The Oregon Rocketry Rocketober launch in Brothers, OR, was one of the best late-season events I have ever been to. After a rocky start on Friday with mostly cloudy weather and some rain in the afternoon, Saturday and Sunday turned out to be absolutely spectacular weather. Saturday was cloudless from the start, a bit chilly in the morning but calm and 72 degrees in the afternoon. Sunday had a few clouds a was a bit breezier, but was even warmer than Saturday. It was tough to shut down the range on Sunday afternoon with such great weather – when I left at 4 PM, there were still half a dozen people hanging out and launching rockets.
I counted 126 flight cards for the weekend – a full breakdown of flights will follow when I have time to tally the data. The flight line was crowded when I got there about 9 AM on Saturday, but most people were still drinking hot coffee due to the early morning chill. After an hour or so we had a steady stream of traffic to the pads. There were some great flights at this launch. Neil Anderson put up a 3” minimum diameter 2-stage rocket on Saturday afternoon that went to over 35,000′ (M3100 to L350) with an absolutely flawless flight. He followed that up on Sunday with a 2” minimum diameter 2-stage flight (L935 to K300) that was also flawless. Thanks Neil and Steve for a great display of staged rocketry (including a static display of the 2-stage 4” rocket that went to 118,000 feet last month). This was a good launch for high power 2-stage rockets, as Rob Lamb put up a 3” to 2” (M2250 to K300) rocket on Sunday; the booster worked splendidly but the sustainer had some issues. Brian Van’t Hul also launched a 2-stage K to H later on Sunday that had a very nice flight. Finally, Rick Clapp launched his Cherokee-M 7.5” diameter rocket on an N3300 Redline motor on Sunday that had a spectacular flight to about 11,000 feet. I will post some pictures of flights after I have had a chance to do some editing.
Thanks to all those people who helped with range set-up, LCO duty, and range tear-down for this launch (especially David Birch, who showed up on Thursday with the trailer to get things set up early Friday). And thanks to all those who brought some great rockets to fly and made this a memorable launch. I’d also like to say thanks all those who helped throughout the season made this one of the best seasons ever for Oregon Rocketry, especially the hard-working members of the board who stepped up when needed. On a personal note, thanks to Frank and Sophie Burke, Tim Ryerse, and my wife Susan who spent time last weekend helping me comb the sage and finally successfully recover the bottom half of my Tomach rocket that went to 17,000 feet on a K700 at the August launch. That was nice closure for the season.