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Last updated: May 30, 2005
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February 2005 launch report (2/28/2005)

On Saturday, February 26th, MASA held its first launch of the year.  (The January launch was cancelled due to poor weather.)

Thanks to Prez. Mike Erpelding for driving all the way down with his truck o' equipment.

A few of the flights:

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

Mark Thell writes:

I arrived about 830 or so, traffic was bad (kidding). Mike E and Stuart were there, four pads were up already, so I got to prepping. As usual, tradition dictates the Stomp rocket is the first rocket launched for the year. She went up on a C6-7, Boink Recovery was employed to perfection again. I next put up my Sparrow B/G on a 1/2A6-2 for its first( and as it turned out, its last) flight. She REALLY WENT up nicely.  Unfortunately, she REALLY REALLY came down fast!!! Death dive into the hockey rink. Oh well,

My Renegade Bash flew well on a C11-3.  Geez I like those motors. I also flew my Nike Smoke in a sequential drag race with Lee F. I was going to fly my Orbital Transport but I wussed out.  My 1970's era Estes Aerospace Club Viper made its first flight in 30 years on a 1/4 A32-T.  I forgot all about the kit till my dad found it at the house. Pretty neat.

Lots of other flights were made before the winds picked up. Mike E had an "interesting bovine flight" on an F20 that I provided. I guess I would get a little squirrelly if I had a motor mounted where Elsie did.

Anyhoo, I took off about 1230 or so, Yet another great MASA launch day!!!!!

Stuart Lenz writes:

Saturday morning dawned crisp and clear with the wind at 10-15 mph. Mike E

beat me by at least 10 minutes and we decided to start with 4 launch pads. Mark T was going to be the first launch of the day with, of course, a stomp rocket but Mike's launch controller was not awake yet. He thought it may have gotten wet at the last TARC launch but it turned out after his diagnostics that he had reversed the cables. [darn electricians - ed.]

Mark's rocket launched on a backup system and the launch day was under way. Most of the usual gang was there and I suspect the count for the day was 80-90. I started off with the Lucky Seven, one of the new Estes X-price rockets, and followed it with a downscale MicroMaxx powered Spaceship 1. Then I flew some of my classic clones, Alien Explorer, Andromeda, Space Cruiser Excalibur and Dragon Ship 7. I also flew a C11 powered Stomp rocket, a scratch built 3 engine cluster called "Long May it Wave" and the Lucky Seven for a second time.

Ellison could not be at the launch because he is the armorer for his fencing team, but Glen volunteered to be an observer for Ellison's 1st failed level 1 attempt.

When Ken and Paul J arrived, they set up 2 additional pads for their launches and that seemed to be plenty of pads for the day.

Cold, tired and hungry, we finish packing up at 1240 and retired to Arby's for lunch and planning. Seems that at least 8 MASA members are going to NARCON on March 11-13.

Joe Schneider writes:

Having not been able to make a MASA launch in nearly a year, I eagerly awaited the good weather on Saturday. The wind was a bit strong, but not unflyable by any means. I ended up setting a personal best of 20 flights on the day.

After my MIRV Gryphon crashed and burned last winter, I had a surplus (20+) of A10 motors I needed to get rid of. So, I hauled a couple styrofoam Estes Redirockets I've had for at least 8 or 9 years. Both each made 8 flights on various A10 motors, accounting for 16 of my 20 launches on the day. Having not built any rockets in a while, the only kit I had that could fly my C6-3 motors was my Tie Fighter, which has survived several years of rough flights. The parachute didn't open well all day, but it still survived for three flights. The third flight broke a balsa support fin off, and damaged the motor mount as well. But, it should be up and going again for the March launch.

Around Noon, I hauled out my launch pad and tower for my Stingray V RCRG. It had undergone a recent tail repair, and hadn't flown in over a year, so the windy conditions combined with the need for new trimming made for an interesting flight. On takeoff, the igniter that was taped to the motor didn't want to let go, so it hung on the pad for a second or so. Once it got in the air, the wind and trim issues made it difficult to fly, so I made a couple circles and then quickly brought it down. It'll hopefully be better trimmed for the March launch. Now if Aerotech would only start making the 24mm R/C reloads again; my stock is starting to dwindle. There were several memorable flights, and hopefully March will bring warmer weather with less wind!

Todd Carpenter writes:

Elliot and I arrived late. My wife tricked me into going to a rock show at Har Mar. Thought she was talking rockets... Turned out they had neat stuff, so we were there awhile, and left somewhat poorer.

We finally arrived a few minutes before everyone else was packing up. I had a payloader built on a Fat Boy. It had several questionable attributes (high weight for a C6-3, foam nose cone, off-center launch lug), but it passed FSO inspection. Flew great. Next flight will actually have a rover for a payload.

I didn't fill out flight cards for the rest, since everyone else was gone (sigh). Here's the data. I've never seen the Death Star weather cock like that, so the hockey rink ate it. I wonder if there's a prehistoric rocket-eating forest under the rink... The oddest was Serval's loop-de-loop.

Rocket Engine Recovery Flight

"Fat Boy Payloader" C6-3 Parachute Perfect arch

"Death Star" C6-3 Chute and streamers Major weather cock, exploded a few feet off the deck. Kids loved it.

"SR-71" B6-2 Parachute Straight up. Didn't weathercock a bit, which was amazing.

"Stomp Rocket" A8-3 BOINK Perfect

"Big Bertha" B6-4 Parachute Perfect (of course)

"Baby Bertha" A8-3 Parachute Perfect

"Serval (Quest tube fin)" B4-4 Streamer Nice flight up, but then it did loop-de-loop. Never saw that before. Hit the snow, then ejected the streamer (apparently it thought the recovery method was "open on impact")

Carol, one of the US First Lego League Coach/Judge/Referees wants to get into rockets, and coach a rocket team in INSciTE's Rocket League challenge this year (Ted Cochran writes the challenge and runs the competition), so she showed up to learn about rockets. She talked to some folks, but they seemed rather focussed on their own rockets. Her nephew, Ben, asked if he could help launch, and whomever it was let him do the count down and push the button. My hearty "Thanks!" to whomever let him do that - he's now thoroughly addicted to rockets. Carol, the coach, seems pretty interested, too, and will probably have a good solid team of girls in Maple Grove. Ben and Carol both send their appreciation to MASA. They stayed with us as we launched our rockets, and all of the kids got to help prep the rockets, choose what to launch, count down, and launch.

The Details:

Full launch tally (in Adobe Acrobat PDF form, requires version 6 or newer of the Acrobat reader)

The totals were:  77 flights, 81 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 533 Ns with an average total impulse of 6.6 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:

Type

# Burned

MicroMaxx 1

1/4A

0

1/2A

4

A

25

B

19

C

28

D

3

E

0

F

1

G

0

H

0

(Alan Estenson)

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