It was a cold and snowy night, but we had a great meeting. Ted Decker, a columnist with the Columbus Dispatch, visited and interviewed us about John Glenn’s influence on our lives and passions. We would have spent a lot of time discussing him anyway – he was a true American hero that we all admired. The article that Ted wrote was very well-written; it captured our discussion wonderfully, woven with a great biography of the astronaut.
We also talked about various construction and finishing techniques, including efforts to prevent zippering, and use of Kevlar shock cords. We discussed future launches, but decided against a December launch, based on an unpleasant weather forecast.
Our November launch was met by chilly, but otherwise perfect weather – clear skies with no appreciable wind. We spent several hours flying various rockets, and had a fun and educational experience. Recoveries were generally very good, but we had some interesting failures. Ed lost a Mosquito that had seen many years and many launches, due to an apparent motor failure. But he had great results with a couple flights of an Edmond’s Deltie Airshow. That rocket has three balsa delta wing gliders that separate at streamer ejection. Its maiden launch was perfect – straight and true, with beautiful looping glides. With the second launch, two of the gliders took off straight for the trees. Fortunately, Kevin and Deanna persistently searched and found them. We got a good video of the launch, but were unable to capture the glide recovery. We should try to improve our photography coverage of launches!
We welcomed a new member, Curtis, and talked about all facets of CORSA. We made plans for the upcoming launch, and changed the start time from 10:00 to 11:00, hoping to avoid some of the morning chill. We also talked about launch fees at our club launches.
Ed encouraged the other members to use and become familiar with Open Rocket. We plan to post our design files to this website.
At our October meeting, the big news was that Lloyd Newman, the founder and director of CORSA, has had to step away from the club for personal reasons. Ed Hingsbergen was chosen to step in as new director.
We discussed our experience at the Cub Scout launch, and the things we can do to improve future launches. The 6-pad launcher we currently use is excellent; adding another 6-pad rack would speed up the prep during large launches. We also want to find a tent with sides for use during winter launches, and a PA.
In September, we again partnered with Cub Scout troop 701 for a launch at Freedom Park in Sunbury. The Scouts brought and flew a wide variety of Ready-to-Fly rockets and kits they’d assembled. The enthusiasm and excitement of the Scouts was contagious; the CORSA members had as good a time as the Scouts and their families.
The Scouts launched 64 times, with the following motors:
7 – unknown
46 – A
7 – B
3 – C
There were few deployment failures, and few rockets lost. The occasional ignition failure was met not with frustration, but with curiosity and resolve. The scouts were an impressive group to work with, and we hope to have the pleasure of working with them again!
At our meetings in April through September, we of course discussed business, and planned a couple launches. We also shared construction techniques and practices, and did some hands-on kit building. This was great experience, for both the beginners and the experienced model builders.
Since our last meeting we received a letter from the IRS determining that we meet all of the criteria for a community charity. The Central Ohio Rocketry & Spacemodeling Alliance is officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) non profit corporation. Ok, perhaps not big rocketry news, but it in 6 months we have completed all of the necessary filing to be a fully compliant non profit corporation. This opens a lot of doors as we move forward with other community and non-profit activities.
There has been progress on securing a partnership for a LPR/MPR field that will be available once a month year round. We need to start building our community outreach now. We are going to start with a focus on the schools and youth organizations that are nearest the site. We can’t use the site without it being a benefit to community and the community can’t use the site until arrangements are final. It’s a bit of a cart/horse, chicken/egg situation but we feel strongly that both will come together in time.
Our rocket topic was an overview of the Open Rocket application. This is an open source application which costs nothing to download and use. Ed gave a presentation on its’ basic schematic features, how to build a rocket and model its’ flight. The application is easy to use and feature rich. There wasn’t enough time to explore all its’ features. This will be a topic we’ll visit again and focus on specific elements of rocket design and flight models.
The last hour of the meeting was spent in open discussion. Ed brought the book Rockets of World by Peter Alway. Erich Z. shared a balloon rocket launch design that one of the OSU aeronautics seniors is doing for his senior project. If it’s successful, it will be the first time a rocket will have been launched at 100,000 ft.; previous launches have been attained heights of approximately 30,000 ft. Michael K. shared some ideas he has for on board electronics although nothing specific was discussed. Lloyd N. asked for some input on adding a payload bay to an Estes Pro II Partizon. The rocket has a unique 2.5″ body tube which is between BT-70 and BT-80 so it will involve design and construction using custom parts.
Paul D. joined our meeting via a Google Hangouts video meeting link. This was CORSA’s first utilization of “remote attendance”. There were a few bugs but we are going to continue to work on this delivery method as an alternative for members who may be on the road for work or otherwise unable to attend an opportunity to participate without being present in person. We still encourage members first and foremost to attend in person as there are too many hands on elements that can’t be duplicated virtually.
APRIL MEETING PREVIEW!!: Educator Bulk Pack Build
As the groups we support continue to increase we will need to be prepared to help our school and youth alliances build rockets that are available as educator bulk packs. You may choose to build one rocket individually or as a team as a dry practice run for this important future CORSA goal and activity. We will have one of each of the following rockets: