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Last updated: July 29, 2002
Site hosted courtesy of the
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Alan Estenson, Webmaster

July 2002 launch report (7/28/2002)

4th Annual MASA Scale Event!

On Saturday, July 27, a big crew went up to the sod farm in Blaine for the regular July launch.  17 pads were set up in two ranges, and they were kept busy from 10am until 2:30 pm.  Weather was warm and a bit breezy.  Clouds moved in during the late morning, and the skies opened up just as the range was being disassembled and packed.  It was a very successful launch with 179 flights!

A big thanks to: 

  • Ted Cochran and Mike Kutzke for hauling out the gear
  • RSO volunteer:  Steve Hum.  Steve served as RSO all day!  [wow - applause!]
  • LCO volunteers:  Glen Overby, Ed Eastman, Leland Cheng, Stuart & Ellison Lenz, Alan Estenson, Art Gibbens
  • Everyone who helped set up and pack away the equipment.  Especially everybody who stayed and got soaked rushing to pick up everything in the rain.

This was MASA's 4th Annual Scale Event.  A number of scale models of missiles, airplanes, satellite launchers, space boosters, and sounding rockets took to the skies throughout the day.

Many NARTREK flights were made during the day.  A number of people were successful - particularly with the NARTREK Bronze parachute duration flight.  Others tried their hand at the other Bronze flights - D motor, streamer duration, and 2-stage.  A few NARTREK Silver flights took place, also!

A few of the flights:

Scale flights [apologies for any I missed]:

  • Ed Eastman - Nike Smoke
  • David Whitaker - SR-71, AMRAAM, Sidewinder
  • John Carlson - WAC Corporal, V2, Honest John
  • Kirsten Hoyme - WAC Corporal
  • Mike Kutzke - Harpoon
  • Art Gibbens - X-15
  • Todd Carpenter - SR-71
  • Stuart Lenz - Nike Smoke, V2
  • Neal Higgins - Black Brant
  • Alan Estenson - V2 (super duper purple & gold version!), Blossom (V2), Sidewinder
  • Leland Cheng - Honest John, V2
  • Ron Hammer - PAC-3
  • Ted Cochran - Titan IIIE, Saturn V
  • Glen Overby - Aerobee 350, Nike-Ajax

Alan Estenson flew two new scratchbuilt rockets, the Xactron Projectile and the EZC6-5, on B motors.  Both designs will eventually appear in the MASA Planet newsletter.  Russ Durkee flew his Cuda radio control boost glider three times on long burn D and E motors.

There were a number of cluster flights.  David Whitaker had a great flight on his LOC Viper 3 on three D12's.  Dan vanDyke flew his upscaled Monarch on three E9's, but it unfortunately took a core sample.  John Carlson launched his SPEV on two C6-7's.  Stuart Lenz tried "United We Stand" on three A8's, but it proved unstable.  Stuart also flew "With Liberty" on three E9's.  The chute failed to make its scheduled appearance, though.  Ted Cochran launched his Titan IIIE on two C6-5's, but it went unstable off the rod.  A second try with two C5-3's and some noseweight proved successful for his NARTREK Silver scale flight.  Glen Overby flew "Ugly Duckling" on three D12's.  Kerry Hodges launches his Gabriel on two C6's and an E9.  Only the C's lit, and the underpowered rocket barely made it off the rod before lawn darting in the sod (and then ejecting.)

Neal Higgins successfully achieved his level 1 high power certification.  He flew his PML X-Calibur on an H123 for a great flight.  Congratulations Neal!  Ted Cochran made the other H flight of the day by putting flight number 20 on his LOC IV; this time on an H180.

John Carlson writes:

I managed to fly only six rockets Saturday. My new Estes V-2 that had a great first flight on a D12-3 and then my modified Estes SPEV with a 2 engine cluster and 8 fins instead of 4. I also got to launch my clone of the original Estes Wac Corporal and a 2x upscale of the same. I forgot the engine retaining plate for the big Wac Corporal that Alan took a picture of.  I guess it will have to wait until Aug now. I did fly my 4x scale Estes Starblazer on a G38-4 thanks to Ted. Great flight I thought.  I should try a G80 in it next time. Then to finish off the scale participation for me was to launch my 25 year old Estes Honest John.

Ted Cochran writes:

My Titan IIIE was almost undamaged [after its "interesting" first flight]. I quickly put the steering tank back on with borrowed CA from Mike Kutzke. Which CA bottle I put into my pocket intending to return it to him right away, but forgot about in the excitement of the reflight, the payload flight, and then the approaching rainstorm, and which CA then leaked completely into my shorts pocket, turning it into the consistency of concrete and nicely stiffening up a good portion of the skin on my leg, too, which by the way if I were of the female gender I wouldn't have to shave any more until oh, a few years from now.  When the skin is all healed. But I digress.

The Titan IIIE flew again a few short minutes later, and quite nicely I might add, once I tore up one of those foam rubber fists someone was handing out and stuffed it into the nose cone for weight.

Todd Carpenter's Death Star was marked down by the LCO as having no chute. Well, Duh...that's why it's called the DEATH Star! Maybe the LCO should get the prang nomination for that one--a brain prang -)

Kerry Hodges' Gabriel would have qualified for a Prang award, but I don't think he even scratched the nose cone. Great idea to augment the weak thrusted E9 with a couple of C6's, the key word being augment (not substitute for).

My Saturn V had a great flight and was recovered unscratched, but lost a fin, the escape tower, an engine nozzle, and a few turbine covers in the haste to reload the car in the rain (all fixable, and better that then that it (or the stuff that landed on it) get wet)

Russ Durkee tested the strength of Cuda wings by looping one under boost.  He actually made the wings sing under tension--sounded just like a Hobie cat in a 20 knot breeze. Terrific recovery, and great flights.

It was, excepting the little Perfect Storm screen test at the end, a terrific launch!

More to come...

The Details:

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

The totals were:  179 flights, 197 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 3740 Ns with an average total impulse of 19 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0





















(Alan Estenson)

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