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Last updated: October 28, 2007
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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 you?

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.

 [Buzz McDermott]

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 next year!

[Ted Cochran]

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