August 2006 launch report (8/27/2006)
On Saturday, August 26th, MASA held its ninth launch of the
year. The launch was held
at the sod farm near Nowthen.
The weather started out cool and foggy. The fog lifted, the
skies opened up, and the sun came out. It turned into a
beautiful and warm day with only a light breeze out of the NNW.
Thanks to everyone who served RSO/LCO duty. Thanks to
everyone who helped set up the range and stayed to help pack it away
at the end of the day. A HUGE thanks to Ted Cochran for
bringing out all of his launch equipment for the range!
The Annual Great UFO Drag Race had 6 entrants this year.
The participants were: Mark Thell (Tri-F-O), Alan Estenson (Snitch),
Russ Durkee (Quest UFO), Michael Wachholz (Snitch), Russ Durkee
(classic Centuri UFO), and Eric Myers (UFO).
The Comanche-3 drag race had 5 entrants this year. The
participants were: Jim Myers (D12-0,C6-0, C6-5), Glen Overby (D12-0,
C6-0, C6-7), Mark Thell (D12-0, C6-0, C6-7), Ken Jarosch (D12-0,
C6-0, C6-7), and David Whitaker (D11-0, B6-0, A8-5). All
stages lit successfully. All sustainers recovered
successfully. As far as I know, all 15 parts came back!
Carol Marple successfully earned her Level 1 High Power
Certification when she flew her PML Black Brant VB on an H128 motor.
A few of the flights:
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Ted Cochran writes:
I arrived at around 8:30 and started setting up. It was
quite foggy--visibility only a hundred yards or so, and we were
ceiling-constrained until about 10:30 or so.
I flew a bunch of little rockets--Arcie II, RingHawk,
Shuttle Columbia, UFFO, and enRanged. I also flew Quantum Leap
on an I211 to H148. The "up" part was beautiful, as always.
Staging was a bit late, but deployment was right on cue. Alas,
Quantum Leap found a new way to keep the main chute from
deploying, and it landed rather heavily at the edge of the
cornfield, cracking a fin and a 54mm motor mount tube.
It's repairable, but I'm thinking of retiring it and putting the
electronics into other projects. Anyone know of anyone that
wants a patriotic-looking display rocket? :-)
There were a lot of big rockets put up--the weather was
gorgeous; the winds were light, and the launch wasn't too
crowded. Glen and Dave, in particular, made good use of
the away pad, and Carol Marple--well, let's let Carol tell her
Thanks to all of you who helped set up and tear down the
equipment, and to those who did a shift as LCO/RSO.
Anyone with any good pics, please send them my way; I
could use them for the Planet.
Buzz McDermott writes:
Had a wonderful time at the club launch today. Brought
out my neighbor, Scott, and his 11 year old son Andy. This was
only Andy's second time flying a model rocket. I gave him a
Quest Big Betty to build, which he brought to the launch. Along
with flying his Big Bette twice, Andy also prepped and flew my
'spool' rocket on a C6 and my prototype SLAT/s on a B6
I flew my Edmonds Deltie Thunder on an Aerotech E15 and
the upper stage of an Estes Clipper on an E9. I also prepped and
tried to fly my DG&A Predator on an Aerotech Econojet G35 for
our last flight of an abbreviated trip to the launch (Andy had
to get back). Unfortunately, the G35 CATOd on the pad. No damage
to the rocket, just a split motor casing and ejected fuel grain.
MESS report has been filed.
It was a short, but 'productive' launch for me. On the
way back, all Andy could talk about was coming to the next
launch, and Scott was talking about needing to buy some rocket
kits and asking where to get motors. Andy went home with his Big
Betty and my (now his) SL:AT/s, looking forward to the next
A half dozen successful flights, no rockets lost or
broken (flying or in transport) and a possible new rocketry
convert for the club. Not a bad day at all.
Ken Jarosch writes:
Still trying to burn up a large supply of AP and in
keeping with the UFO days I flew three of many saucers. I have
great day if I can burn up 3 AP's.
I used my last old oxidized F24-7W(0) in the Stars &
Stripe Original Saucer mostly to burn up the reload. No false
starts this time.
I put a F12-3J(0) in SpaceShipEarth which is a lighter
Delta Saucer. This is my favorite reload for these light
saucers with the predicted altitude of 400' and lots of trailing
Paul and I bought some mid 90's reloads from a man at
the May MASA launch. They have the old style delay structure and
the fuel grain forward in the E's and F's. I bought several
F40-4,7W's for the saucers.
Saturday I used up one of the F40-7W(0) in Smilely, a 29 mm
Delta Saucer. With a great take off, lots of smoke and noise,
this is the best F for this saucer.
I opened a new (2003) pkg. of F24-4W intending to burn
these up. I started with one in my modified Shadow. First
igniter failed. On the second attempt I got a good flight only
to watch the rocket fly into the
chute. Some how the chute tangled in one of the large fins. The
rocket came into the wet soil and cored the sod. No damage at
all to the rocket.
Next I flew the Broadsword which like the Shadow from
the same era was designed for the Estes E-15. I use Aerotech
here. I put the second F24-4W in the Broadsword for a nice
flight. It windcocked a bit and the chute brought it back to the
Before we left I put my 90's leftover Comanche III up in
the drag race. It was full up with D12-0, C6-0 and C6-7. I
didn't expect to get it back. I found the 1st. stage and
followed the line to the ditch. Yes of course. It was laying
flat in the easterly ditch. Another MASA member fished it out
for me. Very little internal water! Mean while Dave Whitaker
found the second stage on the opposite side of the field.
Thanks Dave. I have all the parts back for next year.
Glen Overby writes:
Wow, what a nice day to fly rockets!
Friday night I packed my car with both of my Big
Rockets, during which I realised that my easy-up wasn't going to
fit. I considered putting a rocket on the roof rack, but ...
well, America is kind of paranoid these days and I decided
Saturday morning I called the FAA to activate the waiver
then left for the field. When I got to the west side of the twin
cities, I saw fog and low ceilings. Ugh! Not a good sign. I
arrived around 9:15 and helped Ted with a couple of final set-up
things, set up my pad on the mid pad row then went to work
preping my flights.
I packed parachutes for both big rockets then opened up
the motor, and waited for the fog to burn off. While waiting I
preped a 5-fin scratchbuilt rocket with a D12-3. Even it had to
wait for the for the fog to lift.
Around 11am the fog was gone and the clouds were
breaking up, so I finished preparing my 1/3 scale Nike Smoke (6"
tube, about 80" long - 11lbs without the motor). I bought the
parts for this rocket in March, 2000 and this was it's first
flight. The rocket lumbered off the pad and headed for apogee
ever so slowly, while I was trying to count out the seconds to
ejection. The delay burned long and I was wondering if it
was going to be the rocket's only flight, but the motor did work
properly and the big parachute deployed and brought the rocket
down gently on the field.
I flew my Comanche-3 in the drag race, but lost track of
which one was mine so I followed one of them in my binoculars
for a bit, until I got worried that I was looking close to the
sun, so I lost it. I heard someone tracking one coming down to
the west of the pads, and it turned out to be mine! A friend who
came out to watch me crash stuff brought back my booster stages.
I have two 'ok' pictures of the drag race.
As the day drew to a close, I decided to fly my 4" IQSY
Tomahawk on the other I285 I had bought. After Ted cleared the
far pad, I prepared the motor and took the rocket to the pad.
This was a much faster ascent than the Nike Smoke, but the delay
over the top was even longer. The parachute brought it down in
one of the rivers, and I ran over to see what I could save.
Fortunately, the upper portion of the rocket -- the part that
had the $$ altimeter -- was sitting on weeds, and was dry. The
altimeter said 1,984' which is pretty close to what Rocksim
predicted (the delay wasn't very close to the 12 seconds
predicted). It doesn't look like the phenolic tubing sustained
any long-term dammage.
My total for the day was: 1072 newton-seconds, 6
A big THANKS to Ted Cochran for hauling out his launch
gear: the crowd barrier (required by the FAA waiver, by the
way), PA, launch controller and many of the launch pads.
Thanks to those who spent time on LCO duty. Thanks to Alan
for bringing his 'quad pod' and Black Sky rail.
Here are some of the pictures I took at the launch:
John Carlson writes:
It was a great day for a launch, after the fog lifted. I
was there only for a couple of hours before I had to leave for a
family activity. I did get to launch a few rockets.
A new, yes I said new, not much I have is newer that 25
years, but I cloned the old Estes Renegade on a D12-5 a cloned
Centuri Orion on a C6-3 and a very old Maxi Alpha on a D12-5, my
almost 30 year old Estes V-2 on a B6-4 and my 25+ year old Estes
Honest john, I even got to drag race the Honest John With Mark
Thell's 25 year old Honest John, pretty cool. Thanks again for
the guys that set up everything in the fog. I hope next month
has as good weather.
Full launch tally (in Adobe Acrobat PDF form, requires version
or newer of the Acrobat reader)
The totals were: 134 flights, 161 motors. The cumulative
total impulse was 4858 Ns with an average total impulse of 30.2 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: