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Last updated: July 24, 2007
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July 19 2008 picnic launch report (7/21/2008)

On Saturday, July 19th, MASA held its seventh launch of the year. This launch was held at the VFW soccer fields near Elk River in concert with the annual MASA picnic

The weather started out nice in the early afternoon but then started to cloud up.  Rockets were launched from about 2pm until 3pm on the misfire alley range.  We were keeping an ear to the radio while ominous dark clouds passed by well to the north.  Around 3pm, the wind picked up and some darker clouds were headed our way.  We quickly packed up the gear and retreated to the picnic shelter and cars.  A 10 minute deluge passed through giving the soccer fields a good drink of water.  Around 4pm, the gear was set back up and more flights were made until a bit after 5pm.

Thanks to the LCO/RSO volunteers Rick Vatsaas and Mike Erpelding.

Several people brought their kreations kitbashed from the Screamin' Mimi.  Rick Vatsaas brought his "Starship Ursa", Scott Gleason brought his Interceptor, and Jeff Taylor brought his Sky Tracer.  Very cool!

As part of the "Sky of Gold" celebration, quite a few MASA'ites brought along their Semroc Golden Scouts.  (Scott Gleason, Jim Myers, Alan Estenson, Andy Heren, Jeff Taylor, and Rick Vatsaas.)  Alan, Andy, Jim, and Rick all flew their Golden Scouts on 1/2A or A motors.

A few of the flights:

MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the launch! 

Ken Jarosch writes:

Great Picnic for the 10th Anniversary!

In accordance with "The Texan" that 2008 is the year of "Rotational Rocketry" I brought along the newly built copters.

The first 13mm Popsicle monocopter was tried on a A10-PT motor. The copter has a 5" rotor and is 7" long over all. Parts consist of two 3x5 index cards and 6 Popsicle sticks. It needs a 1/2" launch rod so I cut a piece of heavy coat hanger wire and used the Estes Pad. It spun off the pad and went to about 60 ft. Then I tried the longer burning A3-4T. Again if ripped off the pad with that buzz saw sound to an altitude of maybe a 100 ft. Nice flights in the wind for a cheap rocket and inexpensive motors.

The we took a storm break for about 30 minutes.

I got the larger monocopter pad ready. I made it out of two 6" x 30" particle boards 3/4" thick. I added two addition pieces as a stand off for a total height of 3" off the ground. With a 1/4 x 5 1/2 " carriage bolt , washers and three 1/4" nuts I could adjust the rod length to 1/2" for various copters. The larger copters need this weight.

My cloned 18mm Monocopter was designed just for the C6-3 motor. It has a 6" 1/8" basswood rotor and overall length of almost 9". The balance beam is a 8" 1/4" dowel. (As an alternate use a 8" 3/32" basswood for slower rotation.) I wanted the faster speed. This copter lifted off the pad with a higher tone to a height of 100'+-.

The next cloned Monocopter was the 24mm model for D's and E9's. This copter uses a 10" 1/8" basswood rotor to balance out the D motor weight. The overall length is 13.5" with a 12" 5/16" wood dowel as the balance beam. I used a D11-P motor for it's first flight. It hesitated at ignition and didn't snap off the pad. I don't think it made the same altitude as the previous copter. The wood center piece may have caught on the launch bolt threads. Maybe the weight factor also.

All these above monocopters used fiber glass cloth to reinforce the motor mount and supports.

The last cloned rocket was a Bi-copter. A 18mm cluster copter. The overall length is 16.5". It uses a 6.5" LOC 29 mm motor tube. The rotors are 5" x 1.25" 3/32" basswood. They are mounted to each end of the body tube. They mount inside the body tube down to the dual heavy duty 18 mm motor tubes. These are 1.25" from the end of the Loc tube. Both the 18mm motor tubes and rotors are set at 15d incidence. A 1/4" launch lug is mounted through the 29mm Loc tube on center. Also on center is the Balance beam. This consist of a 3/4" x 8" 3/32" basswood plank. I expected a fast lift off and wasn't disappointed. With two C6-3's it really left the pad with that noisy buzz saw sound. It went much higher than the monocopters and faster. After burnout it still rotated. This was probably the best of the bunch. This will make a nice design for the New Quest D5-0P motor with it's 4 second burn.

I also brought my two Rose-A-Roc copters. But the winds and time were not right.

Rick Vatsaas writes:

Alan and I took a guess on the weather. At 12:00 the weather radar was clear despite predictions for thunderstorms. We decided to go-ahead with the launch/picnic and I headed up on the long drive to Otsego. Stopping along the way for launch and picnic supplies.

When I arrived just Alan and Ken Jarouch were. We picked out a spot in the center of field because the wind was blowing up from the south. Weather looked rather harsh to the north, but it looked ok for the VFW fields. We were able have the field open and stage a few flight before we got our own thunder cell to pass over the field. The assembled MASAns grabbed their equipment, and we huddled in the VFW shelter until the deluge ended. After wards the wind shifted and we were able to make a few more flights.

Weather for the picnic was excellent, and there was abundance of food.  We especially enjoyed the corn custom roasted by Neal Higgins. I went after the party was cleaned up ready for a nap, and not needing to eat for several days.

My flights for the day:
- My Martini Rocket, Shaken not Stirred, for a couple of staggering flights on D12-5s.

-I flew my scratch built Skowt Twice, once on a C11-3 and on A D12-5. On the second flight, the parachute and nose cone separated from the body causing significant body damage and the nose cone floated away to the south.

- I flew my golden scout on A6-4 which went unstable due to an unauthorized modification, I flew it on a second flight on an A8-3, this time stable but the motor stuck and it augured in. For some reason, the body tube was significantly singed. As Andy Heren wryly noted, it's now a Golden Brown Scout! (pass the Hershey Bars and Graham Crackers) I will have to send pictures to Karl at Semroc to get a diagnosis about
what went wrong.

- I wasn't brave enough to fly my kitbash-Starship Ursa. It will have to wait for the August Launch.

Great fun every one. See you next time.

The Details:

Full launch tally (Adobe Acrobat PDF form)

The totals were:  36  flights, 37 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 307 Ns with an average total impulse of  8.3 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0
















G 0


I 0



(Alan Estenson)

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