Airfest Planning

In the most sincere hope that the pandemic will be under control and I can get vaccinated by Labor Day weekend, I made hotel reservations for this year’s Airfest. This is a huge launch put on by the KLOUDBusters club near Argonia, Kansas. They have a 50,000 foot waiver – about three times the altitude we can fly to locally – and there’s not much in the way of rocket-eating trees in south central Kansas.

I’ve started planning flights – some (or possibly all) of these rockets will fly:

  • Kerbal 5 – the rocket I’m working on now. Depending on how much it weighs when it’s done, it will probably fly to around 3000′ on a J360 (if it’s lighter) or a J760 (if it’s heavier). I have both of those motors on order from Wildman’s Black Saturday sale.
  • Kestrel, my 54mm minimum-diameter rocket, to around 20,000 feet on a K260. This is a repeat of a flight I did in 2018. That motor is also coming in the Black Saturday order.
  • Black Widow, a 3″ diameter rocket, to around 10,000 feet on an AeroTech L1000. I have two of these motors that I bought a few years ago to use with Kestrel, but then changed course and designed Kestrel around a CTI motor casing. Before Black Widow flies again, I really want to redesign its electronics bay and replace its rotary on/off switch with a pin switch like I used on Kerbal 5.
  • Swamp Gas, the little light-up saucer rocket, if I ever get it finished.
  • Gravity’s Just a Habit, the two-stage rocket that I haven’t even started on yet. I have two combinations in mind for this – an I285 staging to an H100 as a test flight to about 7000′, and then a J425 staging to a J150 as the “real” flight to 15,000′. This will be my first two-stage rocket, so I have a lot of things to figure out before I can really get into it. It’s named after a lyric in an OK Go song.
  • Berthimus Prime, which has been repaired and flown again since its maiden flight mishap, but still needs to be repainted. I don’t have a motor for it, so I’ll have to buy one at the field if this rocket makes the trip.
  • Nano-Magg on an F25. Just a fun, quick, grab-and-go rocket.
  • A 1:46 scale Gemini-Titan, from a Boyce Aerospace kit I just found out about today and immediately ordered. I want to build a bigger Gemini-Titan someday, but it’s not going to happen this year. This rocket will probably fly on two D motors.

That’s a pretty ambitious list for one launch, even for a four-day launch. These probably won’t all happen at Airfest, but if I have them ready in that timeframe, I could take some of them to Midwest Power in November, or hopefully to a local launch sometime next fall. But it’s good to have a plan, and plenty of building to keep me busy while we ride out the rest of the pandemic.