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NARAM 42 Report

NARAM 2000…

By Bruce

    NARAM (National
Association of Rocketry Annual Meet), is a combination of
sport flying, social events, meetings, and the country’s
highest level of rocketry competition. Every year the
level of competition across the country continues to
increase, with model designs, materials, techniques, and
communication methods constantly improving, and
competitors pushing (and sometimes exceeding) the

    Although the engine sizes are small by
today’s standards, NARAM attracts the highest level of
competitive spirit year after year. For many of the
participants NARAM represents the culmination of a year’s
worth of effort planning, building, and competing to
reach a position where a national championship is within
their grasp.
NARAM 2000 patch
    For some, the goals
are less extreme – to test their abilities against the
best and maybe place in an event or two. Still others
simply enjoy reviving old friendships, making new ones,
and a chance to meet the people who made model rocketry
the great hobby it has become. For all, the ultimate goal
was to have an enjoyable and memorable time, and for
most, this goal was achieved.

     We knew NARAM 2000 (or 42, if
you prefer) would be a special event, not just because it
would be the last of the millennium, but also because of
it’s location so close to one of the birthplaces of the
hobby. Early on, our NARAM 2000 committee decided to name
the launch site “Estesland”, in honor of Vernon Estes,
the founder of Estes Industries and the owner of the
site. Mr. Estes’ gracious offer of the 400 acre expanse
just outside of Cañon City made hosting the event
for the sixth time in Colorado (and first time in 31
years) possible.

      During the
previous 15 months, the committee, comprised of members
of NAR Sections COSROCS and C.R.A.S.H., and the Tripoli
Colorado Prefect, labored tirelessly to create a truly
awesome event. Led by Contest Director Ken Mizoi, the
committee met the challenges of organizing an affair of
this scale, although there were times when the event’s
happening were in doubt. Fire bans throughout the areadue
to numerous forest fires in the mountain regions
threatened to cancel NARAM, and changes in FAA
authorization hierarchy along with proximity to a local
airport severely limited our goals. A high power waiver
became unattainable, but cooperation from the Fremont
County Airport and County officials allowed our plans to
continue. While limited to low “H” powered models, most
attendees didn’t miss the higher impulse flights and
enjoyed the other aspects that NARAM has to

James, Todd, and Ed     While NAR
Board meetings were beginning the Thursday before,
officially NARAM started Saturday morning, July 29th,
with the first two days devoted to sport flying and
socializing. Equipment Manager Mark James and Greg
Sandras made sure the sport range was ready. Over 200
flights were made the first day, and throughout the week
a very busy sport range continued the pace. Well over a
thousand sport flights were made during the event, and
many Level 1 certification flights were successfully
made. Throughout the week, spectators were awed and
amused by a wide assortment of models, ranging from “E”
powered radio controlled rocket gliders to the fan
favorite “oddrocs” of UROC’s Frank Hunt and Randall Redd.
Everything from ready-to-fly to scratch built models,
MICRO MAXX through “H”, and fantasy through scale
historical models made the sport range an exciting place
to be, not to mention a few flights that didn’t perform
quite as intended!

      Celebrities were in abundance,
with gracious hosts Vernon and Gleda Estes on hand
through out the week, reminiscing with the group, signing
autographs, and encouraging the beginners. Astronaut Jay
Apt was on hand on Saturday, flying in to the Fremont
County Airport in his own private aircraft. Later in the
week, Mel Johnson (business partner and engineer of Model
Missiles, Inc. with the late G. Harry Stine) visited the
site, renewing old acquaintances. Mel and Bill Stine
discussed the Model Rocket Museum being established by
Bill and Vernon. Mel graciously donated several 40 year
old collectors items to the project.

     John Shutz,
designer of the first boost glider and Estes Industries
Vice President during the “early years” arrived, and I
was awed when Vernon introduced him to me as I was
preparing for a contest flight. More well revered
personalities were in attendance and I apologize for not
remembering them all. Still, these are the people that
made the hobby special, and being able to meet them is
worth the trip alone.

     Special thanks go
out to the members of the Tallahassee Volunteer Fire
Department, whose presence on site helped make the event
a possibility. Not only did they provide more than
adequate fire protection services and clear cactus from
the parking, vendor and range head areas, their breakfast
and lunch concessions were a fantastic bonus for

     Nearly 300 people
attended this year’s event coming from all over the
country, and from as far away as Hawaii and even England!
Registration and Hospitality Coordinator, Kathleen
Williams, greeted the arrivals and oriented the
newcomers, handing out programs, shirts, and patches,
answered questions, and directed traffic throughout the
week. Kathleen’s outstanding efforts helped make this
NARAM a huge success.

     Throughout the
week, a large number of rocketry vendors displayed their
products on-site, and kept the attendees well stocked
with models, engines, recovery items, and other rocketry
related items.

     Along with more
sport flying on Sunday, NARAM committee members and other
volunteers, lead by Chief Range Safety Officer David
Nauer, made the final preparations for the upcoming
contest events. The fliers meeting was held Sunday
evening, with Ken officially welcoming the participants
and presenting the “ground rules” and range assignments
for the upcoming events. Giant Sport Scale and R&D
projects were turned in for judging after the meeting,
and contestants made last minute late night preparations
for the next day. Competitors in three age divisions (A,
B, and C), plus a Team division would be competing in 10
very different events in the next five days, with Meet
and National Championships on the line.

C.R.A.S.H. Members

    Things became a lot
more serious Monday morning, with the first two
competition events, “1/4A” Parachute Duration and “B”
Streamer Duration, dominating the activities. While these
events are generally considered relatively easy compared
to most others, winning one of the top places in either
is as challenging as any other. Trying to keep a “1/4A”
parachute model aloft for a minute or more on three or
four flights is truly a tough task, as only a few
competitors managed this feat. And, to place in “B”
Streamer Duration, two flights totaling three minutes was
a necessity. To win, a five minute total or more was the
norm. This was the busiest competition day of the week,
with over 400 flights attempted between the two

     In the “1/4A”
Parachute Duration, C.R.A.S.H. was well represented. In
“A” Division, Joey Puryear had three nice flights, and
took fourth place. Paul Gray outscored the rest of “B”
Division for first place, and in “C” Division, Mel Gray
qualified for the flyoff round, and took second

     Paul Gray also did
well in “B” Streamer Duration, taking second place in “B
Division. In “C” Division, Bruce Markielewski had a
fantastic nine minute flight on his second attempt to win
the event, while Ed O’Neill followed in second

     Monday evening’s
NAR Town Meeting and Association Meeting gave NAR
President, Mark Bundick, and NAR Board Members the
opportunity to present the varied ongoing activities of
the National Association of Rocketry, and allowed members
the chance to ask questions, make suggestions, and be a
part of the processes that direct the future NAR

     The events flown
Tuesday (“4xA” Cluster Altitude and “1/2A” Helicopter
Duration) stepped up the difficulty factor considerably!
In each, the task of building a stable model that deploys
as intended while retaining the engine(s) is only half
the battle. With 4xA Cluster Altitude, getting four small
engines ignited simultaneously and getting a closed track
were keys to placing in the event. There weren’t nearly
as many flights attempted compared to the previous day,
as fewer competitors accepted the challenges of these
events and fewer flights were required.

    In “4xA” Cluster
Altitude, Paul Gray finished a fine second place, while
in “C” Division, Bob Ellis finished fourth. In the Team
Division, the Paranoid Androids (Todd and Kathleen
Williams) finished third. In “1/2A” Helicopter Duration,
new member James Snow, and Paul Gray finished second and
third in “B” Division, while Ed O’Neill captured first
place in “C” Division on two impressive

     While the NAR
competition was progressing, another competition was
underway on the sport range. The second annual RC/RG
Championship was a popular event for the spectators, as
many of the best rocket glider pilots competed for the
coveted title. These giant models were under “E” power,
nearly soaring out of site. Total times in three flights
determined the champion, with George Gassaway earning the
prize with a score of over nine minutes. While not
contributing tothe NAR National Championship point
totals, this special event continues to gain in
popularity, in part due to its similarity to events flown
in the World Space Modeling Championships.

     Tuesday evening was
entirely devoted to the Manufacturer’s Forum, where
representatives of about 20 of rocketry’s suppliers had
the opportunity to display and market their products,
while answering questions from the packed audience. Most
had model kits as their main product line, although there
were many other items, including recovery systems,
electronic devices, books, software, launch equipment,
and scratch building components. The Manufacturer’s Forum
is annually one of NARAM’s most popular

     Wednesday’s “D”
Super-roc Altitude event was one of the most popular,
possibly due to the difficulty in creating a structurally
sound model with a length from 1-1/2 to 3 meters, and
then fly it as high as possible! Many flights were not as
planned, as loops and prangs were the result of many of
these “flying noodles”. An uncooperative data processing
program kept Data/Results Chief Todd Williams busy
ensuring that the tracking calculations were correct and

Bruce's Lunar Module      Randy Chambers
captured second place in “A” Division. James Snow won
first in “B” Division, and Paul Gray finished fourth.
Bruce Markielewski set a new NAR Record in “C” Division,
taking first, with Ed O’Neill closely behind in second

     “A” Boost Glider
Duration was also flown on Wednesday and while less
exciting than the Super-rocs, is still a very challenging
event. In many cases, a successful flight was one where
the model thermalled away, while a shred, Red Baron, or
other disaster kept many participants from having a
chance to place in the event.

     Third in “A”
Division was earned by another new C.R.A.S.H. Member,
Davey Willson, while Bob Ellis captured a second place in
“C” Division.

     A couple of special
flights also took place on Wednesday. Vernon Estes flew
the very first production Big Bertha model as a huge
crowd cheered the launch and safe recovery. Later, Mike
Jerauld flew a vintage Cineroc movie camera on the
equally vintage two-stage Omega kit, collecting 30
seconds of Super-8 film history during the

     The aptly named
Mid-week Social was held at the Holy Cross Abbey, just a
couple of blocks from the Cañon Inn (this NARAM’s
headquarters), and well over 200 took part in the fine
dinner provided by the Abbey. Most of the conversations
naturally hinged on the last few day’s contest and sport
flying activities, as the gathering gave everyone a
chance to meet and converse with those who’s names were
known, but the faces less familiar.

    After the dinner,
the Annual NAR Auction began. The combination Social and
Auction turned out to be a great stroke of planning,
contributing to a large crowd and late running auction.
Auctioneer Jennifer Ash-Poole kept the bids flowing
smoothly, with Vernon and Ken assisting in displaying the
wide assortment of items donated by the many generous
contributors. Many fine collectors items were sold, and
anything signed by Vernon went for a high price. The
highest bid, for a vintage Centuri Saturn V, went for
over $350. The auction earned a record amount, with the
entire proceeds going towards the NAR’s Bob Canon
Memorial Scholarship Fund. Mrs. Canon, Bob Canon’s widow
was in attendance and donated many of the fine

competition events were two more crowd favorites – “C”
Eggloft Duration and “D” Rocket Glider Duration. Both
require excellent building and flying skills, and while
there were many great flights in both events, times well
over 10 minutes were required in some cases to win.
Surprisingly, quite a large number of eggs survived the
Eggloft Duration event, showing that the competition
skills in all divisions were as high as ever. Even though
“D” Rocket Glider Duration is one of the most difficult
events, many accepted the challenge with most having
successful flights.

     Paul Gray won
another first place in “C” Eggloft Duration, “B”
Division. Rick Hyman finished third in “C” Division. In
“D” Rocket Glider Duration, Randy Chambers finished
fourth in “A” Division, while Paul Gray took another
second place in “B” Division.

Rick, Ed, and Bruce

     The competition
continued in the evening, although no flying was part of
the activities. Instead, competitors in the Research and
Development event gave presentations on their projects.
Many of these required months of planning, data
collection and processing, design and testing, as well as
drawing conclusions from their efforts. While only 23
total competitors from the four divisions entered this
challenging event, each presentation provided a diverse
and educational aspect of the hobby. Research and
Development is where many of the newest ideas and
techniques are born, continuing to improve and expand the
level of competition and the hobby in general.

     In “C” Division
Research and Development, Rick Hyman and Bruce
Markielewski were second and third, respectively, both
doing reports on different aspects of the aerodynamic
effects of low speed airfoils. Their reports are both
available for viewing online at:

     Several special
events were flown on Friday. Two “40th Anniversary” Estes
Alphas, signed by Vernon and Gleda Estes, and later by
Bill Stine, had been making their way through each state
in the country. NARAM was the obvious choice for
Colorado’s flights. C.R.A.S.H. and COSROCS
representatives Kathleen Williams and Mark James each
prepped a model, while Vernon had the honor of pushing
the launch button. The launch was arranged as a “drag
race”. Both lifted off nearly simultaneously under A8-3
power, flying perfectly, and recovering safely. Once
their tour is complete, one will be displayed at the
Smithsonian, and the other will join Vernon’s fine
personal museum collection.

     Although only a few
models were entered due to the lateness of the
announcement of the event, the Science Fiction and Future
Scale “fun” event was flown. The rules were very similar
to the usual scale events, although the models entered
were scale reproductions of spacecraft from science
fiction movies and television shows, or conceptual
designs of future vehicles.

     Quest Aerospace, a
big NARAM contributor who donated enough MICRO MAXX kits
for all registrants, sponsored another fun event. This
time the contest was a spot landing event, where
participants try to land their MICRO MAXX models closest
to prizes scattered around the launch area. Nearly every
one who flew was a winner in this event!

     Friday was a big
day indeed, as the last event of the competition was
held. Giant Sport Scale is just as it sounds – very large
and incredibly detailed scale models were flown as the
scale judges, Marc McReynolds, Peter Alway, andJohn
Langford rated their performance. These flight scores,
combined with the earlier static points determined the
winners. By far, this was the most photographed event of
the competition, perhaps due to the large size, but more
likely because of the incredible detail and craftsmanship
displayed on these museum quality models. More
competitors nerves are frayed in this than any other
event, since a bad flight or engine malfunction can
destroy months of tedious work. While most survived the
ordeal (models and their owners), a few of the best met
their untimely demise.

2000 Section of the Year
    James Snow took third
place in “B” Division with his fine Saturn 1B model. in
“C” Division, Bruce Markielewski and Ed O’Neill took the
top two places. Bruce was first with his Lunar Module,
while Ed’s Black Brant II finished a fine second place.
Soon after his flight, Bruce donated his Lunar Module to
Vernon Estes for the Rocketry Museum.

     The last flight of
the day, a magnificent Mercury Redstone model by John
Pursley and team Jeckyll and Hyde, flew perfectly,
signaling the end of a great week of flying – but NARAM
wasn’t quite over just yet!

    That evening, the Awards
Banquet room was packed, as nearly 300 dined on the
Colorado cuisine, and socialized throughout the evening.
Speeches and presentations were made, thanking Vernon and
Gleda, and the various groups that made this NARAM a huge
success. Over 200 trophies were awarded for the Event,
Meet, and National Championship winners, plus many
special awards for outstanding service, performance, and
contributions to the rocketry hobby.

     For the Meet
Championships, Paul Gray and James Snow took second and
third respesctively in “B” Division.  In “C”
Division, Bruce Markielewski took first place, Ed O’Neill
finished second, and Rick Hyman came in fourth.
C.R.A.S.H. took second place as a section for the

     Two C.R.A.S.H.
members took places in the NAR National Championships –
Paul Gray finished first in “B” Division, and Bruce
Markielewski won the “C” Division National Championship.
C.R.A.S.H. was the third place section in the National
Championship standings.

     C.R.AS.H. members
also won a couple of special awards. James Snow was
awarded the ScaleRoc Rookie of the Year Award for the
best scale model by a new NARAM competitor. C.R.AS.H. was
awarded the prestigious NAR Section of the Year Award for
outstanding contributions to the hobby and public
outreach programs.

        Once the
obligatory photo sessions concluded, everyone said their
final good-bye’s, and left for home with fond memories of
an awesome event and anticipating another great NARAM
next August in Geneseo, NY.

    We’d like to
thank the trophy sponsors, Aurora Flight Sciences, Balsa
Machining Services, Magnum Inc., Quest Aerospace, Thiokol
Propulsion, and Totally Tubular. In all, C.R.A.S.H.
members took home 37 of the trophies awarded!
Congratulations to everyone who competed, and contributed
to a great year of C.R.A.S.H. Rocketry!

NARAM 42 Colorado Awards

Colorado NARAM 2000 Awards

NARAM 2000
Division Place Competitor Section
1/4A Parachute
Duration Multi-round
A Division 4 Joey Puryear C.R.A.S.H.
B Division 1 Paul Gray C.R.A.S.H.
C Division

2 Mel
B Streamer
B Division 2 Paul Gray C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 1 Bruce Markielewski C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 2 Edward

4 x A Cluster
B Division 2 Paul Gray C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 4 Robert Ellis C.R.A.S.H.
Team Division

3 Paranoid
1/2A Helicopter
A Division 2 Elise Coit Independent
A Division 3 Russell Coit Independent
B Division 2 James Snow C.R.A.S.H.
B Division 3 Paul Gray C.R.A.S.H.
C Division

1 Edward
D Super-Roc
A Division 2 Randy Chambers C.R.A.S.H.
A Division 3 Elise Coit Independent
B Division 1 James Snow C.R.A.S.H.
B Division 4 Paul Gray C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 1 Bruce Markielewski C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 2 Edward O’Neill C.R.A.S.H.
C Division

3 Nathan
A Boost Glider
A Division   3 Davey Willson C.R.A.S.H.
B Division 1 James Snow C.R.A.S.H.
C Division

2 Robert Ellis C.R.A.S.H.
C Egg Lofting
B Division 1 Paul Gray C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 2 Nathan Coit C.R.A.S.H.
C Division

D Rocket Glider
A Division 4 Randy Chambers C.R.A.S.H.
B Division

2 Paul
B Division 3 James Snow C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 1 Bruce Markielewski C.R.A.S.H.
C Division

2 Edward
Research and
C Division 2 Richard Hyman C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 3 Bruce Markielewski C.R.A.S.H.
Team Division

1999 – 2000 Contest Year Final NAR

Division Place Competitor Section
A Division 4 Elise Coit Independent
B Division 2 Paul Gray C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 1 Bruce Markielewski C.R.A.S.H.
Team Division 4 Two Old COSROCS Guys C.R.A.S.H.
NAR Section

3 NAR Section

NARAM 2000 Meet Standings

Division Place Competitor Section
B Division 2 Paul Gray C.R.A.S.H.
B Division 3 James Snow C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 1 Bruce Markielewski C.R.A.S.H.
C Division 2 Edward O’Neill C.R.A.S.H.
C Division

4 Richard
NARAM 2000 Special

Award Winner Section
LAC Newsletter Award NAR
Section 515 – The COS-Rocketeer
Section of the Year NAR Section 482 C.R.A.S.H.
Scale-roc Rookie of the Year
James Snow C.R.A.S.H.
NARAM Committee MVP Kathleen
Howard Galloway
VanMilligan – Apogee Components, Inc.



A First Timer’s

By Kathleen

us “CRAZY”, but we did travel from Colorado to
Pennsylvania with our four children for NARAM 41. We took
it relatively slow on our way to Pennsylvania taking in a
few sites along the way. Our first stop was the
Cosmosphere in Kansas. This was a definite hit with all
of our children. We also stopped at the St. Louis Arch,
Kirtland, Ohio, Lake Erie and finally to Pennsylvania for


    We had some
problems with our room reservations at the host hotel
with lasted throughout our stay. The field was small and
surrounded by trees with wild roses, black berries
rambling across the forest floor. My first thought was,
we could hold a NARAM at C.R.A.S.H.’s regular launch site
at Bear Creek Lake Park! The only thing different would
be having enough parking. I wondered why Bruce
Markielewski and other past NARAM competitors felt that
our field was too small for such an event. I quickly
found out on the first day of competition. It wasn’t much
fun to watch your competition rocket models end up in a
“rocket eating” tree. Although, I much prefer our launch
site hazards (i.e. the reservoir, the long hike around
the dam or the golf course).  At least in
most cases we able to successfully retrieve our models.

    The small field made NARAM 41 more of
a competition for strategy rather than one of those for
competitors who like to “push the envelope” for models
designed to catch thermals or drift quite a distance.
Many of the timers would also stop their watches once
they could no longer see a model even if for a second
while it turned “edge on” to their view. I feel that it
would have been more competitive if the events had been
better suited to such a small field with a somewhat
hazardous border. Sometimes the time given for
competitors to launch their models on a given day seemed
a little short. For example on B Egg Loft Duration day
the range was only open for four hours. One of these
hours had to be spent doing your assigned range
duty.  If you didn’t already have a model built, you
were at a definite disadvantage.

Christiana Williams THE

    We met many people
and were able to put faces with familiar names. The NARAM
41 committee members were very hospitable. The meetings
were spread out so that you could attend most if not all
of them. The sport range was well suited to the small
models we brought to launch on it. Our youngest son,
Ferrin, launched his Estes “Moon Dog” twice. Todd
launched his QCR “Mary Poppins Bumbershoot” successfully
only to have several appeals from the crowd to launch it
again, which he did.

     Our children probably had one of the
best experiences because there were so many playgrounds
to choose from and so many other children close in age
for them to play with. Our eldest, Christiana even
managed to bring home a fourth place trophy for “B”
Rocket Glide Duration.

    Overall, NARAM 41
was a success. We had an enjoyable trip with our
children, brought home a trophy and they some some parts
of our country that they had only read about. Our NARAM
experience is probably best summed up by Christiana, “It
was okay other than the trees.  I liked competing,
but I agree that there were problems withsome of those who timed events. Overall, the
competition was fairer because I competed with others in
my age division; but I still like competing against
adults. It’s more fun to beat them!” Watch out A Division
competitors; she’ll be ready for our NARAM in Colorado
next summer.


Notes from the Flight

By Mel Gray

Monday, 8-9-99
C-Payload and A-Helicopter

    My C-Payload
qualifies on Estes C6-7 at 400-something meters on the
first flight and then goes 566 meters on Apogee C10-7
power on the second flight. This motor is “major gas”. It
lands off the field but does not hang up in a tree (a
minor miracle).  It was returned for qualified
flight and 5th place.

Multi-round was my usual mystery event. My tested and
usually reliable models suddenly would not deploy. 
Flying on Apogee A2-3 power, they boosted high. Three
flights were:  SPLAT! – 115 seconds – SPLAT! The
result was two broken models and 10th place.

Tuesday, 8-10-99

1/2A SR Alt and B Rocket

    My 1/2A SR
model went 92 meters on first flight with Apogee 1/2A2-4.
The model was standard 10.5mm Apogee tubing by 1 meter
long, launched from tower. I should have used piston
launcher.  Chad Ring used one to win at 162 meters.
Impressive. My second flight not as good at 80-something
meters.  I finished somewhere in top 10.

    My proven
slide-wing B Rocket Glider goes up as the first flight of
the day, boosts real high on B2-0, finds buoyant air and
disappears into the woods.  Timers clicked off at
70-some-odd seconds. I looked for the model for 1-1/2
hours, no luck. No return, no placing – I got flight

Wednesday, 8-11-99

1/2A Flex-wing and A-Streamer

    I finished
up the flexies in NARAM tradition the night before the
event – the 4th and 5th flexies that I have built. These
are 110 degree angle style, standard diamond shape. First
flight was a real lucky one – boosted well on Estes
1/2A3-4T but spun about half way down, then leveled out
long enough for the RSO to call it qualified, made two
nice gliding circles  and then spun in. 
Actually worked out OK since I needed a return flight and
the field was REAL small for flying these floaters. 
I changed to second flexie which was trimmed somewhat
better for second flight. I got good boost and ejection
into a marginal piece of air and the model floated in
light drift to the very edge of the trees. I was in 1st
until around 2:00PM when the other  fliers pushed me
down to 5th place.

    I totally
blew it in A-Streamer Multi-round. My 13mm streamer
models using Apogee A2-5 power work great in Colorado,
not so well here.  After watching Paul thermal his
number one model into the trees and putting my first
flight there also, I cut down the streamer on my second
model. This, plus crummy air picking on my part, gave me
three average flights which placed me somewhere around
10th.  I lost the second model anyway.

Thursday, 8-12-99

B Eggloft Duration:

    This event
was a reminder to always test out my designs BEFORE the
contest. I was flying my more or less standard Egglofter
design with Apogee B7-4 power, with a 36″ mylar chute. If
I had test flown this combination I would have seen the
problem and made the necessary changes. As it was, the
Egglofter / motor combination went well over the top of
apogee and lost considerable altitude before ejection. I
only put in one flight on this, of about 45 seconds
duration, good for around 13th place.  I should have
used Estes B6-2 in this model.

Friday, 8-13-99

Sport Scale and Open Spot Landing:

    I did not
fly sport Scale at this contest.  I guess I’m not
much of a Scale builder.Open Spot Landing – Lets just say
that my flight strategy resulted in a flight that
probably qualified as landing the farthest from the spot
– DUH!, wrong move, Sparky.

Paul Gray Impressions
and opinions:

    This was my first
trip back East to fly rockets and it was something of a
shocker.  In some ways, I suppose I let the size of
the flying field psych me out.  I tell you what,
kiddies, it was SMALL.  Of course, it was the same
for everyone.  If I were to do it again, I would
wait until later in the day to fly.  Where good lift
is prevalent here in Colorado early, the best air back
East seems to occur somewhat later in the day.  The
good fliers there exhibit great patience, flying only
when the conditions are really good.

    I didn’t observe
anything radical or unusual in the models.  The
majority of the Egglofters were of the shroud type of
construction and were very light. They flew real well on
low power B motivation.  Glenn Feveryear won C
Payload at 721 meters (wow!) with a very nice fiberglass
model and Apogee C10 power.  Ducky Klouser won both
glider events (B Rocket and 1/2 A Flexie) with superb
patience and air picking. Chad Ring went 162 meters in
1/2 A SR.  Amazing.  Bob Kaplow parked his
Egglofter in a  thermal for over 30 minutes only to
have it go bye-bye for No Return.  There were other
superior performances, but these are the ones that stand
out for me.

    In closing, I need
to do my “Proud Daddy” bit. Paul had a really GOOD
contest, winning two 1sts, two 3rds, four 4ths and two
5ths in his events.  He finished in Fourth Place in
his division in this contest – out flew the old man, as



By Paul Gray

    This was the
highlight of my summer. The 40th National Association of
Rocketry Annual Meet (NARAM-40) was held at the AMA
National Flying Site in Muncie, Indiana from August 8-14.
It took my dad and I nearly two days to get there and
back. But as I found, it was very well worth the drive.
We got there about a day early, long before many other
people began to arrive. We took advantage of the extra
day by working on some of our competition models inside
of the hotel room. We checked out our sport models as
well, since there was going to be a lot of sport flying
on Saturday and Sunday.

    On opening day, we
headed out to the field very early in the morning But
since the range had not yet been set up, there was at
least an hour and a half delay before sport operations
got started. But once things got going there were many
exciting flights indeed. The weather most of week was
very humid, cloudy, and hazy. There was at least some sun
that broke through the clouds, so visibility was not as
big of a problem as it may have seemed. We could at least
see our sport rockets in the air, which was all that
counted, Recovery was not much of a problem since the
field was 1,000 acres big. (All mowed grass!!)

    The first rocket
that I flew was my repaired and refinished AeroTech
Initiator. It was flown on an F40 motor. I decided to fly
this rocket because of its long history. It was my first
mid-power rocket, my first rocket flown without the need
of recovery wadding, my first rocket with a nylon
parachute, and the first rocket of mine to be sanded down
and refinished after taking some damage due to a long
delay on one of its flights. So it was making history
again, it was my first rocket ever flown at a
NARAM.  In all, I flew about eight total sport
rockets with only one coming home needing repair. My Big
Bertha had a very unusual failure where the parachute
melted together, and the rocket came down hard and fast.
Recovery wadding was a problem because it seemed to have
expanded in the moisture. Therefore, it was important to
be more careful about using the right amount of wadding
and loading it in the rockets properly.

    I had many good
sport flights, and so did my dad. He flew his Extended
Alpha on a C6. Luckily, he recovered it after I had lost
sight of it (he makes me help him watch his rockets since
I have young eyes). He also flew his Mini Shuttle and his
Sizzler. His Sizzler flight was rather interesting Its
boost on a CS-3 got it up to about 400 feet where the
shock cord separated. Since it is a rear eject model, the
motor mount came down safely on its parachute while the
main rocket body lawn darted about ten feet away from the
launch pad It buried the nose cone in the ground, but
surprisingly, the main rocket body was not

    I lost one rocket,
my Estes Alpha. I flew it on a B6. It gained some real
high altitude just as the wind picked up. Then it caught
one of the biggest thermals I have ever seen, and it
drifted off into a corn field I couldn’t recover it, the
corn was too tall. It wasn’t the first rocket that the
corn ate, and it won’t be the last. Other people had
great flights as well. Other interesting rockets
appeared. but never flew. I was taking a look at a fleet
that one guy had brought along which consisted of rockets
that fly on L and M motors. One of his M motor rockets
had an interesting finish which my dad and I thought was
very appropriate; It was covered with dollar bills.
Really! The largest rocket flown was a L3 certification
flight on a Kosdon M1130. Very interesting to watch
indeed! It had a CPR system, but it still landed pretty
close to the power lines. There was one rocket that we
saw in the power lines that greeted us every day when we
drove into the launch site.

    Monday was the first
day of competition, and a very important event of ours.
This was going to be my first time flying any type of
rocketry competition ever. And so, l expected to get
creamed since I was competing against the best 14-18 year
olds in the nation including Rachel Brower, Kristi Smith,
Troy and MaN Leveron, Ryan Coleman, and many other good
competitors. “I/4A” Parachute Duration was a very
important event for us since we had test flown models and
had proven our ability to do well in this event. My dad
already had previous competition experience (he took
first in the eggloft duration event at the last contest
our club had). My rocket was an Apogee Centrix. I stuffed
in a 12″ thin chrome mylar parachute from Aerospace
Specialty Products. My dad’s rocket was the same. On both
of my flights, the parachute deployed, but did not fully
open. But, they qualified the flights since the parachute
did provide enough drag in order to have a safe recovery.
And, the rocket got so high, that both times were above
40 seconds. I was in second place, but then Rachel Brower
had a second flight that had a longer duration than my
second flight in which she put me down to third. I
finished third, Kristi Smith got first, and Troy Leveron
placed fourth. My dad’s first flight was a great one. The
parachute opened completely and wind carried it almost
off the field I ran a very long way to chase it. But, the
timers only saw it for a minute and six seconds, which
didn’t please my father very much. It didn’t please me
either, after running that far to recover it. My dad
wasn’t as successful the second time. The shock cord
seperated at ejection disqualifying the

    The next day, we
flew “B” Altitude. But I should say that Tuesday had the
worst weather of the week The clouds were very low in the
morning but eventually raised up as it got later towards
the afternoon. But my dad’s flight was early in the
morning He flew his Estes Wizard and it went into a cloud
He lost sight of it, but it eventually ended up in the
return box. I decided to wait until the weather cleared,
and then I got out my Apogee Centrix and put it in low
orbit on a B2. But, I couldn’t fit enough tracking powder
in it, so they couldn’t see it, resulting in no track My
dad let his Centrix rip as well, but he had the same
problem I had So we got qualified flights with our backup
models. My backup rocket was my Apogee Blue Streak which
I flew on a standard Estes B6 Out of two flights, my
highest track was 268 meters which finished me in fourth
place. My dad got two qualified flights with his Wizard
the best at 302 meters.

    Wednesday wasn’t my
day. This was the day for the “B” Helicopter Duration
event. The only rocket I had for this event was a Micro
Rota-Roc I flew it on a B2 and the timers as well as
myself lost sight of it. But, it ended up in the return
box on Friday. However, it was damaged I didn’t see it,
but from examining the damage, I think it lawn darted My
dad had better luck since he had a larger model that was
more visible. It was am Apogee Heli-roc. But his first
flight was with the same model as mime. The timers
couldn’t see it but I saw that it lawn darted The second
flight was a modified Heli-roc on a B25 which flew for
134 seconds. Overall he placed 10th in this

    Thursday was a very
busy day. We each had to make three flights for “B”
Streamer Duration, and I had to make two flights for “A”
Boost Glider. I did my two “A” Boost Glider flights
first. I flew my Edmonds Deltie on an Apogee A2. The
first flight was outstanding, flying for 78 seconds. I
was im first place, but I had a red baron the second
flight. But, to my surprise, I still finished 4th. I
finished 5th in “B” Streamer, making two qualified
flights out of three possible. I DQed the first flight
because my streamer shreded. My dad had a Wizard which
flew for a 114 seconds, but it was disqualified because
it spit the motor. His second flight did a 180 second
max. The model for this flight was a 13mm diameter
Centrix flown on a B2. The same model flew out of the
timers! sight on the third flight, so he got his Wizard
back out which disqualified because the streamer didn’t
deploy properly.

    Friday, the last day, ended with the
Sport Scale event. It was the best weather of the week.
My rocket for this event was am IQSY Tomahawk built from
an AeroTech kit. I earned 655 static points. Mine was the
highest scoring IQSY Tomahawk of all that were entered
which really surprised me. Peter Alway, the “B” Division
judge, didn’t exactly like IQSY Tomahawks very much
Before mme flew, I heard him say “Oh yeah, this is the
nice IQSY Tomahawk, which made me feel good The flight
was on an F40 which took it to aroumd 2100 feet. It was a
most impressive flight. There wasn’t very much wind so l
recovered it about 150 yards away from the launch pad. I
only lost five points after it was discovered that part
of the paint had been chipped off of the nose cone. I bad
a total of 750 points putting me in third place. There
were some other fun things going on during the Sport
Scale event. Rachel Brower had returned with the Vostok
that she flew in Arizona the previous NARAM. The rocket
lawn darted twice. But, she repaired it both times, and
got a qualified flight the 3rd time. She got first place,
and the “B” division National Championship.

    NARAM was one of the
most fun events I have ever been to! We’re already making
plans to attend next year’s NARAM in Pennsylvania. We
hope to get it here in Colorado in the year 2000. If you
ever have the opportunity to go to NARAM, by all means,
go! It will be one of the greatest experiences of your
life, even if you don’t compete!



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



By Bruce Markielewski

    It wasn’t until after
the Pikes Peak or Blast VII regional that I finally
decided to attend the 38th National Association of
Rocketry’s Annual Meet (NARAM 38), in Evansville,
Indiana. I had more than doubled my contest point total
for the season in Colorado Springs, moving me from 24th
in the country to 9th place, and suddenly I felt I had a
shot at one of the top national places. Still, I had only
a month to prepare, and having something ready for only
three or four of the twelve events. I had a couple of
models that would normally be considered backups, and
would have liked to have had time to build new ones for
all of the events. Time really flies when you have a
deadline, and upon leaving, I still had a couple of
models unfinished, and nearly all without recovery
systems installed. I’d do that the night before the event
was held.

    Todd Schneider, from
Colorado Springs, also planned to attend, although he was
going mainly to sell his Eclipse Components items. We
arranged to meet in Limon on the way to conserve time,
and caravaned east. The trip out was uneventful for the
most part, other than not finding any motel vacancies the
first night, and getting lost for a while in Kansas City.
We arrived earlier than expected on Sunday afternoon,
having to spend the previous night at a rest stop. This
was the day several event entries had to be turned in, so
I spent most of the evening putting finishing touches on
my Sport Scale and Plastic Model Conversion models. Todd
was busy unpacking his inventory, and selling rocket
parts almost immediately.

    We headed out to the
contest site Monday morning. The area was extremely
large, but not particularly flat. A large area had been
mowed, but beyond that were waist high weeds that were
mostly of the thorny variety. A tent was set up for the
range officers , and another for the competitors to
prepare their models. Nearly twenty pads were setup for
competition, and about 300 feet away was the sport flying
range. Monday’s events were “B” Parachute Duration
Multi-round and “C” Boost Glider Duration. My
“Super-Dactyls” performed well, but with a stiff breeze
and a high ridge towards the west, flight times were cut
short. I managed 162 seconds compared to the winning
total of 224, but finished only as high as 7th. I had
problems in parachute duration, with two CATO’s and a DQ,
finishing with only 114 seconds and a disappointing 28th

    Later that evening,
I spent some time checking out the manufacturer’s rooms,
and attended one of the NAR meetings. About 11:00 PM, I
decided to finish the “C” helicopter model that I had
started, and finished the model around 8:00 AM the next
morning. I got about 2 hours of sleep that night, and
managed to get out to the launch site around 11:00 AM. I
turned out that I could have skipped building the model,
as a separation resulted in a DQ on its maiden voyage.
The engine pod was lost for a couple of days, and I ended
up flying my backup model twice, with another separation
on the second flight. Needless to say, I didn’t score
very high in the event. “D” Streamer Duration wasn’t any
more of a success. My first flight was respectable, but
realizing I only brought one D21-7 engine, I decided to
try a D3-7 for the second. I didn’t know that these were
considerably heavier than the D21’s, so my flight was
immediately unstable, doing several loops before bouncing
and lifting off again. This obvious DQ did, however, win
the “Best Midwest Qualified Flight” award, which goes to
the worst flight of the contest. I have no idea where the
name came from. Todd’s day wasn’t any better, as his
payloader separated, and his super-roc’s engine refused
to ignite before the range closed.

    An auction was held
Tuesday evening, and I spent too much for several items,
a stack of old Model Rocketeer magazines, a Centuri
Enerjet E24-4, and an old ESTES catalog, but since all of
the proceeds went to the Bob Canon Scholarship Fund, I
figured this was a worthy investment. Todd was determined
to buy a vintage Centuri Little Joe II kit, still in
sealed in the original plastic, and outspent me on that
item alone. Later Todd attended the Manufacturer’s Forum,
and gave a presentation of his Eclipse Components
inventory. I decided to prepare the next day’s models and
try to get a good night’s sleep.

Todd inspects PMC models NARAM Prep Area

    Wednesday’s events
were Open Spot Landing, “A” Altitude, and “B” Super Roc
Altitude. We were required to fly spot landing first, and
my flight turned in a fine 12 meter score. I was in first
place throughout most of the day, but was later beaten by
two other competitors. Well, at least I finally placed in
an event, taking third. My first “A” altitude flight
seemed to be perfect, and I thought I finally was going
to have a good day. Unfortunately, the model was not
tracked, and I had to re-fly. A CATO on the next flight
also required me to fly again, but my next two flights
finally worked well and were tracked. My best flight of
345 meters was good enough for fourth place, but Todd’
great flight of 422 meters took first in the event. “B”
Super-roc was disappointing also, as I was the current
NAR record holder in the event, and expected it to fall
that day. I wanted to be the one to break the record, but
my best model broke on liftoff. My backup flew well, but
sixth place was the best I would do.

    Todd and I had
volunteered to be judges for the Plastic Model Conversion
event, and spent some of the evening scoring the entries
in the “B” and Team divisions. This was a lot of fun, as
we scrutinized some very good and some very awful
entries. We also attended some of the “A” and “B”
division R&D presentations, and the most interesting
was John Marsh’s electronic dethermalizer

    Thursday was once
again a miserable day, as both of my “C” payload models
disappeared into the sky, never to return. One was
tracked to 500 meters, so at least I know the model flew
well. I thought I would have a qualified flight in “F”
Dual Eggloft Duration, but upon returning from a mile
hike on the first flight, one egg had a hairline crack in
the side. My second flight landed even further, about two
miles away. It took a while to find the red barn in the
distance that the model drifted over, and the nice woman
who owned the property let me look around after I
explained about the contest and my lost model rocket. She
even let me climb up on the barn’s roof to get a better
view, and while I was searching, a couple of other flyers
came along, looking for their models. She asked them if
they were looking for their “spaceship”, too. I didn’t
find mine, so the flight was another DQ, since the
deadline for return was 7:00 PM. I was surprised to learn
that she had found the model and returned it to the
launch site the next day.

    We finished up our
judging duties that evening, and were told that someone
was selling a huge collection of old rocketry items in
one of the motel rooms, with a couple of Mars Landers
sold in the parking lot. We headed there immediately,
expecting to find out that all of the good items were
already gone. I was surprised to see a couple of ESTES
Cinerocs on the desk, and asked if they were still
available. They were, and finding out that the price for
both and an Omega kit was $100, my next question was
“Would you take a check?” I had suddenly acquired some
rocketry history that I hadn’t expected to ever find.
Todd and I each were able to snag another collector’s
item, an ESTES Camroc, for only $25 each. Todd bought a
carload of old kits, and I also picked up a large box of
old magazines. Everything was going for a great price,
and I only regretted not being there when he arrived to
pick up the Mars Landers, too.

Bruce's Scale LEM     My R&D
report didn’t score in the top four, so I wasn’t asked to
do a presentation, but both Tom Beach and Bill Spadafora
expressed interest in my project. Tom is the Sport
Rocketry Editor, and was interested in using it for a
future article. Bill is the NARTS Chairman, and wanted to
include the report in the NAR’s technical reports. They
were both judges in the R&D event, and I asked why I
didn’t score higher in spite of all the interest. The
answer was that my project wasn’t “revolutionary” enough,
that it didn’t contribute enough to the future of the
hobby. R&D was a tough event, and “C” division was
won by Vern Estes, who entered only this

    Friday was the day I
was both dreading and looking forward to, as I once again
had to fly my Lunar Module sport scale entry. Todd and I
were judging the Plastic Model Conversion flights we
judged for static points earlier, and there were
disappointingly few “prangs” in the event. I decided to
get this event out of the way first, however, having
brought a very old F-104 model I built many years ago. I
wasn’t very high in the static points, and was happy to
have finished fifth after a reasonable flight.

Bruce's F-104 PMC
    Everyone was waiting
for my Lunar Module flight, but I waited as long as I
could before flying, hoping the wind would calm down. The
model had problems in the past with its parachute
deployment, but after the fine flight at Pikes Peak or
Blast VII, I was a bit more confident. I was in second
place in the static judging, 5 points behind the leader,
who decided to withdraw and not fly. He felt his
beautifully crafted Mercury-Atlas would not be stable,
and forfeited a shot at first place rather than chance
destroying the model. I was now in position to win the
event with a good flight, but several others were also
close behind. The Lunar Module was finally on the pad,
and ready. Everyone was taking pictures, including
myself, as it wasn’t certain that I would survive. The
liftoff was very straight and stable, with a slight
rotation as it ascended. I felt a huge wave of relief he
parachute deployed perfectly, and the model returned
undamaged. Now, I would have to wait for the final point

    There wasn’t a lot
to do Friday evening, other than pack up the remains of
the rockets I pranged or blew up, until the Awards
Banquet began. We had a fine meal, parting speeches from
the contest organizers, and finally the trophies were
presented. Over two hundred were awarded, for Pre-NARAM
Standings, Meet Standings, Fun Events, Contest Events,
and Contest Year Standings. This took several hours, and
some people actually fell asleep at their table, and not
just the kids! It wasn’t until second place was awarded
in Sport Scale that I was sure I took first. The final
totals were close, as I won the event by only five
points. The banquet finally ended near midnight, and we
headed back to continue packing and preparing for the
long trip back to Colorado. The trip back was long but
uneventful, and this time we planned ahead and reserved
rooms in Topeka for Saturday night.

    This was the largest
and perhaps most competitive NARAM so far. All but one
“C” divisioner ahead of me in the pre-NARAM standings
attended. Overall, I had a great time in spite of a less
than expected performance in most events. I finished
sixth in the contest, and seventh for the year, not too
bad when competing against sixty other “C” Division
competitors. Also, I was able to meet many of the people
that are well known names in the hobby. The best part was
the comments from the many who were impressed by my Sport
Scale entry, including such well known scale experts as
George Gassaway and Peter Alway. I was very proud of this
achievement, and felt this (plus a couple of Cinerocs and
a Camroc) made the trip worthwhile! I’ll definitely be
attending other NARAMs in the future, hopefully a bit
more experienced and a lot more prepared!


L.A.C. Newsletter

L.A.C. Newsletter Award By Bruce

    Somewhere around the middle of
August, 1995, I received a phone call from Mike Hellmund,
and he said “Congratulations”. I thought for a moment,
and not remembering winning the NAR “C” Division National
Championship, I inquired “What For?”.

    It was then that I learned that
“C.R.A.S.H. Landings” had won the NAR’s 1995 L.A.C. Award
for the year’s best newsletter. This was totally
unexpected (for me, anyway), as there are many fine
newsletters published by rocketry groups around the
country. We had been runner-up in 1993, but I had felt
that winning the top honors unlikely. Still, that moment
has arrived, and It makes the efforts of all that
contributed that much more worthwhile.

    There are many who deserve credit for
this award, beginning with Larry Weber, who started the
whole thing in 1988. Dave Nauer was a great help with his
updates on COSROCS events, and Kevin Kuczek’s technical
and Presidential articles were both entertaining and
educational, as were Ed O’Neill’s Kit reviews. Others
that have contributed to the year’s efforts were Dario
Brisighella, Pat Michl, and Dave Gianakos, and there were
many more in the preceding years that made this

    You’re probably asking by now “What
did we win, anyway?” Along with the prestige and
recognition the award brings, we were the caretakers of a
rather large traveling trophy, and a mysterious box that
contains memorabilia from every section that has won the
award before. The trophy Is labeled the “North American
Rockwell Trophy”, but the origin of this eludes me. This
award began in 1969 by the NAR’s Leader Administrative
Council or L.A.C. (and donated by the Rockwell company),
which was responsible for developing a number of
educational and technical rocketry related programs.

    The LAC award, as it’s now called,
has some rules that accompany it. Only members of the
winning section may learn what items accompany the
trophy, and (I assumed) we couldn’t keep any of them! We
were entrusted with its care for the next year and passed
it on to the 1996 winner. Being passed along for 26 years
has taken its toll on the trophy, and I think only the
traditions involved (of which I’m not totally familiar)
have saved it from being replaced by a newer one. In
spite of its used appearance, it’s a great honor our
section can be proud of!



By Kevin Kuczek

    NARAM this year was
held in hot and humid Houston, Texas. Surprisingly, it
wasn’t as hot and humid as when they last held NARAM at
this location. In fact, even the roaches and fire ants
were nonexistent! I had most of my models built before I
left, which was good because building models was the last
thing I wanted to do after being up until 4:00 AM, and
then getting up at 8:00 AM to chase rockets that
sometimes floated miles from the launch site. Keep in
mind that this schedule went on for four days straight. I
felt like it was exam week!

    I did pretty well,
taking a trophy in every event I entered. Really great
models were not needed to win. Consistency meant
everything with low cloud ceilings and prevailing winds
that took your birds directly into the NASA complex. In
fact, the range was shut down two times when NASA
objected to models landing in restricted

    The duration events
included “1/2A” Parachute Duration,
“A” Helicopter Duration, “C” Rocket Glider Duration,
and “F” Streamer Duration. Times recorded on the flight
cards were pretty misleading though, since most models
due to the high winds could only be seen for the first
couple minutes of flight. Unfortunately with the return
rule, one flight had to be returned.

    So, having ultra
high performance models at this contest usually didn’t
pay off. My duration models were light but not fragile
and maybe not as light as I could have made them. My
motto has always been to go all out and hope to get one
flight back or tracked. No one can predict what the
weather will be like. If I had all the time in the world,
I’d probably build a couple of bricks to fly, in case of
high winds.

    The altitude events
included “D” Altitude and “E” Dual Eggloft Altitude. I
placed second in “D” Altitude and first in “E” Dual
Eggloft Altitude. Tracking the egglofter flights was not
a problem for the trackers. In C division there were only
three qualified flights and two of them were mine. Thus
to place, all you had to do was qualify.

    Flying “D” Altitude
was another story. Most modelers chose Apogee 18 mm
D3-7’s and most punched the low cloud base and didn’t get
tracked. My first flight did just that. I stayed with my
motto though and flew a backup model I built the night
before on a D3-7. I launched right into a small blue
patch of sky and got tracked.

    Coming into NARAM, I
was number 2 in the nation and 2,000 points behind the
leader. After NARAM, I was 4,000 points ahead of the
previous leader, and took the “C” Division National



By Bruce

    If you asked anyone
about attending a national model rocketry contest in the
middle of a Nevada dry lake bed in August, they’ll
probably think you were crazy. Still, several of
Colorado’s most dedicated competitors accepted the
challenge, and headed west.

    Dave Nauer, Ed
Schneider, and Warren Layfield left early Saturday,
August 1st, and I began the trip a few hours behind (I
was still building that morning!) to attend NARAM 34 in
Las Vegas. Todd Schneider and his mom left a few days
earlier, as they intended to fit a vacation into the busy
schedule. The drive was about 750 miles, and through
about 13-15 hours of widely varied terrain, and several
long, isolated stretches between towns. It’s hard to
believe that you’re half way there and still in

    Most of us arrived
at the Gold Coast Hotel Sunday afternoon, and spent some
time moving our equipment into the rooms. The only way
into the hotel was through the gambling casino, and that
area was always crowded. We spent part of the evening
checking out the manufacturers’ room, and meeting some of
the other attendees. Mike Hellmund and Mary Roberts
arrived by plane, to represent ESTES Industries, and show
off some of their upcoming products.

    Dave had volunteered
to perform RSO duties during the contest, and I
volunteered to be a scale judge. Todd took on timing and
tracking duties, and Warren spent most of his time
helping the range officials where he could. Ed relaxed,
and watched, and helped Todd prepare for the events. I
felt that with all the effort he put in to the hobby, he
should be involved in the competition, as he’d do quite

    I spent most of the
evening finishing up some models for the next day’s
events. In fact, I threw together a “B” Streamer model
around midnight. I almost decided to skip the event, as I
knew we had to get up at 5:00 AM each morning to get out
to the launch site by the 7:00 AM starting

NARAM 34 Site
Prep Tent
    Monday’s events were
“A” multi-round Parachute Duration, and “B” Streamer
Duration. The launch site could be seen for several miles
away as we approached it, and the site itself was an
impressive sight! We were in the middle of Eldorado Dry
Lake, and the surface was absolutely flat for miles in
each direction. It was hot already as we arrived, and
would no doubt get hotter as the day went on. Several
large tents had been set up earlier for the National
Sport Launch held Saturday and Sunday, but high winds the
night before had damaged the main tent, twisting 2 inch
pipe into pretzels. We made due with what remained, to
avoid the heat, and began the first day of

    Todd had his first
of many fine days in “B” Division, with three perfect “A”
P/D flights for a first place finish, and then a second
place in “B” Streamer. Dave started out poorly with DQ’s
on two of his “A” P/D flights, and more problems in the
streamer event. I had one good flight out of three in the
parachute event, and what I thought were two mediocre
streamer flights. I was shocked to find later that I had
taken first in “C” division in the “B” Streamer

    Monday night’s
events included the Manufacturers Forum and the
Manufacturers Trade Show, where many of the rocketry
vendor presented and displayed their current and future

Eldorado Dry Lake     Entries for
the Scale, R & D, and plastic model conversion were
required to be turned in Monday evening. Tuesday was not
a very good day for me. My “F”  Helicopter, which
had flown perfectly back in Colorado, decided not to
cooperate. I made the mistake of uttering the
catastrophic phrase “Yes, I’ve flown it before”. Moments
later, just as it left the rod under the low thrust of
its F-14 Blackjack engine, one blade shredded, causing
the model to do several giant loops above the crowd
before bouncing off the tent and landing among the

    Both Dave and Todd had good flights
of their helicopters, and Dave took second place and Todd
was third in the event. Once again I had problems in the
“D” Flexi-wing event, as both of my flights were
unstable. And again, Todd secured a first place with two
fine fights, while Dave concluded with a third place

    Estes demonstrated
their prototype giant Saturn 1B model, although the first
flight made a bigger impact than desired. The first
flight lifted off beautifully on an experimental engine,
but a failed ejection charge caused the model to
streamline in, shortening it considerably. Needing to
demonstrate a successful flight, they produced a second
Saturn 1B, and this time had a perfect flight. The NAR
Annual meeting was held Tuesday night, and consisted of
the NAR officials presenting the “State of the NAR”, and
what we could expect in the future, plus elections of new
board members.

    Wednesday was
“glider” day, as the events were 1/4A Rocket Glider, 1/2A
Boost Glider, and G Rocket Glider (“A” and “B” Divisions
flew “C” Rocket Glider instead). Dave had problems this
day, as he DQ’d both “1/4” A R/G attempts. I had two good
flights for a total of 53 seconds, and took second place,
just three seconds behind first place. Todd also took a
second place in this event. My first “1/2A” Boost Glider
flight shredded a wing on liftoff, but after some quick
repairs, I had a nice second flight However, it was not
enough to place in the event. Dave didn’t place either,
but Todd took a fourth place for his efforts. An early
storm was coming in, so the “G” Rocket Glider event was
postponed until Thursday.

    An auction was held
this evening, with many fine items available. Dave and I
donated two NARCON ’92 shirts and two patches to the
event, and Gordon McGregor, who came to watch and sell
some old kits, donated some of the vintage models to the
auction. The big item was a 1964 Estes catalog which went
for the amazing price of $90.00 to Bob Sanford, and then
autographed by Vern Estes who was in attendance.

    After the Auction, a
NAR Town Meeting was held, where the members had the
opportunity to pose questions to the board members. It
was a highly charged meeting, filled with many complaints
and criticism. I spent the evening judging the Super
Scale entries, and this turned out to be a tedious

Super-roc Preparation     Thursday
was another poor day for me. This was “altitude day”,
with both “C” Eggloft and “F” Super-Roc events being
held. The “G” Rocket Gliders were flown, and my entry
decided to go horizontal at liftoff and crashed quite a
way downrange.

I felt I would do well in “C” Eggloft, but my first flight
resulted in a cracked egg. The second one was great but
one tracker didn’t get a track. I was allowed to retry the
flight, but my final attempt ejected the engine, and the
impact destroyed the model. Dave did very well,
taking first in the event, but Todd’s flights didn’t
result in a place this time. Warren also flew in this
event, but didn’t place.

    Todd did well in the
“E” Super-Roc event, taking a second place, but Dave
didn’t finish in the trophies. I didn’t have a chance to
try mine as another storm was brewing, and also the RSO
told me that my entry was “too dangerous”, and wouldn’t
be allowed to fly.

Super-roc, Ed and Todd
    Thursday evening had
the R&D presentations, everyone who entered gave a
short talk on their project Todd’s project was on
Super-Roc Design techniques, and Dave did a presentation
on computer software he designed to benefit the hobby. I
did mine on my Retro-Rocket designs. Dave took first in
this event, while I was second. Todd took third in his
division. The scale and plastic models were available for
display this evening, before their flights the next

    Friday was the last
day for competition, and the Scale and PMC events were
scheduled. Dave had nice flights on both of his entries
(each was a Jupiter-C model), and took second in the
Super Scale event. I flew my retro-rocket as a demo
flight by request of the R&D judges, and it flew
perfectly. My PMC model (an “A-12”, the CIA version of
the SR71 Blackbird), lifted off smoothly on its twin
engines, then made several tight maneuvers before
deploying both parachutes. I was very pleased with the
flight, as many felt the configuration would not fly.
Dave called the flight “marginal”, but it earned me a
first place in the event. Todd had a nice flight of his
scale Saturn V, and took first in the event. He had
recovery problems with his F104 PMC entry, and was DQ’ed
on both attempts.

George Gassaway's LJ II Bruce and SR-71 PMC

    Friday evening was the Awards Banquet
The meal was excellent, and a drawing was held with many
nice prizes. The trophies were awarded, and there were a
few surprises since most of the results were not posted
due to computer difficulties. The biggest surprise for us
was Dave winning the “C” Division National Championship
trophy! Dave was in shock as the huge award was presented
to him. (Later, Dave was informed that an error in the
point standings moved him down to second place
nationally). Todd also did well overall as he received a
fourth place nationally.

    Overall, our Colorado contingent did
quite well, as I won a total of four trophies, Todd had 9
event trophies and one overall trophy, and Dave had five
event trophies and a reserve national championship!
Congratulations, Dave!!

    We drove all the way back on
Saturday, taking about 15 hours. I had to stop for a
while in Utah to replace a fouled spark plug, and Dave
had some vapor lock problems (with his car), but we
survived the trip.

    I’m already looking forward to next
year’s contest NARAM 35, and this time I’ll start
building early! But then, I said the same thing last
year, too!



By Bruce

    The 33rd National
Association of Rocketry Annual Meet was an experience.
Because this year’s event was being held in Elgin,
Illinois, not far from where my brother lives, the idea
of participating seemed workable. After a lot of coaxing
by Mike Hellmund, and the foreboding choice of the
LDRS-10 site, I was finally committed to this

    This was the first
event of this type that I participated in, and after
attending LDRS 5 through 9, I was anticipating a change.
Mike and I had been planning for this for several months,
although it looked for a while that things may fall
apart. Kevin Kuczek had planned on going, but decided to
skip this year. Mike had to use most of his precious
vacation time for an untimely personal matter, and at
first it appeared he would also back out of the contest
Somehow, he managed to find enough free time to attend
the last three days of the event, otherwise I may have
canceled my plans to attend, also.

    Our plan was to
enter the contest as a team, and early on we decided on
the name “Peripheral Visionaries”. We talked Kevin into
assisting us In preparing for the event, and he became
our third team member, flying by proxy, sort of. Without
his expertise, our efforts would has been far less than
what we had accomplished.

    One event that
really held my interest since it’s announcement was the
radio controlled rocket glider event (RC/RG), although
afterwards I felt that I should have skipped the event,
and concentrated on some ofthe easier contests. I spent
most my free time the three previous months designing and
building my model, and very few on any others. Our
original plan was to enter all of the events, but as the
time grew shorter, we knew we would have to skip a couple
of the more time consuming contests.

    Kevin and I spent a
lot of time trying to develop techniques for lightweight
fiberglass tubes, and in fact had only created two
useable tubes the night before I left. Kevin and Mike
were still building models the next few days for Mike to
take with him on the plane.

    I had decided early
on to drive to the contest, and had left around noon on a
miserable Saturday morning, as a steady downpour made me
feel almost grateful to be getting away for a while. My
trip out was mostly uneventful, although my 11 year old
Toyota with 120,000 miles on it decided to come down with
a case of vapor lock after the first 300 miles. I had
just resumed my journey after stopping for lunch and a
fill up when the problem began. I made it to the next
exit off of Interstate 80, and pulled into the nearest
gas station. I met a very helpful resident who said he
used to work at the station, and was apparently just
visiting his friends there, and I explained my problem to
him. He was sure my problem was due to vapor lock caused
by the 10% Ethanol gas that I had just bought and the hot
weather. By the time I understood what he was trying to
tell me, my car and the weather had cooled off enough to
allow me continue without incident. Thereafter, I made
sure I used only regular unleaded gas in my

    Around 11:00 PM I
decided to find a motel for the night, and after my
second fill up, I began looking for a place to stay. This
turned out to be a bigger problem than I expected. There
was a number of Best Western motels along the highway,
but these and any others were already full. I decided to
keep heading east until I found one with a vacancy, as I
didn’t see any other options. Finally, I found a “Travel
Lodge” In West Des Moines, Iowa at about 1:00

    I had traveled
nearly 700 miles on Saturday, so the remaining 300 miles
was easy. I arrived Sunday afternoon at my brother’s
place, and had a few hours to visit before heading up to
the Elgin Holiday Inn to register for the event and
attend the flyers meeting. I finally caught up with Ed
and Todd Schneider, who also drove out, and had stopped
at the Flight Systems, Incorporated, facilities on the
way. They had an interesting visit with the owner of the
company, andpicked up a few FSI products during their
stay. The flyers meeting wasn’t particularly interesting,
as only about half of the contestants attended, and the
biggest issue was a lack of parking space at the launch

NARAM 33 site Contest Flying

    I arrived at the
launch site Monday morning. At first the field appeared
adequate for the event, but as the day wore on, It was
apparent that my first impression was in error. We would
be flying “1/2A” Streamer Duration and “A” Parachute
Duration events, and I decided to wait for a while and
observe a few flights before attempting my own. I was
hoping the low cloud cover and steady winds would subside
soon. Todd had attempted one of the earlier “D” Streamer
model flights, and as I tried to help him recover the
model, I had my first encounter with the treacherous
foliage found throughout the recovery area. To the west
of the launch pads was a railroad track running about 20
feet above the ground, and was bordered by very large
thorny bushes on each side. Todd’s model landed right in
the middle of one of these bushes which gave us a good
fight before relinquishing the rocket. I returned with
more scratches than I cared to count, but as the meet
went on, this turned out to be the least of our recovery

    Seeing that the
weather would onlybe turning worse, I readied our first
streamer model for flight. This time, Ed was on top of
the tracks to attempt to recover the rocket, as I knew
this would be a long duration flight. Kevin had put
together a couple of very nice streamer models, and
losing them was a distinct possibility. The first flight
was perfect as the model drifted out of sight and never
did appear to come down. Unfortunately, the low cloud
cover and hazy skies made tracking difficult Our time was
only about 2 minutes. This was typical of a majority of
the flights, and luck was a big factor not only in
recovery, but in getting good times, also. Since one
model must be returned, I decided to reduce the steamer
size for the next flight. I did recover the model, but
had a time of only about a minute. The combined times
weren’t good enough to place in the event, but at least I
was beginning to feel comfortable as part of the
competition. Todd had a good second flight and took first
in his division in this event.

    I had some problem
in the parachute duration event as my first flight
ejected the engine, a disqualification, and the second
had a parachute deployment problem. Todd has a couple of
good flights, and ended up in second place. I gained a
new appreciation for test flying before a contest. I felt
somewhat disappointed, wondering what Mike had talked me
into, and wishing he was there already, sharing in the

    The annual business
meeting was held Monday evening. The highlights were the
NAR board member elections and the announcement by Pat
Miller of next year’s NARCON in Colorado Springs In May

The Short Weeds     Tuesday’s
events consisted of “C” Helicopter Duration and “A”
Rocket Glider. The weather was a carbon copy of Mondays,
and I decided to try the helicopter event first. I began
with Kevin’s version of a Rose-a-Roc design, expecting
this model to sail out of sight. My expectations proved
to be correct as the model flew perfectly, and vanished
over the trees in the west. Unfortunately, our time was
only 110 seconds, as the model disappeared into the mist
long before it came down. I attempted the second flight
with a model I designed. It had flown once before on a B
engine, and had less than a minute time. I fully expected
to return this model as required for a qualified flight.
To my dismay however, the rocket nearly matched the
previous flight, spinning out of sight before landing
beyond the tracks into or beyond a field of 12 foot
weeds. I saw no hope of recovering the mode, and while we
had a 79 second second flight, I thought we were out of
the event. Later, however we heard that Kevin’s model was
returned in time to qualify, so our points would be
counted, but when we tried to get the model back, no one
knew where is was. Todd didn’t fair as well as he did the
day before, as his first helicopter flight DQ’d and the
second one was lost over in the same area as

    The “A” Rocket
Glider Duration contest was also a major disappointment,
again with an untested model. While the model glided
nicely, it performed a giant loop during the boost phase,
and was very low during the glide phase. My attempts to
correct the problem only resulted in a bigger loop. On
bath flights, the model nearly flew through the range
official’s tent, and I was concerned about a DQ for
flying a dangerous model. However, the officials were
extremely lenient during the contest, and both flights
qualified. Neither time was good enough to be
competitive. Todd had problems with his entry in this
event Hs spent the last evening building the model, but
broke the rocket while trimming the glider, and the field
repairs didn’t hold up to the launch loads, resulting in
a spectacular shredding of the model.

    Well, Mike finally
arrived Tuesday night, and wasn’t real pleased with our
results so far. I knew however, that his viewpoint would
be improved as soon as hs saw the launch site. The
manufacturers forum was held that evening.
Representatives from many of the rocketry companies,
including Estes, AeroTech, North Coast, and a new company
called MicroBrick were on hand to answer questions and
promote their products. Most had some new items to
announce, but in spite of Mike’s heckling (almost to the
point of embarrassment), Mary Roberts covered inquiries
on Estes’ plans by neither confirming or denying
anything. One item of interest was North Coast’s radio
controlled glider patterned after a space shuttle, was
made from styrofoam and should sell for around

    Wednesday was not a
good day, as the rain came early. Mike and I had just
about finished prepping our “B” Eggloft Altitude model
when the range was shut down due to rain. We decided that
this was a good time for lunch, but when we returned,
everyone had left. We felt that canceling the events for
the day was a premature decision, as the rain had
subsided by that time.

    So, while I spent
the rest of the day finishing my radio controlled rocket
glider, Mike scouted out the manufacturers’ offerings and
generally menaced anyone he could find to converse with.
Since we lost most of a day of flying, the decision was
made to allow only one flight each for the “A” payload
and “B” Eggloft flights the next day, and move the 120
second precision duration event to Friday. The R&D
presentations were held Wednesday evening, although only
Ed and Todd felt compelled to attend. I was locking for a
good night’s sleep, as I had been averaging about 5 hours
a night since 1 arrived.

    Thursday started out
with a rain shower. but it subsided shortly after we
arrived, turning out to be a fairly nice day. Today, Mike
would gain some firsthand experience searching through
the Illinois Jungle. We began with our “B” egglofter, and
the flight was a very good one, with an altitude of 106
meters. For a while, it looked like the model was lost in
the high weeds, but I just happened to walk by it,
finding it hanging from the side ot a bush. The egg
survived intact, and we thought our score would be enough
for a trophy, but as the event progressed, our altitude
was exceeded several times. Ed flew his egglofter, but
his 40 meter altitude was not enough to place well in the
stiff “C” division competition. This was the only event
he competed in, but hopefully he’ll enter more next year.
Todd had more problems as he DQ’d on his Eggloft attempt.
We flew our “A” payloader next, and because we had only
one flight to qualify, we decided to fly it without the
piston launch accessory Kevin included in the design. We
felt we had an optimum model, and wanted to eliminate any
possible problem during the flight. The model performed
flawlessly, as ws obtained a 116 altitude, and were tied
for first place for a short time. Two other models beat
our score, as we ended up tied for second as a team and
tied for third overall. For some reason, the “C” Division
competitors were combined with the Team Division.
Obviously, someone was too cheap to award separate
trophies for the two groups, and members of both
expressed some negative feelings about this scheme. This
was done last year also, and was not supposed to have
been repeated. Hopefully, this policy will not reoccur
next year. Todd had another DQ in this event, but ended
his streak of troubles in the next event.

    Todd had a couple of
nice flights in “B” Boost Glider to earn him a second
place. Mike and I eventually trimmed and launched our “B”
Boost Glider. The first flight begun perfectly, as the
model floated in gentle circles above the launch site.
Suddenly, the glider began stalling wildly, and was
nearly lost In the waist high field next to the launch
site. Apparently, the clay weight we used to trim the
model fell off during the flight, and caused the problem.
Our second flight wasn’t very good, as our trimming
wasn’t as desirable as the first flight, and our score in
the event was somewhat of a letdown.

Bruce's RC/RG     Finally, the
radio controlled rocket glider event was underway, and I
had some doubts concerning our entry. We never had a
chance for a good test flight, and I had never flown an
R/C glider before. I tried to build the model to
practically fly itself, and all I hoped for was a
qualifying flight. The weather was turning bad as we
prepped the flight, and at liftoff the wind suddenly
picked up. The model took off very nicely, and deployed
its folding wings as expected. The high winds then
proceeded to push the model directly in the opposite
direction of the landing spot. Any attempt to turn the
model only resulted in a loss of altitude, and it finally
collided with a tree and hung suspended about 30 feet

    My brother climbed
up to retrieve the model, and I was surprised to see that
no significant damage was done. The wind wasn’t letting
up, so we decided not to attempt another flight Still, I
was pleased with the results. The flight wasn’t as good
as we hoped, but better than we expected. We ended up
fifth out of six as a team in the event, as another
competitor’s model got up to about 25 feet high and then
buried itself into the ground next to the

    Thursday evening’s auction was
uplifting, as a lot of interesting items were sold, some
at outrageous prices. An old Estes Mark kit that Jay Apt
carried on his Space Shuttle flight went for about $100.
I bought a Scud and a Klingon kit, and a pile of old
Estes catalogs. Mike got some old Estes range box
stickers, decals and assorted items. Todd bought a couple
of kits, and Ed bought a range box. I donated an old
“C.R.A.S.H.” shirt to the auction, and it went for $25,
along with some MPC engines. All of the money raised went
to a fund for new launch equipment for future NAR

    Friday had only half
the day scheduled for launches since the flights in these
event were not expected to travel very far, I felt my
excursions through the perilous vegetation were about
over, however Mike had other ideas. Our attempts at the
day’s events were less than spectacular, although Todd
took second In Precision Duration and third in spot

    Mike flew his Estes
Black Brant with an E30 motor for Precision Duration. It
was a great flight, but only stayed up for 70 seconds or
so, far from the required two minutes. We thought it was
lost in the high weeds, and Mike was ready to leave the
model behind, as he wore shorts that day and didn’t want
to brave the wilderness. I volunteered for the dangerous
duty, and once again I got lucky and walked right up to

    I built an Estes
Scout III the night before for spot landing, and Mike and
I argued about the best engine to use. He wanted to use
an A8-3, while I felt a C6-7 would do the job. We
compromised on a B4-4, but this tuned out to be a poor
choice, as the model landed farther from the spot than we
started. Once again I was plodding through the weeds to
recover it, and it turned out that it didn’t even land
there; it was right next to the road into the launch
area. We still had opposing opinions on what engine we
should have used!

    We watched a few
flights of the Peanut Scale models. Todd took a second
place with a nice Little Joe II model. I left early to
put new brake pads on my car, and Mike attended the Jay
Apt slide show in the afternoon. He thought it was an
impressivePeanut Scale Saturn I presentation, with a lot of
fine photographs from the Space Shuttle.

    The Awards banquet was held that
evening, and although the food was good, the rest of the
evening wasn’t very enjoyable. Since we tied for third in
the “A” Payload event, only one trophy was available, and
we will have to wait for ours to be mailed to us. Not
only did nearly everyone at our table collect a number of
trophies, Mike, Ed, and I were shut out of the drawing
prizes. Todd, however, won a rocket kit and fifty dollars
in the drawing. He also collected $65 worth of Estes gift
certificates with his 6 trophies for his efforts.

     My return trip was uneventful for
the most part. Overall, I enjoyed NARAM 33, in spite of
our poor showing. Mark Bundick and the rest of the
contest officials did an outstanding job organizing and
running the contest, even allowing for the terrible field
and conditions. The contestants showed a high level of
sportsmanship, particularly in returning other flyers’

    I met a lot of people that I had only
read about, including Pat Miller, Vern Estes, Bob
Sanford, Matt Steele, Jay Apt, and George Gassaway, and I
was surprised that people recognized me from my work on
our club newsletter. This was a great learning
experience, and am actually looking forward to NARAM 34
in Las Vegas! The most important advice I can pass on to
those planning to go next year is to start building your
models NOW!!