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Last updated: Jan 31, 2010
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July 26 2014 launch report

On Sunday, July 26, MASA held a launch at the Elk River / Otsego VFW Fields. 

A few of the flights:

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

Art Gibbens writes:

I didn't get to the field until about 9:30 am and Neal and company had it all ready and set up to go. When I arrived there was almost no wind to speak of so I was thrilled to be able to put some height into a few flights.

1. First up was an old competition rocket from one of our summer competitions from about 5 or 6 years ago. The event was 4 A duration or altitude, I cannot remember which. So I stuck 4 C6-5 engines in it and let 'er rip. It went straight and true - straight up and almost straight down under canopy. It came within 6 to 10 feet of the power lines and landed hard on the walking path on the same side of the road as the filed. When I picked it up I could see damage to the tip of one fins. When I built this rocket I added baffles to it so I wouldn't need recovery wadding. I also noticed one of the engines was missing and that tube was badly burned. My guess is that only 3 engines lit and when the ejection charges went off it back lit the one motor and it spit under it's own thrust. It was way too high to see anything from the ground to confirm that hypothesis.

2. Next up was my modified (extended) Rascal with a booster, going from a D12-0 to a B6-6. Another nice straight launch and a very long walk to recover over in the hayfield North of the soccer fields. The sustainer landed less than 5 feet from the trees that line the edge of the field. The rocket gods must have been smiling on me for my first two launches in that neither of them got hung up and I was able to recover them after beautiful high flights.

3. I then flew my oldest still flying rocket, my Mercury Redstone that I built back in 1973. Many of you know that this is a loose adaptation of the original kit. I built it that way up to the skills I had at that time in ninth grade. This rocket went up on a C6-5 and just about landed at my feet.

4. Next was my Exo-Skell on a C6-3, which flew very nice as both sections descended gently and the alien stayed on it's feet.

5. I flew my door prize saucer, a Snitch on a C6-5 without much fanfare.

6. Then I pulled out another old kit, the BOINK rocket that Alan Estenson had us all build at a building session at the Science Museum so many moons ago. It also flew on a C6-5. Not much bounce left in it any more.

7. I then flew my Toblerone rocket on a B6-4 and many in attendance were commenting and wishing that it was really chocolate and not a rocket. It flew very nice and landed on the filed. I noticed when I got back to my vehicle that it is getting slightly bowed along the length of the airframe. Might have to do some corrective repair to true it back up.

8. Not wanting to walk as far I switched my motor selection down a few notches and flew my Bugsy rocket on a A4-3T. It's a cute little thing.

9. Then I flew my Freedom rocket on an A8-5 for another nice short walk for recovery.

10. For my last flight of the day I stuffed a 1/2A6-2 into an Alpha kit that I built back in the 90's with a rocket class I taught at HCA.

There were a lot of nice flights by other folks and a spectacular crash or two, but I'll let them tell their own stories.

I left the field about 12:30 pm, almost exactly 3 hours after I got there. It was good to see everyone again and to meet at least the one new family that came out to their first launch.

Michael Farrell writes:

Beautiful day for a launch. I hope Pueblo is seeing equally good weather. Low wind, not too hot, good company!

The morning started out tough, Neal and I had some "static tests" (one of mine needs a MESS report for a spit nozzle), but by the time I left at about lunchtime there had been at least 50 good flights with lots of full racks turning over quickly. Some new members were there, some homemade water/air pressure rockets flew, some high altitude flights were achieved, some gliders on amazingly straight boosts (one of Mark's buzzed the LCO table), and an advanced concept in Micromaxx was proven (you get one guess as to by who).

Thanks to everyone for putting up with my mission for the day; burning through my stock of C6-3's. My Estes Dark Energy flew reliably 8 times including it's maiden voyage. The rocket is designed for high drag, so it lifts off slowly, stays low, and needs a short delay. It flies nicely, but it got a bit old by the end. Next time - more power!

I also flew my LOC Aura for the first time, I used an E16 and snapped a fin on landing (dang). I flew my Semroc Goblin on a C11 for a great flight, and a couple of smaller rockets to use up some leftover contest ŻA's.

Great day, hope everyone had as much fun as I did.

Neal Higgins writes:

It was a great day for rockets. Thanks everyone for the help with range setup and tear down.

I managed 15 flights including my experimental Wee Commanche 3 micro maxx 3 stage rocket. With the winds as light as they were I had to try it. It is weird with a 1 second delay in micro max booster motors but all 3 stages lit and all pieces were recovered. Thanks Ron. The sustainer failed to deploy the streamer and it lawn darted in all the way across the field. No damage and at the next launch with low winds it will fly again.

In the afternoon I flew my Mega Mosquito on a E9-6 and with a lot of arm twisting by Mark Thell I flew it again. This time I chad staged it from an E12-0 to a D12-7. It flew beautifully. Late in the day Mark counted the flight cards and found we had 115 flights to that point. Most of us were done flying but Mark and I set a goal to get 125 flights for the day. So we loaded up more rockets and ended the launch with 128 flights total.

Thanks Sean for showing us your water rockets. They were very interesting and I hope our rockets were of impressive for you. I hope you can make it to more of our launches and bring out some bigger water rockets.

Mark Thell writes:

I arrived around 10 ish . I only brought modrocs to fly, I put up a couple boost glider flights. My first one was.... shall we say....underpowered. A8-3 on my" don't know the name of it") Plan set designed my Chas Russell. Think "Six Million Dollar Man" opening. Pulled up just enough to hit a car in the parking lot. Snapped off horizontal stab , she's drying as I type this. Needs a B6-2 next time. Next B/G was my Deltie on the previously mentioned B6-2. THAT is the motor for this one!!! Too bad I didn't have a stopwatch. Flew a BUNCH of sport models I hadn't flown in awhile. Lost my bright green tube fin rocket. Looked for awhile, to no avail...... I gently prodded out illustrious President into CHAD staging the Skeeter, BTW That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Good to see everyone.

Ron Wirth writes:

I arrived at the field just in time to watch the first rack of rockets to be launched. It has been a while since I have launched any low power rockets. I was able to get 10 flights in the air for the day. This included the maiden flights of my Quest Lil Grunt, Estes Pathfinder, and Estes Astron Sprint XL. The Astron went up on a E9-6 and even with a big spill hole in the chute, it still floated to the concrete barrier of the highway. The Lil Grunt went up on the D12-5 and came down perfectly on a long streamer (I replaced the stock streamer). I also managed to launch my DeltieB twice. On the second launch it glided to the far end of the field. Other successful launches were my Alien8, Cherokee Goon, Der Fat Max, Dog Fight, and Semroc Hawk glider. It was a great day for rockets and nice to see some new people come launch.

Aaron Sheriff writes:

Samir and I had a (mostly) great time at the launch.

1) Samir scratch built a rocket entirely out of paper with and plastic mechanical pencil tip nose cone. His MX-1 spit the motor on it's maiden voyage, but addition tape on the 2nd launch held the engine in and the streamer successfully deployed.

2) Samir's scratch build minimum diameter SX-1 flew nearly out of sight on in C6-7. I gave up on it, but a fellow flyer found it much closer that I was looking.

3) My Cosmic Interceptor (over a year in the making) had it's maiden voyage on an F39 and came in ballistic. Total loss :( I'd left the 24/40 assembly instruction at home in the HPR binder, and a post-mortem leads me to believe I had the delay grain space toward the ejection charge well instead of the propellent. Not sure why I didn't just pull up the instructions from my phone *before* instead of *after* the flight... Lesson learned.

4) Samir's scratch build Manticore flew nicely on at cluster of an A6-4 and 2 A10-P.

5) Our Fliskits Trafic Cone streaked to an estimated 35' on an MMX.

6) Our Executioner on an E9-6 and then an E12-6. I was hesitant after the Cosmic Interceptor and all the reports of E12 CATOs, but went like a champ. Good to see everyone out there!

Sean Ryan writes:

Thanks for letting me come and launch my water rockets with you guys. I was definitely impressed and appreciate being felt welcome. You gave me lots of ideas for future rockets. I'll be back at some point to launch again with you all.

The Details:

Full launch tally (PDF)

The totals were:  x flights with x motors burned. The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned
















(Alan Estenson)

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