June 2001 launch report (6/23/2001)
If you keep repressing your pent up desire to launch rockets,
eventually you're just going to explode...and that would be bad.
On Saturday, June 23, one of the biggest groups ever to attend a
MASA launch congregated at the sod farm in Blaine. It was a
beautiful day - warm, sunny, but with an annoying breeze. Of
course, the perfect weather had arrived 24 hours too early.
Many familiar faces were there as well as some new ones; one visitor
from Georgia came to fly with us. On behalf of MASA, I'd like
to welcome all of our visitors and new rocketeers! I hope that
you'll be back for more...
The range looked very impressive! The safety line was
roped-off; there were 2 PA systems with 4 speakers, and there were 2
independent 8-pad ranges set up. The "near" range
was limited to model rockets using up through D engines. This
range was kept very busy throughout the day. Out further, the
"far" range was used for bigger rockets with bigger
motors, and "scary" things that we wanted far, far away...
(just kidding). It worked very well, and we plan to use this
configuration again next month.
A big thanks to:
- Steve Robb, for hauling out all the gear
- LCO volunteers: Steve Robb, Kerry Hodges, Art Gibbens,
Kent Peterson, Glen Overby, Alan Estenson
- RSO volunteers: Alan Estenson, Steve Hum, Ted Cochran,
Walter Kjellander, Steve Robb
- Everyone who came early and/or stayed late to help with the
A few of the flights:
The theme of the launch was "Going crazy - in
stages". Everyone was encouraged to fly their 2 and 3
stage rockets. In spite of the breeze, the theme was a great
success, and more boosters were seen tumbling out of the sky than at
any previous MASA launch. In total, there were 23 2-stage
flights and 6 3-stage flights. In spite of these big numbers,
there were only 2 (?) staging failures! Great job,
everybody! Jeff Hove had the first 2-stage flight of the day
with his "Wind Test Dummy". Jeff also flew his old
Estes Beta and Centuri Arrow 300. Art "King of
Staging" Gibbens seemed to fly 2-stage rockets continuously all
day. The peasants were threatening to revolt, however, after
the attempted first flight of his 3-stage Maxi Alpha 3; there was
much excitement... The (sadly discontinued) B6-0 was the
booster motor of choice for most flights. With the impending
decertification of the A8-5, B4-6, and B8-5, many of those motors
were seen in upper stages. Lee & Mollie Frisvold flew
several multi-stagers, including Lee's vintage Farside X.
Steve Robb flew his Comanche-3 with a "full-up" motor
load. This rocket has an onboard altimeter! Steve also
flew his ring-tail Comanche 3-stager. Ted Cochran flew his
Comanche-3 and Custom Lightnin'.
For every successful multi-stage flight, the flier got to throw
their name into the "hat". At three times throughout
the day, a name was drawn from the hat, and that person won a kit
from Custom Rockets. The winners were: Jeff Hove, Steve
Robb, and Art Gibbens. The kits were donated by Hub Hobby
Center of Little Canada.
The contest was A boost glider duration; Ted Cochran was the
contest director. With the stiff breeze, most people elected
to leave their b/g's on the ground instead of chasing after them;
there were only 3 entrants. Seth Cochran, who won first place,
had a time of 44.4 seconds with his Deltie. David Fergus, who
won second place, had his first flight (15.5 seconds) disqualified
because his booster lacked a recovery device. His first flight
tallied 21.5 seconds. Alan Estenson also flew his Deltie for a
time of 51.8 seconds, but his time was disqualified because the
nosecone separated from the booster pod at ejection.
There were a lot of great flights! Only a scarce few will
be mentioned here.
Tom Brekke came down from Duluth, joined MASA, and then achieved
a successful level one high power certification with his NCR Archer
on an H128-s. Congratulations Tom! Steve Robb had two of
the other H flights: his new upscale Estes Bomarc on an H128,
and his Extreme Stovi on an H180. The Stovi used
altimeter-based dual deployment, but Steve admits now that it works
better when he remembers to put the main chute in the rocket.
(He and Dave Fergus are starting a club.) Glen Overby flew his
Apache on an H180 with dual-deployment.
John Carlson flew a very nice 3X upscale Estes Sprite on a D12-3
and a 4x upscale Star Blazer on a G38. Lee Grimm tried out his
piston launcher for the first time with some rockets designed for
1/2A streamer duration. Dean Peterson got the adrenaline
pumping when his Initiator went unstable off the pad on an
E15. Steve Robb flew the "Lampshade of Doom" on a
F24 (lowest F flight of the day, by far). Rick Vatsaas wins
the best name award for flying his "Fierce, Bad Rabbit" on
a F20. Alex Howard flew his Astrobee D (built the previous
day) on a G35; it was his first "big" rocket flight.
Kent Peterson wins the perseverance award; he only flew 4
rockets, but used about 16 igniters. Barry Pieterson flew some
nice rockets: his chrome finish PML Phantom on a G40 and his
2.5x upscale SR71 on a G80. Jeff Hove flew his NCR Archer on a
G80. It was equipped with a magnetic apogee detector for
apogee parachute deployement. There were many first flights of
new, big rockets: Mollie Frisvold with her Graduator, Dan
Nestor with his Initiator, Dave Fergus with his Black Brant VB, and
Doug DeBold with his AMRAAM 2.
Family launching: There was a 3-way tie between the Gibbens
Group, the Fergus Family, and the Vatsaas Vanguard, all with 11
flights. Right behind them, the Cochran Crew had 9, and the
Frisvold's had 8. Dave Fergus had the most flights of any one
person with 10.
Full launch tally (in
Adobe Acrobat PDF form, requires version 4 or newer of the Acrobat
The totals were: 163 flights, 198 motors. The
cumulative total impulse was 5688 Ns with an average total impulse
of 28.7 Ns. The motor breakdown follows: