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Flight #40 - 2021a

Flight number 40 will be launched from the Hutchinson Municipal Airport's open-house and fly-in. The event will be held on Saturday May 1, with the launch happening at 10:00am from the ramp near the airport tower.

The payload will include two cameras, two APRS trackers, and a LoRaWAN transceiver being developed by Travis Baker, W0ECO.


Flight Parameters

Launch Date/Time Saturday May 1, 2021 at 12:00pm (17:00Z)  
Alternative Date n/a  
Launch Site Hutchinson Municipal Airport (38.07N, 97.87W)  

Capsule 1


Tracker: ArduinoTrack transmitter signing W0ZC-11

  • 300mW
  • 144.39MHz 

Sensors: n/a

Beaconing: Delay

  • Beacons every 25 seconds
  • Path is disabled above 2000m MSL.


  • n/a

Capsule 2


Tracker: ptFlex transmitter signing W0ZC-12

  • DRA818V Module
  • 500mW
  • 144.39MHz

Sensors: n/a

Beaconing: Delay

  • Beacons every 55 seconds
  • Path is disabled above 2000m MSL.

Cameras: n/a


Capsule 3


Tracker: LoRaWAN Tracker designed by Travis Baker, W0ECO

  • 100mW
  • 915MHz Band


  • Below 900m MSL: 20s beacon with a Spread Factor 10 (SF10BW125)
  • Above 900m MSL: 10s beacon with a Spread Factor 8 (SF8BW125)

Beacons will be relayed into APRS-IS as W0ECO-12

Backup Tracker: Backup tracking beacon transmitting CW on 433.94MHz. Includes piezo beeper for audio tracking.

  • 433.94MHz CW

Sensors: n/a

Beaconing: Continuous every 10 seconds.


  • n/a
Recovery / Misc Parachute and misc rigging. 0.30kg
Flight Weight Total neck weight on balloon. 1.08kg
Balloon / Gas

800g Kaymont with 6.09cu meters of Hydrogen.

  • Neck Lift: 5.4kg
  • Net Lift: 4.3kg
Estimated Burst Altitude 24,500m MSL (80,380')  
Estimated Ascent Rate 7.7m/s (1,515'/min)  
Estimated Descent Rate 6.6m/s (1,300'/min) velocity at touch-down.  
Chase Frequencies 446.100MHz  
NOTAM Filed High Altitude Balloon from HUT VOR on radial 038, east-northeast bound reaching Flight Level 600 from May 1 at 1700Z to May 1 2000Z. (HUT04/028)  

Flight Results

Launch Date/Time Saturday May 1, 2021 at 12:04pm (17:04Z)
Launch Site Hutchinson Regional Aiport (38.068N, -97.866W)
Burst Altitude 91,511ft
Average Ascent Rate 1467ft/min
Measured Descent Rate 1149ft/min
Touchdown Site 38.33N, -97.485W
Touchdown Time 1:45pm (1845Z)
Recovery Time  
Distance Traveled 44km
Total Flight Time 1 hour 40 mintues

Flight Predictions

Flight Predictions April 29, 2021.

April 29, 2021

The landing predictions have stabilized east-northeast of Hutchinson, around 30 miles. Today's prediction puts it almost half way between Newton and McPherson.

Surface weather looks nice for Saturday. Morning winds will be light, increasing to moderate in the afternoon. Hopefully we'll get the balloon into the air before the winds pick up, but given the postive lift that we'll have, a high-wind launch won't be difficult.

Flight Predictions April 28, 2021.

April 28, 2021

Predicted landing is 5 miles north of Newton, 5 miles east of Hesston.

Flight Predictions April 27, 2021.

April 27, 2021

We're back to heading due east out of Hutchinson. 

Flight Predictions April 26, 2021.

April 26, 2021

Today's predictions are based on a flight reconfiguration that minimizes weight and burst altitude, in favor of a shorter flight. We are also moving the launch time back to 12:00pm noon instead of the earlier morning in order to avoid some scheduling conflicts with the greater airport fly-in. Tracking equipment remains unchanged.

Flight Predictions April 23, 2021.

April 24, 2021

We're almost back to where we started for our flight track. We'll continue to monitor the situation throughout this week.

Flight Predictions April 23, 2021.

April 23, 2021

Flight predictions have shifted back down to the southeast. We are now close enough that the winds forecasts have switched to the high-resolution data and we should expect for less variations going forward.

Flight Predictions April 19, 2021.

April 20, 2021

Still staying north of Newton.

Flight Predictions April 19, 2021.

April 19, 2021

Today's predictions have shifted drastically back to the north. The predicted landing spot today is just north of Newton, KS.

Flight Predictions April 18, 2021.

April 18, 2021

Predictions have shifted south along the Kansas-Oklahoma border. Maximum winds have picked up to 76 knots which is a major factor in the changes.

Flight Predictions April 18, 2021.

April 16, 2021

The initial prediction shows a flight heading southeast from the Hutchinson airport and landing south of El Dorado. The maximum wind speed encoutered is forecast at 53kts.