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Last updated: April 19, 2008
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Lino Lakes Cub Scout Build & Launch (10/15/2011)

On Tuesday evening, October 11th, Alan Estenson, Jeff Taylor, and Buzz McDermott traveled to Living Waters Lutheran Church in Lino Lakes. They helped several dozen members of Cub Scout Pack 232 build model rockets - Estes Spaceloft, Wizard, Alpha, and Viking kits. Nearly all of the scouts had a parent present to help them. We mostly acted as troubleshooters - running around, sharing tips, and answering questions. MASA members have helped this pack with rockets quite a few times in the past.

About 1pm on Saturday, October 15th,  Alan Estenson, Neal Higgins, and Buzz McDermott gathered to help the pack launch their rockets at Rice Lake Elementary School.

There were a couple dozen Cub Scouts plus parents and siblings. We were partially shielded from the stiff breeze by a row of trees and had about a 600 foot recovery field downwind. Everything recovered on the field.

Neal and Buzz were kept hopping with helping the Scouts prep their Wizard, Yankee, Alpha, and Spaceloft rockets (plus a smattering of other types) on A8-3 and 1/2A3-4t engines. Buzz also lent out some of his oddrocs (saucers, cones and such) for kids to launch.

Alan helped the Scouts get their rockets on the pads and launched. The launch range was kept hopping too. We had a continuous cycle of full 6-pad racks for over an hour. The kids all had a lot of fun. Using the remote "uber-button", they were all able to push the button to launch their own rockets. We only had about 4-5 misfires (quickly solved with a new igniter). Other than a couple separations, all the rockets flew successfully. We didn't keep track of flights, but it was probably close to 100 in an hour and a half. We had a couple 2-way drag races, and one

Neal did a demo launch of his flying pyramid on an F23 motor. Everyone was impressed with the noise and all the black smoke.

[Alan Estenson]

To be truthful, I was actually a little late arriving. Neal and Alan pretty much had everything set up by the time I arrived at 1:20. Neal did most of the helping with rocket prep and explaining about parachutes, streamers and wadding. I mostly helped with friction-fitting motors and rocket repair. This gave me time to get several quick-prep rockets ready in between kids coming up for motors or to repair a fin. As it turned out, there were a number of siblings in the group who didn’t have rockets to fly and they were more than happy to proxy-fly these for me. The sisters and younger brothers especially liked the idea that they were flying rockets with motors 4 times as powerful as the scouts. I think my Semroc Point, Quest Area 51 and Quest Planet Probe each got flown twice on C6 motors. An old Estes RediRoc Intruder and an Estes Min Red Max were flown once each.

Alan was close on the number of rockets flown. We went through two complete bulk packs of A8-3 motors plus 5-6 from a third box. We also used up all but one or two of the 1/2A3 motors in a bulk pack. On top of that I used my motors for the eight flights of my rockets and I saw a couple of kids brought their own motors. There were at least 90 total flights. One rocket had a separation and it’s nose cone ended up south of our area, on the other side of the school. It probably landed 300-400 yards down range. I think that was the only rocket (or part of a rocket) that landed outside of the recovery area. Not too bad for a 90 minute launch window on a very breezy afternoon!

The ‘highlight” flight was definitely Neal’s Pyramid rocket. I had brought along a couple of Halloween-themed rockets to fly but I didn’t have the time to prep them and it was a little breezy for them, anyway. My little pumpkins-on-a-stick rocket has a hard enough time going “mostly up” on a calm day.

This pack encourages siblings to participate in whole-pack activities such as the rocket day and Pinewood Derby. I think this makes a big difference in the level of family participation. There were a number of sisters and little brothers flying rockets with the scouts. This is just a data point to keep in mind when we work with other scout groups.

[Buzz McDermott]

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