December 2016 Launch Report

A fun launch day with a reasonable turn out for the last launch of the year. December launches are traditionally quieter but we still had 29 flights for the morning.

Interestingly, of the 14 Low Power launches, six were old hands breaking out their older rockets for some low power fun. Jeff flew his "Big Sharky" on a D12, Phil flew his "Eliminator" on a D12, Warren flew a "Junior" and an Alpha 3" on A8's and Matt flew his 25 year old "Optima" on a D12 and "Viper III" on a 3 motor D12 cluster. Sometimes, it's hard to beat the simplicity and quick prep time of a simple black powder rocket.

Biggest motor of the morning was Ole Kirk's rocket Tomahawk on a J337 to 4300 feet.

Jack Leat achieved his L1 on his rocket "Waka Atea" (Maori for space ship) on an H125 to 2800 feet. His initial attempt on ended badly when his his motor case burnt through causing a parachuteless landing. However, a field amputation of the damaged section allowed Jack to successfully try again with a slightly shorter rocket. Congratulations Jack.

Father and son, Rob and Robbie Newton were presented certificates for the completion of the "Lift Off" section of the "Blast Off" program. There were also another two trial flights for the morning, Bam Bam launched his "Big Green Frog" twice on B6's and Mahmood Nekooee launched his "Sand Storm" on a C6. Hopefully we will see these families back again.

A great end to the year, Merry Christmas to everyone.

November 2016 Launch Report

Another great launch day, a slow start but ending up with 30 launches for the morning with 17 Low Power, 3 Medium Power, 6 High Power and and 4 water rocket launches.

Some of the highlights:

Warren's maiden flight of his retro "QRS Rocket" which was modeled on QRS's logo rocket. It had smoke canisters on the four fin tips which were air started at 50 feet once the central H225 had lifted the rocket off. These will be replaced by 4 motors once Warren has ironed the bugs out which should make for an interesting future flight.

Mark O'Donoghue also had a maiden flight of his new 6 foot tall, 8 inch diameter V2 called "War Rocket Ajax". It was a spectacular flight to 4500" with a 5 foot flame from the K675 Sparky.

Other interesting flights in the fast department were Ole's "Mini Hawk" flight on a J317 and Robbie Newtons "Cyclone" which flew on a F240 Vmax. The Vmax burn was so quick it was like a loud cough.

So, in spite of the ridiculous humidity from the recent storms, it was another great launch day.

October 2016 Launch Report

A huge public launch day with launches continuing until after 1:00pm. The weather was perfect, the wind not picking up until late in the morning and the crowd didn't start thinning until lunch time with the final launch count finishing at 75.

Also a successful day for the Southern Cross Rocketry "Fly It, Take It" program with all 40 FITI rockets gone by 10:30am, Warren, Andrew & Phil flat chat dealing with junior rocketeers. Some bought more motors to fly again with total Low Power launches at 55 for the day.

The biggest launch of the day was David Bell's 1/2 scale Patriot Missile which flew on an M1830 to 4500 feet, a very spectacular flight made more so by again flying with "Lisa" who gave a real time commentary on speed, altitude, etc. Thanks for making the long trek up here again David.

There were also two K launches, Ari flew his "Intimidator 4" to 3500 feet on a K550, the motor kindly donated by Nic Lottering. Mark O'Donoghue also flew a K, his new rocket, "War Rocket Ajax" flying on a K675 to 4800 feet. There were also two J flights, two I flights and five H flights for a total of 12 high power launches.

There were also two successful certification flights during the morning. Ole Kirk achieved his Level 2 flying his "Hawk" to 3000 feet on a J285. Dex Fortescue attained his Level 1 flying a "Callisto"to 2500 feet on a H123. Congratulations to you both.

Probably the biggest advertised launch day we've had for a long while and based on positive feed back, enjoyed by everyone there.


September 2016 Launch Report

It was a superb launch day after the proceeding two days of storms. There were many new faces, some trial memberships and new members. Most prolific launchers were new members, brother and sister Robbie and Alexa. Robbie launched his rocket "Red Tip" 5 times and Alexa also launched her purple and pink rocket "Girl Power" 5 times. This is reflected in the types of rockets launched with 24 LP and 3 MP of the total 36 launches for the morning.

