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Last updated: Aug 29, 2005
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Alan Estenson, Webmaster

August 2005 launch report (8/28/2005)

On Saturday, August 27th, MASA held its third launch this year at the new site near Nowthen.

The skies were blue and sunny.  It was a pleasant day - not too hot.  The only annoyance was a variable breeze out of the west that really picked up in the mid afternoon.  Many MASA members, visitors, and spectators came out for the day.  It was good to see both new faces and some familiar faces that hadn't made a launch recently.

Prez. Mike Erpelding put in stellar duty with launch equipment and range setup.  Mike deserves a big round of applause!  Let's all be sure to help out at launches; Mike can't do everything (and he shouldn't have to!)  A special thanks to everyone who stayed and helped pack up the range at the end of the day.

Thanks to the LCO/RSO volunteers:  Mike Erpelding, Rick Vatsaas, and Alan Estenson (apologies if I've forgotten anyone!)

A few of the flights:

Annual Great UFO Drag Race - Five saucers (and one martini glass?) were drag-raced this year.  Ignition of all six was simultaneous and lots of fun to watch.

Comanche-3 Drag Race - Three Comanche's and one "other" 3-stager were entered in the drag race.  Two of the Comanche's and the "other" left the pads.  Dave Whitaker's Comanche flight was successful, and he got all the pieces back with just one broken fin.  Mark Thell's sustainer lawn darted in the soft mud.  [Stages 1 and 2 burned successfully; I'm not sure about the sustainer.]  Glen Overby's "Lost Rocket" on 3 D12's appeared to light all 3 stages and then lose itself.  After fixing the igniter, Jim Myers' Comanche also flew successfully.

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

Alan Estenson writes:

I had to jump in and fly the first-ever "I" motor at a MASA launch.  (I flew the first ever "H" motor at a MASA launch back in July of 1998.)  I put up my trusty ol' LOC Minie Magg on an I161.  This was flight number 17 of the Magg - all on either H or I motors!  (Not counting its one "Mega Magg" flight on a J350.)

I only beat Glen Overby by half an hour.  He launched his big IQSY Tomahawk on an I357 for a textbook flight.

Rick Vatsaas writes:

It's been over a year since I have been able to attend a MASA launch, and my first at this field. Since e-mail traffic had been light, I was worried that turn out would be small and I would miss the whole thing by the
time I would I arrived at noon.  I shouldn't have worried.  I counted about twenty cars present through out the launch (And Dave's bicycle).  Unfortunately, I was so rushed to get the launch I forgot my sunscreen, and so I burned more epidermis than propellant that day. 

I had intended to launch some kits I built with my son, but since he decided that he had to rest up after his first football game, we didn't launch his rockets.  So I had two to fly, my newly built Acme Spitfire, and my unusual odd-roc "Shaken, Not Stirred" (SNS),  a spool -like rocket, made from a plastic martini glass.   I had three nice flights on the surprisingly stable SNS, plus one the Acme Spitfire, on which the paper nose cone came loose from the balsa nose plug, for another wise good flight and recovery. 

Otherwise I helped out on the range and took pictures.  I also enjoyed meeting some new members, such as Whalid Maaloi (sic) and Carol Marple.

All in all a fun day. 

Mark Thell writes:

It was a great day at the new field. I got there about 9:30 or so, helped Mike E set things up, and away we went.  Started off with my Alpha 3 with an A8-3. I had a 18" chute in it to see where things were going in the wind department. I forgot to tie the @#%^! chute to the swivel. oops.

Tied said chute on this time and shot her again , ejection charge was quite robust and burned the Kevlar line cord mount, Retired Alpha for the day.
Next up was my B/G built at a MASA meeting a hundred years ago, flew it on a A3-2T, worked well.
Next up was my Sunward Aerospace fighter plane looking thingy on a C11-3(gee I like those motors Straight as an arrow, no roll at all. good flight.
Joe Schneider wanted to cert L1 there so Mike E and I witnessed his flight. His rocket is sleeping with the corn. We searched and searched. @#^%%& corn.
Came back to put my Lil Bigger Nuke up in a new F42-4 econojet. I am sad to say it is sleeping with the corn as well.
The Comanche 3 drag race was held while I was still in the cornfield. I did get all stages back. Thanks to those who found them for me.
Packed up and hit the road.
Lots of fun

John Carlson writes:

This was the first time in about 2 years I've been able to make it to a launch.  I brought sons 2 and 3 and their rockets that they had just recently built.
Quinn had a Estes wizard and a custom rockets Galileo
Austin had a Alpha III this was lost in the rocket eating corn, bummer.  Austin's 0-2 this year for rockets he lost a Viking earlier this year at camp.  [Austin's rocket was found later!]
I had a Estes Rubicon that flew fine except I melted the chute. (more dog barf next time) I also had a Quest Bright Hawk. (fastest kit I ever built, 20 min while sitting at the hobby store.)  Also with was an Estes Vanguard  X-prize and a Quest X-15.   I would have flown the rest of the X-prize rockets
but the kids got too squirrely so maybe next month.  All my old standby rockets are packed up so we can move.  Bummer

 Dan Keppel writes:

Wow what a fun day! This was my first ever MASA club launch, and I must say that I was very successful in my launches. Of course by successful I mean that I was successful in destroying/losing all four of my rockets!

It was a great day, but the wind was a problem. My two high fliers (a Estes Sizzler on a C6-7 and my scratch built 2 stage D12-0/7 that both go up about 2000 feet) had beautiful flights and shot off into the wild blue yonder, only to be taken by the merciless wind. My other rocket (The first flight of the day... and the first lawn dart of thee day as well!), a modified cosmic cobra, failed to deploy its rotors, causing it to lawn dart all the way up to the the rotor assembly in the soft dirt just past the cars. Back to the drawing board I guess?

I had one more rocket. My 5'3" rocket named the Spicy Meatball. The first launch on an E9-6 went perfectly, seeming to hang in the air before its three 'chutes deployed. It even cleared the irrigation ditch on the left side without landing in the corn.  Unfortunately, when i tried to launch it on an F21-4W it took a hard left off the pad and exploded into aprox. 10 pieces about 50 feet in the air. Once again it cleared the ditch (which was nice cause I didn't want to go fishing). Next time I'm going to make sure I put the fins on correctly! While on that subject, I'd like to say "Good Job" to the guy who lawndarted about 3 feet past the right side ditch from about 2 or 3 thousand feet, All the way up to the fin can! Very impressive, and the motor casing being ejected was a nice touch too. I can't wait till the next launch!

The Details:

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

The totals were:  165 flights, 184 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 4126 Ns with an average total impulse of 22.4 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0


















H 1



(Alan Estenson)

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