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Last updated: August 26, 2001
Site hosted courtesy of the
Minnesota Rocketry Network
Alan Estenson, Webmaster

August 2001 launch report (8/26/2001)

Beware the fog...

On Saturday, August 25, quite a crowd drove out to the sod farm, eager to partake in the burning of solid propellants.  What they found, though, was a 300 foot cloud ceiling and thick fog.  Not to be denied, range setup started around 9:30 and was finished by a bit after 10.  Sitting around and waiting for conditions to clear gave everyone time to prep rockets.

Finally, after 11, a few test rockets took to the air and flying was opened up through B engines.  About half an hour later, flying was opened through E engines.  About 1 in the afternoon, with skies opening up and the ceiling up to 1,400 ft, the big rockets were loosed from their cages...  It turned into a beautiful day, and launching went on until after 3pm.

A big thanks to:

  • Ted Cochran, for hauling out all the gear
  • LCO volunteers:  Alan Estenson, Ted Cochran, Mark Thell, Joe Kimmes, Tim Bush, Jeff Hove
  • RSO volunteers:  Walter Kjellander, Russ Durkee
  • Everyone who came early and/or stayed late to help with the range equipment

The theme of this launch was "It's a sci-fi world."  One special event was the 3rd Annual Great UFO Drag Race.  This year, 8 UFO's were set upon the model rocket racks.  The Estes Snitch dominated along with a couple Quest UFO's and one scratchbuilt Tri-F-O.  In addition, a MicroMaxx UFO was set up to the side on its own pad.  On the count of one, the button went down and ALL NINE of the saucers took to the air.  (Participants were:  Mark Thell, Ellison Lenz, Seth Cochran, Ted Cochran, Dave Fergus, Alan Estenson, Mike Kutzke and Mollie Frisvold.)  It was an incredible sight and a lot of fun!  If you missed it, be sure to attend next August for the 4th annual UFO drag race.

Another special event was a Silver Comet drag race.  Since only 4 Silver Comet's were presented at the pads, a Big Daddy and a V2 also joined them.  Keeping the streak alive, all 6 rockets successfully launched!  (Participants were:  Alan Estenson, Ted Cochran, Dave Gensler, Dave Fergus, Jeff "Big Daddy" Hove, and Neal "V2" Higgins.)

During the first couple racks of rockets, Walter Kjellander gave away 2 Estes Firestreak kits.  Walter also did stellar duty as he served THREE RSO shifts.  Thanks, Walter!

The winners of the July 1/2A streamer duration contest were also presented with their prizes and ribbons.  Congratulations!

A few of the flights:

In keeping with the theme of the launch, a number of "sci-fi" type rockets took to the skies in addition to the UFO's and Silver Comet's.  Ken Jarosch flew an Alien Space Probe on a C5-3, a Strike Fighter on a C5-3,and a Super Vega on a D12-3.  Quinn Carlson flew a Redi-Roc Raider on an A10-3t.  Mollie Frisvold flew a Quest Intruder on a B6-4.  

For the Star Wars contingent, Mike Kutzke flew a Star Wars Y-Wing on a B6-4.  Austin Carlson flew a small R2-D2 on an A10-3t.  Paul Newswanger flew a big R2-D2 on a C6-5.  R2 didn't deploy his chute in time and went BONK on his head.  Mike Kutzke flew a mini Naboo Royal Starship on an A10-3t.  Joe Schneider launched a Tie Fighter using a C6-3 and then an Explorer Aquarius on a D12-3.

 Joel Henry flew a Mini Marz Lander on an A3-4t.  Lee Frisvold flew a 30-year-old Mars Lander on a C6-3.  Rick Vatsaas flew his kit-bashed Silver Comet, "Kidd Plasma's Flaming Atomic Metor of Justice" on a G35 for a great looking flight.

Jeff Hove flew vintage Centuri Orion ("2 foot ejection at the crowd line gives us nervous fits") and Taurus rockets on B6-4's.  Later, Jeff flew his 25-year-old Estes Trident on a C6-5.  Larry Schwartz flew an Estes Nightwing on a B6-4.  Rick Vatsaas flew a Custom Satellite Drone on a C6-5 (and it was stable this time.)  Alan Estenson flew a Custom Dynamic Carrier on a B6-4, Warrior 56 on a C6-5, Warrior 214 on a G38, "Wanderer" on an E15, Invader on a C6-0, the Monolith on a C5-3, and his flying pyramid "Khufu's Revenge" on an E15.

John Carlson followed up on his amazing scale showing last month with an impressive number of scifi launches this month.  He flew:  an Enterprise-E on a C6-3, a 25-year-old Mars Lander on a C5-3, a Centuri Orion clone on a C6-5, a Star Blazer on an A10-3t, a 25 year old Mars Snooper on a B6-6, a 20 year old Mars Snooper II on a B6-6, and Odyssey on a C6-5.

For one of the "cooler" flights of the day, Tim Bush flew his 2.3x upscale Orbital Transport on a G38.  This year, it's sporting shiny white paint and a full decal set.  Boost was great, and the glider separated and flew incredibly well.  The only little problem was a broken fin on the booster at landing.  Tim also flew "Beldar" on a cluster of 2 C6-5's.

A few gliders took to the air during the day.  Ken Jarosch had an amazingly good flight of his Estes Tomcat on a C5-3.  Ted Cochran flew his Edmonds RCX rocket glider and his Holverson Swinger (trying to assassinate former club president Russ Durkee when the Swinger decided to take a nose dive behind Russ as he was busy piloting his Cuda.)

The Radio Control group didn't fare too well.  Russ Durkee had several good flights of his Cuda R/C rocket glider.  Damian Kostron had many small pieces to collect after his Cuda went horizontal after ignition and plowed into the sod.  (Sorry Damian)  Joe Schneider also tried to fly his Cuda, but discovered that the controls had been inadvertently reversed.  Fortunately, damage was relatively minor.

Lee and Mollie Frisvold had great F20-powered flights of a LOC Graduator and Onyx.  The Onyx flew again later on a G35.  Damian Kostron flew a nice Centuri Little Joe II on an E11.  Joel Henry flew a #30 Japanese Artillery Rocket on a F23 and a Gekko on an E15.  Dan vanDyke went for some serious altitude with his Aerotech Mustang on a G40.  Unfortunately, the rocket was lost from sight.  Larry Schwartz put his new BSD Horizon on a quick diet (with Ted Cochran's help) to keep it under the weight limit and fly it on a G64.

The 2 H flights of the day were Dan Nestor with his Blue Streak and Ed Ryan with his RD3, both on H128's.  Dan also flew a new ring fin rocket on a G35.  Charlie Curtsinger & Ellison Lenz teamed up to fly their "Phoenix" on a cluster of a C6-5 and 3 B6-2's.  It was their first cluster flight.

Mike Kutzke had an incredible ignition and boost of his Saturn V on a cluster of four B6-4's and a G35.  Unfortunately, neither halves of the rocket managed to come down under chute, thus creating major and minor fenceposts.  A number of other people joined the fencepost club:  Tim Bush with his PML AMRAAM 2 (requiring major excavations), Mike Kutzke again with his Mailing Tube rocket, Mollie Frisvold with the sustainer of her 2-stage Fat Boy, John Carlson with the upper stage of his upscale Apogee II, ...

MASA President Alan Estenson (in between announcements, an LCO shift, and general running around) managed the greatest flight tally with 12.  [No, I don't know how I did it, either. - Alan]    John Carlson had 10 flights, Ellison Lenz & Ted Cochran each had 9, and Ken Jarosch had 8 flights.

In combined totals, the Cochran Crue came out ahead with 11 flights, with the Vatsaas Vanguard and Team Frisvold each having 10 flights.

The Details:

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

The totals were:  182 flights, 195 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 4268 Ns with an average total impulse of 21.9 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 3





















(Alan Estenson)

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