Post 4283 Rocket Launched

It was a windy day when the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4283 rocket launched. The launch location was Tripoli Tampa’s home field just north of Plant City, Florida. Despite the wind, we had a good turn-out for the launch and I think that everyone enjoyed themselves.

Altitude Attained – 3951 feet

Liftoff - VFW Charity Rocket launched
Liftoff – Photo from Matt Quince

Post 4283 Rocket Launched

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Technical Details

The rocket was built using Always Ready Rocketry’s Basic Blue 3-inch kit. The build information is here. The technical data for the launch is on this page’s sister site, Fun With Rockets Toolkit.

The Charity Competition

There was a charity competition connected to this launch. Donors contributed 5-dollar donations to make a prediction as to how high the rocket would fly. Fifty percent of the prize pool would go to the prediction closest to the actual altitude. Over the last month, folks at the VFW entered their guesses/predictions into the logbook. The competition rules and predictions are here.

Debbie's Delegation - VFW Charity Rocket Launch

On launch day, the people attending the launch were able to donate and make predictions on the launch. This is where some gamesmanship came into play. The Tampa Tripoli Prefect, Rick Waters, made a prediction of 3950 feet. Another member, Bill Klein, then proceeded to pick 3949 and 3951 to bracket Rick’s prediction.

  • 3949 – Bill Klein
  • 3950 – Rick Waters
  • 3951 – Bill Klein

After a “gentlemens” discussion, it was decided that they would split the prize and donate their shares to the VFW! So, the VFW Post 4283 received the entire prize purse from the competition.

The Flight

I put the motor together, took three seconds off the 16-second delay, and rigged the recovery system. A Jolly Logic chute release was set to open the parachute at 300 feet.

On the Pad
On the Pad

In the payload section of the rocket, I secured the PerfectFlite FireFly and Jolly Logic Altimeter One altimeters. Finally, I placed a Communication Specialists, Inc. High Power transmitter to help locate the rocket if it was lost.

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Launch Video – Sorry for the short clip

The flight went very well with a straight flight and recovery deployment very close to apogee. As I mentioned earlier, it was quite windy as a front was moving in from the north. So, we all had a bit of a scare when the rocket floated over a Cyprus swamp. It just cleared the tree canopy and landed in a field 100 feet past the swamp. All the electronics worked as planned. The chute release worked and both altimeters had good readings.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, we collected $285 for the VFW. The Men’s Room plumbing fund is the rumored destination of the money.

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