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Woodbury Cub Scout Launch (8/5/2009)

I want to thank all of the Masa members who volunteered their time to come and help out with this outreach.  [Buzz McDermott, Art Gibbens, Rick Vatsaas, Neal Higgins, Jason Colt] Those who were not able to make it missed a great time. I showed up right at 6 pm and a couple of other MASA members were already there to meet me. We set up shop in the middle of the field next to the church. I brought along my 4-pad controller. This group was right at the limit of what a 4 pad setup can handle but we made do with it. We did actually get through over 100 flights in 90 minutes! My unit has four separate launch buttons. After about 30 minutes, I started having the kids launch their rockets together. Since they could still all launch their own rockets they loved the 'drag race' aspect of the launches.

One of the boys had bought an original MPC Flat Cat kit at a garage sale and built the glider himself. He flew the glider three times in all. All three were very nice flights. The first was on an A8-3 and he decided that just wasn't 'enough' so for the next two flighte he used B6-4 motors. The breeze was blowing in the direction of the corn field (last year it was 'switch grass') and the 3rd flight was so good that the glider drifted well into the corn. The whole time it looked like it was 'trying' to turn into the wind to stay closer to the pads. The old Stine Flat Cats are like that. It is a real classic of a design.

Another boy brought along his Cici Express but didn't have any motors for the first stage. I donated a C11-0 to the cause and that turned out to be a great booster for the field size. Both stages worked great on the first try and the whole pack loved the flight.

Despite angling the rockets a little up wind and reefing shroudlines we still lost a few of the rockets to the corn field. This was because the Pack had brought along B6-4 motors to fly. I had recommended A8-3 but they already had a number of B6-4 boxes left over from prior launches. The Pack leader told me he had more boxes of C6-5s than B6-4s and was originally planning to bring those!

One of the mothers that came to the launch said she took about 200 pictures with her Cannon EOS. I saw a preview of a few of them and she got in some great launch shots. She took my address and said she would mail me a CD of the full sized photos. Cannon makes an awfully nice digital SLR. I can't wait to get the photos. I will certainly pass them on to the club when I receive them.

We had one rocket that got hung on the pad and I guess it won the 'closest return and lowest flight' of the day award. We also had one launch which took the launch rod with it. We were using Estes plastic pads (to keep the rods low where the boys could reach the top). I guess the rod wasn't secure enough in the pad or was fitted into the 3/6 slot on the pad instead of the 1/8 slot. This is just another data point to add to safety checks of the equipment prior to starting a launch - making sure all of the launch rods are SECURE.

The high point of the launch was of course Mr Spudnik on an E9-4. I will defer the description of that flight to others.

I had a great time. More importantly, I am pretty sure all of the cubs (and siblings) had a great time. It looked like most of the parents were having a good time. The parents and pack leaders were all very appreciative of the support from MASA and are planning to do this again next year. We arrived at six, flew over 100 rockets and left by 8. It was a VERY successful outreach for MASA!

 [Buzz McDermott]

What a blast! It was very rewarding to have over 50 children with parents in tow all excited about launching their rockets. Most of them were Alpha 3s and generic E2Xs flying on B6-4s. The first couple of rockets drifted into the adjacent field of "switch grass" so we started reefing the shroud lines so the parachutes were more like streamers and most of the remaining flights landed on the field. I manned the prep table for the evening and during the whole process there were only 4 field repairs - one body tube to fin canister needed to be attached, two launch lugs and one fin. We went through four and a half 24 count blast-off packs of B6-4s, plus some kids brought their own engines. (I bet I loaded half of the rockets flown, all the while demonstrating to the fliers how to do it so they could do their own the next
time.)

I heard that 45 children had signed up and every one of them flew twice, plus there were at least two "different" models flown. One was a two stage model and the other was a boost glider. And Spudnick made an appearance, but I'll let others tell that story. I'd guess we flew in the neighborhood of 110 flights or so in an hour and a half - things were hopping. Expect another call next year as many of the parents were VERY thankful that we could bring out the gear and that we were so willing to volunteer to help make the launch a success.

[Art Gibbens]

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