October 2, 2017; Return To Flight Status

After a thirty-five year absence, I returned to flight status October 17, 2015 with the two humble birds you see at right.

On the left is "Big Bertha," a model produced by Estes Industries. This kit has been in production since the early 1960's. Standing twenty-four inches tall and 1.637 inches in diameter, Bertha is small by today's standards. During the 1960's it was the largest rocket around. Every kid on my block had one. Electing to be different, I never built one until 2015. It's not a particularly great flier. The design suffers from a condition known as 'overstable,' which means it has a tendency to weathercock, (veer into the direction of the wind).

On the right is a Canadian Arrow kit. The prototype Canadian Arrow was Canada's entry bid for the X Prize. The X Prize was a philanthropic challenge to build and launch the first commercial vehicle to reach space. The Arrow was an upscaled version of the World War II, German V-2. Besides being larger overall, it had a proportionally longer airframe and modern components. This model stands 26.8" with a diameter of 2.6".

I made three successful flights with these birds on October 17th, 2015. Both are still on my roster. Bertha has made four flights. The Arrow, one of my best fliers, completed it's eighth flawless flight on August 26, 2017 in Westminster, MD.

Aim for the sky. Try not to miss.  ∼ Bill