November 2012 launch report
On Saturday, November 17, MASA held its regular monthly launch
at the sod fields near Nowthen. This launch had been planned
for the VFW soccer fields, but was relocated when the weather and
field conditions allowed us to use the sod farm instead.
It was definitely a mild day, with high temperatures reaching the
mid 50s. There was a very annoying wind (10 - 15 mph) out of
the south that resulted in some very long recovery walks.
Turnout was light, but we had fun closing out the year with a
bunch of high power flights. Launching started around 10am and
wrapped up by 2:30pm.
Theme: Christmas / Winter and so forth
Snowball Fight Drag Race
David Whitaker, Neal Higgins, and Alan Estenson came up with
5 Snowballs to drag race, plus Alan added a Snowflake. All
except for one of Neal's launched.
Thanks to everyone who helped set up and tear down the launch
Thanks to the RSO/LCO volunteers!
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Michael Farrell writes:
A mild but windy day, good for long, contemplative walks in
the sun, but records fell, so the walks were worth it.
Congrats to MASA for breaking the annual records, and thanks
to those hardy few who came out on Saturday bravely burning
N/s in pursuit of the new mark. When Alan started things out
with a J flight right off the bat in that wicked breeze, I
knew it was ON! Thanks to Alan for crunching the numbers and
letting us know we were close before the day started.
Thanks also to Alan for lending his tenacious tree-beating
skills to the recovery of my battered old Mean Machine while
his Cyclotron was dangling even farther off of the ground in
the midst of a thorny bramble patch. I only realized after
we'd retrieved it that I'd put the wrong 'chute in; it was
bigger than the standard size for that model, not smaller as
I'd intended. All of those Estes 'chutes look the same when
folded up, and it was the wrong day to make that mistake. I
had my first lawn dart, from about 1900', and it completely
destroyed the upper two thirds of my Estes Leviathan, so
I've a got a remodeling project ahead of me this winter. It
never fails to be a good time, and I got my 100th flight for
Alan Estenson writes:
I was determined to get in a high power flight or two, so my
first flight of the day was to put a J350 in my trusty LOC
I-roc. The flight was beautiful, and it drifted off
and seemed to land in the field just beyond the trees to the
northeast. I went walking off to get it... Once
in the field beyond the trees, there was no sign of it!
Cue wandering around... Maybe it drifted further than
I thought? I started walking further NE on my mental
bearing. Hey, what's that flash of orange waaaaaaay
off in the distance? Well, it's on the right bearing,
no other clues, so I'll walk that way.
To sum it up, I got
kinda lucky. I had no clue that it had drifted as far
as it did. If the wind hadn't flapped the orange chute
around and caught my eye, I don't know if I would have
walked that far looking for it! In the pic below, the
launch pad was roughly at the orange square just left of
center. My I-roc landed roughly at the blue square way
off to the north and east. I figure that it landed
about 4,000 feet away from the pad (in a straight line).
The blue lines roughly recreate my walking route there and
back. As you can see, I thought it landed about half
as far away as it actually did.
Having walked only a couple miles so far, I
then launched my LOC Cyclotron on an I161. Another
nice flight, drifting north, and it landed in a tree.
(the yellow square in the pic above) I grabbed one of
Neal's telescoping poles from the equipment trailer.
Michael Farrell accompanied me since his Mean Machine had
drifted off in the same direction. After another walk
around the drainage ditches, we found my rocket way up in
the top of a mostly-dead tree. I had expected the
rocket to be hanging down about 15 feet lower, but most of
the shock cord was still stuck inside the rocket. The
pole was nowhere near long enough to reach. It was
long enough to reach Michael's Mean Machine - stuck in a
smaller tree off to the NW. So, walk back, grab
another telescoping pole, walk back to the rocket, duct tape
the two poles together, duct tape a big allen wrench on the
end to act as a hook, coax it up and onto one of the
rocket's tube fins, YANK, and the rocket came tumbling down!
Thanks to Michael and [guy whose name has embarrassingly
slipped my mind] for your help!
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: 58 flights, 61 motors. The cumulative
total impulse was 4172 Ns.
The motor breakdown follows: