July 2006 launch report (7/24/2006)
On Saturday, July 22nd, MASA held its eighth launch of the
year. The launch was held
at the sod farm near Nowthen.
The weather was beautiful. Mostly sunny, occasional clouds,
light breeze from the north, warm - but not hot. Despite the
great weather and big field, turnout was relatively light.
Thanks to everyone who served RSO/LCO duty: Buzz McDermott, Alan Estenson,
and Mark Thell. Thanks to everyone who helped set up the range and stayed to
help pack it away at the end of the day. As always, a huge
thanks to Mike for hauling all that gear!
Coming all the way from San Diego, California, visiting flier
Larry Brand flew a number of rockets throughout the day. Glad
to have had you with us!
A few of the flights:
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Glen Overby writes:
I arrived around 9:30AM to find a rather small crowd. I
pitched my EZ-Up and started preparing my 4"x80" IQSY Tomahawk
for another "I" flight. I only triggered the 120db buzzer twice
while preping it. The flight was nice, but it spun up a bit
(probably an improperly aligned fin) in the air. Deployment was
right at apogee -- an altimeter couldn't have done a better job.
I had my MissileWorks RRC2 on-board for recording, and it said
only 1271', but many of us think it went higher than that.
Thanks, Alan, for bringing your launch pad for me to use.
My second flight was on a 38mm rocket with a G64-10. It
carried a buzzer (whose battery ran down after I turned it on)
and a radio beacon. Even though I saw where it landed, I tracked
it down using my hand-held radio with a simple vertical antenna
(the antenna doesn't "hear" the signal well when pointed right
at the transmitter). Maybe I can fly this on something
Next came a test flight of my homebrew simple altimeter.
I used a simple 4FNC BT-60 rocket for the test. My altimeter
detected launch and apogee, but the altitude reporting seems to
have a problem.
My last flight of the day was my PML Explorer on a
G64-7. I think there may have been some binding on the launch
rod since it left in a strange direction. Ejection was WAY
late (the -7 is really a -8) and it didn't go far. Again, it
carried a corn abatement system (buzzer) which wasn't needed.
As usual, I didn't have a large number of flights, but I had fun
with what I flew.
I'm honored to nominate Buzz for to become part of the
Ballistic Fenceposting Society, for one of his accomplishments
at this launch. I'm sorry to say that my picture of this event
didn't turn out (the fencepost was too small to see).
Also, in compliance with the "All Saturn Crashes are
Nominations" rule, I wish I didn't have to nominate Mike for
coresampling his Saturn1B.
I've deposited some of the pictures I took on the web
Mark Thell writes:
Arrived about 9:30 to see things were ready to go.
I always bring lots of rockets along. I gotta quit doing that.
Too many choices. I dug through my pile-o-rockets and picked
some oldies but goodies. First up was my 25+year old Estes
Demon on a C11-3. Nice straight boost, good recovery.
Next up was my latest acquisition, a built Estes
Goonybird MissileToe from the mid 70s. 1/2A32T for power. This
motor was recommended for first flight.I could have thrown it
higher than it went, good recovery though. Next time MORE
POWER(Tim Allen grunt here)
Speaking of more power, I next flew my PML Eye-O on a
G80(I think). I had a rocket finder beacon in it, one is
supposed to attach the beacon to the base of the SC and attach
the pin pull to the NC( which would turn the beacon on at
ejection), but the sound was so melodic to everyone I decided to
pull the pin on the ground before launch. Why is it when you put
a beeper in a rocket it goes NOWHERE near the corn ,but when you
don't, it seems as though it is laser guided to the deepest part
of the corn field??? Anyhoo, she sang all the way to the
ground, My fellow rocketeers had tears in ther eyes listening to
the beepers fabulous music. I could tell they wanted to hear
more music but I had to shut the beeper off.
Next up was my Newbauer Gemini Titan on a C6-7(That is
the recommended first flight motor), After a lengthly delay, (My
fault, Buzz, you were right).I was concerned about the short
shock cord, being that I am the founder of the MASA long shock
cord club. My fears were realized when the HEAVY nose cone
separated from the rest of the rocket for a quick descent. minor
After a stint at RSO/LCO duty, I put up my trusty LOC
Forte on what I thought was an F42, turns out it was an F23, I
will not put that small motor in there again, slow boost, good
thing there were no stray wind gusts. Nice recovery . I packed
up my car and waited for Dave Gensler to do his L1 cert .
After that, I put my sunburned butt in the car and called it a
day. Great weather for a launch always a lot of fun.
Ted Cochran writes:
I wasn't able to get there until 11:00; alas, I had to
make up for it by leaving early.
I flew LOC-IV for the 22nd time, this time on an
H180W-M. The flight was very nice, and recovered at the far end
of the field. I know the parachute was a bit large at 44", but
it sure was pretty!
The second flight was my Arcie II; it flew OK but it
still needs trim and it may have even been out of radio range at
the end. But I'll keep tweaking it.
Thanks to Mike E for hauling the range stuff, and to the
RSOs for volunteering their time on this beautiful day!
Buzz McDermott writes:
I have to say today was a BEAUTIFUL day to be flying
rockets. True to form, I was trying to make it out to the field
by 8:30 so, of course, I didn't get there until after 10. <g>
After quickly pulling out the EZ Up and setting up shop I flew
my first flight of the day: A DG&A Predator on a Econojet G35.
This was the Predator's first flight I was impressed with the
altitude it got. Of course, this was one of the older G35s,
which have a little more impulse than the newer ones, I believe.
Next up was an Edmonds Deltie Thunder on an Estes E9-4.
The more I fly Edmonds gliders the more I am impressed. These
are just too easy and too much fun! The Thunder made a slow,
lumbering climb to a couple of hundred feet and settled into a
plat circular 'glide'. It had time to make three complete
circles before landing in the sod field to the west.
After a stint at range duty I prepped a two-stage kit
bash of two Baby Berthas. I've flown this combo a couple of
times and was looking forward to a great flight on a C6-0 / C6-5
combo. When the stages popped and nothing happened I thought the
upper stage just hadn't lit and watched the rocket arc over.
About the time it hadn't finished arcing and was heading down
the 2nd stage motor finally lit! Tghe rocket accelerated
(although the motor seemed awfully week) down and buried itself
about 5 inches into the sod. I waited for the ejection charge to
pop the aft part of the sustainer up out of the ground but
nothing happened. Strange. When I retrieved the rocket and
examined the damage it got even stranger. Dumb me!! I put the
upper stage motor in BACKWARDS! Despite that, it still lit -
through the clay cap, even. That was why it took so long to
light, why it was such a weak looking burn and why there was no
Never discouraged, I tried prepped another two-stage kit
bash, this one from two Goblin kits. I chose a C11-0/C11-5 combo
hoping it wouldn't go TOO high. I also swapped out the 12" chute
for a metallic streamer. Unfortunately, I hadn't had time to
paint this rocket, yet. It just had a white primer coat. And the
sky was starting to get a big cloudy. Nice, white clouds. I lost
sight of the rocket as soon as it left the pad. I heard it was a
real good flight. <g> Fortunately one of the younger sets of
eyes actually followed the whole flight and pointed me in the
right direction for a successful recovery.
Yes, it was a wonderful day for flying with mild
temperatures, lots of sun and a light breeze to keep us all cool
- can;t wait for the August launch!
Ken Jarosch writes:
Paul and I arrived about 8:50 am in order to help Mike
set up shop. The 3 of us had this pretty well done around 9:25
am. Paul was first in line to try a Cinco Saucer.
I was back to using up my old Aerotech reloads starting
at 1999 forward. I used my last 1999 E28-4T(2) in
the Longer Better Bertha. I salvaged the Nose Cone and Fins from
the Estes Super Bertha that did the Hindenberg on a old D12
several years ago.
The L.B. Bertha has a length of 42" by the BMS 34" body
tube. The upgrades include a HD BMS motor and stuffer
tube, Loc plywood CTRs and a Top Flight 30" thin mill nylon
chute. On the E28 the Bertha had a nice high flight with a lot
of float. Not much winds.
Now that NAR ok'd the F39-6T(3) this Spring I have 3
pkgs to use up. These were bought in 2000. I put one F39
in my Aerotech Arreaux (Arrow). It had the usual fast take
off with little noise. The rocket went over the top and a ways
down before ejection. I meant to time the flight to check the
delay but I forgot at the time. I may be getting the full 6
Seconds and need to drill a few off.
Next I had to clean up one of my last S.U. motors. Since
today was Scale theme I put a 2003 E30-4T in my Estes Maxi
Honest John for a very nice flight. The D12's just don't do it.
I upgraded this kit to 2 Top Flight 24" Nylon chutes. Both parts
floated down gently. As a matter of fact the nose cone floated
for quite a long time. Too long. On a windy day I might have
lost it on the 24" chute. May change to a 18" for the NC.
The next scale rocket was the H.V. Arcas on a F40-4w.
This was a 2004 reload that was very badly oxidized. But I tried
it anyway on the included copperhead. There was a slight delay
but it flew great. The chute and payload section landed in the
grass but the tail section went in the drink. But that was only
thick mud so nothing was damaged.
By then we had to leave so Paul could get a little
shut-eye before work. I had a lot of Egg Lofters to test but
that will have to wait on another day.
Paul Jarosch writes:
Yesterday's launch was great day. I flew several
rockets, but the two of the were "experimental" flights. First
was my "BOINKing Green Noodle" (made from a foam "fun-noodle").
On a C6-3 it got lobbed up about 50+ feet and fin can popped off
and floated back to the ground. The noodle came in nose first,
but safely and boinked on the ground. It was funny seeing it
fly. I flew it a second time to when more people showed up for a
demo. The second experimental flight was an approximate 3x
scale-up of The Estes Tornado. I
flew it on a D12-3, just to see what its flight characteristics
were. The bottom half fluttered down, like the original, but the
front section nose-dived, but flapped back and forth for a
semi-safe, landed. A slight crunch on the tube, but still
flyable. I am going to remove some nose-weight and try it on a
D15 reload. I am trying to get it to spin flat like my original
I flew my Ican II as well. Went straight up as usually,
but right before ejection, it did a fish-tail woble thing,
which it has never done before. It was interesting to see, but
confusing as to the reason...
John Carlson writes:
It was a great day for a launch. Sons Austin,
Quinn and my self arrived about 10:30 and proceeded to launch
the following rockets.
Quest Astra twice on a A6-4
Estes Mach 12 twice on a B6-4 Austin's picnic door prize rocket.
Estes echostar B6-0/A8-5 Quinn's picnic door prize rocket
Scratch built Estes sprite 3X D12-5
Custom Galileo A6-4
Estes Viking A6-4
25+ year old Estes demon C11-5, Sorry Mark we didn't get a
chance to drag race ours, Had to head home for the honey-do list
as company was coming over. we'll have to try next time
Big Bertha D12-5
25+ year old Patriot missile B6-4
25+ year old Mercury Redstone
Cloned Estes Alien Explorer C6-3
Scratch build 3X Estes starblazer on a G38-4
Everything went great, except for a broken fin on the Viking,
the redstone's chute didn't deploy, but it wasn't damaged other
than that it was a load of fun.
Buzz, thanks for letting Austin stand under your tent and thanks
for the choc/chip cookies.
Full launch tally (in Adobe Acrobat PDF form, requires version
or newer of the Acrobat reader)
The totals were: 92 flights, 101 motors. The cumulative
total impulse was 4261 Ns with an average total impulse of 42.2 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: