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On 10/29/2004, Anonymous wrote:
"Oh! The Bertmanity!"
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Bert Race 2004

One of the most popular projects that RTV has ever undertaken was the Bert Drag Race. The first race was in 2002, when we had five Bert puppets flying on ten G motors (one in each leg). In that race four out of five Berts had successful flights. Only one Bert was unsuccessful in 2002, lighting just one of its two motors.

All five Bert rockets returned for a rematch in 2004, plus three new entrants. This year each Bert flew on a two-motor cluster of Ellis Mountain G35-6 single-use motors.

Results in 2004 were much less satisfactory than 2002.

  • Of the eight cluster rockets, NONE had both motors light simultaneously (or close enough) to have a stable, vertical flight trajectory.
  • Most disturbingly, three of the motors CATOed - two blew off their nozzles and one blew out the forward seal.
  • All of the remaining motors ignited, but the time that the paired cluster motors took to come up to pressure were so dramatically different from each other that the thrust was too unbalanced for a stable flight. The rockets cartwheeled around in midair instead of flying upwards.

We used Marc Casanova's mutant ignition system designed specifically for clusters - all the motors lit, so the ignition system did it job.

Weve been offered a lot of spontaneous advice about suitable cluster motors after that flight, and I thank you for your input. One common theme is that the Thors Hammer propellant from Ellis Mountain is a poor choice for clusters. All I can say is that I was very explicit with the vendor about how the motors would be used, and I was assured that the G35 motor was a reliable choice (we have witnesses...). Given that three of the sixteen motors experienced a CATO (18.75%), I doubt I will be purchasing any more of these motors any time soon.

Results:

This is an early posting of the Bert Race 2004 results, and there are a lot more photos to add to this page. Click on the photos below (where indicated) for an EXTREME close-up. In it you will be able to see the individual flames and which motors rockets experienced unbalanced thrust.


Ignition

Captain Hookbert flies off the pad in first place. Notice that both motors are lit.

To his right (your left) D.Bert Cooper and Hydrocephalic Bert are each well up their launch rods with only one motor lit.


Photo by Nadine Kinney of Photos by Nadine".


Next Frame

D.Bert Cooper and Hydrocephalic Bert continue the chase after Capt. Hookbert, but on one motor each.

Two more positions to the left, Prison Bert shows flame building in only one motor.

Click on the photo for an extreme close-up view.
Photo by Billy Dahlberg


Next Frame

Captain Hookbert is completely out of the frame.

D.Bert Cooper and Hydrocephalic Bert come close to a mid-air collision.

Prison Bert climbs the launch rod with only one motor lit.

One motor on Burly Bighead Biker Bert is spewing flame.

Notice the arms on the Bert still on the pad and furthest to the right. More about that on the next photo.


Photo by Nadine Kinney of Photos by Nadine".


Next Frame

Captain Hookbert is completely out of the frame.

D.Bert Cooper and Hydrocephalic Bert start to flip after their near miss in midair.

Prison Bert leaves the launch rod, still with only one motor lit.

Burly Bighead Biker Bert is well up his guide rod with only one motor lit.

Dragbert, far left, climbing on one motor. Charles Lindbert, just to the right shows one motor sparking to life.

The most interesting puppet is the one still on the pad at the right, "I'm Too Sexy for my Bert". Notice the waving arms and the visible silver tape below his shirt. The forward seal on one of Sexy's motors blew out, jarring the upper half of the rocket.

Click on the photo for an extreme close-up view.
Photo by Billy Dahlberg


Next Frame

At this point Dragbert and Charles Lindbert are in a virtual tie, slightly behind Burly Bighead Biker Bert -- each climbing on only one motor. Biker Bert is the heaviest of the three, which explains why the other two are overtaking him.


Photo by Nadine Kinney of Photos by Nadine".


Next Frame

At the very top of this frame you can see a hand from either Dragbert or Charles Lindbert -- assume that both are cartwheeling around just like Burly Bighead Biker Bert due to uneven thrust.


Photo by Nadine Kinney of Photos by Nadine".


Next Frame

Remember our fist place winner? Well, the thrust of one motor was extinguished long before the second -- and the result was this.


Photo by Nadine Kinney of Photos by Nadine".


Aftermath

A close-up view of the carnage.



Click [HERE] for Construction details on the Evil Bert rocket!

Click [HERE] for Background on why this even started as an idea!

Click [HERE] for information on the rocket background of the muppet's orginal creator!

Click [HERE] for downloadable video of the Bert Drag Races -- AND MORE!

Click [HERE] details on the 2002 ORIGINAL Bert Drag Race!

Click [HERE] for a frame-by-frame replay of the 2002 Bert Drag Race!

Click [HERE] for details on the 2004 Bert Drag Race, this time with EIGHT Berts!

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