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Last updated: Apr. 2, 2004
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March 2004 launch report (4/2/2004)

Windy, overcast, low ceiling - hey, let's fly rockets !

On Saturday, March 27th, a few hardy people ventured to Apple Valley High School.  This was planned as a MASA launch with opportunities for TARC teams to fly.  Unfortunately, the weather just didn't cooperate.  A few crazy people did fly some rockets, though.

A few of the flights:

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

Ken Jarosch writes:

After being away for two years Paul had wanted to go flying with me again. He was anxious to fly his only rocket, a beautifully finished Mean Machine. Paul won this rocket in a parachute duration contest at Hill Murray in '92. He did not build it until he was up in St. Cloud in 2001 and he finished it just last fall with a paint sale at Menards.

He's been home since last fall but always worked on Saturday's. All this pent up demand resulted in his flying the Mean Machine.

He put the rocket on my Propad and waited for a calm spell. It was a majestic flight as with most Mean Machines At launch the rocket took off straight up smoothly with some slight mid body oscillation. It rose right up to the clouds and just disappeared near apogee. Then it briefly reappeared floating horizontal and backwards with no visible chute. It then disappeared again heading towards the evil forest. At this point the chute and rocket were visible at alternate times just skirting theedge of the clouds. When they both became visible together you could just see the chute racing the rocket across the sky to it's end. Of course it landed in the worst of many possible trees.

Paul and I want to thank all who spent almost 1-1/2 hours trying to get it down for Paul.

I just got to try the Orange Bullet and Sparrow on 1/2A3-4T with new 3 body length 35# kevlar shock cords and 3 tandem 1"x10" streamers. they worked good. Drift was to the edge of the woods. All were found and all ok.

Paul wanted to rebuild the Mean Machine but modify it. So I offered to buy the BMS parts he needs to build his new MEANer Machine of his own design. So now a Phoenix out of the ashes. Another father-son project. Great!

Stuart Lenz writes:

Our March launch had everything not needed for rockets, Rain, wind and low ceiling. We were not deterred. Ken, Mike, Ted, Mark, Ellison and I and other MASA members launched several rockets, many of which headed for the trees or the roof, across the street everywhere but on the field. We were launching from the high school in Apple Valley so that the TARC teams could get some practice and qualification flights but the low ceiling prevented any of their flights. Low and slow was the order of the day and by 1030, with wet shoes, we packed up and left.

Ted Cochran writes:

There was a pretty good turnout for such a rotten day--Art brought his team; North brought their team, and about half of the AVHS team was there.

I flew a stomp rocket on a B6-4 which stayed under the clouds, the same rocket on a C6-7 (Thanks, Mark!) which scraped the bottom of the clouds, just disappearing at apogee. When you hit the ceiling with a stomp rocket, you _know_ the ceiling is low.

I also flew my Silver Comet (flight #40) on a D12-5 for which I angled the rod enough to also keep it out of the clouds.

After almost everyone left, another family showed up, but it was just too inclement for them to launch, so they went to the zoo instead.

Art Gibbens writes:

The ominous looking rocket eating trees standing guard on the western border of the launch recovery area kept the HCA team from making any attempt at a qualifying flight. I think that three of the HCA students that brought other rockets to fly kept their wits about them and only flew As and Bs for engine selection. We all witnessed the loss of Paul's Mean Machine as it floated into that menacing forest, never to return. I heard tell the tale by the recovery team of their valiant effort to retrieve it from the tops of about three trees. Alas, it was not to be.

The HCA team is chomping at the bit, so to speak, and are all looking forward to a better day on which to fly.

Thanx to all that pitched in to help set up and tear down the range. Hope to see some of you again in the coming days. Sure was fun to get out and smell the sulfur!

The Details:

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

The totals were:  21 flights, 21 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 151 Ns with an average total impulse of 7.2 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0





















(Alan Estenson)

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