On Saturday, May 2nd, MASA held its third launch of the
year. This was the first launch of the season on the sod near
The skies were sunny & blue all day. It wasn't terribly
warm, but it wasn't too bad, either. The breeze was fairly
stiff out of the west. The launch ended for the day a little
after 2pm when the wind started gusting to 20mph (and more).
Thanks to Ken Jarosch & Neal Higgins for being there early to
help set up the launch range!
Thanks to everyone who stuck around to help clean up and tear
down the range at the end of the day!
Buzz McDermott writes:
It was a bit breezy on Saturday but there was still a good
turnout and quite a few flights were made. For once I actually
flew a couple of rockets instead of mostly wondering around
looking at what others were doing. I got in six flights for the
morning. All but one of them landed at the far end of two fields
to the west and north of the launch area. At least I got in some
I flew just 24mm models at the launch. I don't recall the
order in which they were flown, but here is what I got in
- Semroc SLS Aero Dart, Aero E15-4
This was the blach/white/blue Aero Dart. Made quite a
nice flight and I had a long recovery walk using just a 15"
- Scratch spare parts vehicle, Aero D10-5
This is a BT-50/B-55 model (similar in design to a small
Centuri Taurus) design to fly in B6-4. Really ripped off the
pad on a D10!!
- BMS Vincia (modified for 3 fins instead of 4), Aero
Made a nice, smooth flight on a D10. I still had tro walk
two fields to the west to recover it though. Glad I didn't
flight it on the F21!!
- Semroc RLS Lil Hustler, Aero E15-7
IMO, the perfect motor for this rocket. A nice, high flight,
but not 'too' high. Of course I went trekking two fields to
the west yet again. It kicked the motor adapter, which
contributed to the walk. Thanks to whoever it was that found
the mount and brought it back to me - my mind and memory are
going to mush in my old age.
- Semroc SLS Aero Dart, Aero F21-6
The Aero Dart screamed off the pad on an F21. I cannot
imagine wanting to fly this rocket on a full G, let alone a
G40 or G80 - and I like to over power rockets!! Result was
the longest walk of the day - all the way to the northwest
corner of two fields to the west.
- Sirius Interrogator D, Estes D12-5
This was my only BP flight of the day. It was also the olny
flight that didn't drift two fields west. It came up about
30 feet short of that field, landing just east of the
drainage ditch separating it from the first field to our
- The second Aero Dart and Interrogator were my last two
flights. I cheated by picking them up on the way driving
home from the launch.
If anyone got pictures of those flights I would sure
appreciate a copy.
I want to give out a big thank you to Alan and all the others
who helped with setup, range duty and tear down. I had to leave
before the end of the launch.
Ken Hoyme writes:
I decided to stop out and visit the launch as inspiration to
getting some rockets done -- many in progress, just gotta find
the time to finish them up. I was thinking the Nowthen site was
much further out -- its really not a bad jaunt from Plymouth! :)
Brought my camera and shot a bunch of launches. Cleaned
through and put up the good shots on Flickr --
I presume you folks could download a high-rez copy if you
want one. They are 3500x2330 or so - if you can't get them
in full res and want any of them for yourself, shoot me e-mail.
It was fun meeting many folks who's names I have seen on the
group here. Having the engineer's mind for names, I am sure I
will need a refresher. I made no attempt to tag these photos
with who I might of thought owned the rocket -- that would just
be asking for embarrassment on my part. :-/
Hope to make the launch on the 30th, and will try to bring
something to launch, assuming I am recovered from my daughter's
college graduation the weekend before.
Ken Jarosch writes:
I wasn't really ready for launching this year yet. So I just
threw a bunch of old AeroTech rockets and GSE into the car. I
also grabbed a box of Odd-Rocs.
I planned on flying G motors in some of these old rockets.
But with the wind I decided on using up some old F motors.
First, I launched the Arreaux on a F24-4W into the wind. It
arched over and ejected late but drifted back near the launch
site. Very short walk.
Second, I reloaded the Arreaux with a 29mm F22-5J(4) and
reefed in the chute about 1/3. I thought with the low thrust I
might have a more horizontal flight so I adjusted the angle more
vertical. Of course, it took off perfectly vertical and the
adjusted time delay (-1 sec) had the ejection at peak apogee.
Even with the reefed chute the drift was down several fields and
into the field about 1/2 way. A good walk.
Third, my old 1993 Initiator was put up with a F40-4W. This
rocket has a PL section which brought the weight up to 21 oz.
The original chute was only 14", so with the 50% increase in
weight I didn't reef it in. I don't remember that rocket flying
so well on a F motor. This time the rocket was down three field
and about 3/4 into the field. The winds dragged the rocket near
the east ditch. Recovery took time which was running short for
Fourth, not having time or energy for another long walk I dug
out the saucers etc. I put an E11-0J into the SpaceShipEarth
saucer for nice flight upwind at a slight upward angle. At motor
burnout it flipped over and let the wind carry it back to the
By then it was time to pack up and leave.
NOTE: I had brought many small and large Estes rockets with
hopes of trying the D and E SU AP motors in them. I wanted to
try out the NEW Blue 3" FirstFire JR Igniters. Next time.
John Carlson writes:
It was a great launch. I got to launch a bunch of new rockets
I've completed over the winter.
Aero-dart on a E9-6. I tried to drag race with Buss with his
Aero-dart but Buzz won. I secretly think he messed with the
igniter clips. :-)
30 year old V-2
2x Apogee II scratch build
Can't wait till the next launch to launch the rest of the
ones I finished this winter.
Dave Schaffhausen writes:
My wife and I had a great time at the first Nowthen launch.
Alan and the rest of the members were very friendly and
generous; forgetting my deflector plate and running out of
ignitors was no problem. Thanks to all!
This was my first launch where all my flights were good, sure
was refreshing. I was a little tense when my little estes F-15
eagle only went about 40 ft up on an old quest A-6 4 and went
into a hard dive, but the chute popped at 4 ft and it landed
softly. Last year when I flew my Crayon, the chute tangled and
some acrylic fins were broke. Over winter I got some acrylic at
home depot and dremeled out some new fins, and had a nice flight
this time. My first reloads were also successful, although they
each ate a couple of fuses. I was a little sad when the day
ended early because of the wind, but cheered up when my Loc
heavy-duty beauty flew beautifully on a Green G-76, for the last
flight of the day. See ya' all next month!
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: 85 flights with 90 motors burned.
The cumulative total impulse was 2468 Ns with an average total impulse of 27.4 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: