Jeff's BSD Thor

I bought this kit back in September of 2000 and didn't start building it until about two weeks before LDRS XX.  This was my first High Power rocket and I wanted something big.  It is 4" diameter, 85" tall, has a 54mm motor mount, and weighs about 6 lbs.

 I modified the stock BSD Thor kit in several ways:

Thor's first flight 8/11/01 at the Tripoli Minnesota launch at North Branch:

Next was a frantic effort to put the finishing touches on my first high power rocket, my BSD Thor (4" x 7', around 6lbs loaded).  This is the one that I brought in pieces to LDRS and worked on 'till the wee hours each morning in hotel rooms but didn't finish in time to fly there.  It was looking like a repeat story but last night I finished the paint job and rigged the recovery system (Rocketman R7 w/deployment bag) and today added the really cool decals.

Alan Estenson helped me order and prep an I161W for it's first flight.  Rocksim suggested a delay of 7.5 seconds which left me in a quandary about what delay to order since a short (6 sec) would be too early.  I went with a medium (10 seconds) and committed myself to using my Magnetic Apogee Detector to try to peg the proper time.  A huge thanks to Mike Maurer for loaning and prepping an ejection charge for me.

I was finally ready to fly around 4:30, about an hour after Mike asked me "So are you shaking yet?" and just made the last rack of the day.  Glen Overby assisted me at the pad with loading and arming the rocket.

(phtoto by Alan Estenson)


(phtoto by Michael Mauer)

With Mike Vande Kamp videoing and  Alan, Glen, & others photographing, the metallic blue and silver beast finally ignited after a frustratingly long 5-10 seconds.

 It slowly rose to about 1300' and had a perfect ejection right at apogee.  About two seconds later, the puff of the motor ejection could be seen.  The chute deployed cleanly from the bag (thanks Jodi and Ky) and the rocket floated down for a nice soft landing.  Whew, what a relief!

(phtoto by Michael Mauer)

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