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Last updated: Mar 27, 2006
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March 2006 launch report (3/27/2006)

On Saturday, March 25th, MASA held its third launch of the year. This launch was held at Apple Valley High School to coordinate with TARC team flights.

A few of the flights:

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

Ted Cochran writes:

It was a wonderful day to launch rockets (well, as far as March goes, it was wonderful). Lots of MASA members showed up to watch TARC teams practice (and in some cases attempt qualification flights). A few MASA members launched rockets, too.

I flew a stomp rocket on an A8, my Fliskits unidentified flying foam object (styrofoam cup saucer) for a silly flight on a B6, and my Acme Spitfire on a D12.

Several TARC teams were there.

North High flew three times, at least, and made one official qualification attempt. They got within one foot of the target altitude, but alas their egg capsule separated and came in ballistic.  So did their altimeter, but it kept beeping and it was recovered intact from the snow.

MPA got in a practice flight.

Hope Christian had a successful qualification flight.

Apple Valley had at least 7(!) practice flights, followed by two successful qualification flights. They were the last ones off the field a little after 2 PM.

I'm sure that some of the others who were there will have more to say--there were at least nine of us out there!

Art Gibbens writes:

Thanx to Ted and Rick for timing HCA's first qualifying flight today. Thanx to Buzz, Dave, Paul, Mark, Glenn and any other MASA members that came out to launch and support the four TARC teams that were there to test fly and qualify! We even had some parents in the crowd come along to watch their students fly.

Hope Christian Academy got a healthy dose of reality at Saturday's launch. The weather was cooperative and they were riding high from the previous week's launch. They had done the calculating via RocSim and extrapolated what they needed to do to bring their altitude down and the recovery time closer. Their strategy was to add weight and a larger parachute. They were confident that they could come in, fly once and be pretty close to getting a score that would secure an invitation to the finals. However, I was not so sure that they had flown enough this year with this design to make that prediction. In the two previous years they had flown some more flights before making a qualifying attempt.

This year's design is a BT-70 three engine cluster, with a two bay payload section having independent parachutes for the sustainer and payload sections. They were able to secure a qualifying time of 67.66, but I don't think that's going to make the cut this year. So they will go back to the drawing board to figure out what their next steps to homing in on 45 seconds in the air and the 800 foot altitude.

Rick Vatsaas writes:

Christian and I arrived at the launch site pretty close to 10AM.  Many of the TARC teams were already there, as were Ted and Ken.  Plus a fairly new family, the Terraras(?).  We came with rockets and no launch
equipment, so we waited around until some pads were made ready (note to self, build that mid power pad you've been doodling about).   The days' rocket selections were made on two factors: maintaining a limited apogee (small field), and materials resistant to damp (on account of the rapidly melting six inch layer of snow).

First to launch was Christian's Tinee on an A10-3.  It arced over, swooped about a foot off the ground and then ejected the motor.  We tried again later by angling the rod 30 degrees, it still arced over, but the apogee was higher, this time for a good flight.  This rocket was built at the 2005 holiday party, courtesy of Buzz.  Thanks Buzz

Second up was my Scorpion Rocket built from plastic drink ware.  The motor was an E9-4.  It went pretty good to the first 30 feet, before it arced over under power and swooped down horizontal to the ground and belly landed in a snow bank.  The nose cone shattered and the fins are cracked, but it can be easily rebuilt.  Next time a larger motor and more nose weight. (if anyone who observed the flight and has some suggestions, let me know.

Third was Christian's Marauder (also a plastic drink ware rocket) This had a great flight on an E9-4   We tried it on a D12-3 and the flight was rather squirrelly, but it recovered nicely. 

We also flew Christian's Quest Seeker ( a Holiday Party Door Prize on a B6-4).  The plastic tail cone and the pay load section nosecone both stuck nicely in the snow, preventing anything absorbent from getting

Lastly, we flew the martini rocket for a good flight.  Looking forward to seeing you all at 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:    flights,   motors.  The cumulative total impulse was   Ns with an average total impulse of   Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned






















(Alan Estenson)

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