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Last updated: July 2, 2008
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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 corn.

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 B6-4's.

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 Transport.

Jason Colt flew his "Vindicator 2.0" that he built from a Screamin' Mimi for the kitbash kontest.  It had an interesting spiral ascent.

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 successful flight.

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 launch! 

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, Duuuuuuuude.

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 finish on
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 trend.

Ken Jarosch writes:

I got in four flights that I have been wanting to do for sometime.

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 level flight.

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 enough.

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 cluster.

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.

The Details:

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:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0
















G 9


I 1




(Alan Estenson)

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