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by Jack Hagerty, LUNAR #002
NARAM 40 (that's the NAR's Annual Meet, hence the name) was held the second week of August in Muncie, Indiana. I had to jump through a few hoops to get there, as those who have talked to me personally know, but it was well worth the trip.
The main reason I went was to push my still-in-progress book (see "The Range Head") and attend a few administrative meetings, but mostly I went to have fun. It was held at the Aircraft Modeler's Association's National Flying Field in Muncie. This field has about 10,000 acres of mowed grass. Note that "mowed" means like a farmer mows a field, not like you mow the lawn in front of your house. It was an ankle deep mixture of every type of narrow and broad leaf grass you can think of. This made for a wonderful surface to land on, even with fouled recovery systems.
The weather was more humid than around here, but not as bad as I was lead to expect. The temperature was in the high 70's/low 80's the whole week. Actually a great way to spend time flying with a couple of hundred other rocket crazies!
I didn't fly in competition and only flew a few things off of the sport range. First was my Binder Design Brutus which I flew on an H112 Blackjack reload. This was a Level 1 re-certification flight since the NAR HQ had lost my certification a year ago due to a computer glitch. The flight itself was textbook, but the pre-flight made it memorable. As I was walking out to the pad, I passed Bunny (NAR prez Mark Bundick) who had helped me try and get my old certification reinstated, but we both decided it was easier to just re-certify. He waived as I was walking out and I responded with "I'm correcting a bureaucratic oversight!"
Other than that, I just flew my AAA Pennsylvania Crude a couple of times on some Aerotech Econojet F20's. Those things are loud! The first flight startled a guy in the range tent who asked "What was that? An H? An I?" He wouldn't believe that it was a low thrust F. Maximum bang for the buck!
Outside of my own flights, the neatest flights to me were the PML (Public Missiles, Ltd.) manufacturers' demos which were, interestingly, almost all scale models. The big (1/53 scale) Saturn V flight drew a huge crowd. The Lunar Express semiscale model of the Luna from "Destination Moon" and their 80% scale model of the American Rocket Society's ARS #2 from the 1930's were built from Peter Alway's data in "Retro Rockets."
The Saturn flight was very impressive, mostly for its size (seven feet tall), although there were some rumors that the four outboard motors never lit. The Lunar Express took off like a scalded cat on a J350 but the next day it re-kitted itself on a J570 when it hit "the speed of G10" and three of the fins popped out. Andrew Waddell later said that he'd been told to "test to destruction" by PML management. Gee, why can't I come up with excuses like that when my models self destruct? Speaking of destruct, the ARS model flight was a real heartbreaker. Nice boost with the tractor engine spouting flame from the nose but no ejection. Pranged big time in front of everyone. Trying to put the best spin on it, Andrew said "Well that was the original flight profile" (the original had no recovery device).
Here are a few shots from the meet. I'm sending Lynn far more than he has space to print in the paper version of the 'Clips, so maybe he can put the rest in the cyber edition. I can bring my whole slide show to the November meeting if anyone's interested
Copyright © 1998 by LUNAR, All rights reserved.
Information date: September 18, 1998 lk