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REV 2.4 - Sun Sep 19 00:04:07 2010

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Sweat-Stained Clifton Tracking Station Hat of Death
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SPECS: 11" x 4.25" - 2.9 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: MISSING - please submit here
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: MISSING - please submit here

(Contributed - by Dick Stafford [Who's Who Page] - 07/01/03)

Brief:
This is a 29mm UFO-type rocket made from an old hat. The hat is removable in case I forget a ball cap - wouldn't want to sunburn the top of my head, ya' know.

Construction:
This is really a minimalist rocket. I decided to make the core out of a solid piece of 2" pink foam. I started by tracing the outline of the hat and roughing out a chunk with a sharp knife. I did just a tad of trimming to make sure it was oval, and then found the center point. Next, I drew a circle and slowly bored a hole for the motor mount. I also cut a slot on one side to accommodate a 1/4" lug. The motor mount includes a 3.25" section of phenolic tubing, a similar length of 1/4" launch lug, and a 29mm-76mm centering ring. The centering ring was mounted so that the motor tube was flush with the top of the foam. It serves to distribute the thrust to the foam core, and helps ensure that the motor tube is perpendicular to the foam's surface. This assembly was then epoxied into the foam block. I added a circle of scrap plywood to plug the front of the tube, making sure that all openings were sealed with epoxy. The final step was to find the point where the rod would pass through the hat itself, and cut a small 'X' with an X-acto knife. Like I said, not much to it. Slip the hat over the finished core and I was ready to fly.

Flight:
I flew the hat on a G35 with the ejection charge removed. After the unsuccessful flight of another odd-roc, the RSO must have pretty much given up, and my flight card got stamped. Since I did not treat the foam surface to protect it from the motor exhaust, I made sure it was about 12" from the deflector. The hat flew great, seeming to fly faster and higher than my similarly sized 29mm saucers. It fell slowly to the ground without even getting dirty(er).

Summary:
I find myself liking UFO style rockets more and more and couldn't resist trying this odd-roc. This was my first wearable rocket - I wore the hat to the RSO table, to the pad, and back again after recovery. If anyone else has flown a hat (and someone probably has), I didn't find anyone who had heard of it.


Other:
The Story Behind the Name In the late '90's, I was the project manager for a telemetry, command, and antenna control system. My team and I traveled to Clifton, Texas to run some preliminary tests with the antennas. Unfortunately, they weren't quite ready and since springtime in Texas is a tad warmer than in Maryland, we weren't happy campers. With the prospects of spending a fair amount of time walking between the building and the antenna pads in the hot sun, one of my guys ran to Wal-Mart for hats. This hat became our team's unofficial uniform, and mine came back fairly stained. I was finally about to chunk it when I got an idea!

[Submit your Opinion]

GUEST's OPINION:
04/08 - "My Hat of Death is now my most flown rocket and has pretty much become my signature rocket at MDRA. I have two other cores now. One is a 38mm and the other has a 3" host mount. The latter allows for various clusters from 4x24mm to 9x18mm." (D.S.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

SPECIFIC ROCKET TIP:
"" (x.x.)

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Altitude
Wind Notes
06-15-2003 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet G35-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds - lots of comments from the crowd on this one, flew much faster and higher than my G pyramids; wore the hat back after recovery :-)
09-06-2003 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet G35-P None - Tumble Light winds - a real crowd-pleaser; of course I wore the hat back after recovery
10-18-2003 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet G35-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds - the crowd roared!
02-21-2004 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F20-P None - Tumble 10+ mph winds - did something funky near apogee but my view was obscured by smoke; probably due to the 15+ mph wind, nice soft landing 20 ft from my SUV
04-03-2004 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet G38-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: ESL-71 (Price, MD)
- a crowd favorite again; the smokey G38 is great in this rocket
05-01-2004 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F21-P None - Tumble 10+ mph winds Event: ESL-73, Central Sod Farm
- popular flight
07-24-2004 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet G35-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-75, Central Sod Farm
- hehehehe
03-19-2005 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F23-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: Coverdale, DE
- Great smoky flight. Lots of folks hunted me down to look at it up close.
04-24-2005 Dick Stafford Ellis SU F20-4 None - Tumble 10+ mph winds Event: TRF #3
- My new Quickburst 'Popper' failed to ignite the motor, so I grabbed a 30ga Magnalite dipped igniter. The motor went and it made for a nice flight and I wore the hat back, of course!
05-14-2005 Dick Stafford Ellis SU F20-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-85
- Another great flight. This time I wore the hat home.
06-05-2005 Dick Stafford Ellis SU F20-P None - Tumble Calm Event: NOVAAR
- Always gets the crowd's attention :)
06-11-2005 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F42-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-86
- This motor gave a nice straight boost. The lower average impulse motors produce some wobble during flight.
07-09-2005 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F42-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: Great Meadow
- great flight as usual
07-10-2005 Dick Stafford Est SU E9-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-87
- Missed the flight but not the cheers
08-20-2005 Dick Stafford 9x Est SU A8-3 None - Tumble Calm Event: NOVAAR
- Nice flight but way to short for a saucer. It left an eerie smoke cloud, which appeared to emanate from the moist grass. All 8 ejection charges couldn't eject the single-use motor module despite a loose fit.
08-20-2005 Dick Stafford 2x Est SU D12-0 None - Tumble Calm Event: NOVAAR
- Nice flight but a bit wobbly.
09-18-2005 Dick Stafford Est SU E9-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-89
- Well even my tried and true Hat didn't fly right today. I had just bragged how reliable quickmatch was. Jinx! Only one lit and it flipped wildly.
10-15-2005 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F23-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: NARHAMS
- Another crowd pleaser.
11-12-2005 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F23-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: ESL-91
- Nice smoky motor for the hat!
04-09-2006 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F23-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: NOVAAR
- more crowd cheers
04-15-2006 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F23-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: NARHAMS
- Great flight as usual. The pad was closer than at the typical MDRA launch, and being somewhat under the saucer you could clearly see the deformation of the brim under thrust. Pretty cool.
05-13-2006 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F23-P None - Tumble Calm Event: NARHAMS
- :-)
05-21-2006 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F21-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-97
- repackaged F21 grain, good flight
06-17-2006 Dick Stafford AT RMS F12-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: ESP-98
- It thrilled the crowd on a long burning F12-P. Perfect motor for the hat.
07-08-2006 Dick Stafford AT RMS F12-P None - Tumble Calm - This rocket continues to amaze and entertain.
07-16-2006 Dick Stafford Est SU D12-0/Est SU E9-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: ESL-99
- CHAD staged. The flight was almost nominal, but elicited a roar from the crowd.
07-16-2006 Dick Stafford AT SU G80-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: ESL-99
- Drag race! See rocketdungeon.blogspot.com/2006/07/launch-report-2006-7.html
08-19-2006 Dick Stafford AT RMS F12-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds - About 3/4 of the way into the boost, the engine somehow came free, the hat stopped in its tracks, and the motor kept going. Casing was found.
