August 30 2014 launch report
On Saturday, August 30, MASA held a launch at the Elk River / Otsego VFW Fields.
Carol Marple took a number of great photos at this launch.
They may be viewed at:
A few of the flights:
MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the
Stuart Lenz writes:
Todays launch started about 8:30, with my Stomp rocket being
the first to fly but only after 2 other rockets failed to
launch. I did not have any problems with the new Micro
Max launch pads, but our president did. Turns out that the
launch controller was just not working correctly.
I flew 5
or 6 Micro Max models and several Normal size rockets.
The wind was a challenge with gusts and variable
directions causing landings on roofs, in trees, on the
parking lot and even some lost off the field. Mine all
survived with only minor damage.
Art Gibbens writes:
Got a later start headed out to
the launch than I had hoped for
but got there about 10:20 am. I
had 4 reload motors mostly
prepped and ready to fly. This
was a first for me, the most I
had ever flown in one launch
before was two reloads.
1. First up was my Sunward
pyramid kit I named Apophos' Revenge
on a F40-4. Chuffed a bit on the pad
and then flew great but the delay
was a little too long, deploying the
chute just a few feet off the
2. Then came Earl Grey Hot -> on a
E18-4 that flew wonderfully. Both
parachutes blossomed and it landed
nicely. Unfortunately, the lid slipped
off and hit the ground pretty hard
dinging it up a bit - nothing that
cannot be repaired.
3. My third flight was an older kit
called a Solar Sailer by Estes. I put a
D21-7 in it and it went out of sight - and
no deployment that we could see. Hmmmmm.
4. The annual UFO drag race was up next so I
threw a C6-5 in my Snitch and it was a hoot to
see 8 different saucers take to the air all at
I then took a one hour and twenty minute break in
flying to go search for my Solar Sailer. Finally
found it augered in in the middle of the field North
and East of the soccer fields. When I got home it
appeared that the ejection charge did not go off, as
the red cap was still on it and the black powder was
still inside. Looking down the throat of the
ejection capsule it looked like the delay grain was
not burned through. However, when I disassembled the
motor the delay grain was burned to the end. When I
pulled it out of the motor end it crumbled away and
looked perfectly fine. Is it possible that the delay
grain had a thin "crust" on it that would not have
allowed the ejection charge to go off? If that's not
possible, the only other thing I can think of is
that the ejection delay did not burn through until
after it augered in and all the black powder was no
longer in contact with the delay grain so it did not
go off. It's a puzzler, that's for sure. I'm just
glad I found the rocket to get my 18 mm reload
5. I reloaded Apophos' Revenge with another F40-4 to
see if it would not chuff so it would not be so close to
the ground when it deployed the chute. No worries there,
as it rod locked and the blast deflector got cherry red.
So I had the shortest walk and the longest walk at
today's launch - ugh.
6. For my final flight of the day I flew my ExoSkell on a
C6-3. It also deployed the chutes really close to the
As a major leaguer, batting .333 is not bad, but I only had
two nice flights out of 6. I left the field shortly after 1:00
pm and when I got home I spent almost 2 hours cleaning up the
reload cases and investigating what went wrong with the D21-7
ejection. All in all not too bad a day to be out burning both AP
and BP today with my MASA friends.
Todd Carpenter writes:
I had a late start and had to head out before teardown.
Thanks to Neal and everyone else for the field support,
including all the LCO/RSOs! Thanks also to Stuart for the new
micro-power launch pad!
Mixed day for flying:
- It turns out the Purple Pyramid O Power needs a shorter
than 5 second delay on a C11. However, the Egyptian
construction techniques were solid enough that it came
- My Art Applewhite Qubit flew perfectly. I completely
forgot where it landed. Thanks to Stuart for finding it.
Note to self: pay attention to the tiny ones...
- My Stuart-issue Steam Ship Excalibur was a perfect
flight, yet for some reason a fin popped off on landing.
What, it came down hard and hit a blade of grass? Go
figure, but should be easy to repair.
- Steam warp core on a B6-4 was perfect.
- Sylvan Rocketry Bright Star had a tangled chute, and
broke two fins. Should be easily repairable.
- About 1:30pm the wind dropped to almost nothing. With
significant encouragement from several folks, I built an
E18, drilled the delay to 4 seconds, and prepped the
rocket. The RSO refused to qualify the flight until the
escape tower was added, "For safety." (it was safely stowed
for flight) Dave, Glen, and Carol photographed prep,
flight, and recovery.
- The flight was spectacular. On an E18, it accelerated
at a nice rate, big flame, and flew straight up. (On its
first flight, I used an E28, which was too fast.) Good
ejection, but the winds blew it over onto the roof and
parking lot. Neal climbed the fence and used Glen's amazing
pole of lengthiness to recover the capsule from the roof.
Carol and Dave secured the booster on the parking lot (lest
someone drive over it, which happened to one of Dave's
rockets). The only damage was to a fin and engine cowling.
- The launch pictures from Carol and video from Glen are
Michael Farrell writes:
Before I report; thanks to everyone who was at the Nowthen
town meeting fighting the good fight for us.
Windier than it was supposed to be, but the Otsego field
really is a great field for low power. Even with the wind
coming from a funny (NE) direction, it was still a nice day
of flying. I got 13 flights in and hit my century, 109 now
for the season.
Nothing too remarkable. All good flights, some minor
damage from parking lot landings, nothing lost, although
Todd's comment about paying attention to your rockets in
flight hits home. I launched my two-stage Astron Elliptic II
twice. Ron found the sustainer on the soccer fields for the
first (I'd wandered around the field just North of the
soccer fields for ½ an hour, nowhere near where it came
down) and Todd the booster on the second (thanks guys). Take
your eye off it for a second...jeez.
The order for me was something like this -
1. Estes Der Red Max, C6-5
2. Estes Astron Elliptic II, A10-0/A10-3
3. Estes Mega Mosquito, D12-3
4. Estes Der Red Max, C6-5, 2014 flight #100, now my most
flown surviving rocket
5. Estes Executioner, E9-6
6. Estes Astron Elliptic II, A10-0/A10-3
7. Quest Planet Probe, C6-0, part of the 8-way annual UFO
drag race, very entertaining (thanks to Alan for marshaling
8. Estes Vagabond, D12-5
9. Semroc Hawk, B4-2, trim was not quite right, decent
10. Estes Rascal, D21-7
11. Fliskits Rose-a-Roc, B4-2, good flight for a much
repaired rocket, but the breeze interrupted the rotor action
12. Estes Mega Mosquito, D12-3
13. Estes Vagabond, D12-5, retrieved from the picnic
Ron Wirth writes:
I got to the field around 9:30 accompanied by my wife. My
mission for the day was to launch 20 flights which I was able to
do. A summary of the flights are listed below in no particular
1. CiCi (B6-2) – Not much of glide on a breezy day
2. Starship Excalibur (B6-4) – Nice flight
3. Flutter-By (B6-4) – First flight and I found both parts
4. Falk-Wulf (B6-2) – One of my favorite rockets but more of
a spiral than a glide
5. Corona (B6-4) – Planned on launching this with the Corona2
stage kit but the walk would have been too far with the wind.
6. Torpedo (B6-4) – This is a Deuces Wild kit converted into
a torpedo. Very nice flight but popped a fin on the landing.
Easy to fix.
7. U.S.S. Prometheus (C6-5) – Nice high flight and not too
far to walk
8. Mach 10 Clone (B6-2) – Straight up which is rare with this
rocket but again no glide in the wind
9. Victor Vector (C11-3) – This is a scratch kit that flies
like a champ.
10. Swift-BG (1/2A6-2) – Way under powered since it only went
up about 25 feet. No damage.
11. Red Baron (B6-2) – I did not expect this to glide very
well in the wind but it was perfect until it hit a soccer goal
post. It took part of the wing out but I have already repaired
12. Super Big Bertha (D12-5) – Great flight. So great that I
decided to launch it a second time before I left the field.
13. Long Overdue(B6-4) – Good flight
14. Thunder Bee (A10-3T) – Nice high flight. The paper stream
separated from the rocket nut there was not damage on landing
For the rest of my launches I decided to go GOONY:
15. Der Goony Max (A8-3) – Good flight
16. Goony Bird Zero (A8-3) – Good flight
17. Honest Goon (B6-4) – Drag raced with Jeff. The rockets
nearly collided coming off the rod but the flights were perfect.
18. Iron Wombat (A8-3) – Good flight though the decals
started to peel in places
19. KRAM (A8-3) – This GOON separated in the middle of the
short rocket and the parachute is stuffed into the upper half so
it is tough to protect with dog barf. The chute was half melted
but still came down slow enough.
20. Nike-G (C6-5) – Nice high flight with a long walk. Thanks
to Neal for watching were it landed.
21. Thunder Goon (B6-4) – Nice flight.
Overall is was a good day to fly rockets. I had to keep them low
to be to get all the flights in for the day. Before we left the
field around 2:30, I donated two motor to Levi and his sister
Alex so that they could have a second flight on the FITI
rockets. They arrived fairly early and patently watched all the
launches after their flights so I figured it was only fair to
put their rockets up one more time.
Full launch tally (PDF)
The totals were: x flights with x motors burned.
The motor breakdown follows: