The 2011 Rocket Shoot

On Saturday, June 18, 2011, we held the 5th annual Erwin rocket shoot here in my back yard. The weather was nearly perfect with only a mild breeze blowing first from the west, and later from the south.  Although I was much too busy to count, one of my friends who was in attendance told me later that about 70 people (including children) were present at one time or another during the 3 hours of the event.  Things went very smoothly and only 3 minor problems occurred: first, one of the Interceptors landed on a power line along 1750 East, which borders my land on the west side, secondly, I was unable to launch the smaller Saturn V due to a bad igniter (I did not have a backup igniter) and lastly, the top section of the big Saturn V rocket came down in the top of a tree about 1500 feet north, alongside my sister's land there.  I had 16 rockets of my own and a half dozen or more arrived with other individuals, two of which were medium power rockets, launched with an 'F' and a 'G' motor. The owner of these is a friend or relative of our neighbor, Lynette Rukavina, and was kind enough to tip me off to a better kind of igniter for the larger motors that I use. This will come in very handy next year.    Other photos ---> Here      Video clips ---> Here

This one was one of the very last rockets launched that day, the larger version of the Saturn V. It was built from a kit given to me by my family as a gift many years ago and I had attempted to launch it two years ago, but the igniter failed and it had been sitting just inside my front door since that time.  The rocket is about 5 feet tall, uses a 'G-77' motor, and separates into 2 sections which come down on separate parachutes.  While did not have any way of measuring its height at parachute separation, the data available on the rocket-motor combination indicates that it reached an altitude of approximately 400 feet.  Purists will note that I added special fins to the rocket, made from balsa plywood, because I have noticed in past launches of smaller versions of the Saturn V that the fins provided by the model (to be authentic) do a very poor job of keeping it upright during take-off.  As you can see, it did tip slightly before clearing the top of the launching pad.  Also, the escape pod was removed from the lunar lander for launching.