04-21-2007 Dick Stafford AT RMS G69-P None - Tumble Calm Event: DARE II
- The Hat really rocked on the G69N Warp-9 end burner! This motor delivers 137 N-sec with a ~2 sec. burn.
06-08-2007 Dick Stafford AT RMS G64-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds - The Hat of Death elicited gasps from the crowd as it boosted on a G64. Muahahahaha!
06-16-2007 Dick Stafford Ellis SU G35-P None - Tumble Calm - Wowed the crowd. Long, loud flight!
06-16-2007 Dick Stafford Est SU E9-P None - Tumble Calm - Good flight
07-07-2007 Dick Stafford AT RMS G69-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: ESL-110
- Immediate ignition, fast flight, looked like it stopped in its tracks after burn-out.
07-14-2007 Dick Stafford Est SU D12-0/Est SU E9-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds - Fun as usual!
07-21-2007 Dick Stafford Est SU D12-0/Est SU E9-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds - It flew twice before on this combo, but this time it arced back to Earth under power. The hat itself is fine but the foam core was toasted. I saved the motor tube core so all I need is some new foam.
09-16-2007 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F20-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-112
- A good return to flight. This was an LMS F20
04-18-2008 Dick Stafford AT SU G77-P None - Tumble Calm Event: Red Glare IV
- Great flight as usual but my rebuilt core is a skosh small so it tends to fall out at apogee. I'll work on that.
05-17-2008 Dick Stafford AT SU G77-P None - Tumble 10+ mph winds Event: ESL-120
- Big weather cock, but still a cool crowd-pleasing flight.
05-24-2008 Dick Stafford AT RMS E18-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds - Fun, as usual.
06-14-2008 Dick Stafford AT RMS G76-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: ESL-121
- This was a drag race with David Jarkey's small lampshade (on a G64). The Hat ruled! However, the G76's flame wasn't noticeably green. There were several Mohave Green HPR flights and these were vivid.
06-21-2008 Dick Stafford AT SU G77-P None - Tumble Calm - The awesome red flame got their attention :)
07-12-2008 Dick Stafford DRD F38-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-122
- Missed the flight but it appears the reloaded LMS performed nominally as expected.
07-26-2008 Dick Stafford AT SU G77-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: NARAM-50
- Now it's not only bad, it's nationwide :)
10-11-2008 Dick Stafford AT SU G77-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-125
- Always a crowd favorite.
11-07-2008 Dick Stafford AT EconoJet F42-P None - Tumble Calm Event: Red Glare V
- Always fun.
04-17-2009 Dick Stafford AT RMS G69-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: Red Glare VI
- This Warp 9 end-burner is a cool motor for The Hat! Good power and a long burn. Unlike previous flights, the case required almost no clean-up.
06-13-2009 Dick Stafford AT RMS F24-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: ESL-133
- Good flight.
07-18-2009 Dick Stafford AT RMS F24-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: Great Meadow
- A crowd pleaser as usual. The RSO didn't know what to think. What does it do? Has it flown before? Has it flown on this motor?
08-23-2009 Dick Stafford 4x Est SU D12-P None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds Event: ESL-135
- All four motors lit but the flight was unstable. I'm wondering if the core shifted in the hat.
11-15-2009 Dick Stafford Ellis SU G20-0 None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: Red Glare 7
- The long boost started well, it pin wheeled a couple of times, and then it continued on its merry way. This was its 50th flight and the first non-clustered flight that wasn't perfect.
04-17-2010 Dick Stafford DRD Vulcan G None - Unstable 10+ mph winds Event: Red Glare 8
- It chuffed its way off the rod and, once the motor came up to pressure, spun wildly. It has a few additional battle scars.
05-15-2010 Dick Stafford AT SU G75-4 None - Tumble 10+ mph winds Event: ESL-144
- After a couple of unsuccessful flights, the Hat had another sky-writing episode. :eek: It was very sparky and kinda cool anyway.
05-15-2010 Dick Stafford Est SU E9-P None - Tumble 10+ mph winds Event: ESL-144
- The Hat, redeemed!!!
07-18-2010 Dick Stafford EST SU D12-0/EST SU E9-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-146
- Underpowered to the max. The E9 lit after impact resulting in a pucker factor of 8.5. Given the weird start of the Under Dawg flight, I wonder if my batch of D12-0's is funky.
07-18-2010 Dick Stafford AT SU G75-7 None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-146
- Redemption! Sparky redemption!
08-14-2010 Dick Stafford AT RMS F24-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-147
- Flight number 56
09-18-2010 Dick Stafford Est SU E9-P None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds Event: ESL-148
- Good flight!
   

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