Saturday, November 8, 2014

Launch? Schoolyard, November 7, 2014

I tried to launch yesterday at the schoolyard but the sprinklers were on.
Today I got out early enough. At home the winds were calm.
I was going to test out the burst feature on my new camera. It'll take seven pictures in about half a second. That and a first try with the Estes Altimeter in the Patriot.

First up was the FlisKits MMX HONEST JOHN.
It hasn't done this before, but after leaving the rod it went squirrelly.
Not quite skywriting but not stable either. It probably only got 35 feet in the air.
The previous 20 flights were fine. This was an older MicroMaxx engine with the plastic casing.
The streamer did eject and there was no damage.

I had an Estes MOSQUITO in the 1970s but don't remember flying it. I do remember my Mother saying: "You paid 50 cents for that? It probably costs them 5 cents for parts." She would be shocked to know models of this size retail for around $6.99 now.
Some 1/4A3-3t engines were bought just for the new Mosquito.

My experience was like many others I've read about. Fast off the pad, fairly easy to track - until ejection. Estimated altitude would be 125 feet.
I realized I was following the engine casing and not the rocket. I switched over to watch the skyline, hoping to see the rocket coming in. The engine landed with a small "thump".
Looking along the ground I saw a small flash of yellow in the grass. I thought it was just a piece of paper.
The inset picture shows how the model landed, buried nose first 200 feet from the launcher. This leads me to believe the Mosquito doesn't tumble, but noses in fast.
Everybody has flown a Mosquito and lost it. I was lucky to find it.

The wind was coming up, now up to 10 mph gusts. In the small field it's too risky beyond these two.
No testing of the camera burst feature or altimeter, just two small launches.


  1. The 1979 catalog says this about Mosquitos:

    "This smallest of all Mini-Brutes combines fantastic performance with feather-weight recovery."

    In other words, they aren't supposed to tumble.

    1. Hi Chris,
      I agree, I still think of these models like the old Streak using featherweight recovery.
      Estes hasn't used the recovery description of "featherweight recovery" for a few years.
      Model like the Swift 220 and Mini Mosquito are both described now as tumble recovery. I thought it was a little weird.
      My Mini Mosquito definitely nosed in!

  2. I added a fliskits MicroMaxx motor mount to my Mosquito. It should be good for a couple flights...

    1. Hi Chris,
      I thought about doing that but I have a some BT-5 MMX rockets already. A MMX engine in the Mosquito will be easy to track through the entire flight. Mine with a 1/4A3-3T is borderline, almost hard to follow. You only see the smoke trail right before ejection.