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Last updated: July 24, 2006
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Alan Estenson, Webmaster

July 2006 launch report (7/24/2006)

On Saturday, July 22nd, MASA held its eighth launch of the year. The launch was held at the sod farm near Nowthen. 

The weather was beautiful.  Mostly sunny, occasional clouds, light breeze from the north, warm - but not hot.  Despite the great weather and big field, turnout was relatively light.

Thanks to everyone who served RSO/LCO duty:  Buzz McDermott, Alan Estenson, and Mark Thell.  Thanks to everyone who helped set up the range and stayed to help pack it away at the end of the day.  As always, a huge thanks to Mike for hauling all that gear!

Coming all the way from San Diego, California, visiting flier Larry Brand flew a number of rockets throughout the day.  Glad to have had you with us!

A few of the flights:

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

Glen Overby writes:

I arrived around 9:30AM to find a rather small crowd. I pitched my EZ-Up and started preparing my 4"x80" IQSY Tomahawk for another "I" flight. I only triggered the 120db buzzer twice while preping it. The flight was nice, but it spun up a bit (probably an improperly aligned fin) in the air. Deployment was right at apogee -- an altimeter couldn't have done a better job. I had my MissileWorks RRC2 on-board for recording, and it said only 1271', but many of us think it went higher than that.  Thanks, Alan, for bringing your launch pad for me to use.

My second flight was on a 38mm rocket with a G64-10. It carried a buzzer (whose battery ran down after I turned it on) and a radio beacon. Even though I saw where it landed, I tracked it down using my hand-held radio with a simple vertical antenna (the antenna doesn't "hear" the signal well when pointed right at the transmitter). Maybe I can fly this on something bigger?

Next came a test flight of my homebrew simple altimeter. I used a simple 4FNC BT-60 rocket for the test. My altimeter detected launch and apogee, but the altitude reporting seems to have a problem.

My last flight of the day was my PML Explorer on a G64-7. I think there may have been some binding on the launch rod since it left in a strange direction.  Ejection was WAY late (the -7 is really a -8) and it didn't go far. Again, it carried a corn abatement system (buzzer) which wasn't needed.  As usual, I didn't have a large number of flights, but I had fun with what I flew.

I'm honored to nominate Buzz for to become part of the Ballistic Fenceposting Society, for one of his accomplishments at this launch. I'm sorry to say that my picture of this event didn't turn out (the fencepost was too small to see).

Also, in compliance with the "All Saturn Crashes are Nominations" rule, I wish I didn't have to nominate Mike for coresampling his Saturn1B.

I've deposited some of the pictures I took on the web at:

Mark Thell writes:

Arrived about 9:30 to see things were ready to go.  I always bring lots of rockets along. I gotta quit doing that.  Too many choices. I dug through my pile-o-rockets and picked some oldies but goodies.  First up was my 25+year old Estes Demon on a C11-3.  Nice straight boost, good recovery.

Next up was my latest acquisition, a built Estes Goonybird MissileToe from the mid 70s. 1/2A32T for power. This motor was recommended for first flight.I could have thrown it higher than it went, good recovery though. Next time MORE POWER(Tim Allen grunt here)

Speaking of more power, I next flew my PML Eye-O on a G80(I think). I had a rocket finder beacon in it, one is supposed to attach the beacon to the base of the SC and attach the pin pull to the NC( which would turn the beacon on at ejection), but the sound was so melodic to everyone I decided to pull the pin on the ground before launch. Why is it when you put a beeper in a rocket it goes NOWHERE near the corn ,but when you don't, it seems as though it is laser guided to the deepest part of the corn field???  Anyhoo, she sang all the way to the ground, My fellow rocketeers had tears in ther eyes listening to the beepers fabulous music. I could tell they wanted to hear more music but I had to shut the beeper off.

Next up was my Newbauer Gemini Titan on a C6-7(That is the recommended first flight motor), After a lengthly delay, (My fault, Buzz, you were right).I was concerned about the short shock cord, being that I am the founder of the MASA long shock cord club. My fears were realized when the HEAVY nose cone separated from the rest of the rocket for a quick descent. minor damage.

After a stint at RSO/LCO duty, I put up my trusty LOC Forte on what I thought was an F42, turns out it was an F23, I will not put that small motor in there again, slow boost, good thing there were no stray wind gusts. Nice recovery . I packed up my car and waited for Dave Gensler to do his L1 cert .  After that, I put my sunburned butt in the car and called it a day.  Great weather for a launch always a lot of fun.

Ted Cochran writes:

I wasn't able to get there until 11:00; alas, I had to make up for it by leaving early.

I flew LOC-IV for the 22nd time, this time on an H180W-M. The flight was very nice, and recovered at the far end of the field. I know the parachute was a bit large at 44", but it sure was pretty!

The second flight was my Arcie II; it flew OK but it still needs trim and it may have even been out of radio range at the end. But I'll keep tweaking it.

Thanks to Mike E for hauling the range stuff, and to the RSOs for volunteering their time on this beautiful day!

Buzz McDermott writes:

I have to say today was a BEAUTIFUL day to be flying rockets. True to form, I was trying to make it out to the field by 8:30 so, of course, I didn't get there until after 10. <g> After quickly pulling out the EZ Up and setting up shop I flew my first flight of the day: A DG&A Predator on a Econojet G35. This was the Predator's first flight I was impressed with the altitude it got. Of course, this was one of the older G35s, which have a little more impulse than the newer ones, I believe.

Next up was an Edmonds Deltie Thunder on an Estes E9-4. The more I fly Edmonds gliders the more I am impressed. These are just too easy and too much fun! The Thunder made a slow, lumbering climb to a couple of hundred feet and settled into a plat circular 'glide'. It had time to make three complete circles before landing in the sod field to the west.

After a stint at range duty I prepped a two-stage kit bash of two Baby Berthas. I've flown this combo a couple of times and was looking forward to a great flight on a C6-0 / C6-5 combo. When the stages popped and nothing happened I thought the upper stage just hadn't lit and watched the rocket arc over. About the time it hadn't finished arcing and was heading down the 2nd stage motor finally lit! Tghe rocket accelerated (although the motor seemed awfully week) down and buried itself about 5 inches into the sod. I waited for the ejection charge to pop the aft part of the sustainer up out of the ground but nothing happened. Strange. When I retrieved the rocket and examined the damage it got even stranger. Dumb me!! I put the upper stage motor in BACKWARDS! Despite that, it still lit - through the clay cap, even. That was why it took so long to light, why it was such a weak looking burn and why there was no ejection charge.

Never discouraged, I tried prepped another two-stage kit bash, this one from two Goblin kits. I chose a C11-0/C11-5 combo hoping it wouldn't go TOO high. I also swapped out the 12" chute for a metallic streamer. Unfortunately, I hadn't had time to paint this rocket, yet. It just had a white primer coat. And the sky was starting to get a big cloudy. Nice, white clouds. I lost sight of the rocket as soon as it left the pad. I heard it was a real good flight. <g> Fortunately one of the younger sets of eyes actually followed the whole flight and pointed me in the right direction for a successful recovery.

Yes, it was a wonderful day for flying with mild temperatures, lots of sun and a light breeze to keep us all cool - can;t wait for the August launch!

Ken Jarosch writes:

Paul and I arrived about 8:50 am in order to help Mike set up shop. The 3 of us had this pretty well done around 9:25 am. Paul was first in line to try a Cinco Saucer.

I was back to using up my old Aerotech reloads starting at 1999 forward.   I used my last 1999 E28-4T(2) in the Longer Better Bertha. I salvaged the Nose Cone and Fins from the Estes Super Bertha that did the Hindenberg on a old D12 several years ago.

The L.B. Bertha has a length of 42" by the BMS 34" body tube.  The upgrades include a HD BMS motor and stuffer tube, Loc plywood CTRs and a Top Flight 30" thin mill nylon chute. On the E28 the Bertha had a nice high flight with a lot of float. Not much winds.

Now that NAR ok'd the F39-6T(3) this Spring I have 3 pkgs to use up.  These were bought in 2000. I put one F39 in my Aerotech Arreaux (Arrow).  It had the usual fast take off with little noise. The rocket went over the top and a ways down before ejection. I meant to time the flight to check the delay but I forgot at the time. I may be getting the full 6 Seconds and need to drill a few off.

Next I had to clean up one of my last S.U. motors. Since today was Scale theme I put a 2003 E30-4T in my Estes Maxi Honest John for a very nice flight. The D12's just don't do it. I upgraded this kit to 2 Top Flight 24" Nylon chutes. Both parts floated down gently. As a matter of fact the nose cone floated for quite a long time. Too long. On a windy day I might have lost it on the 24" chute. May change to a 18" for the NC.

The next scale rocket was the H.V. Arcas on a F40-4w. This was a 2004 reload that was very badly oxidized. But I tried it anyway on the included copperhead. There was a slight delay but it flew great. The chute and payload section landed in the grass but the tail section went in the drink. But that was only thick mud so nothing was damaged.

By then we had to leave so Paul could get a little shut-eye before work. I had a lot of Egg Lofters to test but that will have to wait on another day.

Paul Jarosch writes:

Yesterday's launch was great day. I flew several rockets, but the two of the were "experimental" flights. First was my "BOINKing Green Noodle" (made from a foam "fun-noodle"). On a C6-3 it got lobbed up about 50+ feet and fin can popped off and floated back to the ground. The noodle came in nose first, but safely and boinked on the ground. It was funny seeing it fly. I flew it a second time to when more people showed up for a demo. The second experimental flight was an approximate 3x scale-up of The Estes Tornado. I
flew it on a D12-3, just to see what its flight characteristics were. The bottom half fluttered down, like the original, but the front section nose-dived, but flapped back and forth for a semi-safe, landed. A slight crunch on the tube, but still flyable. I am going to remove some nose-weight and try it on a D15 reload. I am trying to get it to spin flat like my original tornado does.

I flew my Ican II as well. Went straight up as usually, but right before  ejection, it did a fish-tail woble thing, which it has never done before. It was interesting to see, but confusing as to the reason...

John Carlson writes:

It was a great day for a launch.  Sons Austin, Quinn and my self arrived about 10:30 and proceeded to launch the following rockets.

Quest Astra twice on a A6-4
Estes Mach 12 twice on a B6-4 Austin's picnic door prize rocket.
Estes echostar B6-0/A8-5 Quinn's picnic door prize rocket
Scratch built Estes sprite 3X D12-5
Custom Galileo A6-4
Estes Viking A6-4
25+ year old Estes demon C11-5, Sorry Mark we didn't get a chance to drag race ours, Had to head home for the honey-do list as company was coming over. we'll have to try next time
Big Bertha D12-5
25+ year old Patriot missile B6-4
25+ year old Mercury Redstone
Cloned Estes Alien Explorer C6-3
Scratch build 3X Estes starblazer on a G38-4
Everything went great, except for a broken fin on the Viking, the redstone's chute didn't deploy, but it wasn't damaged other than that it was a load of fun.
Buzz, thanks for letting Austin stand under your tent and thanks for the choc/chip cookies.


The Details:

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

The totals were:  92 flights, 101 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 4261 Ns with an average total impulse of 42.2 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0


















H 4



(Alan Estenson)

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