This was the biggest launch of the day. The rocket is over 8 feet tall and is using an L-sized motor (~1,600 N, or 360 lbs of thrust). This was a check flight before stepping up to an M-sized motor, the size for which this rocket was designed.

Illustration for article titled Success!
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Illustration for article titled Success!
Illustration for article titled Success!
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Don’t ask how high it flew because I don’t know. The pilot didn’t pull the telemetry data off of it before I had to leave. I do know that one of the smaller rockets flew over 1,300 ft. This one was MUCH bigger. Here’s a really bad picture of it on the launchpad:

Illustration for article titled Success!
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I drove 3 hours one-way to see this. It was definitely worth it.

I learned a lot about the hobby today. For the larger rockets, the motors are repackable. You provide the rocket and the aluminum shell for the motor. The motor itself comes as a package with all of the correct spacers, o-rings, etc. necessary for firing. The charge to eject the parachute is fired with black powder and is controlled by an altimeter. There are typically two ejections - one splits the rocket and may eject a streamer; the second ejects the parachute. The rocket comes most of the way down under the streamer. The parachute is set to deploy just a few hundred feet above ground. Any higher and the whole rocket would just float away.

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By the way, L-sized engines run $185 apiece. The m-sized motor will cost over $300.

It was a good day.

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