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Last updated: Nov 11, 2000
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August 2000 launch report (8/28/2000)

A spectacular day!

On Saturday August 26, a big group gathered at the sod farm in Blaine for the monthly MASA launch.  The fog and overcast skies worried us while we set up the range, but they quickly cleared.  It ended up being warm and sunny with blue skies and just a light breeze.  We'll fondly remember days like this when we're launching rockets next February.  In total, there were an incredible 201 flights in about five hours.

As always, a big thanks to all the volunteers!  Especially:

  • LCO's: Mark Thell, Steve Robb, Glen Overby, Mike Martens, Art Gibbens, Tim Bush
  • RSO's: Russ Durkee, Kerry Hodges, Lee Frisvold, Steve Hum, Ted Cochran, Alan Estenson

We're always looking for new volunteers to fill these positions during the launch.  If you'd like to serve the club, talk to any of these people and they can fill you in on the duties involved.  Thanks also to Mark Thell for carting around the range equipment!

While the day didn't have any official theme, it did have the "2nd Annual Great UFO Drag Race".  Also, everyone had been encouraged to bring out their OddRocs to add to the fun!

Once again, the unstoppable flying combo of Lee and Mollie Frisvold had the largest number of flights with 18.  Alan Estenson and his niece Alexandra were right behind them with 17 flights.  Lee, Mollie, and Alexandra tied for the most flights with 9 apiece.  Alan Estenson, Mark Thell, and Steve Robb were right behind them with 8 flights each.

Just a few memorable flights: (there were tons of great launches!)

Steve Robb flew his Holverson Swinger a couple times on C engines.  Then, he must have felt that it needed more power, so he tried a D21.  The result was an incredibly spectacular shred as it exceeded the speed of balsa; bits and pieces were raining from the sky!  [I hereby nominate this flight for a 2000 Prang Award.]  To get the urge for speed out of his system, Steve flew his 3FNC on an H123 and later on an H242 for two of the five H-powered launches of the day.

There were several successful and not so successful staged flights throughout the day.  Lee Frisvold had a great flight of his 2-stage Fat Boy on a D12-0 to C6-5.  Lee's luck didn't hold out for his Estes Comanche-3 flight; it failed to light the second stage (ouch).  Art Gibbens had an impressive flight of his 2-stage Saturn V on a D12-0 to D12-3.  Don Green's and Mollie Frisvold's Estes Long Shot's also didn't light their upper stages.  Brian Handeland and Alan Estenson had better luck with their Long Shot's.  Craig Hansen successfully flew an Estes Mongoose on a C6-0 to C6-7 for the first time.  Ed Ryan flew his Custom Lightnin' twice.  The first time, it stuck on the rod while the first stage burned, then staged and finished the flight successfully.  The second time, a faulty D12-0 caused us to hold our breath as the rocket literally hovered in the air before staging and arcing off into the brush.  Later, Mollie Frisvold successfully flew her Quest Zenith II on a C6-0 to a C6-5.

Tony Pray flew an Estes Mean Machine twice on E30 motors.  A Mean Machine just doesn't look right when it moves that fast!  Tony also flew his new LOC EZI-65 on a G80 for an impressive, low altitude, maiden flight.  Ed Ryan flew his cool-looking, scratchbuilt "Bat Rocket" a couple times on G motors.  Ted Cochran flew his "Slingwing" on a 1/2A3-2t.  This is the boost glider that he used to take first place, C division, in A boost glide competition a few weeks ago at NARAM 42.

Russ Durkee had his Cuda R/C boost glider along and flew it several times throughout the day on D and E motors.  Tim Bush flew his incredible new 2.3x upscale Orbital Transport twice on G38 motors.  It worked great both times!  Brian Handeland had everybody looking for the Estes Quark that he "disappeared" on an A3-4t.  The Quark finally turned up at the very end of the day.

Tim Bush and Steve Hum drag raced their PML AMRAAM 2 rockets on a G35 and G33.  It was a great race with a near-simultaneous liftoff.  Mark Thell had a great maiden flight of his NCR Lance Beta on a G35; he also had a nice flight of his LOC Forte on a G64.  Andy Jirele also had a good first flight of his NCR SA-14 Archer on a F62.  Alan Estenson flew his "Big Bad Voodoo Daddy" for the first time on a D12-3.  He promises to fly it (someday) on the full cluster of four C's and a D.  Glen Overby had the last flight of the day with his scratchbuilt Apache on an H180.  This rocket was equipped with an altimeter for "dual deployment", but while it popped the drogue at apogee, we never saw the main chute.

The 2nd Annual UFO Drag Race proved to be a great deal of fun!  Seven UFO's took to the sky almost simultaneously for a low altitude spectacle.  We'll try for even more flying saucers next year!

The Details:

Full launch tally (in Adobe Acrobat PDF form)

The totals were:  201 flights, 216 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 6543 Ns with an average total impulse of 30.3 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0





















(Alan Estenson)

A few launch comments contributed by Ted Cochran (Thanks, Ted!)

There were a ton of nice flights. I missed a bunch while prepping, retrieving, etc, but I do particularly remember....

  • The D12-0s that acted like A10-0s, if not 1/2A3s. And the fact that THOSE rockets staged, whereas at least one other didn't, even though the boost was perfect
  • The spectacular shred of the Swinger, which really didn't appreciate flying on a D21 instead of a C6-3.... In Richter scale terms, it may just have exceeded the shred of a certain webmaster's BG awhile back, except that the raining balsa didn't smoke.....As RSO, I was pleased to note that none of the pieces made it outside of the safety circle, but I was miffed for not catching the motor combination....
  • A bunch of absolutely vertical, no hint of a spin flights by Alan (Seth caught the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in flight. Film at 11).
  • The AMRAAM drag race (More film at 11).
  • The rather astonishing near simultaneous liftoff of a flock of UFOs....way better than last year!
  • The G25-10 drag race, with one rocket that I heard chuffing for it seemed like ten seconds (I couldn't watch, because the other rocket was mine and it was trying to fly to the road. Didn't make it, although it did get over the power line....)
  • Russ' nice Cuda flights
  • Tim Bush's two perfect astonishing flights of his huge new orbital transport clone
  • The LCOs--great job, guys--the rate was excellent, and a lot of useful information went out, too!

(Ted Cochran)

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