TSM July 2000 Launch Notes
Driving to the Maple Island Missile Range, all I could do was to keep looking at the rows and rows of tall Minnesota corn and thinking of James Earl Jones vanishing into the crops to the words "If you build it, they will come". Enough of old movie illusions, but the corn played heavily into the outcome of TSM's July 22nd launch. The weather was great, and we were all itching to fly as high and fast as possible. As we set up the pads, I heard the comment that today seemed like rocket heaven. Well in many respects, it proved to be fantastic. In other respects, it was full of tough recoveries through the corn.
But, for the most part, it was "rocket heaven." The TSM crew and visitors logged in a total of 63 flights over the course of a day that was Minnesota perfect in many respects. Numerous outstanding composite high-powered flights were lofted against an aerial barrage of countless black powder burners. In this category, Kelsey Young led the pack. Kelsey set an all time club record for most flights in a day by any single flyer. She put up twelve flights, mostly all outstanding successes. Kelsey flew everything she could get her hands on, from a half-A powered mosquito, all the way up to her Firecracker on a G-35. Wow, that was a nice showing Kelsey! The rest of the club charted numerous flights ranging in impulse form 1/2-A through K-185 power.
This month continued to enjoy a number of exciting certification flights. Craig Knippel boosted to succesful level 1 certification by kicking his Rocketman Praying Mantis high and fast on an I-357 engine. Third time IS a charm, right Craig. Gordon Shoenfeld was a bit less fortunate. His Sonic Challenger boosted nicely on an I-211. Everything looked like a GO! But, a hard ejection and snap back significantly damaged the body tube. Gordon will be back; we are counting on it. Rob Ruesch made a successful run at the level 2 title, pushing his gorgeous Rebel Rush into the lower stratosphere on a hot J-350 load - fantastic. Good show guys.
The flight line was also full of some big beasts loaded for bear. Bob Brashear and Mike Vande Kamp each threw skyward nice constructions using the long-burning powerful K-185 reload. Mike's Shredder made it to 4885 feet, and drifted into the corn. He made it out of the tall green about 45 minutes later with the Shredder in tow. Bob's luck was not as good. His Stretched EZI-65 flight made an awesome boost to over 7000 feet. Unfortunately, the electronics fired the main canopy at apogee and the EZI drifted deep into corn heaven, not to be seen again that day.
Ron Freiheit and Richard Hagensick entertained us with the real high tech end of our sport. They flew "back to back" perfect two-staged Goliaths to tremendous heights. Richard's PML Thunder-n-Lightening went J350 to a Pro38 (Cessaroni) J300. It was so cool. It had a nice delay after stage separation, prior to the ignition of the newly available Cessaroni reload. The bird boosted to 9568 feet and was recovered in excellent condition. Ron's boost was just as magnificent. He lofted his modified PML Quantum leap to an estimated 10,000 feet, spearing through the scattered clouds to find a nice open patch of blue sky. Using the Walston locator, Ron got a bead on the sustainer and saw it descending intact. When he got to the landing sight, the chute and electronics were missing. Recreational vehicle tracks surrounded the rocket&ldots;..where's the chute???? --- The mystery continues. I got my theories, but you figure it out.
Michael Tran and father made numerous successful G flights on their Initiator - welcome to TSM. Dan Braam, Walter Kjellender, Scotty Young, Gary Brown, Andy Limper, and John Kmeich, placed a montage of successful H and I-powered flights into the heavens. Thanks for coming down from Duluth, John. Gordon Schoenfeld, Andrew and Gary Gold, Paul Bryan and Jim Smith logged nice mid and low-powered flights. Unfortunately, phenolic, cardboard, and fiberglass sacrificial offerings were offered to the corn gods from Gary Brown, Bob Brashear, Michael Tran, Kelsey Young and others. Thanks to the Mayo-Brother's Rocketry Squad for providing this month's facilities (Porta-John wise) to remedy the calls of nature
I hope I got most all of the bases covered, and did not leave anyone out. July was a fine day of low, mid and rip snorting high-powered rocketry. I cannot wait until our next launch on August 26 at the Maple Island Missile Range. Please sign up for RSO (level two or three folks) and LSO (level one, two, or three) duties using the Website. If everyone pitches in for a short work stint, then we all get to fly more. See you in August
Andy Limper; TRA 6517
For additions or corrections: Andy Limper