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January 19, 2002 1
National Association of Rocketry Dallas Area Rocket Society
The Bel Aero prototype

Sports Launch
Windom, Texas

The day started off very cold (at least for Texas) and got a little warmer as the day went on. Cold weather, high winds are not the best weather for flying, but I needed to test some downscaled versions of future projects. So the Bel Aero and the Intruder made their first flights under these adverse conditions.

Close-up of the Bel Aero prototype In the fifties, automobile manufacturers designed cars inspired by rockets. I felt it was time to return the favor by designing a rocket inspired by a car. The result was a surprisingly "fast" looking rocket that gets a lot of attention and puzzled looks. The asymetrical fin design of the Bel Aero concerned me and I wanted to test a smaller version. I threw it together quickly and made two test flights with very different results.
Another close up of the Bel Aero prototype

The first flight on a D12-5 was very successful, with the exception of the parachute being pulled apart by the high winds and heavily weighted nose cone. It took a lot weight to stabilize this rocket.

The next flight fish tailed quite a bit. Now it's time to move on the the bigger version.

Bel Aero's recovery area Later in the day, I flew my slightly upscale Quest Intruder. No pictures, but a very dramatic, good looking flight.
January 19, 2002 1

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