On Saturday, February 27th, MASA held its second launch of
2010. It was held at Sunrise Park Middle School in White Bear
This launch started at noon with sunshine, blue skies,
temperatures in the low 30's, and a breeze out of the NNW.
A total of 62 flights were recorded on motors
ranging from 1/2A to D.
I showed up about noon, and lots of people were already there
and set up. The snow was remarkably deep.
Neal Higgins was kind enough to lend me his launcher for my
My first launch was my new SteamBoy. The steam fitters went
overboard and the rocket came in really heavy - 6.9oz dry. C6
motors top out at 4oz (wet), so I used my last C5-3. Since that
was out of spec, I asked out resident federal safety expert
(Ted) who explained the safe launch process to me. We doubled
our normal standoff distance, and had a successful launch.
Remarkably straight flight; new parachute and Nomex from Hub
supported a flawless recovery. I was thrilled.
My second launch was a Flis Fric-n-frac (B6-0 to C6-0).
Staging issues, some burn-through at the joint. Too much tape?
Cold slowed down tape release at staging? Oddly enough, the C6-0
popped as if it had a charge in it.
My last launch was an Art Applewhite pyramid on a C6-3. Nice
and straight, everything recovered.
Fun talking with everyone and watching the other launches.
Seeya at the next launch!
Ken Jarosch writes:
Seeing that the snow was deep and we were flying from
mid-field I decided to rely on the Estes controller and Pro Pad
rather then making several trips back and forth with the heavier
equipment. I brought the whole box of rockets out to the site so
as not have to go back each time.
I started out with the GoonyBird Zero on a C6-5. At launch it
took off at a low angle out of the field. The chute opened but
it didn't really drift back. It landed in the top of one of
surrounding trees. Note: This was the best finished rocket of my
Goony Series. Figures.
Next I put up a 18mm Scimitar and 18mm two-part Pyramid on
C6-3 motors. Both got good altitude and stayed close.
The first of my New Quest D5-4 motors was used in a Yellow
Ultra-Delta Saucer. Even in the wind it got a good altitude with
a long burn. It made a large rounded arc near the end of the
burn with the tracking smoke coming all the way down. I never
seen the ejection charge.
The Patriot was launched on a C11-3 with a 12" under-sized
chute. Got good altitude with a long drift. Hard walking in the
snow and crusted layer below.
Next I did something I promised myself I wouldn't do.
Experiment with a Classic SpaceShipEarth Delta Saucer on one on
these NEW D5-4 Quest motors. After about 15-20' in altitude the
motor CATOed and destroyed the Saucer. Parts all over the place.
The D5-4 (28609) blow a hole in the casing at the nozzle and
ejection charge. There was a large split in the casing
length-wise between the two holes
I finished by working on some mini-oddrocs. I flew a
mini-Delta Saucer and a mini Pyramid on A10-PT's. Both went
about 100' and landed close.
Regarding the D5's. The one that flew ok used a liner tube
and the CATOed motor had taped CTR 1.5mm thick IF that had
anything to do with it. Averages 1 for 2 or 0.500 success so
Jeff Taylor writes:
It actually turned out to be a fairly decent day for a winter
launch! The highlight of the day was watching Todd's Steamboy
make its maiden (and perfect) flight. I took a few pictures of
it at take-off, but they didn't turn out too great.
I only made two flights: a Big Bertha on a B6-4 (it landed
only a few feet from the launch area), and a Golden Scout on a
B6-4 (I only saw the puff of ejection smoke and never saw it
again). Thanks to all who helped me look for it though: Ted,
Todd S., Todd C., and Carol. I haven't lost a rocket in quite a
while so I guess my numbers were up.
All in all - not a bad day.
Alan Estenson writes:
For whatever reason, I hadn't expected there to be that much
snow on the field. A couple hours of walking around in it sure
exercised the leg muscles!
I had a total of ten flights - mostly older rockets and
odd-rocs, nothing too exciting. I flew a freshly-built BOINK
stomp rocket on a B6-2. My Alpha on a B4-4 floated off to the
south. I couldn't find it, so it's probably on top of the
In a moment of silliness, I flew my "X-actron Projectile" on
a long-burn Quest C6-5. The nose came off, but the parachute got
stuck. Ted helped me locate it - stuck in the snow in someone's
backyard across the street. Thanks Ted!
I was standing about 20-25 feet away when that D5-4 CATO'ed
and obliterated Ken's saucer. I also bought a couple of those
motors; I'll have to carefully consider what to try them in.
Todd's "Steam Boy" and Jeff's steampunkified ACME Spitfire
were very cool!
Neal Higgins writes:
It was such a beautiful day that I headed to the field early.
I arrived at the field about 11:15 and setup about 50 yds from
the parking lot. The winds were less than 2mph so I thought this
would be far enough out but the winds aloft were stronger. I
loaded up and flew my Ninja on a A3-4T. It flew great and
even with a small streamer it drifted close to the parking
lot. As I was walking back Alan arrived then Glen close behind
him. We decided we needed to move the launch area closer the NW
coner of the field. This was the first launch with my newly
modified camera tripod lauch pad and new controllers. The pad
and controllers worked great. To all who borrowed my setup your
welcome and I was more than happy to have let you all borrow it.
After a couple of flights and being tired of trudging through
the snow I decided to bring out a box full of saucers, pryamids,
gliders, copters and motros. The Art Applewhite 13mm Helix and
13mm DoubleHelix were my favorite flights of the day. I think I
am going to hav e to build another one in 18mm or 24mm. I got in
a total of eleven flights for the day with 1 shredded glider as
the only casuality. Thanks to all who helped carry the MASA
equipment back to my car.
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: 62 flights, 63 motors. The cumulative
total impulse was 430 Ns with an average total impulse of 6.8 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: