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Last updated: June 4, 2004
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April 2004 launch report (4/24/2004)

Sunny, but breezy

On Saturday, April 24th, quite a few MASA members ventured west to the unplanted fields of the Buffalo launch site.  It was a nice, sunny day, but with a good breeze out of the east.  Undeterred, quite a few rockets were flown.

A few of the flights:

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

Ken Jarosch writes:

April was a junky month and to prove it I brought the 5 Junkyard/junkbox rockets recently built along with the old rocket box.

Paul started out with the R2F Cruise Missile on a A3-4t which flew quite well. His next rocket was a Wacky Wiggler on a B4-4. This lost a fin and completely burned through the shock cord at the motor. Needs work.

Paul then dug into the rocket box and pulled out a Quest Antari. This had a B6-6 with two tandem 2x20" streamers for a long drift. I flew the Pip Squeak II on a A8-5 which landed next to the launch pads because of the angle used on the pad into the wind. Digging deeper into the box Paul found his old Fluorescent Tornado. We had never flown this above an A8-5 but we tried a B6-6 for a really high flight. Thanks to several spotters and the bright Red and Lemon yellow colors we found the parts

I tried one of my old SD contest rockets , the Cloud Buster with a 5x50" streamer on a A8-5. This had a long drift which we found while looking for Paul's Tornado. Paul requested he fly my 1992 StrikeFighter.  On a C5-3 it put in a good flight. By this time Paul wanted me to fly the Real Junk for his Website.

The Junkyard/junkbox rockets consist of bodies made from paper towel tubes, wrapping paper tubes and the fins largely from toilet paper tubes.

The first and easiest to fly was the High Flying Jester on a C11-3. This really took off the pad for nice flight. I was testing various recovery parts. Next I flew the 2X junk upgrade of the Estes mini-engine Solar Warrior on a C11-3. The flight was very stable and the recovery seemed very gentle. But on inspection the fin and one wing had been cracked loose along the full length of each part. Paul saw this occur after the rocket was down. Wind damage.

Paul wanted me to try the Borg Cube test model on a C5-3. This went into a tight loop after it left the rod. Needs longer stabilizers and/or more weight up front.

Next to fly was the Katysha Slim as seen in Jan./Feb. Sport Rocketry.  This junk rocket used a C11-3. I noticed a slow spin to the right. Also a very good flight. Lots of dirt after being dragged by the wind on the ground.

Finally Paul wanted me to finished out the day with the junk Apollo 13 Command Module on a A10-3T. This flew straight up very slowly and at ejection the little chute did not open for a BOINK recovery. It had a foam collar which saved it. But it did break one stabilizer on the bounce.

A lot of junk for April with mostly good results.

Stuart Lenz writes:

The day dawned crisp and clear, with 10 to 15 MPH winds. Ellison and I arrived at the Buffalo Launch site (Farm) at 900. Mike E and Dave were almost finished setting up the launch pads. We helped finish with the pads, launch rods and set up the sound system.

Ellison tried the spool rocket first but it stuck on the rod. My first rocket was a new

scratch built from parts of two Fat Boys. With an F21-4, it went up about 100 feet, hit a wind sheer and went horizontal into a nearby hill, some damage, it will fly again.  Watch out.

By 1000 there was a good crowd, Dave W, Lee F, Ed, Skippy, Mark T, Ken G and others.  Ted C and Seth arrived a little later, but with the wind the Junkyard Rockets were not flown today. They were reimpounded and will appear at the next MASA launch which competes with the TARC Launch out East, Ted C and Mike E are judges. I'm sure we will hear more before the next launch.

Most of the engines flown were in the A through D range, with Ellison flying a G64-4 in a rebuilt (heavily modified) Estes Maxi V2 for the largest (and longest walk) of the day.

Many good flights by all, some tree recovery, normal amount of separations and non deployments.  Rick V was at his first MASA launch of the year, with only 3 rockets, a Big Daddy that he launched multiple times until he had a separation, a whistling boink recovery rocket and a Big Bertha that I did not ever see him launch.

At 100 after Ellison recovered his V2, we headed for home and another engagement.

Ted Cochran writes:

As Stuart says, we came late. We made up for it by leaving early...

I did get to launch a Quest Nike Smoke for a nice first flight on a B6-4, and my Honest John on an E30-4 for a nominal flight.

Maybe next time the big motors can come out to play -)

Mike Erpelding writes:

Today was a great day for flying rockets compared to some of the TARC launches recently. The wind was out of the East blowing lengthwise of the field. I got out to the field not quite an hour early to start setting up the range. We did quite well for only setting up 3 low power and 2 mid power pads. We either had 81 or 83 total flights, I guess I'm a little tired right now.. >)

Of the old stock flight cards, I only had 7 blank ones, COOL!  Alan was kind enough to bring me a huge stack of new flight cards (approx 400) for the next launch. Hub Hobby also made another donation to the MASA prize box. Stuart and Ellison, if you didn't pick up prizes for the junkyard rocket contest yet, the MASA prize box is well stocked.

I did manage to get 2 flights in today. The first one was my renegade kitbash " Cluster of Doom" on (2) B6-6's and (2) D11-P's and with (2) 18" parachutes. It flew nice even though it didn't light one of the D11-P's. I guess my masking tape retention on my 3 oz. nosecone wasn't good enough, because it came off the payload section. I found the nosecone intact, buried about 3" into the soft ground. The 3" payload section on it's 18" Mills Fleet Farm orange bag parachute then drifted into a tree about 5-6' higher than my pole can reach. Less than a dollars worth of parts, no big deal. The parachute was a little small on the sustainer, which resulted in one severely cracked fin. Nothing a little glue won't fix.....

My second launch of the day was my ASP V2 on a D12-5. I built and painted this rocket in 4 days for the sport scale event at Elsberry MO at the beginnig of the month. Great flight with the classic V2 wobble. My V2 headed in the same general direction that Ellison's G powered V2 went. He did beat me by about 200' for the farthest walk of the day.

It was a lot of fun. I would like to thank all of the MASA members who helped finish setting up and those who stayed late to help pack up the range. I would also like to thank everyone who volunteered to help run the launch. There was never more than about a five minute wait for a pad. I would also like to thank Dave Gensler for riding his bike over 30 miles to attend todays launch! Now that's commitment!

Art Gibbens writes:

Well, HCA Eagles [TARC team] learned a few lessons, the most important being that wind is not our friend. Up until yesterday, we had not flown in "high" winds. If we experience winds higher than 7-8 mph, I don't think we'll be competitive. Very minimal damage to the rocket after free falling from 1042 feet.

I flew a stretched Polaris modified to accept the mighty D engines. Even though I extended the shock cord, I suspect the ejection charge still ripped its mount from the body tube. Both parts drifted out of sight - somewhere over the rainbow.

Phil flew his Venture, and we both flew our stomp rockets. A short and sweet launch from the contingent from Cottage Grove.

Mark Thell writes:

I arrived around 930. Lots of people. I put up my Stomp on a C6-7 .Close to the pad.  Then I launched my Green Glider carrier on a B6-4 . Not a lot of altitude, Shuttle did a 8-G pullout for a nice landing. I then launched my Renegade kitbash on a D12-5, flew well, now I can finish it. I then launched my Cherokee D clone on a C11-7. I am testing a TOP SECRET recovery system. It is working rather well. I am liking this field more and more every time I use it. Then I went with Mike E and a couple others to present the land owner with a FREE MASA Membership!!!! Next time you see the owner, be sure to thank him for the use of the field. Things wrapped up about 200 PM,we helped Mike E load up the gear, and hit the road.I would like to take this opportunity to tell Mike E and all the officers that you are doing a heck of a job running this operation.When Russ, Damian and I started this club, we wondered what would become of the club in 5 years, would it still be functioning?

We are very impressed with the way the club is growing. It is as much fun to go to a launch today as it was over 7 years ago. It is due to all the past and present officers.

It is gratifying to know the club is in good hands.

Lee Frisvold writes:

I arrived just a little after Mark did and was impressed with the number of people there already. Mike had the pads already set up and rockets were flying as I drove up.

I flew my clone of a Gyroc three times thru out the day on A8-3's all flew great except for the wiggle as it went up with a nice helicopter coming down. My Zenith II 2 stage didn't ignite the sustainer but it didn't get damaged on landing due to soft ground. I launched my 2D cluster Martin Predicator on D12-3 for a very nice flight other than the wind cocking. I launched my 3 inch Public Enemy V2 on a F21-4 for a nice high flight. My final flight of the day was my 2 stage Fat Boy that also flew great

Then Mark Thell and I helped a new member build a G 64 to launch a rocket he bought on e-bay. It flew very nice but was a walk to recover, it was the last flight of the day. We then helped Mike tear down the equipment and load his truck. This launch was much better than our last one at this field. Thanks for the nice words Mark you guys started the seed.

Ed Eastman writes:

Well, I got there a bit late (approx. 1000). First flew my FlisKits Cheetah 2 stager in a B6-6 to an A8-5. Staged beautifully, but vanished completely off the far end of the field (and with a streamer, yet! %&$#! wind...)

Anyone find a long skinny white rocket with 4 fins?

Then tried to fly my scratchbuilt XF-52 Stardrake on a B6-4. It moved about 6 inches, then caught on the launch rod. (Think I won the spot landing then.....;-) ) Fortunately, no damage.  Then, when the wind died a bit, I flew my Renegade kitbash, Thunderbird 7, on a B6-4. Thunderbirds were GO! She flew nicely, but would be much happier with more power (a C at least, and I may try her with an Aerotech D--if they are ever available...)

Finished off with the old reliable Cartman Fat Boy on an A8-3. Should've listened to everyone who said it wasn't enough power--he maybe hit 40 feet, ejected JUST short of lawn-darting, and hit the top edge of his body tube on a rock, denting it in--shouldn't be a problem in the long run, the dented edge is completely supprted by the long shoulder of the nose cone. Besides, you can't hurt Cartman by hitting him in the head--there's nothing there to hurt! (HEEEYYYYYYYY!!!!)

All in all, an --educational-- launch, and good rocket fun.


The Details:

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

The totals were:  83 flights, 95 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 1505 Ns with an average total impulse of 15.8 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0





















(Alan Estenson)

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