August 2000 launch report (8/28/2000)
A spectacular day!
On Saturday August 26, a big group gathered at the sod farm in
Blaine for the monthly MASA launch. The fog and overcast skies
worried us while we set up the range, but they quickly
cleared. It ended up being warm and sunny with blue skies and
just a light breeze. We'll fondly remember days like this when
we're launching rockets next February. In total, there
were an incredible 201 flights in about five hours.
As always, a big thanks to all the volunteers! Especially:
- LCO's: Mark Thell, Steve Robb, Glen Overby, Mike Martens, Art
Gibbens, Tim Bush
- RSO's: Russ Durkee, Kerry Hodges, Lee Frisvold, Steve Hum, Ted
Cochran, Alan Estenson
We're always looking for new volunteers to fill these positions
during the launch. If you'd like to serve the club, talk to
any of these people and they can fill you in on the duties
involved. Thanks also to Mark Thell for carting around the
While the day didn't have any official theme, it did have the
"2nd Annual Great UFO Drag Race". Also, everyone had
been encouraged to bring out their OddRocs to add to the fun!
Once again, the unstoppable flying combo of Lee and Mollie
Frisvold had the largest number of flights with 18. Alan
Estenson and his niece Alexandra were right behind them with 17
flights. Lee, Mollie, and Alexandra tied for the most flights
with 9 apiece. Alan Estenson, Mark Thell, and Steve Robb were
right behind them with 8 flights each.
Just a few memorable flights: (there were tons of great
Steve Robb flew his Holverson Swinger a couple times on C
engines. Then, he must have felt that it needed more power, so
he tried a D21. The result was an incredibly spectacular shred
as it exceeded the speed of balsa; bits and pieces were raining from
the sky! [I hereby nominate this flight for a 2000 Prang
Award.] To get the urge for speed out of his system, Steve
flew his 3FNC on an H123 and later on an H242 for two of the five
H-powered launches of the day.
There were several successful and not so successful staged
flights throughout the day. Lee Frisvold had a great flight of
his 2-stage Fat Boy on a D12-0 to C6-5. Lee's luck didn't hold
out for his Estes Comanche-3 flight; it failed to light the second
stage (ouch). Art Gibbens had an impressive flight of his
2-stage Saturn V on a D12-0 to D12-3. Don Green's and Mollie
Frisvold's Estes Long Shot's also didn't light their upper
stages. Brian Handeland and Alan Estenson had better luck with
their Long Shot's. Craig Hansen successfully flew an Estes
Mongoose on a C6-0 to C6-7 for the first time. Ed Ryan flew
his Custom Lightnin' twice. The first time, it stuck on the
rod while the first stage burned, then staged and finished the
flight successfully. The second time, a faulty D12-0 caused us
to hold our breath as the rocket literally hovered in the air before
staging and arcing off into the brush. Later, Mollie Frisvold
successfully flew her Quest Zenith II on a C6-0 to a C6-5.
Tony Pray flew an Estes Mean Machine twice on E30 motors. A
Mean Machine just doesn't look right when it moves that fast!
Tony also flew his new LOC EZI-65 on a G80 for an impressive, low
altitude, maiden flight. Ed Ryan flew his cool-looking,
scratchbuilt "Bat Rocket" a couple times on G
motors. Ted Cochran flew his "Slingwing" on a
1/2A3-2t. This is the boost glider that he used to take first
place, C division, in A boost glide competition a few weeks ago at
Russ Durkee had his Cuda R/C boost glider along and flew it
several times throughout the day on D and E motors. Tim Bush
flew his incredible new 2.3x upscale Orbital Transport twice on G38
motors. It worked great both times! Brian Handeland had
everybody looking for the Estes Quark that he
"disappeared" on an A3-4t. The Quark finally turned
up at the very end of the day.
Tim Bush and Steve Hum drag raced their PML AMRAAM 2 rockets on a
G35 and G33. It was a great race with a near-simultaneous
liftoff. Mark Thell had a great maiden flight of his NCR Lance
Beta on a G35; he also had a nice flight of his LOC Forte on a
G64. Andy Jirele also had a good first flight of his NCR SA-14
Archer on a F62. Alan Estenson flew his "Big Bad Voodoo
Daddy" for the first time on a D12-3. He promises to fly
it (someday) on the full cluster of four C's and a D. Glen
Overby had the last flight of the day with his scratchbuilt Apache
on an H180. This rocket was equipped with an altimeter for
"dual deployment", but while it popped the drogue at
apogee, we never saw the main chute.
The 2nd Annual UFO Drag Race proved to be a great deal of
fun! Seven UFO's took to the sky almost simultaneously for a
low altitude spectacle. We'll try for even more flying saucers
Full launch tally (in
Adobe Acrobat PDF form)
The totals were: 201 flights, 216 motors. The
cumulative total impulse was 6543 Ns with an average total impulse
of 30.3 Ns. The motor breakdown follows:
A few launch comments contributed by Ted Cochran (Thanks, Ted!)
There were a ton of nice flights. I missed a bunch while
prepping, retrieving, etc, but I do particularly remember....
- The D12-0s that acted like A10-0s, if not 1/2A3s. And the fact
that THOSE rockets staged, whereas at least one other didn't,
even though the boost was perfect
- The spectacular shred of the Swinger, which really didn't
appreciate flying on a D21 instead of a C6-3.... In Richter
scale terms, it may just have exceeded the shred of a certain
webmaster's BG awhile back, except that the raining balsa didn't
smoke.....As RSO, I was pleased to note that none of the pieces
made it outside of the safety circle, but I was miffed for not
catching the motor combination....
- A bunch of absolutely vertical, no hint of a spin flights by
Alan (Seth caught the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in flight. Film at
- The AMRAAM drag race (More film at 11).
- The rather astonishing near simultaneous liftoff of a flock of
UFOs....way better than last year!
- The G25-10 drag race, with one rocket that I heard chuffing
for it seemed like ten seconds (I couldn't watch, because the
other rocket was mine and it was trying to fly to the road.
Didn't make it, although it did get over the power line....)
- Russ' nice Cuda flights
- Tim Bush's two perfect astonishing flights of his huge new
orbital transport clone
- The LCOs--great job, guys--the rate was excellent, and a lot
of useful information went out, too!