July 2008 launch report (7/28/2008)
On Saturday, July 26th, MASA held its eighth launch of the
year. This was the third launch of the year at the sod fields near Nowthen.
This was dubbed the "We're not at NARAM" launch. Several club
members had traveled to Virginia to take part in NARAM 50, so launch
attendance was a little on the light side.
The day was warm with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine.
The breeze out of the west was light and variable for most of the
day although it gradually increased as the afternoon progressed.
It was pretty darn nice rocket launchin' weather!
Unfortunately, a few rockets did disappear into the depths of the
Huge thanks to the RSO/LCO volunteers! Rick Rider, Andy
Juntunen, Ken Jarosch, David Whitaker, and Alan Estenson.
Extra thanks to all who came early and/or stayed late to help
clean up the range and pack up the equipment!
A big welcome to new members Lance and Vince Goodnough, and to
visitors Tim Carrol, and Charlie, Henry, Joe and John Weismann!
Glad to have you with us!
Many people flew their Semroc Golden Scouts as part of July's
"Sky of Gold" celebration: Caroline Andrews, Jason Colt, Mike
Crotteau, Ben Ericksen, Carol Marple, Alyssa Taylor, Jeff Taylor and
McKenna Taylor. The 1/2A6-2 engine seemed to be the powerplant
of choice. Most Scouts successfully tumbled back, but a few
spit their engines and lawn darted.
The theme for this launch was "clusters"! Quite a number of
cluster motor flights took to the skies with amazing success in
lighting multiple engines.
John Carlson flew his vintage "Super Bertha" on two D12-3's.
This 30 year old rocket was made from a wrapping paper tube.
John also flew his FlisKits Deuces Wild for the first time on two
Alan Estenson launched his "Tube-ces Wild" on two C6-5's, his
Semroc Goliath on three C6-7's (for a flight that just did not want
to come back down!), a LOC Viper IV on four D12-7's, and the only AP
motor cluster of the day - his trusty LOC Starburst on two F21-6's.
David Gensler put up his LOC Viper III on three D12-5's and his
Semroc Defender Space Probe on three A8-5's.
Andy Juntunen flew his big "SYG HSB" on three D12-5's.
(Just what does that name stand for, Andy?)
Dwayne Shmel launched his Starchaser on two B6-4's, and his
"Biohazard" on three B6-4's (lighting 2 of them).
And, last but not least, Jeff Taylor flew his "Espresso" FlisKits
Tres on three C6-5's.
A few of the flights:
(To note just a few)
Tim Carrol and the Weismanns returned to rocketry in a big way
with a total of 20 flights. They dug a number of 70's vintage
rockets out of the closet including a 2-stage Omega and an Orbital
Jason Colt flew his "Vindicator 2.0" that he built from a
Screamin' Mimi for the kitbash kontest. It had an interesting
Mike Crotteau won the day's "perseverance award". After
multiple attempts to light an E18 in his Semroc SLS Laser X, he
declared the motor to be cursed, put in an E28 instead, and had a
David Gensler had 7 flights for the day. Every one of them
was a brand new rocket flying for the first time!
Glen Overby and David Whitaker impressed the crowd with their Sky
Ripper hybrid motor flights. Glen flew his IQSY Tomahawk on an
I117; Dave flew his Jaguar on an H124.
Rick and Jacob Rider got a very cool thumbs-up for their Saturn
flights. First, they flew an Apogee Saturn V on a G77, and
then they flew an Apogee Saturn 1b on an F42. Wow!
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Jeff Taylor writes:
There was maybe half the turnout that we had last month,
but it was for the most part a decent day for flying. Although
it was hot, a light breeze all day kept it comfortable, with
very few nasty gusts.
My kids and I got our official Golden Scout flights in.
Although they all spit out motors and came in ballistic there
was no damage (other than the token fin scorching).
I also flew a Quest Navaho AGM 2 stage on a C6-0 and
A8-3, a Big Bertha and my kit bash rocket (which again snapped
off the motor pods on landing). Since it was "Clusters" day I
flew my Tres on 3 C6-5s. All 3 lit and it flew well.
Glen Overby writes:
Saturday was a fun day of flying. I flew six flights, with 9
motors, totaling 816 newton-seconds.
The forecast had clear skies much of the day, and I've been
able to follow high-flying rockets in clear skies (I lose them
against clouds, especially dark ones). So I prepared several
relatively high-flying rockets.
My first flight of the day was the complex one: my 4" IQSY
Tomahawk on an I117 Skyripper Systems Hybrid motor. This motor
(as certified by TMT) has a total impulse of 651 newton-seconds,
or a 92% "I". I had two altimeters on board, with independent
ejection charges, and a flight data recorder I call the
Logomatic. One altimeter, a MissileWorks RRC2-mini reported an
altitude of 812', but the second one, an Adept P6K, reported
1400'. Rocksim predicted 1418'. The nosecone popped off about
when the drogue parachute deployed (this could have been one of
the ejection charges firing; it's hard to say). The main
deployed (one altimeter was set for main deployment at 500', the
other for 400') and it landed with only minor dammage. My video
camera near the pad got some nice pictures of the flight.
I'm glad people enjoyed the flight!
My 2nd and 6th flights were a scratchbuilt rocket I call
Divide By Zero. I use this rocket for test flying one of the
altimeters I've been building. My apogee detection hasn't been
working right, and I've been "tweaking" how it works. Finally,
on these two flights it worked. On the second flight, I used a 7
second motor delay which essentially ment relying on the
altimeter. Look out! Staging comes next!
My 3rd flight was 'Speed Demon', a 38mm diameter rocket that
I've never had the guts to fly out of sight on big motors.
Rocksim said it would to go 3065' on a Roadrunner G80-7 (it
needs a -10, but none have been available locally). I got
sight of the rocket at ejection and followed it down - losing it
when it got near the sun but quickly finding it afterwards.
My 4th flight was an old 2-stage rocket with small fins - too
small, maybe? It went nearly horizontal off the pad, and we
didn't have much wind! D12-0 to D12-7. I caught a glimpse of it
as it landed, so I got it back.
My 5th flight was a 3-stage BT50 rocket with larger fins than
the 2 stager, but it still tipped into the wind a LOT more than
I cared for.. More nose weight, I guess? Dave helped me get the
1st stage back. I had powdered chalk in the rocket, so there was
a nice orange cloud at deployment, but I never saw the rocket. I
found it on the ground two fields to the west of the launchpads.
Dwayne Shmel writes:
I arrived at about 10 AM or so and started off the day
with the DUDE, <repeat after me>, "Duuuuuuuuude." Since
this rocket dirigible flies great on an E motor, it will fly
TWICE as nice on an F, right? Well, sort of. After
clearing the launch rod and ascending to about 75' or so, the
F24 overpowered the plastic fin can (plastic "cage") and the
balloon rocket separated into two parts. The fin can landed on
the flight line and the balloon airframe floated down. Good
thing I didn't use helium or the airframe may have just floated
away. I suppose the nose cone weight ring taped near the nose
would have prevented that though. The plastic parts appear to be
repairable so I will rebuild using that special epoxy for
plastic for a stronger bond. The next motor will be an F12-5J,
I then flew my newly built (but unpainted) V-2 on an
E18-7W. This is a MOD of a Canadian Arrow kit using all kit
parts but with the BT cut down to 7.6". I am not sure if the
fins are exactly to scale with a V-2, but I didn't want to fuss
with trimming them or to cut new ones. It was a very nice flight
with good deployment. The rocket returned on a 14" nylon chute
north of the launch area. At first I thought the evil wheat
field was gonna gobble it up, but the rocket landed on the hard
pack access road with NO damage. Funny, with all the wheat and
sod, it found the road. The 'glassing and generous use of CA
made for stout impact resistant balsa fins. Since it has now
proven itself flight worthy, I suppose I will complete the
it now. I just need to decide on a paint scheme.
In keeping with the cluster theme, I flew my Baby Bertha
BioHazard kit bash on 3 B6-4's. I added a half ounce of nose
cone weight for extra stability. Only two of the three B6 motors
fired so the rocket went up about 30' and then angled a little
sideways toward the southeast. Deployment was good and the
rocket survived to fly another hazardous flight on another day.
For what is becoming a favorite combo of mine, I loaded
an AT RMS D13-7 into my Art Applewhite 18mm PINK Pyramid for
another great flight. I just love the big noise from these tiny
reloads. I then flew my only other cluster rocket, the Estes
X-Prize Thunderstar on two B6-4's. Both motors fired for a
perfect flight and safe recovery.
I finished the day flying my Estes BLU-97B Cluster Bomb
on another AT D13-7. This stubby scale bomb rocketed straight up
and very fast on the D13. The deployment was very late (I
probably should have drilled out the delay charge a bit) but the
14" chute brought her down safely (how do you determine rocket
gender?). Upon inspection, I noticed the two piece nose cone was
separated and a puncture in the airframe. Apparently, my Kevlar
shock cord is too short and the nose cone whipped back and
smacked the BT right above the boat tail. The lower launch
lug was also crushed and the adjacent fin has a divit in it's
leading edge. The damage looks to be reparable but it will be
hard to match the custom green latex paint I mixed up when I
airbrushed it the first time around.
It was a good day, 6 flights, and great weather
(although breezy at times). But more importanly, I did NOT lose
any rockets!!. This will hopefully be the beginning of a new
Ken Jarosch writes:
I got in four flights that I have been wanting to do for
First I flew my two FlisKits - Rose-A-Roc helicopters on
A8-3's so as not to lose them right off.
The First Rose-A-Roc is an Almost stock build. Changes
were mostly Ca'ing the fins, laminating the inside of the body
tube and CTR, rotor tab reinforcement and hinge relief and
procedure changes in building the hub. At ignition the folded
rotor copter leaped off the pad to a very good altitude. The
ejection was right at apogee and the rocket began to rotate
immediately. The copter started it's up down cycle gaining
altitude finally catching a down draft into the next field. I
started early to avoid the winds and thermals later. It would be
easy to lose this one to a larger motor, winds and thermals. I
lost 2 in the '90. For info see my report "Detailed Kit Review:
Fliskits Rose-A-Roc - Part 1". One thing that reduced the
duration was the tendency to wobble due to an imbalance.
The second Rose-A-Roc is heavily modified with
enhancements. It weighs 1.7 oz. vs the stock kit of 0.7 oz. With
the A8-3 it did not go as high. At ejection it had a harder time
starting to rotate. But when it did get going it rotated faster
and without the wobble. While it was hovering there it got hit
with a wind blast and completely turned it upside down. Of
course it stopped rotating then reversed rotation while slowing
drifting down inverted. Due to the heavier rotors, stop blocks
and removable rubber it may be top heavy. I may need to
rebalance the rocket. Also the dihedral is much flatter on the
second Rose-A-Roc which may need to be adjusted. That's build in
to the mod. See report "Fliskits Rose-A-Roc: Part 2 -
Modifications and Enhancements".
Wanting to get some AP burning in, I prepared my G-Force
to fly Mojave Green G76-4G. This new motor was a comparison to
the G64W and the G71R reloads in the same rocket on similar
days. The rocket flies well on the G64W with it's slow liftoff
and bright flame. In May I flew it on the G71R for a faster take
off and possibly higher altitude. I been wanting to try these
new motors since early June. With the G76G the G-Force lifted
off like it had a H motor in it. The bright green plume was an
attention getting. This is an impressive motor at the G level.
The altitude was definitely higher than a G64W and somewhat
better than the G71R. Looking at the Time-Thrust Curves that
come with the motors you can see the differences.
The old G64W has peak thrust of 18 lbs. and a burn time
of just over 2 seconds, The G71R has a peak thrust of about 22
lbs. and a burn time of a little over 1.6 seconds, But the G76G
(if you can believe it) has an unbelievable peak thrust of 45
lbs with a burn time of just under 1.5 seconds.
To put this in to perspective. The HPR "G's" the G79W
and G77R have a peak of 22 lbs. and burn time of about 1.5 and
1.35 seconds respective. Even my H128W only peak at 35 lbs with
a 1.5 second burn. The sustainer is longer. To get to 43 lbs
peak thrust you need to go to the H165. It's burn time is only 1
second but it is more progressive and a level sustainer.
The Mojave Green motors in G are really great for those
larger G rockets in the 3 lb class. Looking forward to using the
H250G's as an upgrade to the H180 in "I" rockets for a safe low
Finally in the AP mode I flew my B4R on an OLD H239T-S.
While the AP was great the O-rings were stiff and one was
deformed. But a little Vaseline and time in the sun brought them
back. The flight was flawless and with a smaller chute it didn't
drift as far as the G-Force.
After my stint as RSO/LOC I took the time to do a
photo-op with my "Spirit Of America - 2008". See my article
"Baffles and More - Part 2". Along with the Show & Tell this
brought me to 3:00 pm. With the packing up I decided I had had
John Carlson writes:
It was great weather, all my kids where out of town at
the grand-parents so it was just me. I as always had a few
senior rockets to launch, for me that's 30+ years old. I
had 5 of these.
Estes V-2 on a B6-4
Estes ARCAS on a B6-4
Estes Goblin on a D12-3
Clone of a Centuri Orion on a C6-3
A scratch built super bertha made from a 1970's 4" Christmas
paper tube that was covered in silkspan. She is a great twin D
I also flew a
Deuces Wild, (maiden flight) on B6-4's
Blue Max clone on a B6-4
A Estes Vanguard on a B6-4
a Estes Python on a B6-4 that got it's engine hook stuck on the
clothes pin support and never left the pad.
I was going to launch a 30 year old Estes Ranger on 3
B6-4's but I discovered it had a broken fin. So that was it for
my Saturday. Thanks to all the RSO's that helped.
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: 124 flights, 149 motors.
The cumulative total impulse was 3828 Ns with an average total impulse of 25.7 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: