|The History of a High Power Rocket Club, K.L.O.U.D.Busters, Inc.
by Al Swayze
Just who are the K.L.O.U.D.Busters anyway; and how did they get started?
During July of 1990 , in a field just outside of Goessel Ks., two long time friends and rocketry enthusiasts, John Baumfalk of Newton, and Lyle Christ of Goessel, were witnessing the maiden flight of John's 8 foot tall rocket "Big John". The talk progressed, as it often does with rocketeers, to larger and faster rockets with more powerful rocket motors, as well as finding a way to involve more rocket fliers at their launches. A club would be the answer to organize the efforts in this direction, but a club needed a name. John Baumfalk offered the name Cloudbusters. The group changed the name slightly to denote a Kansas Organization, and Kloudbusters was born. The first official launch under the name of Kloudbusters was November 10, 1990, for Club Scout Pack #101 of Goessel, Ks.
This newly born group printed business cards and distributed them to local establishments that sold rockets, rocket motors and rocket parts. The group who responded reviewed its choice of name and Kloudbusters became K.L.O.U.D.Busters, which stands for Kansas Lower Orbital Unmanned Delegation.
K.L.O.U.D.Busters became an official prefecture of the Tripoli Rocketry Association on May 5, 1991. Shortly thereafter, the FAA denied the waver for the Goessel, Ks. area. A frantic search of the alternate sites-- Hutchinson, Ks (because of the Space Discovery Center), Goddard, Ks. (in honor of Robert Goddard ), or any decommissioned Strategic Air Command missile site (there used to be 18 around Wichita); all were ruled out by the traffic patterns of the Wichita Air Sectional Map. However upon closer inspection of the waiver rejection form the Tracy One Military Operations Area located over the Argonia, Ks. Airport was suggested by the FAA as a possible site. Scott LaForge and Allen Swayze worked with the City of Argonia to obtain use of the airfield for a rocket launch and the first Kloudburst meet was held there later that year.
What started as a dream to gain national attention and recognition of model and high power rocketry in the mid-Kansas area is now being fulfilled by K.L.O.U.D.Busters.
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