ASK 't Harde, 6 September, 2002 - Even after a dozen successfully organized launches the program can be improved. The preparation of the rockets and motors is done earlier on the Thursday this year, which means the launches can start earlier in the morning. Also two rockets are prepared in two launch towers simultaneously and the second is to be launched after the first has landed. After the preparations we all had a good meal and a great evening in the mess.
The Friday began early, but the clouds were at an altitude of about 150 to 200 metre. The launch schedule was changed, so the lower flying rockets were launched first. The first launches were eight rockets from the Twente Space Camp, which is part of a "summer school" project of the Twente University. Single-use AeroTech F23 and G38 motors powered the rockets they built, so they just fell in the category model rockets. The Twist, Eendagsvlieg, Dark Project, Rocket Jaws, ZGRK, TSC Promo rocket, Quick Silver and Thunderbert were all painted very well, especially the Eendagsvlieg. All eight had a good flight, and (only) two didn't deploy their parachute. The most notably failure was the demonstration rocket built by the organisers. According to the TSC organizers this was their most successful year.
Next was the ZSM rocket of NAVRO member Pleun Punt. It was the second flight of the rocket and didn't parachute correctly the first time. The ZSM made a great flight on an AeroTech H180-W, and parachuted correctly. After the lunch break and after two Alouette helicopters had landed the NAVRO project N23 was launched with great success on a K550-W. For the sixth flight of the airframe, the rocket was modified again. To have a quieter descend, the rocket descended nose down while hanging on the drogue chute and on deployment of the main chute it would change direction and land tail down. This system worked exactly like planned.
Next were two rockets of Rolf Querido: the Phoenix on H97-J and the AMRAAM 4 on J350-W. The Phoenix, Rolf's favourite, had a good flight and was found intact. The AMRAAM 4 also had a good flight and its two-stage recovery system worked perfectly. Several people saw the rocket land, but it couldn't be found. Meanwhile the sky had cleared. Following these flights, were the Chiquita of NAVRO member Remy van Herwijnen, and the Vortex of Mark Uitendaal and Leon Krancher. Although the Chiquita was planned to go first, the motor's igniter failed to work twice. The Vortex motor was developed by Mark and Leon and it was their motors first flight. Although the motor had been tested thoroughly, they both were very nervous. The rocket made a great flight over 500m, much to their relief. Next was the third attempt to launch the Chiquita. The G54-W motor was ignited this time and the rocket flew in slow motion to an altitude of about 135m. After packing in record time we all went home with the feeling it was a great launch.
See you all in the spring of 2003 at NLD17.