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Last updated: Apr 28, 2003
Site hosted courtesy of the
Minnesota Rocketry Network
Alan Estenson, Webmaster

April 25 2003 launch report (4/28/2003)

A beautiful Friday afternoon.  A big launchin' field.  Rockets to fly.  What more could you want?

With the clock ticking down towards the loss of MASA's Blaine flying site, a handful of MASA members gathered at the sod farm on the afternoon of Friday, April 25 for an "extra" launch.  With notification in place, leisurely flying went from noon up until 7 pm.  It was a nice, sunny afternoon with blue skies and only an occasional light breeze.

A larger than normal percentage of the 47 flights used F, G, and H motors.  A lot of AP was converted into smoke throughout the afternoon!

A few of the flights:

MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the launch! 

Glen Overby writes:

I hate trees.

I arrived at the sod farm around 1220PM and was the 2nd person there; Ted arrived later.

I flew: Ring Fin Rocket - D12-5 a nice flight.

Sandhawk - F12-5 I think I like F12s! They just need the "right" rocket.

Poof! - H180

This is a 38mm rocket rigged for altimeter deployment. I got some spirals out of it in flight, and it arced into the light wind, towards the Nike-Eating forest. I used a larger drogue 'chute than I needed, and when the main parachute ejected at 500', it didn't open. The rocket landed in a rocket-eating 4" diameter tree on the edge of the field. My 20' fishing rod was long enough to hit the fin can, but the body was quite a few feet higher.

I tried a few hooks (including a screwdriver) and all came off my fiberglass pole. I resorted to converting a 1/8" rusted steel launch rod into a hook. With that, I hooked the shock cord and was able to REALLY shake the tree, yet it kept it's grip on the main parachute. When Stuart and Ellison Lenz arrived, they loaned me a couple of 4' steel pipes. That allowed me to hook the rocket up by the main parachute and I eventually rrrripped the branch off.  The upper portion of the body tube came down a ways, but the shock cord was still hooked over a branch. I taped a sharp knife to the fishing rod and cut the fin can out of the tree! Yay, I got my motor casing back! Now for the altimeter. I considered slicing the shock cord to the main parachute, but first tried hooking and pulling... it came down. About 3 hours for one rocket retrieval.

Alan says that forest will get cut down when the developer comes for it.

Generic "B" - E9-6 nice flight, but I lost a fin

Generic "A" - D21-7 CATO! Time to find a MESS form. I wonder how to dispose of the grain?

Nike-Cajun - F22-6  Zoom! 1600' according to my altimeter. The rocket played "chicken" with one of the moats -- had it drifted one foot less it would have gone in the drink.

Alan Estenson writes:

A lovely spring day, an afternoon off from work, and AP to burn.  Woohoo!

I started off by testing the winds with my Super Duper Blobbo on a D12-5.  Beautiful flight and very little wind to drift it away.  Quickly following it was my Super Duper V2 (they had metallic purple and gold V2's, right?) on an E9-6.  Now people, that first "LCO killer" flight of this V2 was an anomaly; it has flown perfectly every time since then.  Really.  I mean it.

With the black powder out of the way, I turned my attention to burning some serious AP.  I had quite a stock of "baby H" motors and a need to use them up before "BATF day" at the end of May.  First up was my 3" upscale Der Big Red Max on an H180.  This rocket is only 1 for 3 at the Blaine field; I got to rebuild it after 2 of the flights.  Boost was great, but the nose cone drag separated right after motor burnout.  The rocket continued a spiraling climb followed by a tumbling descent.  Finally, at about 150', the parachute made an appearance.  Ted assured me that the flight still counted as "good", so that rocket ends its Blaine career at a 50% success rate.

Next, I tossed an H123 in my LOC Cyclotron for a nice flight.  To come in under the weight limit, this rocket traded its transition and upper body tube for a regular, lighter nose cone.  Following it was another tube fin rocket - "Starstruck VI" on an H165 Redline.  [To everyone curious about that name, read the first chapter of "Rocket Ship Galileo" by Robert A. Heinlein.]  Going for a bit more altitude next, my (stretched, zipperless) LOC Hi-tech moseyed skyward on an H73.

Four H's down, three more to go...  "Eight" thundered upwards on top of an H210 Redline.  This rocket has 8 tube fins and 4 regular fins.  The Hi-tech had begged for a bit more speed, so it next had a whiplash-style flight in front of an electric blue H242.  My trusty Warrior 214 (Solar Warrior upscale) has flown on a variety of F and G motors over the years, but I'd never dared put an H in it.  Until now.  Hurtling towards the heavens on an H128, I found myself wishing that I'd done so long before.  Talk about fun!

Scaling back, I decided that it was time to boost the Super Duper V2 on 100% of design-rated power, an F21.  Wow!  Since I hadn't flown a G motor yet, my PML IO was launched next on a G35.

To finish out the day, I decided to "bet the farm" on my new VB Extreme 29.  This minimum diameter 29mm rocket had yet to make a first flight, so I decided to skip all the intermediate steps and go "full up" with a G25 that had been languishing in my motor stockpile for several years.  Wow again!  The 15 second delay was on the long side, and it's a good thing that I poured in some orange tracking powder.  After a long trek to the far south end of the sod, I brought back the Extreme 29 with 3,624 feet beeping on the Rocketronics altimeter.

I probably set several unofficial MASA launch records:  seven H motors flown by one person during one launch day, 1,770 N-s worth of motors burned by one person during one launch day, highest verified altitude at a MASA launch - 3,624 feet.

It was a good day.  To be a perfect day, I would've remembered sunscreen.  #ouch#

Stuart Lenz writes:

Today's weather turned out to be perfect for large rockets and large engines.

In preparation for my level 1 flight tomorrow, today I launched my PML Phobos on a G80-7, which will also have to be my level 1 rocket because my PML Little Lunar Express and Pterodactyl Jr both turned out to be too heavy to launch at the Blaine site. As my first AeroTech reloadable engine, I borrowed a 24 mm case from Glen (Thanks Glen) and launched "George" with a D15-7.

I also launched my Loc Legacy on a G40-10, not as high as some of Alan's, but seemed to stay up forever, even on the 12" chute. Ellison and I arrived a little after 4:00.  Ellison then spent the next hour helping Glen retrieve a rocket from the Eastern Forest and you guessed it, the casing that I need for my level 1 flight was in that rocket. Ellison then launched my PML Tiny Pterodactyl, lost sight of it after deployment and spent the next hour looking through all of the adjacent field before locating it near the Southern Tree Line.

Ted Cochran writes:

Friday the memorable flights were a Big Daddy on four A10-PTs and a D12-7, followed by two more flights on F21-6 Econojets. That's a terrific motor for that rocket! I also attempted (for only the second time) a five D12-5 flight of Ted's Testbed, but one of the motors didn't light (even though Thumper vaporized the igniter).

The Details:

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

The totals were:  47 flights, 62 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 3129 Ns with an average total impulse of 50.5 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0





















(Alan Estenson)

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