July 2011 launch report (7/31/2011)
On Saturday, July 30, MASA held its monthly launch
at the sod fields near Nowthen. Due to the weather, this
launch had been postponed one week from its regular date. The
combination of the date change and the hot weather kept turnout
Setup began around 8am. This was the "trial by fire" for
Neal Higgins' new 12-pad launch controller and new 8-position model
rocket launch pads. It all worked great throughout the day.
Rocket flying began around 9:30am when Alan Estenson launched
"Eight" on an H210R. The breeze was reasonably light, but
couldn't make up its mind whether to be out of the south or out of
the west. A few passing sprinkles fell on the range during the
morning. It was a warm day, and downright hot out in the sun.
Attendees were grateful for shade canopies, passing clouds, and the
ice-cold pop leftover from the club picnic. Unfortunately, the
breeze kept increasing in strength, and it really began blowing
around 1:30pm. David Whitaker flew his "Talon 2" on a G104 for
the last flight of the day at 2pm. A big thanks to everyone
who helped tear down and pack up the range!
Thanks to the RSO/LCO volunteers: Neal Higgins, Buzz
McDermott, Alan Estenson, Kent Peterson, and Glen Overby.
Theme: Scale Rockets - Celebrate the 40th anniversary of
Apollo 15 and the 50th anniversary of the 2nd American in space!
The theme of this launch was "scale rockets".
Quite a few of them took to the skies: Bullpup, Aerobee
Hi, Patriot, Hawk, V2, Blossom (V2), LTV Scout, Shenzou, AMRAAM,
and Nike Smoke.
The fun contest planned for this launch was the Baby Bertha
Blastoff duration event. With the light turnout, only two
people participated, so this contest is going to continue at the
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Neal Higgins writes:
I arrived at the field around 8am and wondered by the look of
the sky if we should even start the field setup. Alan arrived a
little after 8 and we went ahead with the range setup. We had
the range set up and ready for flying by 9:30. We got hit with a
few light showers but nothing that prevented us from continuing
on with launch.
I took the 1st shift at LCO to make sure the launch equipment
was going to work. The system worked perfectly. I just have to
get the MPR andf HPR pads numbered so the LCO knows for sure
what pad the rocket is sitting on. Thanks Alan for allowing us
to use your 2 pad setup for the mid-power and your quad-pad for
1 of the 2 HPR pads. I also took a shift at RSO but with the
light turn out I could still prep and fly rockets.
The P/A stopped working after a couple of hours and we
thought it was just a dead battery. I swapped out the battery
but this one also died within an hour or so. Alan did some
testing and he determined we have a short somewhere in the sytem.
For the rest of the day the LCO had to yell out any launch
I managed to get in 8 flights including 2 flights of my Baby
Bertha in the duration contest. The 2 flights were within a sec
of each other. I flew an upscale clone of an Estes Nebulon
Warrior on an F20. The flight went fine but when it landed both
pods broke off. I had used plywood so the wings would be
stronger and something like this would not happen. Looking at it
closely there is no way that the plywood should have separated
or broke like it did. It must have had some kind of flaw in it
from the manufacturer. The heat and wind finally got the
best of everybody so by 2pm we had enough.
Thanks everyone who helped with the range setup and tear
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: 69 flights, 75 motors. The cumulative
total impulse was 2176 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: