East Anglian Rocketry Society - Flying Rockets in Cambridgeshire, UK
Index: Launches: Reports: Big EARS 2005

Niall's Big EARS 2005 Report

Fliers watching in the hazy aftermath of a J400SS flight

On the first weekend in May, EARS host a 2-day event called 'Big EARS', which is the first big event in the UK flying season and usually well-attended by rocketry people from around the country. This year was no exception - in fact it was something of a vintage year, with many great flights made and everyone having a great time. The event was very well-organised, facilities were ample, the vendors were well stocked and the weather, for once, was excellent. As usual there was a strong WRS contingent, along with the usual EARS/MARS regulars. There were also fliers from CROCK, SERFS, Black Knights and many new people present on both days.

Prepping, building and chatting in the EARS Marquee

I had planned to defend my title of 'King of BP', which I gained at Big EARS 2004, but I had a few problems and didn't manage it this year - I will be defending it next year though! On Saturday I spent a lot of time prepping, occasionally running up to the range to take photos. I got most of the bigger flights, but I still missed quite a lot of interesting rockets. To get the most out of a big event I think you need to be doing 4 things at once - watching, talking, buying and flying! Unfortunately its impossible to do them all, so this report is my view of the event - I may well have missed some cool stuff, but I think I've got the ones everyone was talking about afterwards :)

Saturday evening saw a barbecue, followed by the mother of all thunderstorms - thankfully I was at home in my nice warm bed, but for those camping it must have been fun! There were also fireworks on Saturday night, which looked quite good, and a night launch which was very cool (especially when one rocket suffered an E9 cato!)

Prep, registration and vendor marquees/tents

On Sunday Mel, my girlfriend, came along and quite enjoyed it - thankfully there were plenty of interesting flights to watch (and a lot of interesting characters to talk to), rocket talk must be very boring for non-rocketry people! I flew a few model rockets, and again spent a lot of time taking photos, variously running up and down between the marquee, rangehead and HPR pads to try and get the interesting stuff. Again I missed some cool stuff with the camera, but got most of the big stuff.

After packing up on Sunday it was off to the Papworth for a curry, just what is needed at the end of a long day - the food was really nice and the company was good too.

Since Big EARS was such a busy event, I have done a page for each day - as usual they're monolithic and full of photos, my apologies to anyone on dial-up!

Be sure to check out the gallery for all the best photos from this launch

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