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Whitakers 2004 Sport Launch
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Ken and Kent Parker prep Deuce #1 on the pad as Jason Toft looks on.
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Carl Tulanko helps check the ignitors with Eugenio Cebollero
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This is a closeup of the shirt that Eugenio is wearing.  FlisKits had a couple of custom shirts made to commemorate the Tour de Deuce up to this point.  Once the tour is complete, a full tour shirt will be made up and made available to all tour participants at a discount price.
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Ken Parker, host of this leg of the Tour de Deuce, poses before the first of two launches.   That's Jason Toft getting a close up picture of the business end of Deuce #1.
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The Whitakers Tour Team, from left to right, back to front: Eugenio Cebollero, Ken Parker, Jim Flis, Jason Toft.
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Looking from the launch range back towards the LCO we can see many members of The Rocketry Forum (TRF) including Eugenio (left), Carl Tulanko (the LCO at the control box), Doug Gardei (looking down), Ken Parker (holding his camera), Phil Gerringer, Mark Brown and Randy Trotter
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SUCCESS!
This beautiful shot of TdDeuce #1 shortly after a perfect liftoff, Carl's finger still on the launch button.  The excitement of this moment is best captured by the reaction of Eugenio to the launch (he's the happy fella with his arms up in the air)
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Perfect launch, perfect flight, perfect recovery.
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Ken preps Deuce #2 for its flight
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Jason and Eugenio look on as Carl waits for the OK to launch
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Meanwhile, Ken goes off to retrieve Deuce #1
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WHOOPS! Almost forgot the photo-op!
Here the TdD team poses with Deuce #2 on the pad and Deuce #1 being held by Jim
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Houston, we have a problem...
This photo clearly indicates the nature of that problem.  Flying a Deuce's Wild! kit on one motor has been proven to work, however that doesn't apply in this case.  These particular Deuce's have been strengthened to withstand the 50 launches they will be subject to over the course of the tour.  This adds weight.  Add to that the gusty winds and only one motor burning and it results in a less than perfect flight profile.
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To make matters worse, this particular Deuce's Wild! kit was built by Jason and it is his "baby".  Overcome with grief and anquish, Jason simply collapses on the field!  (well, actually, he collapsed then got up until I hollared at him to get back down for this picture...).  Eugenio inspects the damage.
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The Deuce did a dance on one motor in the wind, cork-screwing itself into the air.   With each turn it would auger further and further into the wind until, at motor burnout, it was horizonal and heading downrange with no hope of staying up long enough for the ejection charge to save the day.  She hit the ground with a nerve wracking thud as we all ran up to see how she faired.
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Ken took this the hardest, being the host of this launch.  To add insult to injury, this was the same Deuce that suffered minor damage during the Wisconsin leg of the tour and was just recently repaired.  Here, Ken inspects the damage which amounted to damage to about 2.5" of the top of the body tube.  Actually, very little and easily repaired damage, considering the force of the impact.  Thank goodness for soft fields.

This concludes the Tour de Deuce portion of our stay at Whitakers.  We invite you to visit the Whitakers 2004 Photoalbum to see the rest of the fun we had on this exciting weekend.

Whitakers 2004 Sport Launch

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