February 2005 launch report (2/28/2005)
On Saturday, February 26th, MASA held its first launch of
the year. (The January launch was cancelled due to poor
Thanks to Prez. Mike Erpelding for driving all the way down with
his truck o' equipment.
A few of the flights:
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Mark Thell writes:
I arrived about 830 or so, traffic was bad (kidding). Mike E
and Stuart were there, four pads were up already, so I got to
prepping. As usual, tradition dictates the Stomp rocket is the
first rocket launched for the year. She went up on a C6-7, Boink
Recovery was employed to perfection again. I next put up my
Sparrow B/G on a 1/2A6-2 for its first( and as it turned out, its
last) flight. She REALLY WENT up nicely. Unfortunately, she
REALLY REALLY came down fast!!! Death dive into the hockey rink.
My Renegade Bash flew well on a C11-3. Geez I like those
motors. I also flew my Nike Smoke in a sequential drag race with
Lee F. I was going to fly my Orbital Transport but I wussed
out. My 1970's era Estes Aerospace Club Viper made its first
flight in 30 years on a 1/4 A32-T. I forgot all about the
kit till my dad found it at the house. Pretty neat.
Lots of other flights were made before the winds picked up.
Mike E had an "interesting bovine flight" on an F20 that
I provided. I guess I would get a little squirrelly if I had a
motor mounted where Elsie did.
Anyhoo, I took off about 1230 or so, Yet another great MASA
Stuart Lenz writes:
Saturday morning dawned crisp and clear with the wind at 10-15
mph. Mike E
beat me by at least 10 minutes and we decided to start with 4
launch pads. Mark T was going to be the first launch of the day
with, of course, a stomp rocket but Mike's launch controller was
not awake yet. He thought it may have gotten wet at the last TARC
launch but it turned out after his diagnostics that he had
reversed the cables. [darn electricians - ed.]
Mark's rocket launched on a backup system and the launch day
was under way. Most of the usual gang was there and I suspect the
count for the day was 80-90. I started off with the Lucky Seven,
one of the new Estes X-price rockets, and followed it with a
downscale MicroMaxx powered Spaceship 1. Then I flew some of my
classic clones, Alien Explorer, Andromeda, Space Cruiser Excalibur
and Dragon Ship 7. I also flew a C11 powered Stomp rocket, a
scratch built 3 engine cluster called "Long May it Wave"
and the Lucky Seven for a second time.
Ellison could not be at the launch because he is the armorer
for his fencing team, but Glen volunteered to be an observer for
Ellison's 1st failed level 1 attempt.
When Ken and Paul J arrived, they set up 2 additional pads for
their launches and that seemed to be plenty of pads for the day.
Cold, tired and hungry, we finish packing up at 1240 and
retired to Arby's for lunch and planning. Seems that at least 8
MASA members are going to NARCON on March 11-13.
Joe Schneider writes:
Having not been able to make a MASA launch in nearly a year, I
eagerly awaited the good weather on Saturday. The wind was a bit
strong, but not unflyable by any means. I ended up setting a
personal best of 20 flights on the day.
After my MIRV Gryphon crashed and burned last winter, I had a
surplus (20+) of A10 motors I needed to get rid of. So, I hauled a
couple styrofoam Estes Redirockets I've had for at least 8 or 9
years. Both each made 8 flights on various A10 motors, accounting
for 16 of my 20 launches on the day. Having not built any rockets
in a while, the only kit I had that could fly my C6-3 motors was
my Tie Fighter, which has survived several years of rough flights.
The parachute didn't open well all day, but it still survived for
three flights. The third flight broke a balsa support fin off, and
damaged the motor mount as well. But, it should be up and going
again for the March launch.
Around Noon, I hauled out my launch pad and tower for my
Stingray V RCRG. It had undergone a recent tail repair, and hadn't
flown in over a year, so the windy conditions combined with the
need for new trimming made for an interesting flight. On takeoff,
the igniter that was taped to the motor didn't want to let go, so
it hung on the pad for a second or so. Once it got in the air, the
wind and trim issues made it difficult to fly, so I made a couple
circles and then quickly brought it down. It'll hopefully be
better trimmed for the March launch. Now if Aerotech would only
start making the 24mm R/C reloads again; my stock is starting to
dwindle. There were several memorable flights, and hopefully March
will bring warmer weather with less wind!
Todd Carpenter writes:
Elliot and I arrived late. My wife tricked me into going to a
rock show at Har Mar. Thought she was talking rockets... Turned
out they had neat stuff, so we were there awhile, and left
We finally arrived a few minutes before everyone else was
packing up. I had a payloader built on a Fat Boy. It had several
questionable attributes (high weight for a C6-3, foam nose cone,
off-center launch lug), but it passed FSO inspection. Flew great.
Next flight will actually have a rover for a payload.
I didn't fill out flight cards for the rest, since everyone
else was gone (sigh). Here's the data. I've never seen the Death
Star weather cock like that, so the hockey rink ate it. I wonder
if there's a prehistoric rocket-eating forest under the rink...
The oddest was Serval's loop-de-loop.
Rocket Engine Recovery Flight
"Fat Boy Payloader" C6-3 Parachute Perfect arch
"Death Star" C6-3 Chute and streamers Major weather
cock, exploded a few feet off the deck. Kids loved it.
"SR-71" B6-2 Parachute Straight up. Didn't
weathercock a bit, which was amazing.
"Stomp Rocket" A8-3 BOINK Perfect
"Big Bertha" B6-4 Parachute Perfect (of course)
"Baby Bertha" A8-3 Parachute Perfect
"Serval (Quest tube fin)" B4-4 Streamer Nice flight
up, but then it did loop-de-loop. Never saw that before. Hit the
snow, then ejected the streamer (apparently it thought the
recovery method was "open on impact")
Carol, one of the US First Lego League Coach/Judge/Referees
wants to get into rockets, and coach a rocket team in INSciTE's
Rocket League challenge this year (Ted Cochran writes the
challenge and runs the competition), so she showed up to learn
about rockets. She talked to some folks, but they seemed rather
focussed on their own rockets. Her nephew, Ben, asked if he could
help launch, and whomever it was let him do the count down and
push the button. My hearty "Thanks!" to whomever let him
do that - he's now thoroughly addicted to rockets. Carol, the
coach, seems pretty interested, too, and will probably have a good
solid team of girls in Maple Grove. Ben and Carol both send their
appreciation to MASA. They stayed with us as we launched our
rockets, and all of the kids got to help prep the rockets, choose
what to launch, count down, and launch.
Full launch tally (in Adobe Acrobat PDF form, requires version
or newer of the Acrobat reader)
The totals were: 77 flights, 81 motors. The cumulative
total impulse was 533 Ns with an average total impulse of 6.6 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: