I live in the Seattle area. The Pacific Northwest is beautiful, with water and mountains and pine trees in every direction. This is great for scenic views, but it’s terrible for launching rockets. It’s more difficult than I anticipated to find an open, clear area that isn’t full of people and isn’t right next to some 150 foot tall pine trees.
I did eventually find a spot, though, and I brought out both of my model rockets for a first launch. I took a few pictures, but there’s more in a video on the way.
First impression: overall, it was very cool. I only did a couple of launches, but I learned a lot in a very short span of time, even after just a single launch. It’s one thing to read about launching even a very small model rocket, but it’s another when you actually press that red launch button. Smoke and fire bursts out from the bottom, and the rocket shoots almost instantaneously into the sky. The single biggest surprise for me was just how quickly it accelerates and takes off from the launch pad. In retrospect, I don’t know why I thought it would have happened any other way, but I didn’t anticipate the extreme acceleration.
I also didn’t realize that once the rocket reaches its peak height (approximately) and starts to fall back down, and the parachute deploys, even a slight wind can carry it very far horizontally. Very, very far… more to come on that!