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Last updated: May 30, 2009
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July 25, 2009 launch report (7/25/2009)

On Saturday, July 25th, MASA held a club launch on the sod farm near Nowthen.

It was a cool, cloudy, and blustery day.  The wind was out of the NW and varied from 8 to 15+ mph with some stronger gusts.  Many MASA members decided to skip the launch rather than brave the winds.  The wind kept the overall number of flights down as well as the size of motors and altitude of flights.  A few brave souls did try some mid-power flights, but the high power rockets all stayed safely on the ground.

Flying started just after 9am with Mark Thell putting up the first rocket of the day.  Cub Scout Pack 145 from North Minneapolis joined us at the launch.  Six scouts each brought a rocket, and MASA members helped them prep and fly them each a couple times.  Thanks for flying with us; we hope that you had fun!  In addition to the scouts, there were quite a few other visitors to the launch.  About 12:15, a short rain shower with stiff winds moved through the sod farm.  That was enough to dampen spirits and cut the crowd by about half as many people headed for home.  The launch ended about 2pm.

Thanks to the LCO/RSO volunteers:  Alan Estenson and Ted Cochran

Thanks to Mark Thell for helping set up the launch range in the morning.  Thanks to the big crew that stayed to help take down and pack up the range at the end of the day.

Jay Higashi has some photos from the launch on a flickr page:

and a video:

Thanks Jay!

Ken Hoyme also put some photos up on his flickr page:

A few of the flights:

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

Ken Hoyme writes:

Alissa and I made this week #2 in a row of getting back to launching after a few year hiatus (few = 6, I think). We each had 2 new rockets to try out - Alissa flew both of hers, but I held back on my second due to the winds.

I flew my new Texas Twister twice (tweet that!) - first on a 1/2A3-2T to confirm that it worked fine (it did) and later on an A10-3T, just to see what it would do. Engine extraction is a bit tricky on this one. This was the kit I won at last week's picnic drawing, so I didn't pay a lot of attention to perfect sealing and gap filling.

I also sent up my classic '70s vintage SPEV on a B6-4. Flew fine, though a bit of a walk in the wind to fetch it back.

Last for me was finishing assembly of one of my daughter's mostly- finished "Sky Writer". Alissa thinks it is her sister's, but her sister doesn't remember it being hers. Since Kirsten isn't thinking
she will be back into this for some time, and with a bunch of cub scouts there, I figured it was worth sending up. I put a streamer in and and a B6-4. In hindsight, I should have just stuck a C6-5 in and let it rip -- next time....

Alissa made two launches of her new Mini Mars Lander - a vintage kit she bought at the swap table at the picnic, and got ready quickly. First on a A3-4T and later on an A10-3T, bit flights were fine.

She also debated about putting her new Estes Executioner up due to the wind and the large chute it has, but decided to try it on a D12-5. It didn't go terribly high, but it was successful -- a bit more power next time, hopefully with calmer winds.

Last, the only launch that suffered damage, Alissa sent up her old Gemini DC on a B4-2 - it was listed as an OK engine on the chart for it, but it was a bit underpowered for the wind -- it went somewhat horizontal after clearing the pad, and hit the ground just before the ejection charge went off, suffering a broken fin -- it is fixable.

We had to leave early as well for a family gathering, and used the breakout of showers around noon as the indication it was time.

Hope to make it three in a row next month...

Ted Cochran writes:

My NARCON theme SuperSprite had an interesting chuff--it sat on the pad for about 10 seconds, burning continuously but not vigorously, before finally catching and flying--too low, too slow. E15-4's The delay was long, and SuperSprite became SuperSplatter.

I'm going to fly a few more of those new E15-4s before trusting my new Saturn V to one of them!

Mark Thell writes:

I had one....incident yesterday. My SPEV(which did some amazing acrobatics the last time I flew it....)  Put noseweight in it, flew it on a B6-4.  Flew a lot better this time, but with the wind issue.....  Really should have used a B6-2.....  Planted itself pretty hard, then the charge went off. I never liked that bird very much, into the trash can it went.  Had to leave early, family stuff.

Dave Schaffhausen writes:

Despite the sketchy weather, I had a blast at the July 25th launch.  I even bumped into one of my cousins whose son was there with the Boy Scouts.  I only had time for a few launches, so I made them big ones, which seemed to get the kids pretty excited.

My first first flight was my scratch-built Ghost of War on an E9-6, which had a nice, slow takeoff.  Next, I launched my crayon bank on a G64-7W.  I think it had its best flight ever, straight up.  It landed at the edge of the fourth field, but well worth the walk.  Then, some folks noticed my newly painted neon pink Heavy-Duty Beauty, and said they wouldn't leave until I flew it.  Rain was approaching again, the launch appeared to be winding down, and I had a G-71 to reload.  Pressure, lol.  My reload time has been getting quicker, and my copperheads and ejection charges have been working, so I proceeded with a smidgen of confidence.  3..2..1.. Liftoff!  But there was nothing.  Try again-Whoosh!  The Mojave green took her to 1100 ft., the chute was good, and it landed about 2000 ft. away, in the same spot as the crayon landed.

I think my battery could use a recharge. Because I can't find my charger, I think my controller is low on power, but it has gone all season on one charge. Sure beats messing with 4 AA's every launch.  Finally, the skies cleared a bit, and I squeezed in one more rocket.  It was a stretched Thunderstar, powered by 2 C6-5's.  Both of them lit, and the ejection poofs were about a 1/2 second apart.  Well, everyone there was really nice, and Nancy, Sprinkles, and I had a truly good time.  Thanks!

The Details:

Full launch tally (PDF)

The totals were:  60 flights with 62 motors burned.  The cumulative total impulse was 865 Ns with an average total impulse of  13.9 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0
















G 2


I 0




(Alan Estenson)

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