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