Geezer TARC, HARA’s version of TARC for “older” rocketeers begins with the announcement of the 2016 TARC challenge at Nationals this weekend. It is open to any interested rocketeer over 21, and provides an excellent way for TARC mentors (or potential TARC mentors) to get a feel for the difficulties that will be faced by their teams in the upcoming months.
Duane Mayer’s winning rocket for 2015 – the yellow and black “Beast”
Standard TARC rules for 2016 season will apply, except for the following:
1) Geezer TARC begins with the announcement of the 2016 rules in May and ends with the contestants’ rockets being launched at a single event (date TBD, but well before school starts in late summer).
2) Each contestant may enter up to two rockets. These rockets may not fly before the official launch date, and the score shall be determined by the first flight of each on that date. The contestant’s score shall be the better of the two flights, or the score of one flight if only one rocket is entered.
3) Any commercial altimeter may be used to determine altitude. However, reflights are not allowed if there is an altimeter malfunction; in this case, the flight will be disqualified (So choose a reliable altimeter).
4) There is only one rocket per design, and there are no test or sub-scale flights permitted for the design. Its merit will be judged solely by the rocket’s performance at the contest launch. If two rockets are entered, they must be of substantially different design – different number of motors, fins, or something major – an inch shorter or taller does not constitute a substantial difference, nor does the same design at a different scale (e.g., BT-70 versus BT-80 versions).
Bullpup 1 – a dual 24mm cluster for 2015. This was my best performer.
Der Eggcracker – a minimum diameter TARC rocket. This one was too efficient; it went WAY over altitude.
In the past, we have launched at a horse farm in Harvest. This year’s launch will probably be at “Pegasus field” in Research Park in Huntsville or at a HARA launch in Manchester. The launch will take place in late July or early August, and yes, you must be there to fly. That’s part of the contest – we want to witness what happens! We will try to pick a date that will be agreeable to all schedules.
Geezer TARC measures your ability to design an rocket to meet the TARC challenge – there are no proxies or test flights, as this would defeat the purpose. There is only one rocket for each design, and its first flight will be at the launch. If you enter two rockets, each must be based on a different design (like “Sure Thing” versus “Hail Mary”). This is a major part of the fun of the contest – we spend a lot of time designing a rocket to meet the challenge, but will it do it without modifications, on the first flight?
Good luck, and see you on the field!