I think everyone agrees that last Saturday's launch was a stupendous day out! The weather could not have cooperated better! It was with some nervousness that I decided that my Centuri Saturn V (purchased and mostly built in 1972) deserved a chance for a far better flight than in 2019's July anniversary launch (just check out the gallery for that launch and you'll see what I mean!). I loaded up an Aerotech E18-4 24/40 reload. This time I took no chances too... with about 2 oz. of washers in the nose and full use of the original included clear plastic slip on fins for extra stability (The instructions say these are a "MUST" for Enerjet powered flights). I took video using my phone in slow motion. It makes for fine viewing and the seemingly slow lift-off looks pretty cool (
here is the video link
). The surprise came after chute deployment... as I saw this bright dot appear near the top-center of the frame and slowly march across it to the right at a diagonal. I could clearly see the wadding and the two sections and their parachutes and was totally puzzled as to what I was seeing. Then I thought about the track the camera took and the direction in which the rocket smoke and wadding drifted, I determined that it HAD to be VENUS!! Here is the image:
Yes, Christine let me have a peek at it. Pretty cool! I can't recall seeing such a great apparition of Venus. It's very bright and sets very late. It was still visible around ten on Sunday night after I left the movie theater. I saw Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume Three. Great movie.
It was a great day for flying all right. That Comanche 3 flight was amazing, especially considering it all came back. I flew three of my two-stagers although my Avenger isn't performing like it used to. But Curtis got some good photos of my Vanishing Point in action.
I was quite surprised at how well my Blue Max cluster worked. Curtis thought I should use C engines in it, but the B6s we're quite enough. It got up there fast!
The suspense was killing me though. i was third in line for the pad and right about then we had the snafu with the PA system.
My star performer of the day turned out to be the red, yellow and silver Skylance I built last year. I sent it on a C5-5. Straight up it went, almost to the limit of visibility, and it took a while coming down. It was my longest recovery walk of the day.
I'd flown my "3-D" Skylance on a C11-5 earlier and it also gave me a satisfactory flight, but it's heavier than the standard version because it has a payload section and TTW fins. Wouldn't you know, my 18mm version upstaged it.
Great day for sure, even if on the warm side. That sun just about cooked my brain.
And just so it doesn't look like I'm rooting my own horn too much, there were lots of great flights from others present as well. Rob's Maxi Alpha III turned in typical Alpha performance in a bigger way. Bruce's Golden Dragon flew beautifully. Greg O'Neill's Mega Mosquito really got up there on an E engine. I've never seen one fly on an E before. Gotta love those Mega Mosquito's, they don't look it but they're great performers.
Here's hoping for similar conditions for the next launch, maybe just a bit cooler.