Published: Sunday, 19 November 2017 19:23
Written by Kenn Blade
The last CMASS launch of the calendar year was a little anticlimactic. After great weather for the previous 2-1/2 launches, Mother Nature exacted some balance from us. During set up, the sun was shining and the wind was absent; we had help from some of the college students present so we got three high-power pads set up along with our usual ring of 11 pads. Some of the colleges were there for their L1 attempts; others were going to fly G-impulse motors as a step toward L1 certs; still others were seeking other goals. Unfortunately, just as we finished setting up, the wind picked up and blew directly toward the power lines. In accordance with our agreement with National Grid and the Amesbury Fire Department, this shut down our HPR launching and kept our LPR and MPR launches to 1000-feet or lower. On top of that, the clouds moved in so the warming effect of the sun was gone. It made for a chilly, gray day.
When it became evident the wind was going to be a problem for most of the day, Scott Costigan from MMMSC offered to hold a launch at the Berwick field on 02 December to help the students meet some of their goals; with that possibility of future opportunity, most of the students packed up and made their way off the field. Some stayed in hopes of a shift in the wind that never came for enough time to make a flight.
For those who had low- and mid-power rockets and motors, the day went pretty well. There were 106 launches from 1/4A- to G-impulse. The high-power pads did get some use for some of the larger mid-power flights and the wind only blew a couple of rockets into the trees (recovery was made for one of them). A TARC team joined us to iron out some bugs with their design. We had a few scouts from Troop 87 there and even the return of the dreaded Qubit (only one so the trauma was minimal). Tony V. flew many of his beautifully constructed and painted rockets (see photo at left); Scott C. had many of his seasonal inspired rockets in the air; Guy W. put up a series of saucer and spool flights that were prefect for the day. Mike L. and Dominic S. and their clans accounted for many of the day’s flights. We even had a Fliskits S.P.A.D. take to the skies (see photo at right). The quadcopter pilot that got a video of one launch earlier this month came back and made a number of recordings; we should have some interesting posts in the near future.
If you have pictures from the day, please share them in the gallery for all to enjoy (Thanks to Riley S. for the photos used in this article). There won’t be any shots of the night launch as that didn’t happen; only a few flyers had anything that could be flown at night and one of those saucers was damaged by a cato during a daylight test flight. With the cold of the day making such an impact on us, we decided to adjourn before dark to The Barking Dog for our post-launch debriefing and some warmth. With that said, our next launch will be our Winter Follies in Acton sometime in January. Keep an eye on the website for the date and time.