Finally, the weather forecast was wrong--in our favor!
I arrived at the site at about 9:30 to find it pretty much ready
to go, with a small group of folks that rapidly grew to around
20 carloads as the morning wore on.
The weather was MUCH better than predicted. Temps were in the
40s early, but quickly reached the mid 50s, and in the sun it
felt a lot warmer. The sky was cloudless early on, and the worst
it got was partly cloudy. Even better, the winds were mostly
light until about noon when they finally picked up to the 10 mph
I had no problems with the FAA notification ("Have fun!), and we
flew a bunch of rockets--80+, I think.
I flew just two--the venerable LOC-IV on an H128W-M, for a fine,
if slightly weather-cocked flight, and Phobos on a G77R-4
The Phobos flight was undertaken with a bit of trepidation,
given that the a motor from the same lot had CATOed earlier
(back of the motor blew off). No problems with my motor,
though--it flew up very well.
The parachute managed to wrap itself up in the shroud lines, so
the landing wasn't the greatest, but no damage.
My last "flight" of the day was to burn the ejected propellant
from the earlier G77 CATO by electrically igniting it with a
dipped Daveyfire. Let's just say that Redline propellant would
excellent, if short-burning, road flare.
There were lots of great flights today. David Whitaker and Glen
Overby flew dual-deployment hybrids with excellent results, if
you don't count one water landing (Guess who's rocket hit the
The Boe family brought their spiffy new launch shelter (with
wheels!) and flew a mess o'rockets, including Caleb's nice
flight of his Tethys on an H210R.
John Carlson flew a bunch of classics, and participated in a
spectacular drag race of elderly Interceptors--wow!
Mark Thell also flew some classic rockets, and scored some cool
door prizes for NARCON.
Jeff Taylor showed off a beautiful rocket that he had
autographed by all the cool people at the October Sky Festival.
Other great flights, too, too numerous to mention. I'll let the
flyers describe them.
There was one fairly scary flight involving an unstable CC
Express (D to D, I think), that did a few loops and then staged;
the sustainer flew perfectly straight (naturally) on a depressed
trajectory, but missed cars, people, and everything else
important. The rocket was mostly destroyed. The root cause
remains unclear. The rocket balanced properly before being
launched--did it hit a wind gust? Get caught up on the rod? Have
a misaligned booster? We can't say. It looked fine before the
flight; it flew very badly. It's a good reminder to double and
triple check complex rockets, though!
Thanks to Jeff for hauling the gear and doing the first LCO
shift, as well as Dave for doing the third LCO shift.
All in all, it was a great day!
It was a great day for flying. I decided to bring out some
oldies but goodies. My 30 year old Alien Invader took to
the skies for a nice flight Next up was my yellow and black
scratch built on a C11-3. motor spit but recovered nicely.
I then tempted the rocket gods with a B/G that was a built at a
MASA meeting a long time ago. Mini motor powered, the last time
I flew it it was GREAT!! This time...not so good, just
wouldn't pull out of the ol'power dive. Remember what I said
about the rocket gods???
My V2 was the next up, again on a C11-3 (geez I have a LOT of
them ) Recovery, not so good, chute didn't want to come
out and play. Now it has the wrinkled skin of a Real V2. Maybe a
My old Estes SAROS, Big Bertha, Semroc Mark II and Quest Nike
Smoke rounded out the day. Special thanks and Kudos go to
our newest MASA member Joe Weisman... We've been communicating
online for awhile now. I turned him on to the club. Joe brought
his dad and others along to the launch and had a great time. Joe
very graciously donated some historical items for NARCON and I
want him to know that it was greatly appreciated.
90 flights, including 1 cluster and 4 two-stages, for a total
of 95 motors burned (not counting Ted's Road Flare Extravaganza).
For the first time in recent MASA history, more "B" motors
were lit than "C" motors.
Thanks go to Ted for taking care of the FAA paperwork. Thanks
go to Alyssa for helping me set up the range. Thanks go to Ted
and David for helping me with RSO duties. Thanks go to Glenn for
some pictures. Thanks go to all that helped take down the range
at the end. Thanks go to Alan for not being there :)
Many new faces appeared at this launch, including many new
members and visitors.
The totals were: 90 flights, 95 motors.
The cumulative total impulse was 2296 Ns with an average total impulse of 24.2 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: