G. Harry Stine Memorial Launch, Rainbow Valley Arizona, October 2012
After the successful launch of my 132 motor cluster Darth Maul's Revenge at the Spring Blast launch, I decided to launch my entire Fat Boy fleet of the most ridiculous and totally insane Fat Boy rockets you have ever seen, at the October 2012 G.H.S launch in Arizona. The fleet flew spectacularly well. Not counting a couple of tangled chutes and some repairable zipper damage, I had a 100% success rate with all flights, with 100% of all motors in all insane clusters igniting. AND, I've got the photos and videos to prove it!!
Spring Blast Launch, Rainbow Valley Arizona, April 2013
I enjoyed the previous G.H.S. launch of all my Fat Boys so much (that's what it's all about, right?), that I made three more Fat Boys. Here are the three new ones:
I should have quit while I was waaaay ahead. All three were TOTAL disasters. The first one was totally destroyed beyond repair. Only one of the two G80 motors lit. It arc'd over hard and hit the ground really, really hard. The second one only had two of three G40 motors light. It arc'd over and did a land-shark. But, it was repairable. The third went up only on the central G40 motor. The three air-starts did not air start. I tried air-starting the three outboard E9 motors with canon fuse. The canon fuse was lit by the central motor. This method worked very well for me in the past on my Estes Saturn V, but it just did not work for me this time. It hit the ground hard, but, it too was repairable.
Whenever I have failures like this, I am compelled to fix what I think went wrong and keep launching them until they either succeed or are destroyed. The last two will fly again in the 2014 G.H.S launch.
G. Harry Stine Memorial Launch, Dry Lake Bed north of Kingman Arizona, October 2013
I fixed "Will Somebody Please Stop This Lunatic From Making Another Fat Boy!" and tried again. This time I used the new 29mm Estes black Powder F15 motors in all three motor positions. These are minimal Fs in every way possible, but they are still very cool. All three motors lit this time for a satisfactory ascent (it could have used more power). But, the chute got stuck and it hit the ground hard enough to break a fin. Dammit. This means that I must try again until it has a fully successful flight. And that means Spring Blast 2014. But for Spring Blast 2014, I'm going to try blue thunder composite Aerotech motors with Twiggy igniters from QuickBurst.
I also fixed "This Fat Boy Is Really A Cry For Help" and tried that again too. Again, I used the new Estes black Powder 29mm F15 motor in the central motor position, with three outboard Estes E9s. But this time I started them all on the pad. All motors lit this time for a satisfactory ascent. This was a decent, if a bit underpowered, flight. But it still hit the ground hard enough to break a fin on this one as well. Double dammit. Bigger chute next time. This means that I must try again on this one too. Also at Spring Blast 2014. Here too I'm going to try a blue thunder composite Aerotech motor in the central position with a Twiggy igniter from QuickBurst, and three Estes E12 motors in the outboard pods. That should kick its butt.
I'm starting to get crazy Fat Boys out of my system. I will soon semi-retire the fleet and move onto something else.