June 21 2012 launch report
On Thursday, June 21, MASA held its annual Summer Solstice
evening launch. It was held at the VFW soccer fields near Elk River.
MASA members started gathering at the field around 5:30pm after
having battled the rush hour traffic to get there. The launch
pads were set up in the NW corner of the field. Before long,
soccer people started gathering for a game in the far SE field.
Around 6:45, other people started arriving, and we learned that they
were having a soccer game on the field that we were using. We
moved the launch equipment out of their way, and eventually moved
ourselves down to the SW part of the field. Until the soccer
games were done, we had to limit altitudes in order to not have
rockets drifting into players or spectators.
It started out a bit breezy, but slowly died-down over the course
of the evening. By 8pm, there was hardly a breeze to be felt.
The final flights of the evening were about 9:15pm.
A few of the flights:
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Art Gibbens writes:
What a great night for flying some rockets! I'm not sure
how many flights the club got up total for the night but I
suspect we set the record for an evening launch. I was able to
get 15 flights up in just a little under 4 hours.
As many of you are aware, Renee and I are almost
“empty-nesters”, with Phil being the only one at home for the
summer this year. Mathias and Hannah had left behind some of
their rockets they no longer wanted so I flew some of these last
My first flight of the evening was Hannah's Custom
Rocket kit named Freedom on an A8-3.
Then I flew my 1973 Mercury Redstone on a B6-4.
Really, that's what it was when I ordered it all those years
Then I flew a Yankee I inherited two summers ago on
Then I flew my Snitch saucer on a Quest C6-5. It
hung on the launch rod for a spell but eventually left the
Then I flew a rocket I named Bugsy (in honor of
Marvin the Martian) on an A10-3T.
Then I flew my stretch Rascal (making it look an
awful lot like a Big Bertha) on a B6-4.
Then we all took a little break to let the soccer game
play through. At this point we moved South of the buildings and
launched from the septic mound for the remainder of the night.
Then I flew Mathias' old Exoskell kit that he won as
a door prize many moons ago on it's maiden voyage on a C6-3.
A couple of shroud lines on the booster pulled out of the
chute but the alien pod landed just fine on the field.
Then I flew one of my old reliable models I have
named the Satellite Launcher on a C11-5.
Then I flew Mathias' old Liberty kit on an A8-3.
This is simply a stretched version of the Alpha 3 kit.
Then I flew another oldie but a goldie, my BOINK on
a C6-5. Excellent bounce on impact, no kidding.
Then I flew Mathias' Alpha 3, which is getting
pretty ragged around the edges, on an A8-3.
Then I flew a Spin Control door prize rocket that I
got last year at the picnic for its maiden voyage on a C6-5
and got 19 revolutions out of it before the parachute came
out. Kind of fun to see it spinning as it went up.
It was about this time that the “big kids” soccer game
came to a finish and we could start flying larger rockets that
might land on their heads, if the game was still going. Also,
all the little brothers and sisters of those soccer players that
were running after our rockets to retrieve them left. The
winds continued to die down and some really fun rockets took to
air. I'll let their owners tell their stories.
Then I flew (and lost) my modified Cosmic Cobra on
an E9-6. It was a beautiful flight nearly straight up, the
parachute deployed and we all watched it drift completely
across the highway into the neighborhood behind the sound
barrier wall. I'm pretty sure I flew the highest flight of
the night with this rocket.
Then I re-flew my Rascal on a C6-5 for a really nice
flight. As it went up, from where I was standing and because
the light was fading, I could see the burn all the way up
centered between the fins because the rocket did not roll.
It was a pretty cool thing to see.
My last flight of the night was my Satellite
Launcher again on a D12-7 which landed on the field very
All in all it was a very good night to fly some model
rockets. I have to say I was kind of surprised that my Cosmic
Cobra drifted so far, as it had a huge spill hole in the chute.
However, it seems to have appeased the rocket gods, as I am
pretty sure no other rockets were lost last night. There
were a couple of prangs and at least one core sample taken so we
could have some nominations for our annual awards in December.
Alan Estenson writes:
I took a bunch of photos. You may view them at
Even with the soccer interlude, I somehow got in 14 flights -
all on A, B, or C motors. I flew a bunch of Goonies, several
little cardstock odd-rocs, and various other stuff. My favorite
flight of the night was an impromptu CHAD-stage of my old Nike-X
(A8-0 to B6-4). It worked great and staged at maybe 20 feet off
the ground. My longest walk was when I flew my EZC6-5 on a
C6-5. It landed about 20 feet short of the frontage road along
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: 81 flights, 83 motors. The cumulative
total impulse was 786 Ns with an average total impulse of 9.5 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: