It was a
goal for the
night was to
made this an
As it turned
out, we only
had about 20
out for the
launch so I
was able to
my fleet and
then some in
I wasn't able
to get there
before the 5:00
I got there,
there were only
5 other cars in
the parking lot,
and the range
was already set
up (thanx Alan!)
I proceeded to
rockets to fly
and I had no
in mind ahead of
1. So out first
came an older MASA
door prize kit, an
ExoSkell on a C6-3
for a fine first
flight of the night.
2. Next I flew last
creation, an imitation
something or other on a
B6-4. The parachute came
out ok but never
blossomed, which if you
recall is what happened
at last year's picnic. I
will change out the
chute for one less
sticky. It busted a fin
off on impact with terra
3. Next up was an old
sport flying 3FNC that I
built back in college around
1981 or 1982. It has a
streamer in it so I stuffed
it with a C6-7 and easily
had the highest flight at
that point in the launch.
Recovered nicely on the
field behind us.
4. Next up was an older
Mosquito kit that Mathias had
built back when he was first
getting involved with rocketry
and he took the time to cut out
some mylar to wrap the body tube
in which makes it easier to spy
in the air and on the ground. It
flew on a 1/2A3-4T and while we
able to watch it most of the way
down I still was not able to
retrieve it right after the
flight. I shared with many that
this rocket has always showed up
in the past when someone else
walks by it and sees it laying
on the ground.
5. Next up was the old building
session kit that Alan led that we
put together many moons ago called
BOINK (bounce on impact, no kidding)
on a B6-2. Not much bounce left in
it but a nice flight none-the-less.
6. My next flight was a
three-pointer. It was another older
rocket I built from scratch that I call
"Bugsy", being modelled after the rocket
Bugs Bunny took to Mars. It flew on an
A3-4T, the parachute did not fully
deploy until about 5 feet off the ground
and proceeded to land directly in the
trash bucket next to the launching
table. We all had a good chuckle with
7. Next was another door prize rocket, a
Snitch saucer on a C6-5.
8. Next was my old Blue Arrow which I built
and flew at my first MASA winter launch a long
time ago, if I remember correctly. I know I
built this rocket in MN so it's only about 20
years old or so. Used a C6-5 and had an easy
9. For all you chocolate lovers out there I flew
my Toblerone rocket on a C6-5 for a beautiful
flight. Got a few more grins from folks that had
never seen it before. It landed on the berm just
across the road and parking lot and up until then
was my furthest walk for a recovery.
10. Next up was a Custom kit that was also another
door prize that my daughter Hannah had built and we
still had laying around. So I stuck an A8-5 in it and
had a real nice flight with it.
11. Next I flew my oldest "still flying" rocket in my
arsenal, my much modified Mercury Redstone that I built in
1973 or 1974. I no longer fly my oldest rocket, a Big Bertha
from 1972. I stuck a C6-5 in it and it flew very gracefully
for a 40 year old rocket.
12. Up next was another one of Mathias' old rockets, an
Alpha 3 which I put an A8-3 in. This flight resulted in a
seperation and the parachute and nosecone drifted off over
the buildings and the body section bounced off the field and
looks repairable. We'll see. Many thanx to Case, a young man
who was willing to run after and retrieve that nosecone.
13. Let's call this the nondescript flight of the
evening. It's a scratch built 4FNC model I built for some
competition a few years back and flew it on a C6-5 for a
perfectly normal flight.
14. If the last flight was nondescript, this flight was
action packed. I took an older, somewhat modified Estes
Solar Sailer that I built before going off to college in
1977 on a B6-4. Another nice straight flight to apogee and
the parachute came out nicely. I had updated the chute about
5 or so years ago to an 18 inch mylar because the original
one had become too melted. It deployed fully and drifted
across the street right unto one of the feeder lines to the
house across the street. So Alan looked up the number to
call the local electrical company and I placed a call to
have them come retrieve the rocket for us. I had not hung a
rocket on a wire since I was in high school, when I watched
one of my rockets die a slow death being exposed to the
elements. later in the evening a very nice utility worker
came out and had it off the wire in less than 2 minutes. I
thanked him many times and he was just grins and was really
glad we called instead of trying to get it down ourselves.
He had no idea there was a local model rocket club in the
twin cities, as I shared with him that this was one of our
annual events that we've been doing for a number of years
15. Next up I flew an Alpha kit that I had built when
doing a rocket class at HCA about 10 to 12 years ago or so.
I put a 1/2A6-2 in it for a whoosh-pop flight.
16. Next was the last of Mathias' old rockets he had
built back in the day, an Estes America rocket (a stretched
version of their Alpha 3) on an A8-5 for a very nice flight.
About this time, Case, the young man who hleped me by
recovering the nose cone of the Alpha 3 also spied and
picked up the Mosquito that I could not find earlier. I
thanked him for his keen eyes.
17. Next up was another kit that I had modified during
building, an Estes Rascal. I put a C6-7 in it so that I
wouldn't have to walk so for to retrieve it. Well, as luck
would have it, it was a short 7 second delay and I ended up
walking back to the buildings to retrieve it.
18. I made it! This was the last of my rockets to fly
tonight for the first time, It was a GeminiDC which has two
chutes that spit out the back for a fun recovery. I put a
C6-5 in it and it took to the sky. While both chutes
deployed only one blossomed initially, the second one
finally opened a couple of hundred feet off the ground.
19. I reflew my Blue Arrow on a C6-5 only to have the
chute get melted into a wad of plastic resulting in a fin
getting knocked off on impact after backsliding in almost
gracefully. It got added to the stack or repairables.
20. Put the Snitch saucer up on another C6-5 and because
the sun was getting low in the horizon, you could really see
the flame out the back of the rocket as it took to the air.
21. Tried to fly the Exoskell again on another C6-3, but
I went through two bad ignitors trying to get it off the
pad, but eventually another nice flight.
22. Reflew my 3FNC sport streamer rocket on a B6-6 for a
23. My last flight for the night was again the Snitch
saucer on another C6-5 and the flame looked even better in
the lower light as dusk settled in.
So we broke down the range, packed up things and I left
the parking lot by 9:15 pm. All in all a very good night of
flying. I'd guess we put up around 100 flights as a group.
Some folks flew some bigger motors and there were some
possible nominees for prang of the year awards, as there
were at least two core samples taken. Even the President of
the NAR showed up! Hopefully others who were there last
night will post their flights as well so that those of you
that could not make it can get a better feel for how the
evening's flights went.