Welcome to Bertha 2!
One fond memory I have from my childhood was my dad taking me to our local hobby store for the first time to pick out our first model rocket. The man behind the counter suggested Estes' Big Bertha because of its slow realistic takeoffs. It could fly over 500 feet in the air and would return to earth safely with its parachute! Big Bertha became my first model rocket and we enjoyed flying it many times. Later we purchased an inexpensive super-8 rocket camera so we could view the launch from the rocket’s perspective and see the earth retreat below. Today, I still enjoy viewing the earth from above whether through cameras sent above, of from the cockpit of the small plane I fly.
SpaceCam was our first attempt of sending a set of cameras over 100,000 feet into the stratosphere. Its two cameras, contained in a Styrofoam capsule, were suspended from a weather balloon. It successfully photographed the land below and the curvature of the earth.
SpaceChute is an extension of SpaceCam. While containing new and improved cameras, its mission is to first travel to 100,000 feet and then return to earth, landing at one of several pre-selected "safe" areas (no trees or lakes), for retrieval. It does this using its self-guided parachute.
The Aviation section of the website contains projects I'm developing related to general aviation. I've had the privilege to renew my pilot's license after a 40-year lapse. Since then I've enjoyed flying around the state with my wife, while trying to learn more about safe flying! One project I'm currently working on is being able to predict when it would be safe to turn back to the runway in the event of a loss of power.
Enjoy the website and check out the pictures and videos of the projects!