Published: Sunday, 02 October 2011 11:50
Written by Kenn
With the non-availability of our usual field in Amesbury, some of us took up the Maine Missile Math & Science Club (MMMSC or M3SC) offer to share their field in Berwick, Maine. MMMSC had scheduled a launch for 24 September so as not to conflict with the CMASS schedule but they were able to reschedule the field to take us in on our date.
About a dozen CMASS members joined the MMMSC members on a day that had beautiful weather; mostly clear skies with high clouds and fairly light winds. The field itself is a sod farm so it’s as flat as a table and easy to follow a rocket all the way to the ground. The area the farmer has allowed the launches on is about one-third or less of the total planting space but about five times larger than the Amesbury field. There is parking at the edge of the field off the access road. On the other side of the road, though, is a stand of rocket-eating trees (ask Mike Sherrod). Another cool feature is a center-pivot irrigation system that potentially sweeps through the launch area. It’s about one-half mile long and moves at a very forceful, steady pace when operating. This day, fortunately, it was not in use.
As courteous guests, we didn’t show up empty handed; I brought along the new CMASS six pad launch controller, table-top pad holder, HP pad for our small rail and all the wires, clips, battery and speaker to make it all work. The motors used ranged from A impulse up to G. Right now, without a waiver, G is the upper limit of motor that can be fired with MMMSC; when more launch fees or club memberships are collected, equipment will upgrade and waivers will be applied for. There were a total of more than 60 flights.
A few weeks earlier at a previous MMMSC launch, the area we were set up in was mostly harvested with some patches of nice grass still in play. This time around, the grass had been turned under so the walk out to the pads was over rough terrain. By the end of the day, a couple of paths were pretty well smoothed out.
There was another familiar face at the launch; Jim Flis came up to check it all out. He set up shop but had a much more restrained day than the anniversary he had originally planned. And, there was no CAKE. To that end, we’ll need to find a place near the field to go out to dinner after any launches up there. Eating at the field was pretty good; Scott Costigan, President of MMMSC, grills hot dogs and has sodas on ice.
Scott will fit his club’s schedule around CMASS and Cherryfield Tripoli so there won’t be any conflicts and more opportunities to fly. The calendar on the MMMSC page now contains the schedules for those three clubs and CATO in Connecticut. - Kenn