Event 05/28/01: Rocket Launch: MASA: Blaine

Since the regular Saturday launch was cancelled, Alan invited the hard-core folks to an informal Memorial Day Monday launch.  The weather was almost perfect: sunny but not hot, clear skies, moderate winds.  The sod was wet but the field was wide open.

We each set up our own pads and just fired as fast as we wanted.  The theme from the scheduled launch had been "Going Crazy in Stages" so there were quite a few staged flights this time.

I flew 9 rockets and 11 motors ranging from MicroMaxx to G64.  If I'd flown an E and F, I'd have covered the whole range, like Ted Cochran did.
We also flew one of the 40th anniversary Estes Alpha rockets that was signed by G. Harry Stein and Vern Estes.  I signed the log book.

Photography took up a lot of my time.  I tried 1/500 and 1/1000 shutter speeds to try to get lift-off photos.  Unfortunately, when I got home and rewound the film, it rewound very quickly so it probably didn't advance correctly.  This has been a chronic problem for my camera, so off to the repair shop for it.

Near the end of the day, I helped Glen search for the upper stage of his G64-boosted rocket that was supposed to ignite a D12 electronically, but didn't. After a half-hour search, extending way beyond the project impact area (woods), Glen spotted the lawn dart through binoculars.  It was at least a half mile from the pad and burried the nose cone about 7" into the sod (very difficult to extract - took about 15 minutes of wiggling).  The body was ok except for a broken fin, but the motor mound had slid forward and crushed the electronics.  Only the PIC chip survived - we'll see what stories it has to tell.

Once again I returned with more rockets than I brought.  The owner of a very nicely built and painted Estes Big Daddy got fed up with it after two D12-5 flights that lawn-darted in the soft soil in almost the same spot.  The mouth of the main body tube is a bit frayed and the bulkhead has broken out of the nosecone, but other than that it looks fine.  The shock cord will need to be replaced also.  Apparently the D12-5's had weak ejection charges and just couldn't push out the nosecone.

Flight Results:
Owner Rocket Motor Notes Est. Alt Results
Jeff Estes Mini Mars Lander RTF Estes A10-3T 2ndt flight 20 Severely underpowered. Plopped down next to pad long before ejection.  Alan agreed that these are not flightworthy.
Jeff Completely Cardboard Estes D12-3 16" chute + 10' streamer 800 Perfect
Jeff Estes Astron Avenger Estes C6-0, Quest B6-4 Streamer 2000 Great flight. Booster shredded 2 fins as usual. Sustainer broke two fins on landing in mud.
Jeff Aerotech Initiator Aerotech G64-7W RMS Beeper 2000 Awesome!  Longish delay. Small crack in one fin root.
Jeff Estes Beta Estes A10-0, Estes A3-4T ('70s vintage) nylon streamer 1200 Excellent. Streamer didn't fully un-furl.
Jeff Centuri Taurus Quest C6-5 14" Estes plastic chute 700 Nice flight.
Jeff Estes Mars Snooper Quest C6-3 14" plastic chute 800 Nice flight!
Jeff Bic Arcas Quest 1/8A MicroMaxx Tiny parachute 60 Flew higher than normal. Perfect ejection.
Jeff Centuri Orion Aerotech D13-4W 18mm RMS 16" plastic chute 1500 Excellent. Ignited fine from my 6v pad.

What a great day!

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