FS4 Launch Predictions as of June 14th 2019

Good morning Ground Squirrels!  The upcoming Flying Squirrel #4 flight is only a few days away (June 17th) and as we get closer to the launch date flight prediction data, which is based on NOAA weather data, start becoming more reliable.

Earlier in the week the predictions did not look good at all. The predictions placed the balloon out in the Pacific Ocean or over large populated areas around LA.

Prediction 2019-6-14 from Lucerne Dry Lake bed. Launch at 10am local time. Burst Altitude 30,000m

 

Prediction 2019-6-14 from Barstow. Launch at 10am local time. Burst Altitude 30,000m

More recent predictions, including the ones today show the balloon making a zig zag course, with some westerly overall direction. However, the distance travelled is not so great that it would fly over the mountains into the LA basin.

The maps above show two launch locations. The first is Lucerne Dry Lake bed, which is a nice wide open area to launch from and is my preferred site. However, the balloon is predicted to land in the mountains which would make recovery potentially difficult.

Moving East out near Barstow, as the 2nd map shows, will shift this pattern enough to avoid the mountains so this may be a back up launch site if the predictions remain similar on launch day

The predictions do change day to day and it wont be until the morning of the launch before we can make a solid launch location decision.  Stay tuned, I will be publishing new predictions daily.

 

73s de Don KJ6FO

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