Copyright © 1964-2023 Tripoli Pittsburgh, Tripoli Rocketry Association, Inc.
Launch Report August 27, 2023
Skies were overcast for much of the day but winds were light. Very few rockets drifted towards the trees.
The temperature topped out a little below 80 degrees.
Tom O'Donnel and Rob Camele perform some much needed cleaning and maintenence on the launch rails.
In January of 2021, Ed Miller passed away and left his rocket collection to NAR and TRIPOLI under the care of Dave Rose.
According to Dave, "Ed was a long time TRIPOLI member TRA 00637 from Eastern PA. He was known for flying a variety of saucers and monocopters and also for his spectacular paint jobs. He left all of his hobby rocketry stuff to TRIPOLI and NAR in his will. His idea was for us to sell it off and donate the money to TRIPOLI. 95% of the items were sold and these were what was left."
Dave let TRIPOLI members take whatever they wanted for free.
Thanks to Ed Miller and Dave Rose!
TRIPOLI Pittsburgh veteran
The Ed Miller/Dave Rose Giveaway
WVU student Elizabeth Breckenridge with her claim from the Ed Miller/Dave Rose giveaway.
Rumor has it that she plans to rename it Barbie.
The expression on Ernie Walters face may give us a clue as to his feelings about the Arcas he scooped up at the giveaway.
Each time Ken Allen unloads his truck it explains the plastic bin shortage in N. Virgina.
Kevin Wuchevich is known for his pyramid/doghouse rockets.
This one made from a plastic corner reinforcement heads east off the low power pads.
This pyramid heads west off of the high power pads.
Dave Ratlif's pyramid heads straight up off the high power pads.
Cloudy skies dominated much of the day. A decent crowd enjoted the light winds despite the clouds.
Dave Ratlif with his Mosi, an upscale version of the classic Estes Mosquito.
Tom O'Donnell readies his THOR for flight.
Alex Zemenko preps the IRIS.
One of TRIPOLI Pittsburgh's newest members, Eddie Zelenick launched his Level 1 Certification rocket at the August event.
In this shot, Eddie watches his Apogee Zepher, named the Green Machine, lift off the high power pads on an Aerotech H100 White Lightning.
According to Eddie, "My level 1 flight was awesome! There was a puff of smoke from the ignitor, then lift off. It was quick with a nice plume of smoke and the roar of the motor as it left the launch pad. The green Zepher rocket flew off the launch pad straight as an arrow the dissappeared into the low lying clouds.
"I waited nervously, squinting to see and listening for the ejection charge. The POP of ejection at last, then waiting as the rocket decended and finally the Green Machine appeared in the sky with the chute fully deployed. I gave out a sigh of relief then suddenly the wind started to swirl and the rocket was swinging in all directions." He added.
"Fortunately the Green Machine came to a rest close to the firepit area with no damage.", Eddie said.
"I gathered up my rocket and reported back to the LCO table for John Haught's inspection. 'Oh wait, there's a scratch on the fin' John said jokingly."
"Successful launch and Level 1 Certification completed!", Eddie continued.
Nice work Eddie!
He is already thinking about his Level 2 rocket. "I would love to learn about Dual Deployment systems and there are a few rockets that I have in mind. Right now I am looking at the Wildman 4XL, the Wildman Mach 3 and the SBR 4" THOR and the SBR 4" Arrow X as all of these rockets can fly with dual deployment."
Keep up the good work Eddie and we'll all look forward to success on your Level 2 Certification flight.
In one of the more dramatic flights we have had at the Dragon's Fire Field, two time winner of the George Pike Award, Kevin Wuchevich (in blue at right) watches his LOC Magnum lift off.
After a shorter than expected ascent, an unexpected deployment was announced with a small BOOM! as the forward end of the motor blows out.
Despite the early deployment, the motor continues to burn, dropping fast with flames coming out both ends.
After a short time, the flames out the "wrong" end burn through the shock cord and the laundry begins its own descent.
John Haught returned in August with another truck load of rockets with one particularly large Tomahawk, lifting off here on an M1499 Great White. The "Tommy" flew to 4214' and landed only about 50' from John's truck.
Members of the WVU Experimental Rocketry Club watch the action.
Jeff Dick and his AGM 33 Pike.
A 10 foot parachute returns John's Tomahawk to terra firma ready to fly again.
John with the Tomahawk.
The IQSY kit is 6" diameter with a Perfectflite Stratologger and a MissleWorks MAWD for deployment.
John plans to return in September with an even larger bird.
We are looking forward to it John!
Onboard the L1.
During a second flight with a 360 degree camera installed,an unexpected deployment caused zipper damage to the L1 booster and a loss of the camera.
After repair, the L1 will return to get more great pics.
Rob Camele heads out to the brush to recover. Fortuately an onboard GPS tracker led him right to it.
Burning out both ends, the booster of the Magnum returns to terra firma with a thud.
According to Kevin, "It was a single use J motor, branded 'SynerJet' from the 1980's or 90's".
A joke at this point seems redundant.
Kevin calmly walks out to the infield and stomps out the fire.