There were 2 successful Level 1 High Power certification flights for the day. Serge flew his Calisto "Red Devil" to 3000 feet on an H133 and Riley flew his rocket "You'll Clean That Up When You're Finished" to 2000 feet on an H125. Congratulations guys!

Warren flew his 54mm Minimum Diameter "Light Saber" airframe that he set a single impulse 'L' motor record with and has now had drastic surgery. The new "cut & shut" version is now 600mm shorter and is called "Light Saber Short". Warren intends to break his own record at Westmar in 3 weeks time with a 28 - 29K feet flight.

Roland had an interesting CATO on his AMRAAM "Mini BBX" which the club managed to get a series of photo's of. The rocket began to lift off normally but then slipped back down the rail with a rapid series of puffs of brown smoke from the side of the rocket, quite spectacular. Roland did have much better luck with his two other launches, his Calisto on an H90 and a scratch built LP 2 stage rocket "Zenith 2".

Yet another great launch day with lots of activity.

August 2016 Launch Report

Amazing rocketry launch weather, no wind and a cloudless blue sky that made tracking easy, the sort of day that makes winter worthwhile. We thought initially it would be a quiet morning with only a hand full of die-hard members setting up. But by 9 am, a steady stream of cars began arriving turning it into a fairly full-on morning with a total of 38 launches. At one stage we had 10 rockets on the pads waiting to launch.

It was great to see several families returning for their second launch as part of Southern Cross Rocketry's "Fly It, Take It" program held at last month's public launch. At least a couple indicated they would be back to join the club.

Lachlan started the day with the spectacular launch of his scratch built, "Buckshot 7", a cluster rocket powered by seven C6-5 motors. While not flying particularly high at 1100 feet, the flash pan/black powder ignition produced lots of smoke, the rocket and launch rail being totally obscured at lift off and emerging from the cloud on multiple flame columns. Cool flight!

There were 11 High Power flights for the day, all H and I motors. These included three L1 attempts. Father and son team James and Craig launched an AMRAAM 2 on an H54 to 2100 feet for a successful L1 certification. Congratulations! Our unsuccessful members will both be back next month for another attempt.

There were only four Medium Power flights this launch, Low Power launches making up the numbers with 23 launches. Perhaps because of the lack of wind, there were numerous flights that landed within 30 meters of the pads. Even the higher altitude flights didn't cause long retrieval walks although Warren did end up in a tree on the other side of the road!

Yet another fantastic day launching rockets!

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July 2016 Launch Report

An absolutely magnificent launch day, chilly at first but turning into cloudless warm day with no wind. Probably the busiest public launch day for some time with over 150 visitors thanks to Ari's PR efforts with the local media. These numbers were reflected in the Southern Cross "Fly It, Take It" program with 32 rockets launched. There was an additional 9 Low Power, 13 Medium Power, 14 High Power and 2 water rocket launches making a total for the day of 70 launches. Some members traveled considerable distances to be at the event with Nic Lottering up from NSW and Matthew Small and his partner Kathy down from Cairns.

A couple of more unusual rockets launched were Matthew Smalls "Flying Saucer" on an F30 and Mike Ritters single fin rocket "One Zee" on a F52. Unfortunately Mike ended up in the power lines but it will be retrieved by the power company later this week.

Some of the more unusual rocket names emerging during the mornings launches were Nic's "54 Thingo", Matt's "Dunno", Cam's "Mohammed Ali" but the most amusing was one of the young visitor's who called his rocket "Please Don't Explode".

An event like a public launch requires many volunteers but most can do a couple of hours and still have time to play. However, once again Di Nikolic spent the whole launch running the BBQ/drinks tent, thanks Di. The morning was very successful, enjoyed by everyone and hopefully will result in new members.

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June 2016 Launch Report

A cold and bleak morning with a stiff wind greeted the smaller than normal turn-out of club members. There were 21 launches for the morning: 14 Low Power, 3 Medium Power and 4 High Power. Most flyers opting for lower altitude flights to avoid the inevitable long walk.

