The Evil Bert Drag Race
Five G-cluster rockets all constructed out of vintage Muppets puppets purchased on eBay. Construction details for the Evil Bert rocket are located [HERE]. Background on why this even started as an idea are located [HERE].
Each leg held a G motor, either a G80 or a G64. The winner was the first off the pad, with extra points awarded for innovative design.
Mark Vatsaas was the clear winner in three categories; He was not only first off the pad, he was also the runaway winner in style points as he took the term 'drag' race a bit too seriously. An unexpected benefit of the beautiful makeover -- Mark's 'Dragbert' was also the surprise winner of the title Miss Congeniality.
Rick Vatsaas, ever true to his training as a mechanical engineer, designed an ingenious backpack ejection system that would have allowed Bert to return to earth looking like a paratrooper, making him second in style points. Unfortunatly, Rick's "D. Bert Cooper" (named after the infamous and as-yet unapprehended hijacker, D.B. Cooper) only ignited one of his two G80 motors, making him third off the pad, and the unbalanced thrust sent him cartwheeling across the launch area.
"Charles Lindbert" (whose namesake was seriously enamoured with Nazi Germany) sported goggles and an aviator helmet fashioned from a small football. Brad's rocket was second off the pad and fourth in style points.
Third in style points was "Prison Bert" by Chris Neal. This Bert had a shaved head and prison tattoos across the back of his head. The really disturbing part -- the Bert looked this way when Chris bought it off eBay! Prison Bert's ambition was aparently dampened by his years of incarceration, as he was last off the pad with his G64 cluster. Prison Bert recovered successfully even though his parachute failed to deploy.
"I'm Too Sexy For My Bert" was obviously a parody. A more apt title may have been "Nerdbert" due to the tape on the bridge of his glasses and the demeanor of his owner, Cory McCormick. Cory came in last in style points, if for no other reason because the epoxy had barely cured by the time the countdown started. Cory also used G64's and was fourth off the pad.
Overall, the Berts flew successfully and the Range Safety Officer was vindicated for ignoring his better judgement and allowing us to fly. Nine out of ten motors lit and four out of five parachutes deployed. One down side - the 3/32" plexiglass fins turned out to be a poor material choice. None of the fins survived and some came apart during flight, either due to flexation or deployment shock. It is generally considered to be bad manners to rain shards of transparent fin material onto the upturned faces of your spectators....
Smiling for the paparrazzi. It was a weird moment.
Rick quipped, "My picture didn't get taken this much at my wedding!"
Left to right: Chris, Brad, Mark, Cory, and Rick.
Brad assists Chris Neal in the preparation of Prison Bert. D. Bert Cooper and Charles Lindbert are in the foreground, and Dragbert is in the background. Cory and 'I'm Too Sexy For My Bert' are nowhere to be seen, apparently off having one last private moment together.
Composite photo: Dragbert streaks into first place and Charles Lindbert is second. D. Bert Cooper lumbers off the rail in third as the G64's roar to life on I'm Too Sexy For My Bert and Prison Bert. Note the pronunced flame on the White Lighting motors compared to Blue Thunder.