On Saturday, January 28th, MASA held its first launch of
2012. It was held at Sunrise Park Middle School in White Bear
Lake. The launch was a bit chilly, a bit breezy, and lasted
about 3 hours.
A total of 37 rockets were flown on motors
ranging from A to E.
Good times - we learn new & useful things every time we go!
I don't know if anyone is interested, but I posted a little
video of our four first flights from today
We had four first flights - two went OK, two were less
than optimal. All four were on the recommended motor for first
flight, and all four later flew successfully on B motors - due
to the wind and Kurt's loss we went a bit conservative. We both
appreciated the feedback on properly aiming for the wind (we
were doing it wrong!) and the info on playing with the total
pulse and delay in windy conditions was very enlightening.
1) Obligatory Estes Baby Bertha (A8-3) - insufficient
wadding & the 'chute was a bit scorched - never opened, but no
2) Semroc OSO (A8-3) - Very little altitude, shock cord
separation. No damage.
3) Semroc Astro I (A8-5) - good flight, bit of a delay before
the 'chute finally opened.
4) Estes LoadStar (rtf model - B4-4) - flew well, good 'chute
After that I pretty much let the lil guy pick and choose, so I
am unable to list the flights. He was reluctant to re-launch
either the Baby Bertha or the OSO, but after a little prodding
they were reloaded and both flew well on a B6-4. Our best launch
of the day was our Evil One (rtf we bought as a throw-away) on a
C6-5 - it always goes as straight as an arrow, and since we
changed it to a streamer there's never a 'chute deployment
issue...or much drift when it comes down
Ian was very pleased with the comments he got regarding
his repairs to the TIFI General ATW we broke at the November
launch (thanks, Neal), and ESPECIALLY thrilled at the two
"extra" rockets Buzz gave him - both are currently under
construction. And he's beginning to understand what a great
group of folks we've found here - you're all just a lot more
experienced that us.
As a bonus, we got a partial recovery of the Astro I we
lost in November doing his Science Fair project, which started
all of this and eventually led us to MASA. It'll never fly
again, but it's got a place of honor on his computer desk.
Neal Higgins writes:
I arrived at the field around 9:45 and parked along Cranbrook
Drive on the west end of the field. I had a 4 pad rack, tables
and controller setup and ready by 10.
The weather was cool and breezy but not too bad. The temps were
in the low 20's and the winds were from the west around 5mph
with gusts to around 15.
I managed only 8 1/2 flights before we all decied we had
enough and packed it in by 1pm.
1) Smiley Saucer on a C6-7. I didn't have any 0 second delays
but lots of 7's.
2) Boink on a C6-7 which to my surprise was very unstable.
3) Red Baron glider on a B4-2. This was it's 5th flight and
still glides very nicely.
4) Fliskits Night Whisper ona C6-5. The shock cord separated and
the body glided down gently and suffered no damage. The nose
cone and chute ended up at the far end of the field.
5) Baby Bertha on a B6-4 for another excellent flight.
6) Der Red Max on a C6-7. It headed west into the wind but
managed to land safely on the street.
7) Stonebreaker D12-5. I'm glad I switched to a smaller chute
than the 30" that comes with it.
8) Starship Excalibre on a B6-4. The engine clip got hooked on a
close pin and failed to leave the pad. A short walk anyway.
9) Starship Excalibre again but on a B4-4 this time. Excellent
flight finally after several failed igniters.
Kurt Knox writes:
It was not a bad day for launching rockets, though the wind
was a bit of an issue for anything that got too high. I learned
that the hard way...
1. Quest Harpoon (Quest C6-5) The long burn did me no good
since it weather-cocked over the houses. Thankfully it was a
middle of the street landing. We proceeded to modify the
direction of the launch rods after we witnessed the flight.
2. Estes Bandit clone (Quest C6-5) Not a bad flight but the
chute did not open and it came in a little hot. Thankfully there
was no damage.
3. Estes Prowler modified for 24mm motors (C11-3) I scrapped the
idea of putting this up on a D12-7 because of the windy
conditions and it had a great flight on the C11 motor.
4. CMR Break-Away upscale (Estes B6-4) had a good flight but yet
again the chute did not open but it came in with no damage.
5. CMR Break-Away upscale (Estes C6-5) Not a good idea. I
replaced the chute with a scarred nylon one and sure enough, it
opened at apogee. It proceeded to drift into the neighborhood
and was lost. Perhaps the finder will be inspired to enter the
6. Estes The Shadow (Estes D12-3) I had planned for a E9 flight
but the wind had me a bit concerned so I went for the D12 first.
It was a perfect flight and recovery.
7. Estes The Shadow (Estes E9-4) The D12 flight gave me
confidence that the E9 would not be too much. And sure enough it
was a great flight once it got past the slight wobble as it left
the pad. I think the weight is border line for the E9 motor and
perhaps I got a little lucky...
8. Estes A-20 Demon clone (Estes C11-5) My last rocket of the
day and it carried my Perfectflite Alt15K along for a great
flight to 497 feet.
All in all it was a good day even with the loss.
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: 37 flights, 37 motors. The cumulative
total impulse was 305 Ns with an average total impulse of 8.2 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: