CFUD-5 being prepped for launch.

On the Fly




(Cookery) edible saltwater fish or shellfish

n. Name of payload housing used for Nikon HAB

A few weeks ago, I had one of those “why not” moments. I recalled seeing those images and web postings about the MIT students that launched a HAB (high altitude weather balloon). Their setup was fairly simply:

-        Weather balloon

-        Parachute

-        Insulation

-        Hand Warmers

-        Camera

-        GPS antenna

-        Styrofoam cooler to hold it all

I decided that “I can do this. Why not?”

Well with only two weeks of planning and two launches in back to back weekends. The first two launches were the CFUD 4 and CFUD 5. 

CFUD 2, before meeting her unfortunate demise before going to the game.

CFUD is Born

Out of the questions I have heard regarding this project, I hear about CFUD the most.

This past fall, I visited my friends Lumber Pat and Petunia Varner (owners of Sweet Petunia Shop) in Savannah, GA. We proceed to have a great weekend and turns out that we had a little too much fun on Saturday. I woke up Sunday with a bit of a headache and walked into their kitchen. The previous day, I had purchased a bunch of fresh seafood from the area and was excited to take it back to Atlanta. Of course, Patrick filled up the cooler and wrote in big wobbly letters (which he uses to signify that his big goofy chocolate lab named Georgia Mae Mud is the one writing):


This had me in fits of laughter on my drive back to Atlanta. I couldn’t stop thinking about sweet little Georgia Mae Mud using all of her dog brain power to write out such a silly spelling of seafood.

After that weekend, Patrick and I used some Styrofoam coolers at a few different sporting tailgates. Each time, christening them either CFUD 2 or CFUD 3. Leaving the next versions of CFUD to be bound for flight.

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