ASK 't Harde, 24 August, 2001 - Finally the NAVRO was to launch again. The previous launch, the NLD13, was cancelled twice because of the foot-and-mouth disease.
Setting up the launch site began the day before as usual. Our first guest arrived early. The Danish Space Challenge were to launch two rockets on Friday. After we both built our towers we were admiring the others. The Danish guests were a bit jealous, because the NAVRO tower was two metres longer."It's an ego problem", we were told. After the good dinner, the guests from Tripoli The Netherlands began to arrive. Some preparations to the rockets was done that evening. Later we all had a great evening with lots of rocketry discussions and beer.
We woke up early on the Friday and the last of the preparations were done. The weather was very good, almost no wind and some high clouds. First was the N22 of the NAVRO. The airframe was to make its fifth (!) flight, as the rocket's airframe was the same as the N18's of 1999. This time the rocket motor was an AeroTech K550-W motor, which has the same performance as the proposed upgraded Kalinitrox motor. With this motor the Hercules rockets will leave the tower at an higher speed. And that is exactly what happened. The rocket left the tower quickly and reach an altitude of 1600 metres. Again it parachuted and landed perfect.
Next were two rockets of Tripoli member Rolf Querido. First was the Phoenix with an H97-J, which flew good, but the parachute was blown out and landed without it. The rocket was recovered intact. Next was his Amraam 4 with an J350-W, which had a successful flight.
The following rocket was the Sentinel of Bert Koerts, which had a great flight on a J570-W, but the main parachute didn't deploy.
Next were the two rockets of the Danish Space Challenge, the SSRV-1A and SSRV-2A. These were the first rockets DSC were to launch. Both had a great flight. The wind direction had changed between their launches, so both flew in a different direction. Both were recovered intact and were launched again 14 September at NERO's Netherlaunch II.
The last launch of the day was the G-Loc with an H180-W of the very nervous Benjamin Wilkosz. He already had made two attempts to get his Tripoli level 1 before. This time his rocket flew perfect and he finally has got his level 1. Congratulations, Benjamin!
Looking back, the NLD14 was a successful day with great flights, good weather, great guests and again no safety incidents.
See you all at NLD15, April/May 2002!