Cernier, Switzerland, 19-21 September, 2003 - ALRS IV is the fourth international launch organised by Argos, a Swiss HPR rocketry club. This year a group of eight brave Dutch rocketeers made the 10 hour journey to Switzerland and arrived Thursday after midnight at a chalet nearby the launch site. Friday we went to the launch site and started to prepare the rockets. Of the NAVRO members only Bert Koerts had prepared his Orange in time to launch that afternoon, but his motor didn't ignited several times. Tripoli The Netherlands member Thiemo van Engelen did launch rockets that day. He launched his HufflePuff on an AeroTech H238-T and it made a perfect flight. Thiemo also launched his Quick 'n Bright on an H128-W, which had a good flight except for a battery problem. Of course many other rockets were launched, from model rockets with Estes motors to AeroTech J-motor propelled HPR rockets. That evening we tasted the local cuisine. The evening ended with beer and wine, some tinkering on the rockets and more beer and wine.
The Saturday morning we went early to the launch site to make the final preparations to our rockets. Bert Koerts finally managed to ignite the K185-W motor of his Orange, which made a good flight. Mark Uitendaal and Leon Krancher were to launch their Spectre again. This time not propelled by one of their own PVC J350-SB motors, but by an AeroTech J350-W as ALRS is an HPR launch. In the few days between NLD18 and ALRSIV, they refined the camera system in the rocket. The Spectre made a good flight and the camera system worked. Pleun Punt also launched a rocket launched at NLD18. He had to rebuild some parts of his Bjorn, because it didn't parachute at NLD18. The refurbished Bjorn Again, was launched on a J350-W and successfully parachuted. Meanwhile Thiemo had launched two rockets. He launched the Quick 'n Bright again, but with by an I200-W motor this time. Again it had battery problems but, otherwise it was a good flight. His Obi Wan/Too however did have a perfect flight on a J350-W.
Our launches ended with the highlight of the day: Bert Koerts' Orion. He already had launched this 5 metre long monster once to gain his level 3, on an earlier ALRS where its main chute was deployed to soon. After a long preparation session, where a malfunctioning altimeter was replaced, it was ready to launch. The Orion was carried by three man to the tower. It was to be launched from a new tower, so it was modified with new larger rail guides. At the tower it was discovered the screws of rail guides stuck out to much. So back to the preparation area, where we all helped to replace these screws and washers with sunken screws. We carried the Orion back to the tower to be launched. The Orion had a M2400-T motor. The launch was very spectacular, but unfortunately the main chute didn't deploy. When it landed, the rocket was broken at two points and was beyond repair.
We went to the flight dinner and had a nice evening. The next day we went home, very satisfied.