell of AP in the Morning!

It was a great day at the ranch!  (Many thanks, again, to Bill Orvis and his family for allowing us to fly on their ranch!)

The temperatures were moderate: not hot, certainly not cold.  In the sun, it was pleasantly warm.  The winds were very light.  The sky was clear.  It had rained lightly—just enough—a couple of days before, so the fire danger was minimal.  Many of us were really itching to get out to fly on the grass, to fly high, to fly big, just to fly.

On Thursday evening, I checked my inventory and decided what to bring; Friday evening, I loaded up the car and got a mobile breakfast ready.  I planned to fly 4TNC (“4 Tubes and a Nose Cone,” a take-off on the stereotypical 4FNC [or 3FNC]—4 Fins and a Nose Cone—denoting the simplest of model rocket configurations) and Die Fledermaus, and also took Krystal (though I figured it unlikely I’d fly her) and my venerabl 50+ flight Alpha III.  This was to be Die Fledermaus’s first flight since the crash.  That crash, on her second flight, was not serious, but some creek bed stones punctured the airframe.  Though I have not finished sanding out the patches, much less painting them, I decided it was time to fly.

I flew 4TNC a couple of times, to get things started easily.  B6-4 on the first flight, C6-7 on the second.  Both nice flights.

Die Fledermaus

Die Fledermaus Racked and Loaded

Die Fledermaus under Boost.  (Picture courtesy of and © 2014 by Rick Baldridge, used with permission.)

Die Fledermaus under Boost. (Picture courtesy of and © 2014 by Rick Baldridge, used with permission.)

First flight: G64-4W.  The rocket arced off the pad a bit more than I wanted, but it was a nice, pretty flight with white smoke against the blue sky’s background.  The rocket landed across the creek, about 80 or 100 meters north of the flight line.  Second flight: another G64-4W.  This flight went straight up, and was still clawing for the sky when the chute deployed: a 7 second delay, though perhaps too long, would have yielded a higher maximum altitude.  Again, landing was a bit north of the flight line, perhaps 50 or so meters.  Both flights hit 200 meters.

I arrived at the Ranch about 10am.  It was good to see folks again.  And we all agreed that morning to a paraphrase of Col. Kilgore.

Blade o' Death

Launch of Alan Thym’s Blad o’ Death from the high power pads.

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