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Last updated: June 24, 2001
Site hosted courtesy of the
Minnesota Rocketry Network
Alan Estenson, Webmaster

June 2001 launch report (6/23/2001)

If you keep repressing your pent up desire to launch rockets, eventually you're just going to explode...and that would be bad.

On Saturday, June 23, one of the biggest groups ever to attend a MASA launch congregated at the sod farm in Blaine.  It was a beautiful day - warm, sunny, but with an annoying breeze.  Of course, the perfect weather had arrived 24 hours too early.  Many familiar faces were there as well as some new ones; one visitor from Georgia came to fly with us.  On behalf of MASA, I'd like to welcome all of our visitors and new rocketeers!  I hope that you'll be back for more...

The range looked very impressive!  The safety line was roped-off; there were 2 PA systems with 4 speakers, and there were 2 independent 8-pad ranges set up.  The "near" range was limited to model rockets using up through D engines.  This range was kept very busy throughout the day.  Out further, the "far" range was used for bigger rockets with bigger motors, and "scary" things that we wanted far, far away... (just kidding).  It worked very well, and we plan to use this configuration again next month.

A big thanks to:

  • Steve Robb, for hauling out all the gear
  • LCO volunteers:  Steve Robb, Kerry Hodges, Art Gibbens, Kent Peterson, Glen Overby, Alan Estenson
  • RSO volunteers:  Alan Estenson, Steve Hum, Ted Cochran, Walter Kjellander, Steve Robb
  • Everyone who came early and/or stayed late to help with the range equipment

A few of the flights:

 The theme of the launch was "Going crazy - in stages".  Everyone was encouraged to fly their 2 and 3 stage rockets.  In spite of the breeze, the theme was a great success, and more boosters were seen tumbling out of the sky than at any previous MASA launch.  In total, there were 23 2-stage flights and 6 3-stage flights.  In spite of these big numbers, there were only 2 (?) staging failures!  Great job, everybody!  Jeff Hove had the first 2-stage flight of the day with his "Wind Test Dummy".  Jeff also flew his old Estes Beta and Centuri Arrow 300.  Art "King of Staging" Gibbens seemed to fly 2-stage rockets continuously all day.  The peasants were threatening to revolt, however, after the attempted first flight of his 3-stage Maxi Alpha 3; there was much excitement...  The (sadly discontinued) B6-0 was the booster motor of choice for most flights.  With the impending decertification of the A8-5, B4-6, and B8-5, many of those motors were seen in upper stages.  Lee & Mollie Frisvold flew several multi-stagers, including Lee's vintage Farside X.  Steve Robb flew his Comanche-3 with a "full-up" motor load.  This rocket has an onboard altimeter!  Steve also flew his ring-tail Comanche 3-stager.  Ted Cochran flew his Comanche-3 and Custom Lightnin'.

For every successful multi-stage flight, the flier got to throw their name into the "hat".  At three times throughout the day, a name was drawn from the hat, and that person won a kit from Custom Rockets.  The winners were:  Jeff Hove, Steve Robb, and Art Gibbens.  The kits were donated by Hub Hobby Center of Little Canada.

The contest was A boost glider duration; Ted Cochran was the contest director.  With the stiff breeze, most people elected to leave their b/g's on the ground instead of chasing after them; there were only 3 entrants.  Seth Cochran, who won first place, had a time of 44.4 seconds with his Deltie.  David Fergus, who won second place, had his first flight (15.5 seconds) disqualified because his booster lacked a recovery device.  His first flight tallied 21.5 seconds.  Alan Estenson also flew his Deltie for a time of 51.8 seconds, but his time was disqualified because the nosecone separated from the booster pod at ejection.

There were a lot of great flights!  Only a scarce few will be mentioned here.

Tom Brekke came down from Duluth, joined MASA, and then achieved a successful level one high power certification with his NCR Archer on an H128-s.  Congratulations Tom!  Steve Robb had two of the other H flights:  his new upscale Estes Bomarc on an H128, and his Extreme Stovi on an H180.  The Stovi used altimeter-based dual deployment, but Steve admits now that it works better when he remembers to put the main chute in the rocket.  (He and Dave Fergus are starting a club.)  Glen Overby flew his Apache on an H180 with dual-deployment.

John Carlson flew a very nice 3X upscale Estes Sprite on a D12-3 and a 4x upscale Star Blazer on a G38.  Lee Grimm tried out his piston launcher for the first time with some rockets designed for 1/2A streamer duration.  Dean Peterson got the adrenaline pumping when his Initiator went unstable off the pad on an E15.  Steve Robb flew the "Lampshade of Doom" on a F24 (lowest F flight of the day, by far).  Rick Vatsaas wins the best name award for flying his "Fierce, Bad Rabbit" on a F20.  Alex Howard flew his Astrobee D (built the previous day) on a G35; it was his first "big" rocket flight.

Kent Peterson wins the perseverance award; he only flew 4 rockets, but used about 16 igniters.  Barry Pieterson flew some nice rockets:  his chrome finish PML Phantom on a G40 and his 2.5x upscale SR71 on a G80.  Jeff Hove flew his NCR Archer on a G80.  It was equipped with a magnetic apogee detector for apogee parachute deployement.  There were many first flights of new, big rockets:  Mollie Frisvold with her Graduator, Dan Nestor with his Initiator, Dave Fergus with his Black Brant VB, and Doug DeBold with his AMRAAM 2.

Family launching:  There was a 3-way tie between the Gibbens Group, the Fergus Family, and the Vatsaas Vanguard, all with 11 flights.  Right behind them, the Cochran Crew had 9, and the Frisvold's had 8.  Dave Fergus had the most flights of any one person with 10.

The Details:

Full launch tally (in Adobe Acrobat PDF form, requires version 4 or newer of the Acrobat reader)

The totals were:  163 flights, 198 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 5688 Ns with an average total impulse of 28.7 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0





















(Alan Estenson)

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