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Tour de Deuce Missouri!
Hosted by Barry Harsh

June 6th, 2004
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TdD Missouri, simply wonderful!

I got home from work today and there it was. A beautiful brown box sitting on the front porch. Grabbed it up and into the house I went. Got the trusty pocket knife my dad gave me 30 or 40 years ago and carefully cut open the box. And what did I find? "Honey, they're here!!" The TdD Deuces of course. And in great shape.

OK, now the nerves are kicking in a little. Got the spotlight of the world watching... well maybe not the world, but more than a few interested parties.

Started prepping for the big launch this weekend. Got my engines all lined out. A couple of brand new packs of C6-5s for the TdD birds. Charging my launcher batteries. FYI, I'll be using an Estes Pro launcher with 2 7.2 volt Nimh batteries.

The plans are to first send up my Polaris for a wind gauge. Then the CR Deuce (mine, production #35) next for a Deuce test flight. Then I'll get on with the TdD launch!! I have a brand new Pico Alt that I plan on sending up with my Deuce to get a feel for it. If I feel good about it, I'll send it up with one of the TdD birds.

Also on the launch plan is the maiden flight of my nekkid Richter Recker (if the winds are calm enough). I rebuilt my Maxi Alpha 3 after the fins broke off a few times. I just happened to do a 4x24mm MMT in the thang. Oh boy!! My Executioner on an F21, again if the winds are good. I also have a 24mm beefed up FatBoy that needs an F21 in it!! (If I'm in the groove). Might send up the TLP Martin Pescador as well.

Weather forecast is for 10-12 mph winds tomorrow with a chance of thunderstorms. Radar shows a line of them headed this way. We'll just have to play the launch by ear. Sunday's a possibility also, with a little better weather forecast.

Life is good...

The jitters started last night, I haven't felt this much pressure in awhile! Got all my stuff ready, off to bed, surprised I was able to get to sleep. Got up this morning to a fairly nice day so I sat around drinking coffee for a while. I decided to check the weather and lo and behold, a line of thunderstorms was headed our way! So I told Teena (my lovely wife) that we needed to step things up. I started loading all the gear in the truck, grabbed the TdD Deuces and off we went.

The field was overgrown with weeds, but this was just a minor nuisance. Sky was overcast with 5-10 mph winds. Got all setup, prepped my Polaris for a wind check flight and let 'er rip. Nice flight on a B6-4, easy recovery. I then decided to put up my Deuce on a pair of C6-5s. I also loaded my new Pico altimeter so I could give it a test run. The flight was pretty good, a little weathercock and not a long walk. Man those were some great motors!! The altimeter read 62,704 feet!! And it stayed in sight!! Oh well, I'll try the Pico later. So no altimeter in the TdD birds.

It was time for the TdD Deuces. I thought a storm was on it's way so heck, let's get it done. At this time I realized I did not have Jason's flag, nor the clip whip, nor the check list. OK, calm down, it ain't no thang... Since my Deuce ejected a couple of seconds after apogee, I decided to go with C6-3s. Good choice. I opened a brand new pack of motors and did the friction fit. Personally I don't like to FF motors, it just doesn't seem OK. But I've never had a problem so I should get over it. Anyways, loaded two matching igniters and carried TdD #1 to the pad. A few photos by the wife and we're ready. 5,4,3,2,1, launch and zoom off she goes. A nice high flight with a slight weathercock. Oh we're praying for a good chute here... and there it is!! Very nice flight.

OK, now we have the second TdD bird to fly. Man, let me tell you, the weight I was feeling on my shoulders on this TdD thing was pretty heavy! Did the loading process, took a few pre flight pics and we were ready for #2. 5,4,3,2,1, launch and off she went. Beautiful flight almost straight up. Way up there. Reco popped and we had a good chute. Kind of a long drift on this one but heck, I needed the exercise anyway. Probably 200 - 300 yards.

All right!!! We've done it!!! Two great flights and not a bit of trouble!! Yeah!!!

The bad news is we decided to do movies instead of still shots during the flight. Well the sky was bright white and as soon as the birds were in the air, you couldn't see them. So for pics, I have a few stills and then some pics pulled out of the movies. They ain't great, but what the heck.

I want to say what an honor it has been for me and Teena to be a part of the Tour de Deuce. I think this is a fabulous undertaking that Jason and Eugene has started. But the flyers themselves share the kudos also, it is quite an adventure. So thanks to Jason, Eugene, Jim Flis, and all the past and future flyers of the Tour de Deuce Deuces. I tip my hat.

Besides the TdD birds, I had some other stuff to launch. The wind kept me from doing a lot I had planned, but i did get a couple other launches in.

Estes AMRAAM on a C6-3. Nice straight flight, a proven performer.

TLP Martin Pescador on 2x D12-5s. This is one fabulous bird! Great flight, straight up!! Fastly becoming one of my favorite birds.

I've been flying an Estes Maxi Alpha 3 for a long time. It was my first "big" rocket, my first 24mm. Well after busting the plastic fins one too many times, I rebuilt it. 1/8 in basswood fins, payload bay, and then, oh what the heck, a 4x24mm MMT!! I named it Big Al.

Big AL on 2xE9-6s. YES!!!! This was flight of the day!! Nice and slow off the pad, long burn, great altitude. Absolutely fabulous!!! Can't wait to see what it will do on 4 motors... Needs to be a very calm day.

Anyway, that's all I launched today. It was a very good day of flying, a very good day.

And the storm never got here....

God Bless America,

Barry (TRF handle bmhiii)


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