May 2008 launch report (6/3/2008)
On Saturday, May 31st, MASA held it's fourth launch of the
year. This was the first "big" launch of the year, and the
first one at the sod fields near Nowthen.
The weather cooperated with a warm, sunny day. The breeze
out of the NW made the recovery walks a little longer, but it wasn't
too bad. The turnout was excellent with many old and new
members and guests.
The theme for the launch was "Fat Boy Mania"!
Buzz McDermott ran a fun contest - C Fat Boy duration. Buzz
"We had six entrants in the Fat Boy Duration Contest - one
junior and five seniors. Since there was only one junior
contestant I went ahead and lumped everyone into a single
category. That was bad news for the seniors, however. The
overall winner (by a country mile) was junior Scott Gleason who
flew his Fat Boy on a C6-5 and a 32" Dynastar parachute to
record a time of almost 65 seconds. This was almost twice the
winning senior time! It could have been worse. If Scott had
chosen a slightly different launch angle and used a C6-3
instead, I bet his time would have been between 90-100 seconds.
Ray King proved that having a huge mylar parachute is only to
your advantage if you can get the parachute to open. :-)
Dave Whitaker showed being last to fly doesn't mean you'll end
up last in the results.
Here are the results:
1. Scott Gleason, C6-3, 32" chute, 64.93 sec
2. Dave Whitaker, C6-?, 24" chute, 34.13 sec
3. Ray King, C11-3, BIG mylar wad, 24.42 sec
Thanks to all who participated. I hope it was fun. We will
have to do this again."
Andy Heren ran another fun event - a Fat Boy (rocket) "Beauty
Contest". The entries were displayed on a blanket near the
flight line. Everyone at the launch could vote for their
favorite using secret ballot.
Winner - "Bee" Fat Boy by Dwayne Shmel
1st Runner-Up - "October Sky" Fat Boy by Carol Marple
2nd Runner-Up - "Blue" Fat Boy by David Whitaker
Thanks to Buzz McDermott for running the Fat Boy duration contest
and to Andy Heren for running the Fat Boy "beauty contest".
Big thanks to all who volunteered an hour for LCO/RSO duty.
Extra thanks to those who helped set up and tear down the range.
Congrats to Dwayne Shmel on his successful L1 cert!
A few of the flights:
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Dwayne Shmel writes:
So, Elizabeth and I (with early help from Mom), flew 8
rockets today. The highlight was our first flight of a
rebuilt Executioner (new Loc 2.56 tube and LOC nosecone and 29mm
motor mount). Actually the only
original parts were the plywood fins. The 18 oz. rocket screamed
off the pad with bright red flame to about 2700'. Triple 14"
chutes carried it about a half mile. My L1 Cert flight was a
success. We then flew a variety of other rockets including
Elizabeth's Baby Bertha on a C6, an Eliminator on an E18W, and a
new video rocket based on a modded Stormcaster. Unfortunately,
the nosecone detached from it's chute and freefell. I lost the
video signal right after deployment so I had no way of using my
antenna as a wayfinder to determine the camera's location. I was
really bummed because I built the camera with a swivel feature
to allow it to point at a variety of angles. Oh well, time to
scour eBay for another Swann MicroCam. The video didn't come out
as well as I had hoped. It was a MicroCam 3.3 compared to my
original MicroCam 3. So maybe there is a differnce in
transmission bandwidth between the two. The 3.3 video was real
choppy with banding (so maybe no great loss afterall). We flew a
drag race with a Death Star chased by an X-Wing. I delayed the
launch of the X-Wing by a second and a half so it looked like it
was chasing the Death Star. The shock cord on the X-wing snapped
and one of the wings was damaged on impact. The Death Star
returned in pieces as designed. We flew our beauty contestant
Fat Boy in the duration contest for a time of 21.53 seconds on
an 18" plastic chute - and also flew a newly finished BLU-97B
Cluster Bomb (sans bomblets) for it's maiden flight on a C6-5.
It was a great day despite the loss of the video camera. Maybe
we will find it later in the season (like I found our MaxTrax
nosecone after a full winter season of being covered in snow in
a local field behind our house - and the little digital
"altimeter" was still working!)
Rick Vatsaas writes:
Saturday was great day for launching rockets, I hope it was
for everyone else had as good a time as I did. I haven't been
able to attend a MASA launch for over a year (pretty bad for the
club treasurer) so it was an
extra treat for me.
Didn't bring much for rockets and flew nothing larger that a
D. I brought out a couple of my "hanger queens" that are
undergoing repairs, just for show and tell.
* The 4" SpaceShipOne which I am repairing for this fall
* Kidd Plasma's flaming Atomic Meteor
I also brought out some furniture to see how much hassle it
would be to set up. I figured since I didn't have a lot to fly
this would be a good time to see. I packed a folding
table, two captains chairs, and my easy up in the back of the
ford pick up. With the help of New Member Todd Schweim I had my
base camp the set up in five minutes. Tear down took slightly
longer. The table ($37, Sam's club) was nice because it adjust
down the right height for the captains chairs, or you can set it
up high for working up right. Might a nice thing to have for the
range controller. The only downside was the smooth surface
meant everything blew off table
with the slightest breeze. I'll have to find a way to fix that.
First I flew my new scratch built Tycho Express rocket on
D12-5. It proved to be far more stable I predicted. However the
shock cord burned through and separated, fortunately it
recovered without a scratch.
Second I flew my scratch built Skowt (a parody of the Astron
Scout) on D12-5. also a good flight, also separated, the body
instead of fluttering down as I would expect of a short stubby
rocket, homed in the
ground like a laser guided bomb, luckily it landed with only
minor repairable damage. The nose cone and chute landed almost
at the southern ditch.
Third I flew my Fliskits/Shrox Alien 8 on a C6-5. It was a
nice flight, except when parachute/nose cone separated (are you
sensing a pattern here?). Turns out the culprit was brand of
surveying cord I used for
the shock cord. It did not have the rated strength. Here is a
hint: if you buy shock cord at home depot. Make sure it is the
florescent yellow/green or magenta stuff, not the lemon yellow
cord that is a
Lastly I flew my Custom Rockets Ion Pulsar. This was one of
the first kits I bought when I re-entered rocketry in 2000, as I
really dug the retro styling (I think it is bound to be a
classic, myself), but I
always avoided building it until I was sure I had the skill to
build it to look like the box art. It has actually been finished
for a couple years but only finished painting it last fall. It
flew great on a B4-4. And it had the right brand of shock cord
so it landed nice too.
On the Membership/Treasury front: Two memberships were
renewed and there was one new membership taken. I also
reimbursed Jeff Taylor $50 for various newsletter expenses.
I took a bunch of pictures and maybe a dozen are worth
posting. I'll have those up in a couple days. Thanks everyone
for a great launch. Especially those that set up and tore down
On a final note I would like to recognize the parents of our
younger rocketeers, who gave up their Saturdays and drove long
distances to so their kids could fly their rockets. My hat is
off to you!
Art Gibbens writes:
Well, what a beautiful day for launching!
As many of you saw, the HCA TARC Team was on hand to
launch their competition rocket one last time on an Aerotech
G40-7W with all the added weight of the eggs and clay removed to
see how high it would go. Team members Aaron Anderson (and his
dad Mark), Philip Gibbens, Matt McCall and Angie You were all on
hand to prep and recover the rocket. The results - 1468 feet and
a successful last flight before this rocket is hung in the
rocket hall of fame at HCA.
Throughout the morning the team members took turns
flying the donated rockets on some engines that had been
collected over the years of "rocketeering" at HCA. Needless to
say, the big ones got used up early.
Philip and I also flew some of our own rockets. For
myself two notable rockets were an older Estes Screamin' Eagle
kit that I had modified to be staged with a D12-0 or C11-0 as a
booster. I flew this on a D12-0 to C6-7 for a very nice flight
and moderate walk for recovery. The other was my old Satellite
Launcher that I rebuilt to take D12's and C11's. I also put dual
12 inch parachutes in it for the recovery system. I put a D12-7
in it, had a great flight and my longest walk for recovery. I
flew my BOINK on a Estes B4-4 and my older Alpha on a B6-6 for
nice flights as well.
My son Philip tried to fly his Scrambler but had a CATO
on an Estes B6-4. Otherwise, everything he flew were good
flights. Other HCA TARC Team members were not as fortunate. I
think Matt and Aaron both had recovery issues with the old
parachutes sticking together and not deploying. Aaron also flew
a Goliath and only two of the C6-5 motors lit causing it to go
off the rod at an angle and a long recovery walk.
I finished the day by doing RSO duty from 12:30 to 1:30
pm which allowed me to see a lot of other fliers' rockets head
to the air. At least on my shift, I didn't really see any
nominees for the annual PRANG of the year award. Although on one
set of flights from the community pads we had two different
rockets land within a couple of feet of their respective launch
pads, which was kind of unique because they came off the same
rack of flights. It's so fun to see the bigger reloads/rockets
jump off the pad and it really got some of the students talking
about bigger rockets as we enjoyed lunch at the Burger King down
the road afterwards.
A big thank-you to all the MASA members who helped the
HCA TARC Team have memorable and enjoyable last flights of the
2007-2008 school year!
Ken Jarosch writes:
Look at all those cars! They ran the whole width of the
sod segment. I had ample opportunity to check that out while
walking back from my many long walks.
Because of a late start, reloading and the walking I
only got in 4 flights. But they were important flights. I also
wanted to try out the completed HPR GSE set for the first time.
1) The first rocket up was my old "Big Daddy" on a
F21-6W, which was to be de-certified on 08/31/08. The rocket
went much higher than I expected and I had to walk way down on
next sod segment almost to the single tree.
2) The next rocket was the rebuilt "Executioner"
retro-fitted with a straight-through Baffle/Zipper-less
bulkhead. From "Baffles and More" Part 1. Burning up some 2000
F39-6T(4), the flight was great with a little over the top in
time. I had drilled for 4 seconds. The baffle worked as planned
although the parts separation was too close. On recovery I found
that the chute had slipped forward several feet. With the wind
calmer at this time the walk was moderate in the same field.
3) My G-Force was the 3rd. rocket. I was trying a hobby
line G71-4R reload for the first time to compare to the usual
G64W. The got off fast and climbed to a nice altitude before the
long 18' shock cord came out on ejection. The large 45" chute
tends to drift this rocket and today in the winds was no
exception. Another long walk down the next sod area.
4) By now it was getting into the afternoon but I still
wanted to put the (Red & Yellow) B4R up with a H128W-S (6
seconds) even though the winds were carrying everything down
range. This rocket with a G80 just meets the 53 0z. limits for a
LMR note. But with the H128 it's a nice match for low level
flying to about 1050'. This only has a 42" chute but with the
winds and greater altitude than the previous G-Force, I had
another long walk.
By the time I got back I was pretty exhausted. The hour
packing up the heavy GSE was tiring. But I got done what I
wanted to do.
Several people asked me what rocket was the B4R. For
some reason people like this rocket. I've had several
compliments at TRA-MN. Must be the shape and the simple color
scheme. In 2002 I flew my first Sumo on many G's with plans to
CERT with a H128. The last flight AUG 2002 on G80 and a slipping
launch pad (remember the loose felt washers) put it in the top
of a tree at the Blaine field. In a late fall launch some one
noticed that the rocket fincan (now filled with ice.) was
hanging all the way down to the ground and was reachable. The
nose cone came in the Spring of 2003 when the trees were being
knocked down. Several MASA people were there to collect all the
lost rockets. I was given the nose cone at the 2003 picnic. So
salvaging the fins and the nosecone I rebuilt a Basic 4" Rocket
using Loc tubes and bulkhead parts. For G's I use the fincan and
nosecone much like a longer Sumo. For G80's (low level- 600'+)
and H's I put in the payload section. Just a commodity rocket.
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: 161 flights, 177 motors.
The cumulative total impulse was 4147 Ns with an average total impulse of 23.4 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: