Charles Hoult, 1933-2016

The Reaction Research Society (RRS) would like to remember Charles Hoult who passed away late last year in November.

Charles Hoult, 1933-2016

Educated at MIT and UCLA, he began his career in the Air Force working with sounding rockets starting in the late 1950’s until the late 70’s. He worked for Aerospace Corporation and TRW (Northrop Grumman) until his retirement in 2007. In addition to his professional work, he started academic work as an adjunct professor at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) in 2006. He was active for decades in the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) and attended many amateur rocket launches in several countries.

Experimental Sounding Rocket Association

One of his lasting contributions is his website with several open-source tools for amateur rocket design.
Rocket Science and Technology – Charles Hoult

His ashes are to be launched and dispersed into the atmosphere by a CSULB rocket over the ocean at an upcoming Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) event in June 2017.

The Los Angeles Times had an excellent obituary. The link is below:
Legacy.com / LA Times – Charles Hoult (1933-2016)

The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) department of CSULB also posted a memorium for Charles Hoult:
CSULB remembers Charles Hoult

Any of our members who have specific memories or even photos of Charles Hoult that they would like to share are encouraged to comment here.

January 2017 meeting

Our monthly meeting took place tonight, January 13, 2017. Meeting was called to order at 7:43pm. John Mariano made a motion that we say the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of our meetings. We did so at the January meeting and will do so thereafter.

Robert Kleinberger of Apogee Aeronautics called in to give the RRS a presentation on his company and work he’s done with sounding rockets. He covered a variety of subjects including the boosted dart system such as the SuperLoki.

Dr. Mitchell Spearrin of UCLA came to the meeting today. He discussed the UCLA Rocketry Club activities including prior work with hybrids and IREC program competition. He also mentioned the new projects UCLA would like to do with the RRS.

Planning for the upcoming RRS symposium will begin this month. The RRS symposium is officially scheduled for April 22nd. It will be a considerable effort and require the help of many of our members. It’ll be worth it as we make this all-day event a success. We will have the main room and auditorium. Ideas for wall arts and exhibits are in the works. We’re working on the confirmed speakers list. Frank is asking for RRS members to help out as there is a lot of work to be done to make this event a success.

Larry mentioned that Charles Hoult passed away late last year. He was one of the foremost leaders in sounding rockets having spent decades in the aerospace industry. Upon retirement, he dedicated his life to education teaching at CSULB and actively supported amateur rocketry. A fuller blog post will be forthcoming to honor his passing and contributions.

The “events@rrs.org” email is now available for the public to contact the RRS for alpha build events and the symposium.

Larry has indicated that the Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA) is interested in an alpha build event which should take place in the next few months. We look forward to hosting them at the launch event at the MTA. Also, Rise Academy may want to do another launch event.

In closing, a reminder of the importance of sunscreen was given. There are many hazards to consider at the MTA and being in the desert, but this is one that many people ignore and should not.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm as the Gardena Community Center was closing.

Next meeting will be February 10th. Let me know if there’s anything I missed or misstated.

Apogee Aeronautics, SuperLoki launch rail system

On November 14, Osvaldo and I had the chance to meet Robert Kleinberger of Apogee Aeronautics. Robert runs a small engineering company specializing in sounding rockets. We had a chance to see one of the SuperLoki launcher systems that he had assembled and mounted on a trailer system in Orange County.

SuperLoki launcher from Apogee Aeronautics

view of the control panel, SuperLoki launch trailer

The SuperLoki is a sounding rocket design that was started in the late 1960’s and were used in the US and other western countries up until the supply was exhausted in the 1990’s.

In short, this two-stage rocket system consists of a first-stage solid propellant booster with an instrumented “dart” that coasts up to high altitudes, typically to make upper atmospheric weather measurements. The four-fin booster and four-fin dart are rail-guided to impart a controlled spin for stabilization.

Super Loki PWN-10A model

SuperLoki launch rails, side view on rails

Astronautix.com has specific details on the SuperLoki launch vehicle
Astronautix.com – SuperLoki

Wikipedia has a fuller article on the subject of the Loki series of rockets including the Super Loki.
Loki rocket – Wikipedia

Robert was assembling one of his SuperLoki rail launchers for a client, but ultimately, the launch trailer will reside at the Chico Air Museum in Chico north of Sacramento, California. The launcher will be there on display to the public. Although the SuperLoki launch trailer is not yet at the museum, I have put a weblink to the museum’s page.

Chico Air Museum

Although he may not make his presentation personally, Robert has put together a series of notes for our upcoming monthly RRS meeting. We’re looking forward to January 13th. Hope to see everyone there.