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Last updated: Mar 27, 2010
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June 2010 launch report (6/29/2010)

On Saturday, June 26th, MASA held its regularly monthly club launch at the sod fields near Nowthen.  The morning dawned with a solid overcast, fog, and low ceiling.  In fact, the ceiling started out at only 100 feet!  Through the morning, it slowly raised to 200, 300, 500 feet...  It wasn't until after noon that the ceiling lifted above 1,000 feet and little patches of blue sky began to peek through.  Despite the low ceiling, lots of small rockets and low altitude flights took to the air during the morning.  During the afternoon, as the ceiling became broken at 2,000 feet, some mid-power and high-power rockets were launched.  The breeze remained light to non-existent all day.

Theme:  Fly the Red, White, and Blue!  (Patriotic themed rockets; red, white, and/or blue rockets)
Levi Anderson was very Patriotic!  He flew his Patriot three times and his Mini Patriot twice.
Lots of other red, white, and blue rockets took to the skies too.

Congrats to those who successfully achieved their Level 1 high power certifications!

  • Steve Brown flew his LOC Fantom on an H123.
  • Caleb Griswold flew his Mad Cow Rocketry Super DX3 on an H123.
  • Dave Schaffhausen flew his PML 1/4-scale Patriot on an H242.

Not all cert flights went as planned. Art Gibbens also went for his L1 cert with his "Genisis" on an H128.  Unfortunately, the chute didn't make an appearance, so Art will have to try again.  David Gensler went for his L2 cert with a LOC Magnum on a J350.  Unfortunately, he suffered a motor CATO.  The motor tore loose, flew through the rocket, punched into the payload section, and propelled it into the air while the bottom half of the rocket remained on the pad.  Better luck next time guys!

The most flights award for the day goes to Ben Ericksen with 14!

Thanks to everyone who helped set up and tear down the launch range.

Thanks to the RSO/LCO volunteers:  Neal Higgins, Jeff Taylor, Todd Carpenter, Dwayne Shmel, Alan Estenson, Glen Overby

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

Art Gibbens writes:

Mathias came out to lend support, take pictures and fly rockets for the first time in quite a spell. He got one flight in, a BOINK rocket on a B6-4.  He had brought more along but really just enjoyed sitting around watching others fly and soaking it all in again. He's got 4 rockets setting here at home just waiting to be built.

Philip was also taking pictures and got 3 flights in. After seeing the Death Stars come out he decided to fly his Sith Infiltrator on a C6-5. It flew ok but got a kinked tube on landing so it will need repair before flying again. He then flew his R2-D2 on an A10-3T but the parachute did not blossom. Lastly, for the red, white and blue theme he flew his Estes Patriot on a C6-5 and it went buggy crazy off the rod. He wonders if he didn't get both launch lugs on the launch rod because he's flown this rocket many times in the past with no such quirks. Maybe a bad nozzle? Anyways, no harm done on the landing.

I brought 7 rockets and flew 6 of them. I started off with my red, white and blue Yankee that had been donated to me over the past winter in need of some TLC. It had no nose cone or recovery system and I added an engine hook to it to save the engines from being spit. I put an A8-3 into it and it went like stink straight and true with the 10 inch chute popping out and landing softly to fly another day. Next I flew an old home made rocket I call Silver Streak which is really just a BT-50 3FNC with streamer recovery on a C6-7.
Oops - I put it into the clouds but it fell right back out and unto the sod field just to the West of where we were launching from. Continuing with the red, white and blue theme I flew my daughter Hannah's Freedom on a B6-4 for another nice flight. Next up was my old stand-by Satellite Launcher on a C11-5. Both chutes blossomed for the first time in many flights and on the way down the winds made it dance which made it fun to watch. My last black powder rocket for the day was another old Estes kit that I finished about 7
or 8 years ago that is a BT-55 4FNC painted blue. I put one of the German C6-5 engines in it that we won at the holiday party last year and it flew just fine.

About this time the clouds were starting to break up and I was hoping to get my certification flight in today. My 3" LOC Genesis was painted red, white and blue because I thought it would look nice that way so it just happened to fit into this month's launch theme. So I finished prepping the recovery system and going through the tech inspection with Carol and Alan and then put it out on the pad and waited for the clouds to roll out. It came off the pad ok but was a bit wiggly. I'll add some nose weight to it on its next flight to try to make it more stable at slower speeds. I hope it wasn't rod whip causing it. Then it took off pretty good angled to the NW. It arched over and the ejection separated the two halves but did not pull the chute out of the cavity. So, I'll drill the next delay so that ejection happens closer to apogee. I'll use less wadding and tie the parachute closer to the tail causing it to pull out sooner. Philip spied it and when he picked it up there was just some dirt on one fin and the chute was right at the edge of coming out. I suspect if the ejection had occurred at apogee the chute would have been dragged out just fine. But there wasn't enough drop distance to yank it out from drag resistance as it fell. We'll get it next time.

We all had a great time. Thanx to all the LCO/RSO volunteers!

Jeff Taylor writes:

Once the early morning fog burned off and the low ceiling moved out, it turned out to be a great day for flying rockets. Conratulations to Caleb Griswold for making a picture-perfect L1 Certification flight after waiting nearly all day for the skies to clear. I saw Dave Shaffhausen try his L1 cert attempt too, but I didn't hear if it was succesful. If so, congrats to Dave too. My condolences to Art for his L1 separation, and to David Gensler for his very fiery L2 Cato.

I think I only managed to get in maybe four flights: A red, white and blue Fat Boy on a C6-3, a steampunked ACME Spitfre on an E11-3J (with a few soconds drilled out of the delay), a Centurion on a D12-3, and a LOC IV on an H180W (which had a perfect flight but busted a fin on landing).

Ken and Paul Jarosch write:

Paul and I flew 13 rockets. I got rid of my 2 E11-3J(2) reloads, one of which Paul used in the Snitch. Working on the Saucer Project, I flew several Saucer types.

1)Flame (6" Delta Saucer) on a F12-0J. Much better than the E11's. It took off fast leaving that smoke trail behind. Climbed to a nice altitude and came down under the "Aerobrake Recovery". Probably the motor of choice here.

2)Stars & Stripes (10.25" Original Saucer) on a HPR Style G77R 29/120 motor. Again another great liftoff with that red plume. Good altitude but on recovery it tumbled down. I had thought the heavy HPR casing might help stabilize it.

3)Stealth (29mm Qubit type with fancy edges) on a G76-0G motor. This really took off fast and surprised us at the speed and altitude. Stealth rotates on the way up and down. Recovery here is both tumble and rotational aerobrake.

4)38mm Green Saucer (12" Original Saucer) on a G67R 38/120/RAS. Quite a fast takeoff considering it's size. Huge red flame trailing behind. A fairly good altitude with the motor and saucer weight of almost 15 oz. Flew almost straight up and then hovered before it aerobraked in reverse.

Both the Stars & Stripes and the 38mm Green Saucers did not "Aerobrake" as desired. It appears that the "Original Saucers" of the 29mm and 38mm size do not transition to the inverted descent as easily as the "Delta" saucers do. This usually occurs in the 38mm types when a short 38/120 casing is used as it is too much weight rearward. But with the 38RAS/360 casing I thought that wouldn't be an issue. Could be with all that the extra internal hardware no advantage was gained. Still, I have flown the Stars & Stripes with a Hobby Casing and got a good recovery.

It may be that the Original Saucers need a little angling on the rod to set them into the recovery phase as the one good flight of the S&S did. The Original Saucers have a larger diameter/height ratio than the Delta Saucers have and this flatter surface may be the problem.

38MM Special;
After some practice loading the 38/120/RAS system, the G67R worked great. Of course, the forward insulator/O-ring must remain secure and flat or you are going to have a failure. With all the loose parts and the floating closure, which fits loose in the casing causing it to gimbal in place, is still quite a task. But it became easier with practice and a few procedures.

Here is Paul's report;

1) Snitch - E11-0J
2) Fun Noodle - C6-3
3) Yellow Crayon - D15-5T
4) Fun Noodle - D13-4W
5) Borg Cube - D13-4w
6) Fl. Orange HourGlass - C11-3
7) Fl. Pyramid - C6-3
8) FootBall Boink - A10-PT
9) Plastique Boink - C6-5

Paul's Comment;
1) First Flight. Slow take off, but a good flight. Will try E28, or other next time.
2) and 4) Noodle works good on a C6-3. Tried to increase power for higher flight. Unstable flight. Noodle, even with internal structural support, cannot support great thrust. Will stick to C6-3.
3) First flight. Works very nice on a D15. Will stay with D15, but might try E28 later.
5) Unstable flight. Can't find appropriate replacement motor. Recommendation: Decommission.
6) First Flight. Nice flight, but more power likely. Potential motors D12, D15, etc.
(How about my F39's Paul?)
7) First Flight. Nice flight. Will stick to C6-3.
8) and 9) BOINKS performed as usual.

Ken Hoyme writes:

Congrats also to Steve Brown who successfully flew his Level 1 cert on a LOC Fantom. Todd Carpenter and I served as his certification team. It was a clean and high flight.

I also, only flew a few things, but enjoyed socializing with folks -learning Steampunk tips from Todd - and tinkering with rockets needing minor field fixes. Unfortunately, I needed to be back home for other commitments by 3 (something I missed by a bit) so I was driving off when Caleb's L1 flight took off -- glad to hear it was successful! I believe Dave's was as well.

More AP!

Carol Marple writes:

As Jeff and Ken mentioned, we had a number of certification flights yesterday.

We had 5 people attempt their certification flights (four L1's and one L2). Of those, three of the L1 flights were successful. Congrats to Steve, Dave S., and Caleb G.!

I know of two more people who were planning their flights, but they changed their minds when the winds picked up a little bit. Hopefully the weather will be better for the July launch.

I spent most of the time prepping rockets for my nephew, Ben. I know he flew a Moon Dog, Mini Marz Lander, Baby Bertha, Full Moon, Big Bertha, EXO-Skell, Big Daddy (including once on an E9-4), and a Silver Comet. Thanks to everyone who patiently answered his questions and/or helped him while I was helping with some of the certification flights. He was attending his first launch in two years, and he had a fabulous time!

I closed out the day with a flight of my Black Brant on a G75J. It was a good flight, and it landed just a few hundred yards from the pad.

Thanks to everyone who helped with field set up, field tear down, and all the certification flights. And, a huge thank you to everyone who took a turn as RSO/LCO!

Steve Brown writes:

Thanks to all who helped me with a successful L1 attempt especially Ken and Todd for allowing Me the use of their time and space. I enjoyed meeting everyone and seeing the different types of rockets.

I had several first flights: Aerotech Arreaux E20-7W, Scratch built Sham-roc C11-3 and D9-4W. And two great flights on the LOC Fantom G67R and H123W.
Congrats to the other newly certificated L1's as well.

The Details:

Full launch tally (PDF)

The totals were:  151 flights, 166 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 4944 Ns with an average total impulse of 29.8.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0
















G 9


I 0



(Alan Estenson)

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