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Last updated: Jan 31, 2010
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March 2014 launch report

On Saturday, March 29th, MASA held its first launch of 2014. 

This launch was held at the Elk River / Otsego VFW Fields. 

A few of the flights:

MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the launch! 

Michael Farrell writes:

Agreed! Very low winds and bright sunshine made it very comfortable on the field. I think that there were just shy of 50 non-TARC flights, and some unaffiliated park launchers nearby added a half dozen more. I know that there's at least one new member from the day.

I got 17 flights in, and cleared out a lot of 13 and 18 mm engine odds and ends that had accumulated. The field had a lot of standing melt water that was slowly thawing throughout the morning, so a lot of the landings were hard on ice. I snapped a couple fins off, nothing irreparable. I left an Estes 220 Swift on the field somewhere; flying them (or Mosquitos or Quarks) is such a crapshoot.

There were a lot of great flights, lots of C6-5's burned by the Jones. The Isoms and I dragged our Quest Planet Probes, one of my favorite low power activities, and I sent a cheapo Estes Rascal up on a D21-7 for my top flight of the day.

Good to be at it again, that winter was a long break from launching.

Art Gibbens writes:

What a gorgeous day for flying rockets in MN in March! Maybe we can attribute the low turn out to March madness if you didn't come out and join us?

As Neal has already alluded to, the HCA TARC Team came out to fly and get their qualifying flights in for this year's competition. They were able to get in 5 flights before the end of the launch - two trial flights and 3 qualifying flights.

Flight one - perfectly straight, being about 60 feet too high and too long coming down.

Flight two - another straight up flight and the time was only about 4 seconds too long. Unfortunately, the shunt on the altimeter wiggled off and did not give us an accurate reading of the launch altitude.

Third flight - no changes made to the rocket except to tape the shunt into place, just reloaded everything and declared it a qualifying flight. Right off the pad a gust tipped it over and it went no where near high enough and also a shroud line broke and that chute twisted up. It gave them a score of over 116 - not good enough to get them to finals.

Fourth flight - lightened the load just a tad and re-flew. Not quite high enough and the time aloft was insufficient, and got a score of 43+ - again not a low enough score to go to finals. This flight also resulted in a broken fin to body tube joint when it landed on an ice patch. This was mended with super glue for the next flight.

Fifth and final flight - more lightening of the load and a time that fell in the target range of 48 to 50 seconds. Unfortunately it was 22 feet short of 825 feet high for a score of 22. Now we're getting there. But the team was out of time and qualifying flights.

This year's competition requires the teams to add together the two lowest score from the three qualifying flights - so HCA got a 65+ score, which won't be close if things go like they have the last couple of years. I'd guess the cut off for this year will be under 40, and maybe even under 35 - but you never know.

You all should also know that on this past Wednesday afternoon after school when we met for Rocket Club at HCA the rocket had no fins or launch lug on it and the fins were unfinished. The shock cord was not attached to the sustainer and the vents for the altimeter were not drilled. So they busted for two days after school to get it in shape enough to fly. It's been an unusually tough and busy time for the HCA rocketeers this year.

Hopefully next year we'll be able to get in some trial flying before having to qualify on only one day's worth of flights. It's a young team and everyone will be back for next year - hopefully better things to come.

If you weren't there, you missed a great day to get out and fly.

Neal Higgins writes:

Thanks everyone who came out today to enjoy the beautiful weather and fly the first 45 flights of the year for MASA.

Kudos to Jennifer Jones on being the 1st MASA flight of the year and to Wilder Parks for closing out our 1st launch with a beautiful flight of your QCC Explorer.

Thanks everyone who helped with range setup and tear down. Thanks Michael for the jump start of my van so I could go home. It turned out this was the original battery in my 2008 Caravan.

I only flew micromaxx rockets today. The first was a 2 stage Fliskits Doubles followed by a MACME Shrew (micro acme spitfire) and finally on the 2nd try a Fliskits Micro Deuces Wild (both motors lit).

Congratulations to the TARC team on your flights and good luck to those flying in Apple Valley tomorrow. May your weather be as great as we had today.

Jon Isom writes:

What a day to launch! Sunny, warm for March and no wind. Started with a few builds completed this winter - Semroc Explorer and Custom Rockets Ion Pulsar. Both nice flights with the Ion Pulsar landing vertical in the softening snow. Launched the Executioner on a E9-8 which was a little long on the delay and ripped the chute off of the shroud lines when deployed. The rocket tumbled very nicely to the ground with no damage except a small zipper. The parachute drifted off somewhere. Also had a chute deployment issue on a Big Daddy but again tumbled safely down without damage except for the chute. Planet Probe drag race, Baby Bertha and Blue Ninja rounded out the day.

Lots of other fun to see fly the other flights as well - TARC qualifiers, tiny rockets, square rockets, lighthouses.

The Details:

Full launch tally (PDF)

The totals were:  x flights with x motors burned. The motor breakdown follows:

Type

# Burned

MicroMaxx  

1/4A

 

1/2A

 

A

 

B

 

C

 

D

 

E

 

(Alan Estenson)

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