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Last updated: Mar 27, 2010
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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 fairly light.

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.  Thanks Neal!

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.

FUN Contest:   

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 August launch!

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

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 countdowns.

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 down.

The Details:

Full launch tally (PDF)

The totals were:  69 flights, 75 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 2176 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0
















G 2


I 1



(Alan Estenson)

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