August 2005 launch report (8/28/2005)
On Saturday, August 27th, MASA held its third launch this
year at the new site near
The skies were blue and sunny. It was a pleasant day - not
too hot. The only annoyance was a variable breeze out of the
west that really picked up in the mid afternoon. Many MASA
members, visitors, and spectators came out for the day. It was
good to see both new faces and some familiar faces that hadn't made
a launch recently.
Prez. Mike Erpelding put in stellar duty with launch equipment
and range setup. Mike
deserves a big round of applause! Let's all be sure to help
out at launches; Mike can't do everything (and he
shouldn't have to!) A special thanks to everyone who stayed
and helped pack up the range at the end of the
Thanks to the LCO/RSO volunteers: Mike Erpelding, Rick
Vatsaas, and Alan Estenson
(apologies if I've forgotten anyone!)
A few of the flights:
Annual Great UFO Drag Race - Five saucers (and one martini
glass?) were drag-raced this year. Ignition of all six was
simultaneous and lots of fun to watch.
Comanche-3 Drag Race - Three Comanche's and one "other"
3-stager were entered in the drag race. Two of the Comanche's
and the "other" left the pads. Dave Whitaker's Comanche flight
was successful, and he got all the pieces back with just one broken
fin. Mark Thell's sustainer lawn darted in the soft mud.
[Stages 1 and 2 burned successfully; I'm not sure about the
sustainer.] Glen Overby's "Lost Rocket" on 3 D12's appeared to
light all 3 stages and then lose itself. After fixing the
igniter, Jim Myers' Comanche also flew successfully.
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Alan Estenson writes:
I had to jump in and fly the first-ever "I" motor at a
MASA launch. (I flew the first ever "H" motor at a MASA
launch back in July of 1998.) I put up my trusty ol' LOC
Minie Magg on an I161. This was flight number 17 of the
Magg - all on either H or I motors! (Not counting its one
"Mega Magg" flight on a J350.)
I only beat Glen Overby by half an hour. He
launched his big IQSY Tomahawk on an I357 for a textbook flight.
Rick Vatsaas writes:
It's been over a year since I have been able to attend a
MASA launch, and my first at this field. Since e-mail traffic
had been light, I was worried that turn out would be small and I
would miss the whole thing by the
time I would I arrived at noon. I shouldn't have worried.
I counted about twenty cars present through out the launch (And
Dave's bicycle). Unfortunately, I was so rushed to get the
launch I forgot my sunscreen, and so I burned more epidermis
than propellant that day.
I had intended to launch some kits I built with my son,
but since he decided that he had to rest up after his first
football game, we didn't launch his rockets. So I had two
to fly, my newly built Acme Spitfire, and my unusual odd-roc
"Shaken, Not Stirred" (SNS), a spool -like rocket, made
from a plastic martini glass. I had three nice
flights on the surprisingly stable SNS, plus one the Acme
Spitfire, on which the paper nose cone came loose from the balsa
nose plug, for another wise good flight and recovery.
Otherwise I helped out on the range and took pictures.
I also enjoyed meeting some new members, such as Whalid Maaloi
(sic) and Carol Marple.
All in all a fun day.
Mark Thell writes:
It was a great day at the new field. I got there about
9:30 or so, helped Mike E set things up, and away we went.
Started off with my Alpha 3 with an A8-3. I had a 18" chute in
it to see where things were going in the wind department. I
forgot to tie the @#%^! chute to the swivel. oops.
Tied said chute on this time and shot her again ,
ejection charge was quite robust and burned the Kevlar line cord
mount, Retired Alpha for the day.
Next up was my B/G built at a MASA meeting a hundred years ago,
flew it on a A3-2T, worked well.
Next up was my Sunward Aerospace fighter plane looking thingy on
a C11-3(gee I like those motors Straight as an arrow, no roll at
all. good flight.
Joe Schneider wanted to cert L1 there so Mike E and I witnessed
his flight. His rocket is sleeping with the corn. We searched
and searched. @#^%%& corn.
Came back to put my Lil Bigger Nuke up in a new F42-4 econojet.
I am sad to say it is sleeping with the corn as well.
The Comanche 3 drag race was held while I was still in the
cornfield. I did get all stages back. Thanks to those who found
them for me.
Packed up and hit the road.
Lots of fun
John Carlson writes:
This was the first time in about 2 years I've been able
to make it to a launch. I brought sons 2 and 3 and their
rockets that they had just recently built.
Quinn had a Estes wizard and a custom rockets Galileo
Austin had a Alpha III this was lost in the rocket eating corn,
bummer. Austin's 0-2 this year for rockets he lost a
Viking earlier this year at camp. [Austin's rocket was
I had a Estes Rubicon that flew fine except I melted the chute.
(more dog barf next time) I also had a Quest Bright Hawk.
(fastest kit I ever built, 20 min while sitting at the hobby
store.) Also with was an Estes Vanguard X-prize and
a Quest X-15. I would have flown the rest of the
but the kids got too squirrely so maybe next month. All my
old standby rockets are packed up so we can move. Bummer
Dan Keppel writes:
Wow what a fun day! This was my first ever MASA club
launch, and I must say that I was very successful in my
launches. Of course by successful I mean that I was successful
in destroying/losing all four of my rockets!
It was a great day, but the wind was a problem. My two
high fliers (a Estes Sizzler on a C6-7 and my scratch built 2
stage D12-0/7 that both go up about 2000 feet) had beautiful
flights and shot off into the wild blue yonder, only to be taken
by the merciless wind. My other rocket (The first flight of the
day... and the first lawn dart of thee day as well!), a modified
cosmic cobra, failed to deploy its rotors, causing it to lawn
dart all the way up to the the rotor assembly in the soft dirt
just past the cars. Back to the drawing board I guess?
I had one more rocket. My 5'3" rocket named the Spicy
Meatball. The first launch on an E9-6 went perfectly, seeming to
hang in the air before its three 'chutes deployed. It even
cleared the irrigation ditch on the left side without landing in
the corn. Unfortunately, when i tried to launch it on an F21-4W
it took a hard left off the pad and exploded into aprox. 10
pieces about 50 feet in the air. Once again it cleared the ditch
(which was nice cause I didn't want to go fishing). Next time
I'm going to make sure I put the fins on correctly! While on
that subject, I'd like to say "Good Job" to the guy who
lawndarted about 3 feet past the right side ditch from about 2
or 3 thousand feet, All the way up to the fin can! Very
impressive, and the motor casing being ejected was a nice touch
too. I can't wait till the next launch!
Full launch tally (in Adobe Acrobat PDF form, requires version
or newer of the Acrobat reader)
The totals were: 165 flights, 184 motors. The cumulative
total impulse was 4126 Ns with an average total impulse of 22.4 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: