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Last updated: July 2, 2008
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Alan Estenson, Webmaster

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 launch! 

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 now.

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 relative calm.

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!

The Details:

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:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0
















G 5


I 1




(Alan Estenson)

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