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JAL3
14th July 2009, 10:56 PM
Of the Consmodrome line, the 2 that have the most appeal to me are the Vostok and the Nike Apache. The Vostok has been sitting in my pile almost since the beginning of my return to rocketry intimidating me. The Nike Apache is a recent acquisition and does not seem nearly so intimidating. I decided to give it a try

JAL3
14th July 2009, 11:00 PM
Construction started out by locating the 29mm motor tube and running a line down its length. An Estes angle was used to do this. Tick marks were then placed 1/2" from either end along the line.

JAL3
14th July 2009, 11:02 PM
The kit came with 2 plywood centering rings. I had to locate the one with two notches, as opposed to the single notch ring, and the steel recovery harness.

JAL3
14th July 2009, 11:28 PM
The loop in the steel cable was fitted through the 2 notches in the centering ring and then slipped into place on the motor mount at one of the tick marks. The ring was then epoxied into place.

JAL3
14th July 2009, 11:32 PM
The other centering ring had only a larger, single notch in it. It was placed at the opposite end of the motor tube with the notch lined up over the line and epoxied into place, making sure that no epoxy obstructed the hole formed by the notch.

JAL3
14th July 2009, 11:35 PM
The instructions indicated that I was to cut 2 pieces of cardstock, one was a strip 1.5x1/8" and the other was 1/2x1/8".

JAL3
14th July 2009, 11:39 PM
A piece of threaded rod was then fed through the hole on the centering ring and the tube was marked at the point where 3/4" protruded from the end.

JAL3
14th July 2009, 11:47 PM
It took a while for me to understand the purpose of the strips I had cut. The Instruction said to place them between the threaded rod and the motor tube. They did not indicate a purpose or an orientation. After a while, I realized that the longer strip terminated at the mark I had made for the rod and deduced, correctly I hope, that they are just to give a slight angle to the rod which is used for motor retention. I tacked the long strip in place and then the shorter one on top of it.

JAL3
14th July 2009, 11:50 PM
The rod was then inserted to the mark and epoxied into place, taking care not to let epoxy onto the lower threads.

JAL3
14th July 2009, 11:57 PM
The kit came with 4 plywood fins for the Nike portion of the stack. The instructions said to sand them down to a knife edge on the leading and trailing edges. I marked the centerline, got out a sanding block, sanded a bit and then reconsidered. There has to be a "good" way to do this right.

I would very much appreciate any advice on how to sand the fins.

cosmodrome
15th July 2009, 01:45 AM
It took a while for me to understand the purpose of the strips I had cut. The Instruction said to place them between the threaded rod and the motor tube. They did not indicate a purpose or an orientation. After a while, I realized that the longer strip terminated at the mark I had made for the rod and deduced, correctly I hope, that they are just to give a slight angle to the rod which is used for motor retention. I tacked the long strip in place and then the shorter one on top of it.

I now see this needs to be clearified in the instructions. :confused2: The two strips are to move the threaded rod off the MMT just a bit. This is to give some clearence of the aft motor closure. It turns out that some aft closures are just slightly thicker than the MMT. I'm going to re-write the instructions a bit for this.

cosmodrome
15th July 2009, 01:50 AM
The kit came with 4 plywood fins for the Nike portion of the stack. The instructions said to sand them down to a knife edge on the leading and trailing edges. I marked the centerline, got out a sanding block, sanded a bit and then reconsidered. There has to be a "good" way to do this right.

I would very much appreciate any advice on how to sand the fins.

I put one layer of masking tape on the center line, on the half that is not being sanded. I then add two more layers on this piece, about 1/16" tward the unsanded side. Start to sand. As the two additional layers of tape are sanded away, stop, remove then and add two new ones.

Alternately to hand sanding, I take a belt sander with the finest grit paper possible, and then sand a piece of scrap metal with it. This makes it extra dull. Than sand the fin. Careful, go slowely and check the progress often.

dedleytedley
15th July 2009, 03:50 AM
You could also try using a metal file. Clamp the fins to a corner of your workbench and hold the file at the angle you need. Hold your arms steady and use your legs to rock your upper body back and forth. The longer stroke you get with a file makes it easier to achieve a flat bevel. I bevel all my fins but I didn't think it was possible to make that profile when I built my Nike-Ajax. I made the fins as built up paper with an internal frame of balsa. The cardstock was painted with epoxy glue on the inside and CA on the outside. I'll bet if you doubled up the paper, made the frame from the supplied plywood and added a fin tab for ttw the fins would be tough enough for 29mm power. Ted

JAL3
15th July 2009, 06:16 AM
I put one layer of masking tape on the center line, on the half that is not being sanded. I then add two more layers on this piece, about 1/16" tward the unsanded side. Start to sand. As the two additional layers of tape are sanded away, stop, remove then and add two new ones.

Alternately to hand sanding, I take a belt sander with the finest grit paper possible, and then sand a piece of scrap metal with it. This makes it extra dull. Than sand the fin. Careful, go slowely and check the progress often.

I appreciate the advice.

I thought about using my belt sander but the finest I have been able to find is pretty course. I know that if I tried to do it the easy way, I'd wind up with little stubs.

Using the tape, how do you handle the second side? presumably with the first side sanded, that would change the angle.

JAL3
15th July 2009, 06:19 AM
You could also try using a metal file. Clamp the fins to a corner of your workbench and hold the file at the angle you need. Hold your arms steady and use your legs to rock your upper body back and forth. The longer stroke you get with a file makes it easier to achieve a flat bevel. I bevel all my fins but I didn't think it was possible to make that profile when I built my Nike-Ajax. I made the fins as built up paper with an internal frame of balsa. The cardstock was painted with epoxy glue on the inside and CA on the outside. I'll bet if you doubled up the paper, made the frame from the supplied plywood and added a fin tab for ttw the fins would be tough enough for 29mm power. Ted

Thanks for the input. Your description makes sense but what worries me is my lack of aptitude doing fine work. I'm talkign about doing fine work here. most of my efforts are gross.:confused2:

I've read about built up fins as you describe. I DO want to give it a try sometime.

dedleytedley
15th July 2009, 07:19 AM
I wouldn't call your work gross. Your build threads show some fine work. I know paper fins seem daunting at first but they really aren't that tough when you dive in. Building TLP's Flail kit with paper fins gave me the confidence to try making my own. You can't see from the pic but the frame parts are beveled to conform with the shape. They do require some precise marking, cutting and folding. I use a thin 12 inch metal rule with the cork removed for all three tasks. A 0.5 tip mechanical pencil is essential for laying them out. If you would like it I can provide more details of the method. Ted

Stymye
16th July 2009, 03:12 AM
wood venier works great for angled fins as well , I show sort of a step by step on my scratch honest john..It turned out to be very easy.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v11/stymye/Honest%20John%2029mm/

JAL3
16th July 2009, 01:17 PM
I wouldn't call your work gross. Your build threads show some fine work. I know paper fins seem daunting at first but they really aren't that tough when you dive in. Building TLP's Flail kit with paper fins gave me the confidence to try making my own. You can't see from the pic but the frame parts are beveled to conform with the shape. They do require some precise marking, cutting and folding. I use a thin 12 inch metal rule with the cork removed for all three tasks. A 0.5 tip mechanical pencil is essential for laying them out. If you would like it I can provide more details of the method. Ted

I guess I should have said course instead of gross. What I mean is that I can do ok with big things or things that are seen from a distance. Precision work is tough though.

I'm interested in learning just about any new technique. I may not be any good at it but I am interested in learning.

JAL3
16th July 2009, 01:17 PM
wood venier works great for angled fins as well , I show sort of a step by step on my scratch honest john..It turned out to be very easy.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v11/stymye/Honest%20John%2029mm/

That does look good.

JAL3
23rd July 2009, 04:43 AM
After hearing back from Cosmodrome on TRF, I adopted the manufacturer's recommended practice for sanding in the correct profile to the fins. I applied a wide strip of masking tape along the line I had marked on the side opposite to which I wanted to sand. I then put two more strips of narrower tape right on top of it and did the same to the reverse side. A sanding block was then repeated drawn along the side to be sanded gradually removing material. When the sandpaper had eaten through the top two pieces of tape, the tape was replaced and the process continued.

JAL3
23rd July 2009, 04:53 AM
I found that for each surface of each side of each fin, I would have to replace the tape about 4 times in order to achieve the "knife edge". Be advised that I am speaking in terms of butter knives, I was afraid of ruing the fins by sanding any more. I got 1 fin done per day because it does take time and, frankly, was not an enjoyable process for me. That being said, it was effective and I have not complaints. I think the result will be worth it.

JAL3
24th July 2009, 07:53 PM
With three fins done and a fourth one waiting to be done, I stared dejectedly at my dwindling supply of course sandpaper and looked wistfully towards my belt sander. Against my better judgment, I decided to give it a try. I masked off the high areas as before, flipped the switch and hoped that I was not destroying the fin. It actually went easier and slower than I expected with SLOW being the key word. I was able to give the fin an acceptable profile and avoid a trip to the hardware store.

JAL3
24th July 2009, 07:55 PM
At this point I would like to ask for some help from anyone who has built this or similar kits in the past.

THe next step involves marking the BT for the fins and applying some plastic wrap. I'm afraid I just don't understand what the goal is or what is meant. Can somebody give me a clue?

JAL3
24th July 2009, 07:56 PM
At this point I would like to ask for some help from anyone who has built this or similar kits in the past.

THe next step involves marking the BT for the fins and applying some plastic wrap. I'm afraid I just don't understand what the goal is or what is meant. Can somebody give me a clue?

cosmodrome
24th July 2009, 11:20 PM
With three fins done and a fourth one waiting to be done, I stared dejectedly at my dwindling supply of course sandpaper and looked wistfully towards my belt sander. Against my better judgment, I decided to give it a try. I masked off the high areas as before, flipped the switch and hoped that I was not destroying the fin. It actually went easier and slower than I expected with SLOW being the key word. I was able to give the fin an acceptable profile and avoid a trip to the hardware store.

The goal of this step is to from the body tube wrap. I have you get the card stock wet so that it curves around the body tube without creasing. It is then dried in place to help hold the shape. The purpose of the plastic wrap is to keep the body tube from getting wet from the wrap. Once the wrap is dry, the plastic wrap is removed and the wrap is grued into place. The fin lines are then re-drawn over the wrap. Cut fin slots, add fins, etc.

Let me know if this helps.

cosmodrome
28th July 2009, 12:07 AM
With three fins done and a fourth one waiting to be done, I stared dejectedly at my dwindling supply of course sandpaper and looked wistfully towards my belt sander. Against my better judgment, I decided to give it a try. I masked off the high areas as before, flipped the switch and hoped that I was not destroying the fin. It actually went easier and slower than I expected with SLOW being the key word. I was able to give the fin an acceptable profile and avoid a trip to the hardware store.

Looks like you're ready to tackle some Black Brant II fins. :D

JAL3
28th July 2009, 03:56 AM
Looks like you're ready to tackle some Black Brant II fins. :D

I'm still dreaming in terms of the Vostok.

Now I just need to get to the store and get some plastic wrap.

cosmodrome
28th July 2009, 08:53 PM
I'm still dreaming in terms of the Vostok.

Now I just need to get to the store and get some plastic wrap.

Plastic wrap, wax paper, aluminum foil, anything to keep the water from getting to the body tube.

The Apache wraps will be a good practice for the Vostok shrouds. :D

JAL3
31st July 2009, 06:33 AM
Plastic wrap, wax paper, aluminum foil, anything to keep the water from getting to the body tube.

The Apache wraps will be a good practice for the Vostok shrouds. :D

Is that supposed to BOLSTER my confidence?

JAL3
31st July 2009, 06:39 AM
The last page of the instructions came with a fin marking guide of the type where you set the rocket on teh circle and make your marks. I generally prefer the wrap around type but don't knock any points for this type. This is especially with so since, for me, the butt types are not as difficult to use with the larger tubes. It also helps with both types when the sizes are dead on and this one was.

JAL3
31st July 2009, 06:43 AM
The Nike body tube was placed on the template and the lines for the 4 fins and the lug were transferred. An angle was then used to lengthen the lines with the lug line running the length of the tube.

JAL3
31st July 2009, 06:51 AM
Each of the fin lines was marked a specified distance from the back of the tube; I think it was an inch but I do not remember. The fins were numbered in pencil with the characters for one through four since I was not certain that they were strictly interchangeable in terms of the sanded profiles. The fin lines were also so marked. The root edges of the fins were then aligned with their respective fin lines having their rear edges along the previously mentioned marks and were then held in place as a pencil was used to draw their outlines. A razor knife was then used to cut out the marked lines and allow the fins to slide in.

JAL3
31st July 2009, 06:57 AM
The next step was to wrap the rear of the body tube with Saran Wrap. This is to protect it from the moisture that is soon to come. When the wrap was in place, I retrieved the provided piece of cardstock and spritzed with water from a spay bottle I swiped from SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED's laundry department. The purpose of this is to allow the cardstock to more easily conform to the body. I wrapped the stock around the body and tied it into place to dry with some surplus shroud line. The tube and wrap were then set aside to dry.

KerryQuinn
31st July 2009, 03:24 PM
Hi John -
FYI, I am building this kit right along with you. It is my first MPR.
Thanks for documenting and sharing your build - and thanks to Mike for his comments too. This is also my first scale rocket build - I am planning to use it for my NAR/Nartrek Silver scale requirement. My fins are shaped, this weekend I will be working on the body wrap and fin slots.
-Kerry

JAL3
31st July 2009, 07:28 PM
Hi John -
FYI, I am building this kit right along with you. It is my first MPR.
Thanks for documenting and sharing your build - and thanks to Mike for his comments too. This is also my first scale rocket build - I am planning to use it for my NAR/Nartrek Silver scale requirement. My fins are shaped, this weekend I will be working on the body wrap and fin slots.
-Kerry

I wish you the very best on your build, your flight and your NARTrek goal. It is my fervent hope that I do not lead you astray somehow.

I hope to get a significant amount done this weekend too.

JAL3
1st August 2009, 05:39 AM
A day later, I removed the string holding the wrap in place and, sure enough, it had been re-molded into approximately the curvature of the Nike body tube. I did a little trimming with a razor knife to remove a tiny bit of material from one end to make a tight closure and then used some sandpaper to fair up the edge.

JAL3
1st August 2009, 05:43 AM
Some slow cure epoxy (30 minute) was mixed because I perceive it to be a thinner fluid and was then brushed onto the inside of the wrap. The wrap was slid into place flush with the aft end of the BT and with the seam along the launch lug line. Some masking tape was used to hold it in place as it dried.

JAL3
1st August 2009, 06:31 AM
I worked on some other things and about an hour later removed the tape. The next task was to duplicate the fin slots from the BT on the wrap. After several trial and error attempts, I decided that the easiest thing to do was to make a slit down the center and then shave away from the outside while peering down the interior of the tube. I kept whittling away until I test fitted each of the numbered fins successfully.

JAL3
1st August 2009, 06:39 AM
A long swab was used to make a ring of epoxy around the interior of the BT just forward of the fin slots and the motor mount was shoved part way in. When the forward ring was in, I paused and swabbed another ring of epoxy around the after end. The mount was then pushed into place with the retaining bolt aligned with the seam on the lower wrap and the rear centering ring flush with the end of the tube. The tube was set upright for a while so the epoxy would flow back towards the rings as it set. After 10 minutes, I mixed some more epoxy and brushed it around the seam on the after ring and set it aside to set up.

JAL3
1st August 2009, 06:44 AM
As the epoxy on the motor mount set up, I skipped ahead a few steps and pulled out the Apache fins. These again were made of plywood and again needed to have a profile added. I marked off an 1/8 inch on each leading edge, drew a line and then marked the line with a strip of masking tape.

JAL3
1st August 2009, 06:49 AM
Since I had developed a little confidence with the best sander on the last of the Nike fins, I decided to use it for the Apache fins as well. I took it slow and, while the bevels are not perfect, they are good by my own admittedly marginal standards.

JAL3
1st August 2009, 06:54 AM
The first of the Nike fins to be installed was number 4. I test fitted it once again and then applied some epoxy to the root edge. The fin was slipped into its slot and pressed into place checking for straightness. A bit of epoxy was the filleted along each side of the BT with my finger and allowed to set up.

JAL3
1st August 2009, 06:58 AM
Fin number 3 was installed just as number 4 was except the slot was a bit looser and I needed some tape to hold things in place as the epoxy cured. Further fin installation was interrupted by work concerns and I set things aside to dry for the night.

KerryQuinn
1st August 2009, 10:40 PM
John -
What do you think is the purpose of the hardwood dowl that gets glued into the front end of the transition section? just added strength? I'm trying to decide how far in to push it when I glue it - I guess I'll push it in all the way - then about 1/4" would stick out to the front.....

Also - are you planning to give the nose cone any special finishing for added strength? On EMRR I read about guys adding a single glass ply because the tip of the cone was easily breaking off. I'd rather opt for something more simple - maybe a good soaking of CA or sanding sealer ?
-Kerry

JAL3
1st August 2009, 11:37 PM
John -
What do you think is the purpose of the hardwood dowl that gets glued into the front end of the transition section? just added strength? I'm trying to decide how far in to push it when I glue it - I guess I'll push it in all the way - then about 1/4" would stick out to the front.....

Also - are you planning to give the nose cone any special finishing for added strength? On EMRR I read about guys adding a single glass ply because the tip of the cone was easily breaking off. I'd rather opt for something more simple - maybe a good soaking of CA or sanding sealer ?
-Kerry

I know what you are talking about because I've seen that that's the next step coming up after gluing on the fins but I have not thoroughly read that section so I really don't know.

As to the NC, I don't know how to glass and will most likely douse the thin in CA.

I hope to get some more done a little later tonight.

cosmodrome
2nd August 2009, 12:34 AM
John -
What do you think is the purpose of the hardwood dowl that gets glued into the front end of the transition section? just added strength? I'm trying to decide how far in to push it when I glue it - I guess I'll push it in all the way - then about 1/4" would stick out to the front.....

Also - are you planning to give the nose cone any special finishing for added strength? On EMRR I read about guys adding a single glass ply because the tip of the cone was easily breaking off. I'd rather opt for something more simple - maybe a good soaking of CA or sanding sealer ?
-Kerry

Exactly. I wasn't sure if this would be a point of failure so I added the dowel. May not even need it. Insert the dowel as far as it will go, usually some of it sticks out.

I haven't tried it with this NC but wood hardener seems to protect quit well. Or, soaking the tip in finishing epoxy should work.

JAL3
2nd August 2009, 04:48 AM
When I got back to the Nike Apache, the third and fourth fins were installed like the first two without any problems.

JAL3
2nd August 2009, 05:13 AM
One of the things that I liked about this kit was the way the eye screw is mounted to the transition. A natural worry with any rocket, especially a heavier one, is the screw stripping out at ejection, even when reinforced by epoxy. This kit goes a long way in lessening that worry with its approach. The eye screw was screwed into a plastic anchor screw with large, aggressive threads and then backed out. A drop of epoxy was put into the hole of the anchor and the eye screw re-inserted.

JAL3
2nd August 2009, 05:17 AM
The process was then repeated and the anchor was screwed into the balsa transition, backed out, the hole filled with epoxy, and re-inserted. Epoxy was used to fill around the screw as well.

JAL3
2nd August 2009, 05:20 AM
On the opposite end of the transition, a piece of wooden dowel was epoxied into the cavity to strengthen a potential failure point.

JAL3
3rd August 2009, 02:58 AM
The base of the Apache portion of the rocket is a built up affair and I have to admit that I almost ruined it. The kit came with a short length of 29mm motor tube which serves as the base and what amounts to a 29mm thrust ring. There was also a coupler tube to fit withing the motor tube. The first thing I was instructed to do was to mark the longer of the two interior tubes at 1/4' and then epoxy it into one end of the motor tube leaving 1/4" hanging out. This was easily done but the coupler would not fit into the motor tube so I had to sand it down some, removing my marks. It was easily marked again and then I decided to use white glue instead of epoxy. It was tight and I did not thing it was a realistic failure point.

JAL3
3rd August 2009, 03:03 AM
The next step was simple enough. The thrust ring was glued in place at the opposite end of the motor tube. Again, white glue was used.

JAL3
3rd August 2009, 03:06 AM
The interior joints at both ends were then filleted with white glue and it was set aside to dry for a short while.

JAL3
3rd August 2009, 03:11 AM
I took a look at the Apache nose cone while the base assembly was setting up. It was reasonably clear balsa with just a touch of roughness on one side. I decided to harden it some by dousing it with some thin CA.

JAL3
3rd August 2009, 04:45 AM
This next part is where things became dicey because I misunderstood the instructions. The instructions were correct but I was letting a single word cause me to misinterpret them and even ignore (subconsciously) other verbiage that should have set me straight. I was supposed to sand a bevel into the portion of the coupler tube that extended from the motor mount. It was supposed to transition from its natural diameter to the diameter of the main Apache tube. Essentially, it was to taper to 0". That part I got and most of the tapering was done with a sanding stick. It was the next instruction that got me. I interpreted it to mean that the Apache tube would be butted up against the freshly tapered coupler and epoxied into place with a simple butt joint resting upon a "surface" that had just been sanded from a surface into an edge. I just KNEW it was going to be the primary failure mode of each and every flight, if the rocket even made it to the field without breaking at that point. I was already considering rolling my own coupler to fit into both the original coupler tube and the body tube so that I would have more gluing surface and something to try and hold things straight. As stupid as this sounds, I was convinced that was what I was supposed to do. Thankfully, an uncommon bout of sense had me read the instructions again and the word that had thrown me was thrown up in relief. THE AFT END OF THE APACHE TUBE WAS TO BE BUTTED EVEN WITH THE AFT END OF THE BASE. "Butt" had mislead me into ignoring the stupidity I was displaying. The Apache tube fit THROUGH the sanded coupler, through the motor mount and through the thrust ring. It should have plenty of support. I again used white glue instead of epoxy.

JAL3
3rd August 2009, 04:48 AM
With the Apache tube secured in the Apache base, I moved the base over to the fin marking guide for the Apache and transferred the marks. Doing it with the smaller tube made me wish again for the wrap around type but the job got done.

JAL3
3rd August 2009, 04:53 AM
An Estes angle was used to run the 4 lines the length of the base and one of the lines was run the length of the entire Apache tube. Each of the lines was marked off 1/4" from the aft end and then the fins and lines were numbered in the same manner as the Nike fins and slots were cut.

JAL3
3rd August 2009, 04:20 PM
Mounting of the Apache fins was, for some reason, more difficult than the mounting of the Nike fins. This is not to say that it was really hard; they just did not go as easily. The first fin was re-checked to make sure it fit and then epoxy was placed in the slot and along the root edge. The fin was then pressed into place and held with tape.

JAL3
3rd August 2009, 04:25 PM
I'll get the rest of what I have done later. Hopefully I'll be able to upload photos without getting timeouts and reset errors.

JAL3
4th August 2009, 06:18 AM
The second fin also went on without any problem.

JAL3
4th August 2009, 06:24 AM
The third fin was were it stopped going so well. It mounted easy enough and I kept eyeballing alignment and finally realized that the 1st and 3rd did not line up as well as they should. I don't blame anybody for that except me but it is a reason I prefer the wrap around guides to the butt end ones.

JAL3
4th August 2009, 06:29 AM
Fortunately, the final fin was OK. All were filleted with epoxy.

JAL3
6th August 2009, 06:16 AM
You may recall that early on in the building of the motor mount, the instructions called for the use of some cardstock to wedge between the retaining screw and the tube. I recalled it as well as I got the the next step and realized that I had cut the strips from the wrong piece of cardstock. The piece I had cut was supposed to be used as the forward wrap on the Apache. Fortunately, the wrap was a little bit big and needed to be cut down a bit. That helped somewhat but there would still be an ugly gap in one part of the seam. It was something that I would have to fix with filler later on.

I wrapped the forward part of the Apache tube with Saran Wrap to protect it from moisture and the sprayed the Apache wrap with water to make it more pliable. It was placed around the tube, tied into place and allowed to dry out overnight. The next day, it had taken on its new shape.

JAL3
6th August 2009, 06:21 AM
Epoxy was then brushed onto the inner surface of the wrap and it was applied to the forward end of the Apache. I tried to line the seam up with the long line which had been run the length of the tube but must have let it shift without noticing while getting things aligned. The wrap was held in place with tape as the epoxy set up.

JAL3
6th August 2009, 06:26 AM
The wrapped, forward end of the Apache was pressed against the tube marking guide and the lines were transferred. A mark was then made on each of the lines a specified distance from the forward end. If my memory serves, each was 5-13/63". These marks were to locate the penetrations for the antennae.

JAL3
6th August 2009, 06:38 AM
The penetrations were supposed to be made with a drill. To my horror, I realized that I had left my drill elsewhere doing some actual maintenance to the house and that I was probably going to have to wait to work further. Thinking about it, though, the bit I needed was small and the materials to be drilled through were not tough. On a lark, I tried just twirling the bit between my fingers. It worked!

Surprisingly, the next step was one of the toughest for me. The antennae are formed by a pair of styrene rods Each is to be pushed through a pair of opposing hole. Getting the rods through the first hole was easy. Getting it through the hole on the other side required a commodity of which I am chronically in short supply: patience. Then getting the one through orthogonal to the first is even tougher since the holes are at the same level. I never would have thought I could get them that exact. When the two rods were in place, I made sure that the same amount stuck out in each instance and then used some epoxy to fix them into place within the tube.

JAL3
8th August 2009, 01:44 PM
The kit comes with a hefty lead slug to be used as nose weight and move the CG forward. Installation of the slug was simple. Some epoxy was slathered around the top of the Apache tube and the slug inserted. More epoxy was slathered on the top of the slug and then the Apache nose cone was seated. The entire Apache assembly was then inverted to allow things to set up in place.

JAL3
8th August 2009, 01:49 PM
The basis of the shock cord system is the steel cable already installed. To this is added a long piece of bungee-like cord. It was bent to the steel cable with a double sheet bend. At the opposite end, a loop was tied about a foot back from the bitter end. The bitter end was then tied to the eye screw in the transition.

JAL3
8th August 2009, 01:54 PM
For the final step of the assembly, the Apache base was glued to the transition. Although the instructions called for epoxy, I used white glue since this did not seem to be a major failure point to me.

JAL3
14th August 2009, 06:59 AM
The first step in finishing this beast was to mix up some Elmer's filler and start filling in the imperfections. These included the grain on the fins, on the balsa and the seams on the wraps. I put it on rather thick and gave it about a week to dry completely.

JAL3
14th August 2009, 07:03 AM
Then the laborious sanding process began.

The nosecone and Apache wrap were not too bad. The wrap still needed some more work but the fairing was better than it had been.

JAL3
18th August 2009, 05:32 AM
The Apache fins and transition were a bit more work to sand. It was not difficult but it was tedious. The appearance was definitely improved but there were still some pits in the transition that I was not happy with.

JAL3
18th August 2009, 05:37 AM
Likewise, the Nike fins and wrap were not difficult to sand, just tedious. I used a file and sanding stick to get right up next to the wrap. That helped but there were still some pits to take care of on the wrap seam.

JAL3
18th August 2009, 05:40 AM
For the next round of filling, I decided to try some Squadron green putty instead. The seam of the Apache wrap got a layer along its entire length but the cone needed nothing more.

JAL3
18th August 2009, 05:44 AM
The Apache fins also needed nothing else but putty was used to fill the pits on the transition.

JAL3
18th August 2009, 05:47 AM
Finally, the Nike wrap seam got a stream of putty as well and the Nike fins needed none.

JAL3
19th August 2009, 05:05 AM
After a day to dry, I attacked the putty with the sandpaper. It took care of the pits in the transition and nothing further was needed there.

JAL3
19th August 2009, 05:11 AM
The wrap seams on both the Apache and the Nike were another story and needed a bit more. I went back to the Elmer's filler this time and, after it had been dried and sanded, I was satisfied enough to go on.

JAL3
19th August 2009, 05:18 AM
After dusting everything off, the Nike Apache was taken to the booth to begin the priming process. I started out by spraying 2 sides with Kilz. A day later, the rocket was rotated and I sprayed the other two sides.

JAL3
22nd August 2009, 12:14 AM
The Kilz dried for a couple of days and then I took a closer look. The rocket had developed a BAD case of the "fuzzies" especially where the wraps had gotten sanded while removing the filler material. I took it back to the bench and sanded it smooth.

JAL3
22nd August 2009, 12:20 AM
After dusting things off, it was back to the booth where the real painting began. On examining the directions, I saw that the body of the Nike was supposed to be white. This was in accordance with my "memory" of the Nike series. With that in mind, I went ahead and sprayed on a layer of white.

JAL3
22nd August 2009, 12:27 AM
What I had a question about, though, was the coloration of the Nike fins. I had imagined the normal fluorescent scheme but they were not mentioned in the instructions. The black and white photos I had seen were unclear on the matter and, for some reason, I thought that this rocket would be different. So it is that I sent a message to Cosmodrome asking and he got back to me quickly. It wasn't the answer I expected though. He told me the matter was unclear and sent me some links. Some versions did indeed have the fluorescent red fins. The one that captured my interest though, had a dark red Nike body and fins. I altered my plans then and there. It also had red Apache fins but of a possible florescent cast. That's what I decided to try and do. The photo I liked can be seen here: http://www.skyrocket.de/space/img_lau/nike_apache.jpg

JAL3
22nd August 2009, 12:33 AM
When the white had dried, I took the rocket back out and found that I had the "fuzzies" again, though not as badly, in the same places as before. A little sanding took care of that and I began to mask off the upper body, above the transition, to protect it from the red I was going to use.

JAL3
22nd August 2009, 12:38 AM
I chose "garnet red" from Rustoleum for the Nike section. The rocket was set in the booth and given 3 coats.

JAL3
23rd August 2009, 03:45 AM
The next day the masking was removed and I liked the result.

JAL3
23rd August 2009, 03:48 AM
The Nike section was then masked off and the rocket was taken back to the booth. Two coats of white were applied.

JAL3
24th August 2009, 03:28 AM
Like I said, 2 coats of white were applied.

JAL3
24th August 2009, 04:13 AM
Examination showed that the same fuzzies that had afflicted the Nike had done so to the Apache as well, but to a lesser degree. They were sanded down with #400 paper.

JAL3
24th August 2009, 04:16 AM
The rocket was then taken back to the booth for another coat of white.

JAL3
29th August 2009, 04:49 PM
The rocket sat with the white drying for a few days as I attended to other issues and then the masking tape was gotten out to cover everything around the base of the Apache except for the fins.

JAL3
29th August 2009, 04:55 PM
It was then back to the booth again where fluorescent red was applied in very light coats building up to give the red color. The photos make it look much more red than it does in person.

KerryQuinn
29th August 2009, 10:29 PM
JAL - it is looking great - can't wait to see the final product.

I was just putting the second coat of KILZ primer onto my own Nike Apache.

By the way - do you have any scale data for a Nike Apache? I am working on this rocket as my Nartrek scale project and need to pull together a set of scale data.

JAL3
30th August 2009, 12:27 AM
JAL - it is looking great - can't wait to see the final product.

I was just putting the second coat of KILZ primer onto my own Nike Apache.

By the way - do you have any scale data for a Nike Apache? I am working on this rocket as my Nartrek scale project and need to pull together a set of scale data.

Thanks.

I suspect that I have data in ROTW or one of the supplements but I don't have specific knowledge of it. I'm just working from the kit. My ROTW is at the office and I'd be glad to take a look tomorrow.

rockets2000
30th August 2009, 01:18 AM
Looks great John! I have a question about Kilz. I put the first coat on my S2000 rocket today and it went on super thick. So thick that it started bubbling. After a few seconds, it smoothed itself out for the most part. It still needs major sanding.

The question is, is this normal for Kilz, or did I not prepare the surface well enough? I sanded the BT with 150 to get the rough spots and seams, then went over again with 320. Wiped with a moist paper towel and let dry for an hour or so before I applied the Kilz.

Also, is it necessary to let it dry for a day before the second coat?

JAL3
30th August 2009, 07:47 AM
Looks great John! I have a question about Kilz. I put the first coat on my S2000 rocket today and it went on super thick. So thick that it started bubbling. After a few seconds, it smoothed itself out for the most part. It still needs major sanding.

The question is, is this normal for Kilz, or did I not prepare the surface well enough? I sanded the BT with 150 to get the rough spots and seams, then went over again with 320. Wiped with a moist paper towel and let dry for an hour or so before I applied the Kilz.

Also, is it necessary to let it dry for a day before the second coat?

my experience with Kilz is that it always goes on thick. That's part of the reason that that I have some lazy finishing habits; I let the Kilz do some of the filling. Your process sounds reasonable and is actually a bit more conscientious than mine.

As to the drying, it does dry slowly. You need to wait at least a day before sanding. A thick coat or high humidity means you wait a couple of days. I wouldn't worry too much about the waiting for second coats, though. As long as it is dry to the touch, I go for it.

TheAviator
30th August 2009, 06:05 PM
Looks great John! I have a question about Kilz. I put the first coat on my S2000 rocket today and it went on super thick. So thick that it started bubbling. After a few seconds, it smoothed itself out for the most part. It still needs major sanding.

The question is, is this normal for Kilz, or did I not prepare the surface well enough? I sanded the BT with 150 to get the rough spots and seams, then went over again with 320. Wiped with a moist paper towel and let dry for an hour or so before I applied the Kilz.

Also, is it necessary to let it dry for a day before the second coat?


I would avoid using water at all costs to clean off your rocket. Something my dad showed me is called tack cloth. It looks like cheese cloth but it has a light adhesive on it that won't stick to your model but will pull up little bits of crud (sanding residue, dust, etc.) that are on it. A little goes piece a long way. You can get it at Home Depot, Lowes, and the like in the painting section (duh!).

JAL3
2nd September 2009, 04:23 AM
A few days later the masking came off. You can definitely see the difference between the reds but its not unpleasing. I was also thrilled that there were no runs.

JAL3
2nd September 2009, 04:32 AM
With the painting done, I could turn my attention to the last item of construction: the launch lug. The kit came with a pair of tubular 1/4" lugs. I made the decision early on that I wanted to substitute a linear rail lug so the originals were not put in place. The linear lug would need, however, a spacer to clear the transition, just like the tubular lugs would have needed. I traced the outline of the lug on a scrap of balsa and then used a razor knife to cut it out.

JAL3
2nd September 2009, 04:43 AM
I then held the balsa spacer against the lug and used sandpaper to make the outline conform better.

JAL3
2nd September 2009, 04:49 AM
The location on the Nike BT chosen for the lug had some of the paint scraped away and then a hole was punched through it to make for a better epoxy bond.

JAL3
2nd September 2009, 04:54 AM
A few drops of 15 minute epoxy were then mixed and spread on the back of the spacer and the spacer was set in place on the BT. The spacer was then clamped into place.

JAL3
5th September 2009, 02:02 AM
A couple of days later I had a chance to take the clamps off. The rail lug was then set on top of the spacer and the screws were used to mark the balsa. The lug was then removed and the screws were turned through the balsa and the BT and then removed.

JAL3
5th September 2009, 02:06 AM
Some epoxy was then mixed and brushed onto the back of the lug and poked into the screwholes. The lug was then set in place and the screws driven in.

cosmodrome
8th September 2009, 08:31 PM
John,

This has been a great build thread. I'ts always good to see someone else's building techniques. When you're all done with it can you post some pros and cons of this build. I'm always looking for ways to improve a design or incorporate good ideas into other kits.

JAL3
9th September 2009, 02:31 AM
John,

This has been a great build thread. I'ts always good to see someone else's building techniques. When you're all done with it can you post some pros and cons of this build. I'm always looking for ways to improve a design or incorporate good ideas into other kits.

Thanks. I actually have a few more baby steps to take but its almost there. If all goes well, I'll give it a try on Saturday.

I'll be glad to post a list but I need to think about it. My experience has been a good one and the blunders have been strictly my own.

JAL3
10th September 2009, 04:46 AM
The decal work is seemingly simple on this one. There are 2 "United States" strips of text. They are mounted on opposite sides of the Nike with one having the text run up and the other run down. These turned out to be stickers instead of decals but the quality was good. I peeled the back off, set them in place and then burnished them.

The instructions made mention of one more decal that went on the Apache stage. I have no idea what it is supposed to look like because I cannot find it. Let me hasten to add that this might be MY fault and that of my chaotic work area.

JAL3
10th September 2009, 04:49 AM
At this point I thought I was done but as I was looking things over, I chanced to look into the body tube and saw a problem. The screws from the mounting of the rail lug were poking through quite a ways. It was an invitation to rip any chute that got packed in this rocket.

JAL3
10th September 2009, 04:54 AM
I started to remedy this problem by taking a file to it and worrying down the points. This went slowly and then I had a better idea. I took a scrap of balsa and pressed it down over the screw on the inside of the tube. This took up some room. I then mixed some epoxy and used it to hold the balsa in place and round and smooth off what was left of the protruding screws. My reasoning was that the epoxy would help to hold the screws it better and give a non ripping surface over which the chute could move.

Scoop1261
10th September 2009, 06:44 AM
The instructions made mention of one more decal that went on the Apache stage. I have no idea what it is supposed to look like because I cannot find it. Let me hasten to add that this might be MY fault and that of my chaotic work area.

The decal you are looking for is in red text, and says "Thiokol"

JAL3
10th September 2009, 02:15 PM
The decal you are looking for is in red text, and says "Thiokol"

I knew about the Thiokol because that's what was said in the instructions but have no idea as to size, shape, etc. The red is a new piece of info. I'll keep my eyes open for it.

THanks.

cosmodrome
10th September 2009, 06:06 PM
I knew about the Thiokol because that's what was said in the instructions but have no idea as to size, shape, etc. The red is a new piece of info. I'll keep my eyes open for it.

THanks.

It's a little bugger, maybe 2" long. If you cannot find it I'll send you another one.

KerryQuinn
11th September 2009, 02:01 AM
Sorry for the picture quality (or lack thereof)...
Here's the sticker you're looking for.
I just finished this rocket last weekend. I chose a slightly different paint scheme to match the scheme used on the Keweena Launches in the late 1960's. While the picture doesn't really show it, the two-tone dull/bright aluminum finish looks cool (if I do say so myself).
Plan is to launch on an F42-4 this coming weekend.
-Kerry

JAL3
12th September 2009, 01:14 AM
It's a little bugger, maybe 2" long. If you cannot find it I'll send you another one.

I looked through the box and the stuff on the desk and did not find it.

JAL3
12th September 2009, 01:15 AM
Sorry for the picture quality (or lack thereof)...
Here's the sticker you're looking for.
I just finished this rocket last weekend. I chose a slightly different paint scheme to match the scheme used on the Keweena Launches in the late 1960's. While the picture doesn't really show it, the two-tone dull/bright aluminum finish looks cool (if I do say so myself).
Plan is to launch on an F42-4 this coming weekend.
-Kerry

That does look sharp. I can see some difference in the Al but imagine its even more striking in person.

KerryQuinn
12th September 2009, 10:08 PM
John & Mike -
I flew my Cosmodrome Nike/Apache today on an F42-4T.
This was my first ever MPR launch. It was FANTASTIC (!)
Unfortunately, I did not get a launch picture. I plan to fly it
again at CIRFF next weekend, and I am also going to use it
as my NARTREK Silver "scale" requirement.

Mike - thanks for the great kit - it was fun.
John - thanks for the build thread, I almost feel like I was in your workshop that last couple months.

-Kerry
Fox Valley Rocketeers

The EGE
12th September 2009, 11:03 PM
I have a Nike-Apache and I flew it for my L1 cert at NERRF 5 in August. For those who are wondering, when built with wood glue and epoxy clay, it can take the kick of an H165 Redline and flies beautifully.

I am not a very experienced builder of large rockets, and this was by far my largest. It went together pretty easily. I sanded the knife-edge on the upper fins but not the lower ones. The only remotely difficult part was cutting the fin slots because of the thick tubes. I slapped together wraps with cutting marks in Word and that helped with the placing.

Two warnings:
1) Make sure the transition fits rather tightly into the lower tube. The lead weight has a lot of momentum and will pull the rocket apart midflight if the transition/Nike tube joint is loose.
2) Replace the elastic shock cord with tubular nylon or kevlar. The 28" chute unfolds quick and the rocket is heavy. On my first flight, the shock cord snapped in multiple places. Granted, this was a deployment at over 500 fps, but kevlar would have survived said deployment.

First cert attempt was on an H165R. The transition was too loose and it deployed at 600fps at burnout. The shock cord snapped twice; both the Nike and Apache sections fell 600 feet without a chute. The Nike section glided back and was recovered undamaged; the Apache section went 18" deep into the sod, but after a shovel recovery (thank you Bob from Hangar 11 for the shovel), it too was in good shape and required only a bit of epoxy to reattach the nose cone.

I don't now how Mike does it, but this kit is practically indestructable. Any other 20oz rocket would not have flown again after separation at 600 ft, much less flying again the same day!

The second flight was also on an H165R-M; it went to 1800 ft and deployed just past for a perfect flight and my Jr. L1 cert. The 28" chute is a bit big for the rocket - I'd recommend a 24" chute for windier days.

Thanks Mike for an awesome kit.

My EMRR review, with much more building info and such: http://www.rocketreviews.com/reviews/all/cos_nike_apache.shtml#DS

Nike-apache on my bloggy blog: http://amateurgeek.blogspot.com/search/label/Nike%20Apache

JAL3
13th September 2009, 01:54 AM
John & Mike -
I flew my Cosmodrome Nike/Apache today on an F42-4T.
This was my first ever MPR launch. It was FANTASTIC (!)
Unfortunately, I did not get a launch picture. I plan to fly it
again at CIRFF next weekend, and I am also going to use it
as my NARTREK Silver "scale" requirement.

Mike - thanks for the great kit - it was fun.
John - thanks for the build thread, I almost feel like I was in your workshop that last couple months.

-Kerry
Fox Valley Rocketeers

Congratulations on a fantastic flight.

KerryQuinn
13th September 2009, 03:51 AM
Rick Gaff managed to take this picture of my Nike Apache taking off today....

Thanks Rick,
Kerry

JAL3
29th September 2009, 05:30 AM
The day of the maiden flight of my Nike Apache found me ready to go and the others in attendance eager to see how it performed. I loaded it with a Roadrunner F60-4 and took it out to the pad. There it sat for a while as some low powered launches took place and I awaited my turn.

JAL3
29th September 2009, 05:40 AM
Liftoff, when it came, surprised me. I did not expect this rocket to move as fast as it did but move it most certainly did. It was more like launching a light LPR.

JAL3
29th September 2009, 05:43 AM
The climb up was a good one. It was straight, did not wobble at all and looked quite impressive.

JAL3
29th September 2009, 05:45 AM
The motor selection seemed to have been a good one. When the pop of ejection came, the rocket could just barely be seen. We all saw the laundry come out and then we all saw that there was a problem.

JAL3
29th September 2009, 05:53 AM
The chute was out but never really opened. I was "treated" to a terrible sight. The Apache portion of the rocket was doing its best imitation of a lawn dart; it was struggling to aerodynamically make its way back to earth as quickly as possible. It was constrained in this endeavor by three things: 1) I'm sure the unopened chute contributed a small but real amount of drag; 2) the Nike booster was acting like a streamer in its own right and trying to impede its own impending doom; and 3) I'm am sure that the sound waves from my plaintive cries from the ground slowed it a little bit as well. All of this was to no avail as it plunged downward.

A video of this sad event can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23694991@N03/3965190746/

JAL3
29th September 2009, 05:57 AM
An examination of the rocket, when I stopped crying, showed that the damage was not as bad as I had feared. The fins of the Nike booster need to be reset and filleted but the entire booster is in pretty good shape. Even the Apache came out better than expected. The nose cone snapped but it is something that is easily replaced. A member of my club offered to turn a cone out of PVC for me and I accepted in the hope that it will be a bit more durable.

cosmodrome
29th September 2009, 08:36 PM
What happened? Why didn't the chute open? :mad: If you would like a new nose cone just let me know and I'll send one out.

JAL3
29th September 2009, 08:50 PM
What happened? Why didn't the chute open? :mad: If you would like a new nose cone just let me know and I'll send one out.

It was just one of those things and its likely partly my fault. I tend to be sloppy with the packing. When I looked at the corpse, the chute was twisted up tight and 3 of the shrouds were kinked near the canopy. Partly me, partly luck.

Don't worry about the cone. I have a friend making me a new one. He did ask me what kind of tubing the Apache section is made from. He's assuming its LOC but hasn't started yet because I have not given him the dimensions yet. If I can get those it would be helpful.

cosmodrome
29th September 2009, 09:59 PM
It was just one of those things and its likely partly my fault. I tend to be sloppy with the packing. When I looked at the corpse, the chute was twisted up tight and 3 of the shrouds were kinked near the canopy. Partly me, partly luck.

Don't worry about the cone. I have a friend making me a new one. He did ask me what kind of tubing the Apache section is made from. He's assuming its LOC but hasn't started yet because I have not given him the dimensions yet. If I can get those it would be helpful.

Custom tube. ID = 0.95" (same as LOC), OD = 1.04". It's a thicker tube so that the scale is just right. Don't forget about the thickness of the wrap (should be about 1.08" with the wrap).

JAL3
30th September 2009, 12:06 AM
Custom tube. ID = 0.95" (same as LOC), OD = 1.04". It's a thicker tube so that the scale is just right. Don't forget about the thickness of the wrap (should be about 1.08" with the wrap).

That should help.

Thanks.

JAL3
11th November 2009, 03:02 AM
I got to work on repairing my Nike Apache today after its maiden flight fiasco.

I have a friend making me a new nose cone out of PVC in exchange for a few BT56 body tubes. It seemed like a good deal to me and I figured the new cone would need a place to sit so I dug out the Apache and took a look. Yep, it was still busted.

JAL3
11th November 2009, 03:05 AM
The first thing I did was to saw off the balsa cone fairly close to the BT. The second thing I did was to curse the repair shop that has had my good camera for 6 weeks now.

JAL3
11th November 2009, 03:07 AM
I then drilled out the base of the cone with a 1/2" bit.

JAL3
11th November 2009, 03:09 AM
A sanding drum on a Dremel tool was then used to expand the hole. I did not take it all the way because I wanted to wait until I had the replacement cone in my hands to make sure I get things right.

JAL3
11th November 2009, 03:11 AM
While working on the cone I took a look at the rail lug mounting. I had covered it with epoxy to keep it from snagging but, running my finger over it, I found that the screw protruded a bit still. This may have abetted in the deployment failure.

JAL3
11th November 2009, 03:13 AM
To address this issue, I rolled out some epoxy clay and faired over the mount.

KerryQuinn
11th November 2009, 03:42 AM
Hi John-
Sorry to hear about your most recent flight of the Nike Apache.
Looks like you are well on the road to recovery.

I've got 4 great flights in on mine. Only two issues - on the third flight I found my lower launch lug was gone (!) epoxy took off just a bit of the block under the tube. I walked back to the launch pad - and there was my launch lug - on the ground about 3' from the pad.

Also, the 0.1" of tip on my NC broke off on the first flight - flies great without it.

-Kerry

JAL3
11th November 2009, 04:04 AM
Hi John-
Sorry to hear about your most recent flight of the Nike Apache.
Looks like you are well on the road to recovery.

I've got 4 great flights in on mine. Only two issues - on the third flight I found my lower launch lug was gone (!) epoxy took off just a bit of the block under the tube. I walked back to the launch pad - and there was my launch lug - on the ground about 3' from the pad.

Also, the 0.1" of tip on my NC broke off on the first flight - flies great without it.

-Kerry

Thanks for the commiseration. I really liked this project. I've like all I've seen from Cosmodrome and have several sitting around intimidating me. I figured that this would be the easiest to start with. It was not as hard as I feared but I'm glad I waited for a little more experience before starting.

JAL3
12th November 2009, 10:09 PM
One of the fins was also in need of some work as it had been broken loose on landing. I pulled it out and trimmed off some paint and epoxy.

JAL3
12th November 2009, 10:11 PM
A fresh pot of 5 minute epoxy was mixed and poured into the fin slot. The fin was then replaced and some tape was applied to keep it straight as it set.

JAL3
12th November 2009, 10:16 PM
At this point I tried an idea I had heard of but had never used myself. I decided to try and use some epoxy clay to fillet the repaired in and all the other fins as well. I started off by using too much on the originally damaged fin but got better about applying it on the others. Clay "snakes" were rolled and pressed into the joint between the fins and the BT. My finger soaked in alcohol was used to smooth things out and feather the epoxy.

JAL3
12th November 2009, 10:20 PM
The clay had been messy to work with but after 2 days I masked off the decal with foil so I could apply some paint and cover up the mess.

JAL3
12th November 2009, 10:22 PM
I was fortunate in that I still had plenty of the red paint that I had originally used so I took it to the booth and started spraying.

JAL3
2nd December 2009, 03:19 AM
Ken Kryszak turned a new nose cone for me out of solid PVC. While heavier than the balsa original, it should be a bit more durable as well. I picked it up from him this last weekend after church.

JAL3
2nd December 2009, 03:23 AM
It took me a while to find where I had stashed the rocket for the paint to dry. When I did, I peeled back the masking and the new red had blended just fine with the old.

JAL3
2nd December 2009, 03:26 AM
When test fitting the new cone into the BT, I found that I had to clean out the hole a bit more but that had been expected. For depth, though, the shoulder on the new cone was longer than the old and the lead weight was blocking it.

JAL3
2nd December 2009, 03:30 AM
I took a belt sander to the base of the cone to remove some material until it fit nicely into the prepared hole. A few drops of epoxy were mixed and the cone was set in its new home.

JAL3
2nd December 2009, 03:32 AM
The replaced cone was then shot with a coat of primer.

StoneCold
3rd December 2009, 05:47 AM
Some epoxy was then mixed and brushed onto the back of the lug and poked into the screwholes. The lug was then set in place and the screws driven in.

Beautiful Rocket! :cheers: I can't wait to get one!
BTW where did you find the rail guides you are using?
Are they custom you made?

JAL3
3rd December 2009, 05:51 AM
Beautiful Rocket! :cheers: I can't wait to get one!
BTW where did you find the rail guides you are using?
Are the custom that you made?

They are made by Public Missiles. I really like them.

Their page is here: https://blastzone.com/pml/

go to the hardware section near the bottom.

StoneCold
4th December 2009, 02:46 AM
Thanks for the info.
Good luck on youre next flight!
Im sure you don't need it, but I'll give it anyway!

Thanks again,
Steve

Breeze1913
4th December 2009, 05:47 PM
Nice looking rocket. You did some great work on the repairs!!

Thanks for the tidbit on the launch lug rails. I can't believe I've never see it before!!

Congratulations on the repairs, and good luck on the second flight.

JAL3
4th December 2009, 10:46 PM
Tomorrow looks like the date unless the snow interferes.

Snow? In south Texas? they say 70% chance. It'll be the first since 84.

JAL3
6th December 2009, 04:24 AM
After the primer was lightly sanded, I gave the cone and upper end of the Apache 2 coats of gloss white.

JAL3
6th December 2009, 04:33 AM
My Nike Apache got its first chance to fly after its maiden flight overhaul today. I loaded it it with a G38-7 Blackjack I had sitting around after the copperhead it came with refused to light. I had just bought some Twiggies from Quickburst and decided to give one of those a try since Blackjacks can be hard to light and this one had been sitting open for about 6 months. The Twiggy fit into the nozzle but didn't want to go up the slot so I shaved it down a bit with an X-acto. That helped but not enough so I finished trimming it down with some sandpaper. I was then able to get it most of the way in and hoped for the best as I took it out to the pad.

JAL3
6th December 2009, 04:45 AM
The Twiggy lit the Blackjack right up and the rocket took off nice and straight looking really good on its smoke tail.

JAL3
6th December 2009, 05:14 AM
I would have lost rack of the rocket were it not for the hint of tracking smoke that continued after the thrust phase was over but that smoke allowed me to see the chute deploy and this time it really did deploy. Even better, it fully opened and started heading back down, looking like it would land not too far away.

JAL3
6th December 2009, 05:18 AM
As it got close to the ground, I was pretty sure I would have an uneventful recovery.

JAL3
6th December 2009, 05:21 AM
When it hit the ground, I was glad I had opted to let Ken turn a new NC for me out of PVS since the Apache section played lawn dart again. I was pretty sure the cone survived.

JAL3
6th December 2009, 05:24 AM
As it turned out, the cone was fine and it was a while before I noticed that I did have some damage. The joint between the Apache tube and the transition had broken. It will be repaired.

Breeze1913
6th December 2009, 05:30 PM
Congrats on the flight. I loved the pics, and the flight looked great.

Cool beans on the nosecone too....I know that feeling, "I'm sooo glad I did that 'cause look what happened."

Congratulations on successful repairs and launch.

cosmodrome
6th December 2009, 07:38 PM
As it turned out, the cone was fine and it was a while before I noticed that I did have some damage. The joint between the Apache tube and the transition had broken. It will be repaired.

Can you give more of a description of the damage. Did the tube break free of the transition or did the balsa break?

JAL3
7th December 2009, 03:05 AM
Can you give more of a description of the damage. Did the tube break free of the transition or did the balsa break?

I'll be glad to give you info and pics. It only got a superficial exam at the site and I have yet to look very closely.

JAL3
14th December 2009, 02:59 AM
I have not forgotten about this. The rocket has been sitting in a truck bogged down in mud in the launch field. Tomorrow, time and weather permitting, I am going to retrieve it.

JAL3
15th December 2009, 08:39 PM
Close examination of the joint between the transition and the Apache showed that the dowel holding the two together was still in place but that the joint had broken. The upper, Apache, section was free to rotate with the dowel in the transition.

JAL3
15th December 2009, 08:46 PM
Without any effort, I was able to slide the Apache free from the transition.

I hypothesize that on the maiden flight, when the chute did not deploy, the joint was damaged and weakened when the Apache section hit the ground NC first. The damage was not apparent at this point. On the second flight, the chute did deploy but the Apache section still struck the ground point first and this completed the break.

JAL3
15th December 2009, 08:50 PM
The repair for this break was simply a matter of swabbing the hole and the end of the transition with some yellow glue, inserting the dowel and rotating the Apache section until it lined up like before. I then maintained positive pressure on the joint until the glue set.

cosmodrome
15th December 2009, 11:46 PM
Wow, I've never heard of this damage before, not that it's not entirely unexpected. I did think that this was a weak point, that's why I put the dowel in. I guess that the dowel did in fact help, it might not have prevented the damage, but it did help keep the transition together and made the repair easier.

JAL3
16th December 2009, 12:08 AM
Wow, I've never heard of this damage before, not that it's not entirely unexpected. I did think that this was a weak point, that's why I put the dowel in. I guess that the dowel did in fact help, it might not have prevented the damage, but it did help keep the transition together and made the repair easier.

I think you're right, the dowel did make it stronger and prevented it from being worse. If my theory is right, The first impact sent a compression wave back from the NC to the transition at impact (first time) and did most of the damage. It was not visible at that point. The second impact, though mild, would have transmitted the same sort of compression wave but of lower magnitude. That finished the job.

I'm going to look at re-arranging my recovery system so that the lower body will hit the ground first and see if that helps.

cosmodrome
16th December 2009, 01:13 AM
I'm going to look at re-arranging my recovery system so that the lower body will hit the ground first and see if that helps.

I've thought of that too, but since the Apache section is heavyer than the Nike section, it would really have to be two chutes or a much larger chute.

JAL3
16th December 2009, 01:29 AM
I've thought of that too, but since the Apache section is heavyer than the Nike section, it would really have to be two chutes or a much larger chute.

You have much more experience with mid/high power than I do. Tell me where I'm going wrong with my thoughts.

If the connection between the 2 sections is very long, lets assume 15 feet for now, and is arranged so that from the chute the Apache hangs down 5 feet and the Nike 10 feet. When the Nike hits the ground, there will suddenly be less weight pulling the chute down and it should decelerate to a slower rate very quickly. The hope is that the slower rate will be enough to matter.


Also, all of this may be moot if the original damage was caused by the first landing, essentially under a streamer. THen if things deploy correctly, it should be much less subject to damage compared to that first landing.

cosmodrome
16th December 2009, 01:53 AM
If the connection between the 2 sections is very long, lets assume 15 feet for now, and is arranged so that from the chute the Apache hangs down 5 feet and the Nike 10 feet. When the Nike hits the ground, there will suddenly be less weight pulling the chute down and it should decelerate to a slower rate very quickly. The hope is that the slower rate will be enough to matter.

In theory this would work, but then again, I'm not big on theory. With the Nike Apache, the Nike section tends to decend on it's side, even under chute. The Apache section decends like normal, held by the shock cord. This happens because of the chute, it's under-sized. (I can see getting in trouble for admitting this.) :eek: The Nike section is actually falling at almost the same speed as the chute/Apache section. As noted, the Nike section will glide in if not attached to a chute (no gaurentee on this people). This is how I can use a smaller chute, the Nike really isn't using it. :D If a bigger chute is used, both sections would recover in a normal fashion.

I did consider going to a bigger chute, however, there has been so little feedback on landing issues (except for the nose cone breakiing the tip) that I decided it was good as is. This is the first case I have heard of transition damage, that's why I'm so interested in it. I don't think that a bigger chute would help with the nose cone tip. I am working on making a plastic nose cone for this kit, hopefully will be ready by spring.

JAL3
16th December 2009, 02:26 AM
In theory this would work, but then again, I'm not big on theory. With the Nike Apache, the Nike section tends to decend on it's side, even under chute. The Apache section decends like normal, held by the shock cord. This happens because of the chute, it's under-sized. (I can see getting in trouble for admitting this.) :eek: The Nike section is actually falling at almost the same speed as the chute/Apache section. As noted, the Nike section will glide in if not attached to a chute (no gaurentee on this people). This is how I can use a smaller chute, the Nike really isn't using it. :D If a bigger chute is used, both sections would recover in a normal fashion.

I did consider going to a bigger chute, however, there has been so little feedback on landing issues (except for the nose cone breakiing the tip) that I decided it was good as is. This is the first case I have heard of transition damage, that's why I'm so interested in it. I don't think that a bigger chute would help with the nose cone tip. I am working on making a plastic nose cone for this kit, hopefully will be ready by spring.

What you say makes sense and lines up with my memory of events. On both flights, the Nike came down close to horizontal. In fact, I remember having the absurd thought that the Nike was being dragged down by the Apache instead of both falling freely. I just took another look at the first flight video and you can clearly see the Nike keep trying to get into a horizontal attitude but being periodically dragged nose down.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/23694991@N03/3965190746/in/set-72157622353400369/

I wouldn't put too much stock as of yet into my two data points as far as the transition goes. The first flight coming in hard makes the second one suspect. I do applaud your looking towards a plastic nose cone. I think that would be much more durable than the balsa but if nobody else has reported problems with the transition, it may well be because there are no problems unless you utilize tumble recovery.

As you may have noticed, most of my rockets get relatively few outings after their first few flights because I tend to build a lot and only have so many opportunities to actually fly; I tend to go with the new or the newly repaired. If you like, though, I will try to make a point of giving this one a good workout at the next few launches to provide you with some more data points.

The EGE
16th December 2009, 04:19 AM
In theory this would work, but then again, I'm not big on theory. With the Nike Apache, the Nike section tends to decend on it's side, even under chute. The Apache section decends like normal, held by the shock cord. This happens because of the chute, it's under-sized. (I can see getting in trouble for admitting this.) :eek: The Nike section is actually falling at almost the same speed as the chute/Apache section. As noted, the Nike section will glide in if not attached to a chute (no gaurentee on this people). This is how I can use a smaller chute, the Nike really isn't using it. :D If a bigger chute is used, both sections would recover in a normal fashion.

I did consider going to a bigger chute, however, there has been so little feedback on landing issues (except for the nose cone breakiing the tip) that I decided it was good as is. This is the first case I have heard of transition damage, that's why I'm so interested in it. I don't think that a bigger chute would help with the nose cone tip. I am working on making a plastic nose cone for this kit, hopefully will be ready by spring.

The Nike Section glides with an AT 29//180 case installed - I can confirm that.

patelldp
17th December 2009, 06:40 PM
I would suggest a 36" chute tied or quick-linked about 3' from the Apache upper section. Have the shock cord be approximately 20' of 1/8" tubular Kevlar from Pratt Hobbies. This way the booster section will separate from the upper section at deployment a significant distance and the 2 will never collide. Also, the booster will hit the ground first, and subsequently the 36" chute should prevent any damage to the Apache. I hope this helps, it really shouldn't be too difficult to prevent damage this way.

JAL3
17th December 2009, 08:05 PM
I would suggest a 36" chute tied or quick-linked about 3' from the Apache upper section. Have the shock cord be approximately 20' of 1/8" tubular Kevlar from Pratt Hobbies. This way the booster section will separate from the upper section at deployment a significant distance and the 2 will never collide. Also, the booster will hit the ground first, and subsequently the 36" chute should prevent any damage to the Apache. I hope this helps, it really shouldn't be too difficult to prevent damage this way.

Thanks,

Conceptually, that's pretty much what I had in mind although I had only the haziest notion of the actual numbers to use. I hope to get to the shop soon and do some more work on it.

JAL3
1st March 2010, 11:24 PM
My Red Apache got its first post repair flight on Saturday. I happened to turn in my flight card for it while the landowner was talking to the RSO. He had not seemed much interested until this point but he wanted to see this one fly. I had loaded it with a Roadrunner G80-7. I took it to the pad and set it up.

JAL3
1st March 2010, 11:25 PM
Ignition was instantaneous and so was motion off the pad.

JAL3
1st March 2010, 11:28 PM
It boosted to a respectable height...

JAL3
2nd March 2010, 12:00 AM
...then p=MxV took over to carry it even higher.

JAL3
2nd March 2010, 12:03 AM
Chute deployment was nominal.

JAL3
2nd March 2010, 12:06 AM
It then began drifting down. It still did some swinging but they were not the wild swings I had seen before.

JAL3
2nd March 2010, 12:09 AM
It landed in the next field and two people were on there way to get it when the enthused landowner took off in his jeep to pick it up.

This was the first flight to sustain no damage at all.