First Multistage Rocket: Complete!

I just finished my first mid-power dual-stage rocket! I've built several low-power ones on Este's dash-zero motors way back when, but now I'm venturing into the world of electronic ignition, misfires and lawndarts. I've got a small electronic timer that activates 2 seconds after the G-switch is triggered.

I flew it at a MASA solstice evening launch with only the upper stage. RockSim reported iffy stability, so I wanted to test with as few people around as possible. There were, however, no major anomalies and it flew straighter than an arrow (just a figure of speech), but I think it helped that the wind speed was about .0000001 mph.
The only concern I have can be easily seen in the picture below. Somehow the motor slipped down off the clip. RMS casings can get pretty pricy, and this was a close call.

Finished paint scheme:


Long Awaited Big Yeller Onboard Video

Tripoli MN finally posted the onboard video of Big Yeller to YouTube!

Suborbital Sounding Rocket Goes POP!

I think this launch happened about a year ago. The rocket suffered an anomaly and was destroyed by the RSO. It doesn't sound like what you might expect a rocket explosion to sound like. It sounds more like a firecracker!


A Trip to the MSP Control Tower...

Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport has been ranked 7th largest in the nation. So it was definately a priviledge to tour behind the scenes the workings of the air traffic control at the MSP airport.

The tour was for my aerospace engineering class, and though it was geared more towards the aviation technology class that was also on the tour, I got quite a bit out of it.

The MSP control tower:
A unique view of the Minneapolis skyline from inside the tower:

There was a catwalk around the top of the control tower that offered an awesome 360 degree view of the surrounding runways and the jetliners departing and arriving:

Overall, I was surprised how little security there was. No one ever even checked my camera case! Obviously they did background checks on us, but it was still pretty astounding. We were walking right into the heart of the air traffic control, the tower, the TRACON room (where we couln't bring cameras) and there was far less security than when you walk onto an air plane.