Washington Aerospace Club
National Association of Rocketry Section 578
Tripoli Rocketry Association Prefecture 41

1/9/10 Meeting Minutes

The meeting began shortly after 7:00PM on January 9th, 2010 at Peace Lutheran Church in Puyallup.

Board of Directors and Prefecture Officers for 2010

The Washington Aerospace board of directors for 2010 are as follows:

  • President: Kent Newman
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Carl Hamilton
  • Operations Manager: Bryan Whitemarsh

The Tripoli Puget Sound officers for 2010 are as follows:

  • Prefect: Brad Wright
  • Secretary: Denny Smith

New Club Flyer

In an effort to better market the club and increase its membership, Kent Newman has been working on a new club flier (a brochure, not a rocketeer) that will be distributed to local hobby shops. The flyer is a three-column, z-fold format with great information about the club and rocketry. Kent hopes to have a final version soon. Carl Hamilton will put together a list of local hobby shops where the flyer can be distributed.

FITS Update

Dave Randall and Brad Wright gave an update on their work as the co-launch directors for FITS.

This year, there will be an LCO "cheat sheet" to help out the folks running the launch consoles. The number of buttons and switching on our GSE has caused some confusion in the past. This "cheat sheet" should alleviate some of the confusion.

A greater focus on experience/knowledge will be used in identifying RSO candidates. Proven L2 and L3 fliers will constitute the pool of RSOs. The thought is that the RSO should be teaching the fliers good safety techniques, not the other way around. All certification levels are still welcome for other duties, including LCO and pad manager.

When people check-in at FITS, they will receive a registration packet. This packet will include a site layout, showing where RVs are to be parked, tent camping is allowed, and vendors can be found. A schedule of events will also be included, indicating when important and fun things will be happening.

We will have the same waiver as last year, with an 8K ceiling at the track and a 14K ceiling at the away cell. Motors up through K will be flyable from the track. Larger motors that won't exceed 8K can be flown from the extension. Anything that will exceed 8K must be flown from the away cell.

There will be no official potluck this year.

Mike Wyvel will be organizing FITS shirts and stickers.

Friday, May 28th, will be a research day. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday will be commercial days.

Dave and Brad are working on some contests, both for adults and for kids. They are also hoping to organize some sort of kids program.

After some negotiation near the end of the meeting, an agreement was reached concerning the location of vendors at FITS 2010. Vendors will have the opportunity to setup near the east or west edges of the parking/camping area. The front row of camp sites will be devoted to flyers and their families.

Rocket Materials

This month's Sport Rocketry magazine had an article about the strengths of rocket materials. Kent Newman gave a quick overview of the article, pointing out that understanding just how strong the materials we use are can be very helpful when designing a rocket. Another point to consider is that something like a recovery harness is only as strong as it's weakest link. It makes no sense to use a quick link rated to 4,000 pounds if your harness is only rated to 800 pounds.

NAR Membership Drive

The National Association of Rocketry has a goal of reaching 5,200 members this year as part of their 52nd anniversary. Clubs are being offered a financial incentive for each new member they gain. We hope to benefit from this program through improved marketing for Washington aerospace.

Club Dues

Club membership is based on the calendar year. Therefore, on January 1st all members owe dues for 2010. Instructions for registration and payment can be found on the club website: http://www.washingtonaerospace.org/membership_form.php. Carl Hamilton will be sending broadcast email to the members and NW rocketry email lists reminding people of this.

New Trailer Equipment

Bryan Whitemarsh has completed our new first aid/trauma kit that will be available in the trailer. He will provide basic instruction on use of the kit to regular launch attendees so that these individuals can respond effectively to possible injuries at a launch.

Bryan also provisioned an iPod for the club complete with engraving. He has already loaded it will songs to be played between racks at all launches with the PA system setup. Members are welcome to make requests for songs to be added to it.

Tragic Little Aerospace

Robert Geer and his business partners were at the meeting to announce a new rocketry electronics vendor/manufacturer: Tragic Little Aerospace (TLA). They brought a working GPS telemetry system for show and tell. Contact Robert Geer for more information.

New Aerotech Information

Puget Sound Propulsion (Bill Munds and Dave Woodard) presented information covering a whole slew of new Aerotech products. This included the new 38mm spacer system that was recently certified. They also covered some of the new bi-propellant motors being offered and new, less expensive options for the 54mm "beer can" motors. Contact PSP for more information.

Motor Systems

We had motor cases and assembly information for most of the major players in the industry. Puget Sound Propulsion's discussion of Aerotech hardware started it off.

Brad Wright then showed how easy it was to assemble a Cesaroni 38mm motor (it took about 5 seconds). He also gave some details on using Cesaroni 75mm and 98mm reloads in Aerotech hardware. Most of them can be used this way, but not all. It's best to check with your motor vendor before using CTI propellant in AT hardware. With the merger of Cesaroni and AMW, the matrix of propellant types and hardware is getting really large. This is a huge benefit to flyers!

Bill Clugston then showed a Ratt Works hybrid I motor, and described its assembly and tricks to making hybrid ignition more reliable. Bill and Andrew MacMillen have found that wrapping the fill tube with Teflon tape improves reliability significantly.

Finally, Kent Newman showed the parts of a typical snap-ring system, of which AMW is the most notable commercial manufacturer. Kent stressed the importance of using eye protection when inserting and removing snap rings and that having a good set of snap-ring pliers is strongly recommended.


Aaron Evans
Andy Casillas
Angela Wright
Bill Clugston
Bill Munds
Bob Jimerson
Brad Wright
Bryan Whitemarsh
Carl Hamilton
Chuck Tenesch
Dave Randall
Dave Woodard
Dale Woodford
Kent Newman
Melissa Rogers
Mike Wyvel
Peter Schurke
Robert Geer
Robert Simpson-Clark
Robert Winglee
Scott Berfield

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