June 2008 launch report (7/2/2008)
On Saturday, June 28th, MASA held its sixth launch of the
year. This was the second launch of the year at the sod fields near Nowthen.
The threat of rain and thunderstorms turned out to be an empty
one. The breeze was annoying (8-12mph out of the west), but
sunshine and blue skies prevailed for the majority of the launch.
By 2pm, the crowd had thinned, enthusiasm had waned, and the breeze
had picked up.
Extra special thanks to those who helped set up and tear down the range.
A few of the flights:
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Dwayne Shmel writes:
What a nice day to launch rockets. It was probably a
better day to fly kites. It was also a good day to walk - and I
did a lot of that.
As I walked and walked, I had plenty of time to re-think
the merits of single use mid-power motors versus RMS. You are
SUPPOSED to re-use the motor cases, Right? Not just fly your
rockets with expensive
casings into a tree or wheat field? Let me check the Aerotech
catalogue again and re-read the product description. Yes, I lost
another case today - DANG - along with the rocket that was
wrapped around it. It was my Fat Boy "Yellow Jacket" (the Beauty
Contest Winner no less). I should have known better to fly it
with an F12-5J in any sort of wind. After a couple of hours
searching the wheat field to the north, I gave up. Perhaps the
nice farmer will find it at harvest time. Oh well. I did manage
to fly my Death Star after a false start on the pad the first
time around. The little C6 motor just flared like a roman candle
for about 4 seconds and then the ejection charge popped the
sphere off the body tube. The 4 quadrants dribbled down to the
ground. I thought it was funny. The menacing little Death Star
that "couldn't." The second time around the flight went
horizontal and ejection was just a few feet off the ground.
Another wind by product. I also flew my Rock-It Baby Bertha
(C6-3) and my newly repaired Stormcaster on a D12-5, both
flights were satisfying. Last, but not least, I sent my bright
pink Applewhite pyramid up an a C6-5. So that was it - Just 5
flights for the day. I did get plenty of exercise though.
Mark Thell writes:
I arrived around 7:30 to take advantage a hopefully lower
winds. I managed to "thin the herd" a little. My Semroc MarkII
now sleeps in the wheat field just north of the launch area. My
Quest Nike Smoke is a fin short now. It's in the retired bin.
After helping Alan set things up, things started up. I had a
couple good flights with my trusty Big Bertha with nice
recoveries by a local chute maker(can't think of the creators
name though.....ha-ha). You really ought to get some of
these chutes, even I can't wreck them. My main project for the
day was to launch the upper stage Omega with Cineroc nose cone.
It's all original, even the old checkerboard Estes parachute. Of
course, I updated shock cords and shroud lines. Alan said I was
nuts to fly it. Maybe I am, I wanted to know if it would work
well. I want to take it along to NARAM next month.
Up she went on a D12-5, good deployment. Spent roughly 2
hours trying to find the !@$^$# thing. I was just sick at
the prospect of losing it. I came back to the launch area,
dejected, when my close personal bestest friend in the world,Ted
Cochran asked if he could help. He has GPS on his BlackBerry
phone. He punched on a few things and off we went, Ted, myself
and Linda Boe, who graciously offered to help. It wasn't
more than 15 minutes and Linda found it. I was climbing
trees 2 fields away!!!!
Thanks again Ted and Linda. And yes Ted I think we're even
There was a first ever MASA Crayon Drag Race between Caleb
Boe and myself. His was red, mine was the Purple Flying Crayon
(of death) I gotta stop using that reference because The PFCOD
just about took Alan's head of at the launch table. Broke a fin,
nothing that cannot be fixed. Alan, on the other hand..... not
so sure. [I'm fine - AE] Not sure who won although
I did win closest to the pad .
My last flight was a Golden Scout. I had clear coat issues on
it and it had a crinkled finish. I "slightly"
overpowered it on a C6-3. I think it's still up there. Don't DO
that!!! A8-3s are plenty of power.
While packing it in for the day, I noticed I have more room
in my rocket box. Gotta start building more. Lots of fun
though. Thanks Alan for running the entire show.
Buzz McDermott writes:
My wife's sister and her family were up visiting from
Texas the week up to Saturday's launch. "The guys" wanted to go
fly a few rockets while "the girls" shopped Saturday morning. We
got to the launch right about 9 AM. At that point the breeze was
already gusting to 10-12 MPH but there were also periods of
The first two rockets we flew were a Squirrel Works
Tuber on a C11-0/C11-5 combo and my highly modified Sunward
Gravity Rider on 2xC11-5. Both flights were nominal and both
rockets landed nearby.
We flew the next pair of rockets a bit higher. First was
a Quest Full Moon which I had modified to have a 24 mm mount.
For those not familiar with Quest rockets the Full Moon is about
the size of a shortened Bady Bertha. Flew it on an Aerotech
E30-7. Noted in the comments section that the rocket was named
'Bye-Bye'. That turned out to be a pretty accurate name. The
countdown went 3-2-1 .... GONE. A quick Wrasp sim put the
estimated altitude at about 1800 feet and I am sure it got all
of that. Got it in a hurrry, too. We recovered that rocket at
the south east corner of the sod field to the east of the launch
site (and we were launching from the north west corner of that
field). The second flight of this pair was a SemRoc SLS Hustler
on an an Aerotech F27-7R (RedLine). It had another nominal
flight except for a very early ejection and we recovered it in
the sod field to the east as well. Jay Gould was there taking
pictures with his high-end cameras again. I sure hope he got a
shot of the Hustler!
Our final flight of the day turned out to be astretched
Estes Fat Boy painted like a Texas flag and named "Little Tex".
Again, this was a modified rocket - it was stretched about 6"
and had a 24 mm mount. We stuffed an Aerotech F24-7 into it and
I hoped the 14" chute wasn't going to be too big. The rocket was
longer and heavier than the standard kit. A Fat Boy goes pretty
high on an F21. A Fat Boy goes VERY high on an F21! The chute
popped at pretty close to apogee and the rocket started drifting
qucikly and steadily to the east south east. I lost site of the
rocket but my nephew (Austin Harris) took out after it. Since I
had no idea where the rocket went I started prepping two more
rockets (a SemRoc SLS Explorer and a Sirrius Interrogator-D).
Forty-five minutes went by and no Austin. After another 15
minutes his dad and I decided to call it a short day, packed up
and drove off looking for Austin. We left at about 12:30. We
picked up Austin on the way out - with not rocket. I guess a 14"
chute was too big, after all.
We only flew 5 rockets Saturday, but Austin said he had
a good time. And both my brother-in-law and nephew got to enjoy
a break from 95-100 degree Dallas weather.
Ted Cochran writes:
Saturday, I made just one flight--my Tethys flew for the
16th time, this time on its favorite motor, an I211W-M. It was
loud, high, and perfect.
I also spent time in the wheat field, looking for the
wayward fatboy, without success :(
We are going to have to be very careful about that wheat
field in future launches; we do NOT want to fly into a dry wheat
field and start a fire!
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: 97 flights, 113 motors.
The cumulative total impulse was 2305 Ns with an average total impulse of 20.4 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: