Rogers Elementary Demo Launch (9/28/2007)
After two or three postponements, Ted Cochran was finally
able to do the Rogers Elementary School launch demo today. The wait
was worth it, as the weather was beautiful -clear skies, pleasant
temperature and a lit breeze that was actually coming from the right
direction for the flights! I showed up at Rogers elementary (after a
couple of wrong turns, of course) at about 2:35 today. Ted was
already there and had everything just about set up. Between us we
had 10 rockets prepped and ready to fly by the time the kids started
showing up at 2:50 or so. A report from a local newspaper showed up
at the launch and took pictures as well as doing a little video
recording. I don't recall the paper or reporter's name - Ted, do
We launched two 'racks' of rockets for 10 flights total. We
started with a small Estes intruder on an A10 for the first flight,
working our way up to larger saucers on C6 motors, an Estes Space
Shuttle and my 'Lil Tex (stretched FatBoy) on a C11-3 for the first
rack. The second rack started with (I think) an Astron Sky Hook on
an A10-3, went to an Estes Condor (which had a of great flight from
both gliders), an Estes Skywinder and then we ended the demo with
Ted's Estes Broadsword on a D12.
I estimate there were a couple hundred kids at the demo.
They were very enthusiastic and provided a loud countdown for each
rocket. Really loud countdowns make rockets fly higher, you know.
Ted really knows how to run a good demo. I did my first
organized rocketry demo about 16 years ago. Since then I guess I
been involved in hundreds of outreach events (build sessions,
presentations, launches and such). In all of those years and events
I have not seen (or done myself) a better demonstration. If you want
to know the RIGHT way to put on a demonstration launch (or build
session) then you need to tag along with Ted.
Thanks for the kind words, Buzz.
The launch of the Shuttle Columbia was the highlight for
me--not only did it fly a flawless flight, with Columbia turning
upwind and landing in front of the crowd, but it was the 1000th
logged flight I've made since I returned to rocketry with a
vengeance in 1996.
And now that we have a drawing of the Rogers Elementary
School's Rocket Mascot, I think we can give them an even better show