The membership of CTRA-NARCONN showed up on John Adam’s Cobleskill Farm last weekend and, against the odds, pulled off an “Invitational” weekend that was remarkable. It wasn’t remarkable in the sheer number of flights; the high winds cut back on the number of projects flown (59 in all), especially on Saturday. It wasn’t remarkable for the amazing turn-out; the weather forecast and scheduling conflicts kept a number of people from attending.
What WAS remarkable was the sense that our club, which had been shaken by the loss of our Hurley field (thank you so much, Monsanto), has re-emerged as a powerful force in the hobby of high-power rocketry in our new home at our old stomping grounds in Cobleskill, NY. Call it nostalgia, deja-vu, or a renaissance. Call it whatever you like, but CTRA is definitely back on its feet. Strong leadership, hard work and perseverance paid off with a terrific weekend of rocketry. From some fun and kicks off the low power pads to an “L” power drag race on Sunday, everyone had a great time that weekend.
Some Invitational highlights follow:
Most launches of the day: Frank Grasso with 11 (he thought it was 13 –Frank, are we missing some flight cards?)
Most powerful drag-race: the “L” motor Drag Race between Eric Stackpole’s “Rumble Bee” on an L-985 Super Tiger and Gary Schwartz’s “M”pulsive “N”stigator on an L-3200. (just about a 1-second burn sounded like a cannon blast) VERY impressive!
Highest flight: Eric Stackpole with Rumble Bee hitting over 6,600 feet, a club record for this season.
Craig Nemathy’s “Skybound”, screaming upwards on a CTI K885
Mike Crupe’s Bull Pup ripping to 2500’ on a J-360 Skidmark motor
Brian McCormick’s King Viper 3 launching on three J290 motors – incredible!
Mike Salvatore’s “Back in Black,” a classic Thoy Falcon, hitting 2000’ plus on an I-180 skidmark. The 60’ of shock chord packed into this project came in handy when the chute found the top of a tree but the booster was on the ground. Chris Graham’s H powered “Vanguard” finding the 2,000’ mark.
Of course, when Gloria and Robert from Animal Motor Works are on hand, you can expect something interesting. We weren’t disappointed. Aside from offering us great products and cooking some delicious burgers, Gloria produced a foam “saucer” that looked more like a garbage can lid than anything else. At roughly 12” in diameter, she put up on an L-265 “Mellow Yellow”. Like the Statue of Liberty lofting her torch, she proudly paraded it out to the away cell. When the motor lit up, it burned for 11 seconds plus – talk about a slow burn and a fantastic flight! She’s considering producing these for sale. I say go for it, Gloria!
Robert, not to be out-done, chad staged a small crayon rocket, about 12” long, on a 38mm, single grain “G” Cessaroni motor to an “A8-3” Estes motor. Slipping an extra set of fins from a second crayon onto the “G” casing added extra stability. When it ripped off the pad, you could barely follow it except for the smoke trail. Amazingly stable and lots of fun to watch!
We weren’t hurting for spectators, either. A good size group of young men and women stopped by to see what was going on. They had noticed our roadside signage and became curious. Turns out they were old friends, back in town for a wedding and were, in fact, the bridal party. They seemed to really enjoy watching the event, asked lots of good questions, and left only when they absolutely had to get back for the wedding. A few other people plus a very cool dog came by to check us out as well.
In every respect, this was a successful, enjoyable, and thoroughly satisfying Invitational. Thank you to all who made it happen, and a special thanks to Gloria and Robert for showing up to support us and our Invitational. See you all at the next launch!