By Ed O’Neill

    NARAM 39 was held the
week of July 28th through August 1st in Tucson, AZ. The
actual launch site was located west of Tucson in an area
designated for R/C flying. Three members of C.R.A.S.H.,
Ed O’Neill, Bruce Markielewski, and Todd Williams
attended the meet. Also in attendance were Ed and Todd
Schneider of COSROCS. Their purpose was to compete as
well as sell Todd’s fine assortment of competition
components. The trip began around 2 p.m., Saturday,
August 26th after gathering at the Williams’ residence to
exchange looks at models and discuss arrival times. Ed
O’Neill and Todd Williams would be attending their first
NARAM with Bruce attending his fourth.

    The trip was
relatively uneventful with a snooze at a rest stop
outside of Soccoro, New Mexico late Saturday August 26th.
The trip resumed early Sunday morning, August 27th and
the trio arrived at the Roadway Inn in Tucson at around 2
p.m. After checking in, the remainder of Sunday afternoon
was devoted to familiarizing themselves with their new
surroundings as well as finishing up last minute details
on their sport scale models.

    NARAM officially
began Sunday evening with registration, the competition
forum, as well as the required turn in of Sport Scale and
Research and Development (R&D) projects. Bruce
entered his NARAM 38 first place flying replica of a
lunar module and an R&D Report on his six bladed
helicopter design. Ed entered a scratch built 1/6th scale
Black Brant II and an R&D Report on broadcasting a
NARAM for television. Todd Williams entered an Estes
Sidewinder and did not submit an R&D entry. The
quality of the sport scale entries was average with a few
finely C.R.A.S.H.ed birds along with your run of the mill
night before “throw togethers”. You can say that all
three Colorado entries clearly stood out in their own
unique and individual ways. Some models worth noting were
a nicely constructed Estes Saturn V team entry, an
assortment of different sized V-2’s, a nice Terrier Black
Brant VC, as well as a brave attempt at a Russian Vostok
by a B Division contestant. After setting up and viewing
the other entries Bruce, Ed, and Todd all retired to
begin the week long competition.

    Monday was “1/4A”
Helicopter Duration and “A” SuperRoc Duration. The 30
minute drive out to the launch site included a ride
though a steep mountain pass eventually leveling off to
relatively flat dessert terrain. The site was somewhat
similar to the new COSROCS site in that it was an R/C
park with a permanent ramada which provided very welcome
shade to all who needed it along with a wide open expanse
for model recovery. All three C.R.A.S.H. members had
different strategies for “1/4A” HD and approached the
event with relative confidence. Bruce used his unique six
bladed Psyclone model which, to say the least, is an
engineering marvel. Ed used a Rotoroc/Rose-a-Roc hybrid
which had previously set a national record in “1/4A” HD.
Todd used a Rose-a-roc style model that flew well at PP
or Blast Vll. David Klouser had the best flight of the
day (77 sec) and the best two flight total (97 sec) to
take 1st place in the event. Ed O’Neill had two flights
of 39 and 40 seconds that earned him 2nd place. Bruce
took 3rd place with 21 and 34 second flights and Todd
managed a 20 second flight for a respectable 8th

NARAM Launch Site     “A” SuperRoc
Duration turned out to be a letdown for all three
C.R.A.S.H. competitiors. Ed and Bruce set their sights on
large parachutes and small body tubes. Partial deployment
and/or non ejection seemed to spell their day. Todd would
encounter the first of many “engine problems” he would
have during the week. Despite this, he managed a 95
second flight which was well ahead of Ed and Bruce’s
flight totals. Unfortunately the top four places were
minutes ahead of anything C.R.A.S.H. could muster. Monday
turned out to be an impressive showing in “1/4A” HD and a
major disappointment in “A” SuperRoc Duration. A special
thanks should go out to COSROCS for hosting these events
at PP or B Vll. Without their help, “1/4A” HD could have
turned out to be a major disappointment as

    Tuesday was “C”
Cluster Altitude and “E” Dual Eggloft Altitude. As
expected, Tuesday was by far the most difficult of the
entire week. Bruce flew a homemade fiberglass contraption
that looked like something out of a science fiction
novel. Ed flew a modified version of a Dan Wolf “C”
Cluster design. Todd managed to put together a Dan Wolf
design with help from Bruce, Monday night. Bruce’s model
careened off the pad and took out a V-2 on the sport
range. He then lost his second model, although it was
successfully tracked. Ed had a first flight that had a
center tube failure, causing the model to crash. His
second flight was straight and true only to separate at
ejection and come crashing to the ground. Todd had the
one qualified flight of the trio which is a feat in

    “E” Dual Eggloft
Altitude also had it’s moments with the C.R.A.S.H.
trio. Bruce flew versions of his famed fiberglass
capsule. Todd entered a standard design with a CMR dual
egg capsule. Ed flew a Streamliner with an Apogee
capsule. All three competitors suffered broken eggs,
separations, lawndarts, and lost models. By the end of
the day, no one in C.R.A.S.H. managed a qualified
flight. Tuesday was most frustrating for Bruce and Ed
as both failed to make a qualified flight in either
event. Unfortunately for Todd, his qualified flight was
not high enough to earn him a place in the top four.
The ride back to the hotel was rather quiet es Ed
pondered what he could have done better and Bruce
realizing his chances for a national championship were
slowly  slipping away.

    Tuesday night was
the NAR auction which seemed to soothe the frustration
caused by the days events. Bruce bid on the most items
to add to his already substantial collection. Antique
engines from the 60’s as well as out of production
kits, components, and other rocketry related items were
auctioned off with the proceeds going to the

Ed's Tomcat RG Ed's Boost Glider     Wednesday
was “A” Rocket Glider Duration and “D” Boost Glide
Duration (multi-round). All three C.R.A.S.H. competitors
had various designs intended for this event. Ed used his
modified Skyfish” design for DBGD and a Tom Beach design
(Stratus 4) for ARGD. Todd used various sized Edmonds
‘Delties’ for DBGD with both an Edmonds ‘Ecee’ and QCR
Folding Wing for ARGD. Bruce flew a scratch-built
conventional boost glider complete with a beeper for DBGD
and his ‘Pivot Pod’ glider for ARGD. Both Todd and Ed
managed qualified flights in all attempts with various
times. Todd managed to get the only C.R.A.S.H. “max” with
a 2x Deltie that thermalled away. Bruce managed qualified
flights in both events, but neither model flew the way he
expected. Despite the good showing, not one member of the
C.R.A.S.H. trio was able to obtain places in the top
four. The evening held R&D presentations and a social
to award trophies to the top four places in Monday
through Wednesday’s events. Ed received a 2nd Place
trophy for “1/4A” HD with Bruce receiving 3rd Place. This
was a fine accomplishment for Ed and Bruce thanks in part
to COSROCS as well as Todd and the other members of

    Thursday was “1/2A”
Streamer Duration (multi-round) as well as a scheduled
tour of the Davis Montham AFB “bone yard”. This single
event was a welcome break for the C.R.A.S.H. trio. All
three members used essentially the same conventional 11mm
three- finned design. The difference was in the streamer
size and folding technique. Bruce and Todd had stayed up
the night before, making who Todd called a ‘C Streamer”
to gain somewhat of a competitive advantage. This
approach was rather unique in that when unfurled the
streamer was curved like a C to create more drag. What
was interesting was that when compressed, the streamer
appeared to be about one and a half times its original
width. It also appeared to have very large accordion
folds designed to create more drag. This concept arose
curiosity, as Todd somehow managed to get his innovative
concept into an 11mm tube. Bruce had a streamer that was
somewhat similar but had a longer rocket that eased the
burden of insertion. Ed took the somewhat traditional
approach using a 4’ x 40″ with accordion folds in the
upper part of the streamer.

    Todd managed one
qualified flight and suffered more engine problems. Bruce
encountered his share of problems but managed a max and a
near max flight. Ed maxed his first two flights and
nearly maxed a third. By the end of the day, Ed managed
to capture 3rd Place. In this very competitive event 12
seconds separated the top four places. Thursday night
concluded with oral presentations for R&D as well as
Sport Scale display to the public. Neither Bruce nor Ed
were invited to make an oral presentation for the judges.
However, both did receive flight points for their
entries. The static standings for Sport Scale placed
Bruce 1st overall in C Division with 720 points followed
by Ed in 2nd Place with 680 points. Todd was further down
in the field with a respectable 400 points. Overall,
C.R.A.S.H. had a fine showing in Sport Scale, the result
of countless hours constructing scale models.

Ed's Scale Black Brant II    
Friday concluded the competition week with the required
flights of the Sport Scale models. The C.R.A.S.H. trio
decided to “sleep in” and arrive at the launch site later
in the morning after the majority of the other entries
had flown. Todd flew first and had an impressive and
qualified flight with his Estes Sidewinder. The pressure
was then on Ed and Bruce who essentially went head to
head. It was clear that both competitors were worried
with different aspects of their models. Bruce seemed
apprehensive about his recovery system which had plagued
his model in the past. Ed seemed worried about flying his
model for the first time. It was almost surreal as both
walked out together went to different pads and prepped
for launch at the same time. A large crowd gathered
anxious to see Bruce and Ed fly their works of art. Bruce
gave Ed the go ahead to go first, and after countdown
suffered a burnout. Bruce seemed to wait patiently as Ed
changed his igniter. After the second countdown Ed’s
Black Brant II roared off the pad under the power of an
AeroTech F26 for a textbook flight and deployment. Bruce
continued to wait as Ed went to recover his model. Upon
returning his model for inspection, the Sport Scale
judges concluded Ed suffered no significant

Trophy Winners     Bruce
anxiously waited to see the condition of Ed’s model as an
unexpected breeze began to pick up. Bruce continued to
wait as a relieved Ed placed his model back in its
container for safe keeping. After waiting for the wind to
die down, Bruce finally gave the go ahead for launch. His
model lifted off the pad under AeroTech E30-4 power and
proceeded to arc over into the ground. Upon impact, the
model broke into several pieces as many spectators began
to run up to the model. Bruce then frantically picked up
the model and proceeded to the back of his van to begin
what would be a record breaking repair of a Sport Scale
model. Todd and Ed helped locate another motor for Bruce
while repairs were made. Bruce performed the nearly
impossible as he managed to repair the model and have it
flight worthy in less than 30 minutes. Approximately five
minutes before the range shut down, Bruce ws ready to
make his second flight. The model lifted off the pad
again under E30-4 power, going considerably higher than
the first flight After ejection, the parachute failed to
open and the model fell helplessly to the ground. Again
the model broke into several pieces and the flight was
disqualified due to unsafe recovery. For obvious reasons,
Bruce vowed to build a different Sport Scale model as his
next entry. Although Ed was happy to win NARAM 39 Sport
Scale, he as well as Todd felt very bad for Bruce. Bruce
on the other hand was somewhat happy that a fellow
C.R.A.S.H. competitor won the event.

    The awards banquet
was held Friday evening to award trophies for the
remaining events, NARAM Champions, as well as the Contest
Year Champions. Ed received a 3rd Place trophy for “1/2A”
Streamer Duration as well as a 1st Place trophy for Sport
Scale. Ed also ended up in a tie for 3rd Place with Peter
Always for the NARAM Championship. Bruce was awarded 4th
Place for the Contest Year Championship for having the
4th highest point total. This was the result of a lot of
hard work on the part of Bruce. He was also the recipient
of the “Best Midwest Qualified Flight” trophy. He was
nominated twice for this award – once for his “6C” Custer
crashing into a V-2, and a second time for both his LEM

    NARAM 39 was an
interesting and intense experience for all the
competitors. It is an ideal way to participate in
competition as well as pick up new techniques and