The biggest motor of the day was Ole Kirk's Level 2 attempt with his Tomahawk on a J425 which sadly was not successful when the motor case blew out at 1500 feet.

Lachlan Thomas really earned his L1 which he achieved on his Quicksilver on a H143 Smokey Sam. His simmed altitude of 2600 feet was always going to mean a long hike and the rocket drifted about a kilometer landing in the local river. He wasn't about to let this end his attempt so he got his gear off and went swimming. Definitely an L1 "above and beyond" the normal requirements. Congratulations Lachlan!

It was great to several family groups launching together including new family memberships. Despite the average weather conditions, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves with only one rocket being lost to wind drift.

May 2016 Launch Report

Absolutely perfect launch conditions, not a cloud in the sky making tracking rockets easy and not a breath of wind although reasonably warm in the late 20's.

There were 28 flights for the day, 10 high power, 7 medium power, 10 low power and 1 water rocket. Calisto's were flavor of the day with 7 flights, again demonstrating their versatility flying on motors ranging from Josh Anthony's G54 to Stewart Crisp's I204.

There were 4 successful certification flights for the day. Stewart Crisp achieved his L1 flying his yellow Calisto "Banana Split" on an H87 and then followed up with a flight in the same rocket but powered by an I204 to 4000". Jamie Anderson also earned his L1 flying his Calisto on an H133 as did Rowland Noakes flying a Calisto on an H163. Mario Cendo from QRS North Qld achieved his L2 flying his Hyperloc 835 on a J410, congratulations to all who certified.

The installation of a launch button on the Wilson Launch system created additional excitement particularly for visiting children who got the chance to launch members rockets hopefully igniting a future passion for rocketry.

April 2016 Launch Report

The weekend weather was typical Westmar, warm with clear skies with a morning breeze but dying by lunch time. In short, beautiful rocket launching weather.

There was a total of 43 launches for the weekend the bulk of which were on Saturday with only 2 on Sunday morning. Of these, 21 were High Power, 11 Medium Power and 16 Low Power. Some of the high power launches were very serious with in ascending order: 4 x H, 2 x I, 3 x J, 3 x K, 2 x L, 6 x M and 1 x N.

The largest physical rocket of the weekend was Matt Barton’s "The Big Fokker" at 4.46 meters tall flying on an M2250.

Most powerful was David Bells 1/2 scale Patriot on an N2717 Gorilla flying to 10,00 feet. An additional feature of David's launch was the inclusion of "LISA", an Australian first. I don't think there was a person listening to her commentary during the flight that wasn't impressed by this technology.

Nic Lottering flew his 75mm Minimum Diameter rocket "No Big Deal 2" on an M2245 to an altitude in excess of 45,000 feet. We await confirmation on his breaking the world record for M motors.

Matt Parsons achieved his L1 on Saturday flying his "Small Endeavour" on a H410 Vmax and then followed up on Sunday with his L2 on the same airframe but on a J425 to 5600 feet. Congratulations Matt!

Congratulations to Lachlan Thomas who successfully completed the requirements for the Lift Off Certificate being the first level of three in the Blast Off Program.

The Schuster family launched test rockets in preparation for the upcoming Australian Youth Rocketry Challenge (AYRC). There were plenty of scrambled eggs which meant that it was back to the drawing board!

We had a Kiwi visitor for the weekend, Craig Packard who flew several rockets. Craig is the secretary of the NZRA and is an L3 and being a New Zealander was the subject of many jokes about accents and sheep.

Most prolific launcher was again Mark O'Donoghue who excelled himself this time with 12 flights. Included was the smallest and the most unusual rocket of the launch, his 200mm wing span "Balsa Glider". Powered by an A8, the rocket/aircraft glided back to the ground after motor burnout in a lovely stable flight with a soft touch down.

On Saturday night a BBQ was held with donations going towards the land owners charity, "The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation". A total of $749 was raised, a very respectable sum with the cheque given to the Coggan family for the hospital. After the BBQ, a number of night flights took place: 2 on C motors and 5 on B motors which were particularly enjoyed by the children at the launch.

Another successful launch enjoyed by everyone who attended!