NARAM 47 Part 1
NARAM 47 Part 2
NARAM 47 Part 3
NARAM 47 Part 4
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Mark Fisher shows off two rare patches being auctioned off at NARAM
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A FlisKits PayLord gets a high bid!  FlisKits was proud to provide items to this auction, the funds of which are used to help teachers bring rocketry to the classroom
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Our newest kit, the Rock Star up on the auction block
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The auction house was packed and, at times, the bidding furious!
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The Decaffeinator brings in bids from the kids!
The Sprint'73

I will be creating a web page on my personal web site about this kit.  I will post a link here when available.

I built this rocket in 1973.  At that time I logged every flight I made (logs long since MIA).  In the early 80's I stopped keeping such logs but I noticed that my Sprint model had nearly 100 flights on it.   So I continued to keep logs, even if just to record the fact that it flew.

By the time I started FlisKits, the Sprint was well into the 300's for flights but was also showing serious signs of wear.  At NARAM 45 I happened to meet Vern and Gleda Estes for the first time (outside of Estes Industries in the 80's) and I had an idea.  I invited Vern Estes to launch the Sprint for her 401st flight (I had already done #400...)

He graciously accepted and it was then that I decided the fate of the Sprint (now renamed to Sprint'73 in honor of the year of construction).   I was going to spend the next 2 years getting her up to 500 flights and then donate the model to the Estes' for display in their museum.

This, then, is a record of her 499th and 500th flight and gracious retirement of the most flown model rocket in history!

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Gleda Estes poses with the Sprint'73 moments before she launches it on her 499th flight since 1973.
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Perfect liftoff!

Not so great on camera placement as Gleda is lost in the motor exhaust.  The model landed a short ways from the pad and was quickly prepared for her 500th and final flight.  Thank you Gleda for being a part of this.  It was and is a very important milestone for me.
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Sprint'73 at the check-in table for flight #500.  Although Vern's name is hidden, you can see his NAR number in the upper right and the statement on the bottom that this is her last flight, flight #500.
(Photo by David Hash)
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Vern wanted to load her up for launch and *I* certainly wasn't going to say no!
(Photo by David Hash)
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Vern verifying pad number and clips before loading the model
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On the pad she goes.  This is my favorite photo of this whole event.  I don't know why, but it just looks so *right* to see Vern Estes loading a model on the pad.   The fact that it is *my* model, WELL!
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Into place as Jack Hagarty preps his Astron Alpha on pad #1.  Jack is one of the many people present who could appreciate the meaning of this model and this moment.
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Hooking up the clips (yea, yea, yea, I'm stretching this out a bit, but this was a BIG moment for me :) )
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"These stinkin' clips are smaller than I remember..." (beleive me, I know what you mean!)
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Jim sees everyone taking pictures and figures he'd better get in there too! LOL
(Photo by David Hash)
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The Sprint'73 poses with a classic Astron Alpha and other friends just before launch.
(Photo by David Hash)
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Vern makes an announcement in preparation for launch
(Photo by David Hash)
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Vern calls out the long awaited countdown!
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LIFTOFF #500!
It just doesn't get any better than this!  500 flights, 32 year old model, launched by the creator of the model and the company, in the midst of friends and family.
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David Hash took a great video of the launch and the cerimony afterwards.   Here are 3 stills from the video of the launch.  Thank you David!
(Photos by David Hash)
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Here I am walking back from the weeds (I asked the LCO to shut down so that I could retrieve it as I didn't want it left in the weeds and he graciously agreed).  I have the wildest grin on my face in this picture!
(Photo by David Hash)
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Carl McLawhorn was kind enough to take my camera so that he could record what happened next for me (thank you Carl!)

After the flight I called Vern and Gleda over and made the announcement that the Sprint'73 had flown her 500th and last flight.  I went on to explain that I purchased this kit in 1973 for $2.50 and that I was disatisfied with the model as I could not get 501 flights out of her, so I was returning her to Vern and Gleda.
(Photo by Carl McLawhorn)

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I also presented the Estes' with a small plaque commemorating the occation and thanked them both for what they have done for the hobby and for education throughout the world.
(Photo by Carl McLawhorn)
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I believe and hope that both Vern and Gleda were surprised by this as that was my goal.   I wanted to be sure they had something special to remember this NARAM by and I hope that I was able to contribute to that.
(Photo by Carl McLawhorn)
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Vern admires the plaque as Gleda gently holds the model
(Photo by Carl McLawhorn)
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Here Vern turns the plaque towards the camera for a picture.  It was a great day!
(Photo by Carl McLawhorn)
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Here is a photo of the plaque
(Photo by David Hash)
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Here is a JPG of the plaque (easier to read)
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Now, back to NARAM!
(thank you all!)
Chris Taylor with one of his many video rockets seen at NARAM
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A small Micromaxx cup rocket made from condiment cups!  Flew great, though only to a height of about 25 feet!
(Photo by David Hash)
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Nice shot of the Decaffeinator taking to the air!
(Photo by David Hash)
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Carl McLawhorn deep in discussion with a fellow rocketeer
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The FlisKits booth had its quiet times as well as its busy times.   That's David Hash to the left.
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Another Chris Taylor creation.  That Fin-Boom holds one of the cameras, taking video looking back at the tail of the rocket.  Very kewl!
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The Manufactures forum was not very well attended, but we still had fun making sure the folks interested knew what we were up to at FlisKits
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Making a point of showing off all of our newest kits including the Decaffeinator, the Espresso, the PayLord and StarLoad and the newest, the Rock Star.  We also discussed our upcoming entry into the world of Micromaxx kits, parts and accessories as well as our upcoming launch pad and controller.  All very well received.
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Bruce McLawhorn sneeks a peek out from behind his video camera.
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While Carl talks about the goings on at SEMROC
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These next few pictures shows the terrible condition of the bathrooms in the lobby level of this Ramada hotel.  The entire hotel was in disarray and we wanted to have these photo's for our records.
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The hosting club did a fantastic job in ALL aspects of NARAM 47.  This can not be stressed enough.  This fiasco at the Ramada was entirely the fault of the Ramada organization and could not be foreseen nor avoided.
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It really was terrible and I sincerly hope everyone who stayed the week was able to work something out with the management.
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One closing shot of me standing near a pile of construction.  The signs all said "Please excuse our appearance as we are remodeling".  Remodeling requires remodelers and we didn't see a one for the entire week we were there.

NARAM 47 Part 1
NARAM 47 Part 2
NARAM 47 Part 3
NARAM 47 Part 4