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Thread: Delta IV Heavy

  1. #1
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    Delta IV Heavy

    I am planning to build a Delta IV Heavy for my L3 certification. I was wondering if anyone has seen or heard of one built or flown? Tenatively I think it will somewhere in the neighborhood of 1" = 1 meter scale. This will put it at just about 7 feet tall. Any thoughts from scratch builders would be appreciated......

    Jimmy LaFountain/WB4WMJ
    TRA Level 2 (July 4, 2009 Polecat Aerospace 7.5" V2)
    FlashRocketry.com

  2. #2
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyL View Post
    I am planning to build a Delta IV Heavy for my L3 certification. I was wondering if anyone has seen or heard of one built or flown? Tenatively I think it will somewhere in the neighborhood of 1" = 1 meter scale. This will put it at just about 7 feet tall. Any thoughts from scratch builders would be appreciated......
    Hi Jimmy,

    I built a huge Titan IV (similar design) back in 2005, 15' tall about 160lb on the pad. It was beautiful ... the flight was not. I failed to provide enough fins and had issues with CG/CP. After the failure I spoke with a guy from NASA that actually worked on the Titan. He said the CG was above the booster nosecones, putting it about 85% of the way forward. It will take a lot of tweaking to get it right and you'll need big fins.

    Adam Ayala was the NASA guy and he also built a Titan IV, about the size you're proposing. He had problems as well. He flew out of somewhere up by the cape. If you can track him down he'd have great info.

    Is your L3 Tap/L3CC OK with this design for you L3 attempt?

    Good luck,

    Steve Mashburn
    smashrocketry.com


  3. #3
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    This is far as I have gone. I in the thinking stage only. I will be doing my level 2 sometime in the next few months. Thanks for the great information. My son does have a few contacts at NASA Kennedy space center. I just thought I would throw it out and see what more experienced fliers thought. It will definetly be a challenge.
    Jimmy LaFountain/WB4WMJ
    TRA Level 2 (July 4, 2009 Polecat Aerospace 7.5" V2)
    FlashRocketry.com

  4. #4

    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Jimmy,

    I would think this is a great project, but maybe not the best way to get your L3. I'm not a TAP/L3CC so my opinion is only that. However, before getting too involved with the project, pick one. Get his/her opinion. This is the opinion that matters. Again, a possibly marginally stable rocket is not the place to fly your first M. Just my 2 cents worth.

  5. #5
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Jimmy, Don't know if you had seen my threads on my scratch heavy. Its a D/E power Class model. I have also built the Medium versions as well.

    I have plans to upscale it, but not the size you are planning. I too would do a Medium version first.

    For the Heavy and a Titan for that matter, yes the CG has to be way forward. I have mine at the mid point of the LOX tank on the first stage. My prototype (C power) on its first flight performed the CG too far aft manuever and impacted asphalt.

    I am in the process of refurbing my Heavy, adding a bit more scale stuff to it. I have had 12 launches with two of thrm marginal due to one of the strap-ons not igniting, although the rocket flew well enough for a normal recovery.

    Latest pic during the refurb.....and I do work here at the Cape on the Real McCoy....
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  6. #6

    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Wow! Some of you guys are on another level.

  7. #7
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Delta IV Heavy,

    Thanks for the reply. I am probably at least a year away from this project. The more I find out the more I lean towards something a little less grand for my level 3 cert flight. Very interesting that you work at the Cape. My son is a senior at Florida Tech majoring in Mech Eng. He has beem through space academy twice and he is really interested in NASA. He has a threed going in High power titled Cirrus Build. He will be flying it for his level 1 cert. Is there a lot of information avaiable about the Delta IV Heavy? I have found some very basic dimensions but that is about it. By the way, we watched the first Delta IV Heavy launch from here in Fort Myers.... thanks for the information and good luck....
    Jimmy LaFountain/WB4WMJ
    TRA Level 2 (July 4, 2009 Polecat Aerospace 7.5" V2)
    FlashRocketry.com

  8. #8

    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Jimmy,

    I think thats a great idea. I think most of us are sorely tempted to do something of a "statement" project when going for an L3, or even an L2 for that matter, that we sometimes forget the whole point of the exercise--which is to demonstrate that the one doing the cert has the knowledge, skill, experience, and appreciation of safety concerns that he/she can be entrusted with said motors. Having said that, there is nothing inherently reckless about your proposal, and it can always be flight tested with smaller motors. But the risk I see if I were in your shoes is one of distraction away from the meat and potatos to dessert. The meat and potatos being a strong airframe, good motor retention, robust recovery system and intimate familiarity including ground testing of the electronics. Get the L3, then supersize your current project. You'll learn tons along the way that will contribute towards a much greater chance of of success later on. I still appreciate my L3CC mentor for squashing some really cool ideas I had.

  9. #9
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyL View Post
    Delta IV Heavy,

    Thanks for the reply. I am probably at least a year away from this project. The more I find out the more I lean towards something a little less grand for my level 3 cert flight. Very interesting that you work at the Cape. My son is a senior at Florida Tech majoring in Mech Eng. He has beem through space academy twice and he is really interested in NASA. He has a threed going in High power titled Cirrus Build. He will be flying it for his level 1 cert. Is there a lot of information avaiable about the Delta IV Heavy? I have found some very basic dimensions but that is about it. By the way, we watched the first Delta IV Heavy launch from here in Fort Myers.... thanks for the information and good luck....
    There is a bit on the Delta IV heavy in the public domain. I have limited my scale work to that level so as not to get into any improprietary. Mostly photos, but some info on the Boeing website has a fairly good drawing that you can obtain the proper dimensions for scaling.

  10. #10
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Since we are talking large Delta rockets here is a link to a Delta III project I was part of.
    http://www.insaneprojects.com/default.html

    Length: 21 ft
    Diameter: 24" (payload bay) 16" Lower Body Tube
    7.5" Strap on Boosters
    Weight: around 400 lb
    Power: one(1) P and nine(9) L's
    Parachutes: two (2) C9's, nine(9) RocketMan R-12's and
    one (1) 36"? for the nose cone





    Photo by cjl's dad Ray
    Boy that was fun.

    Bill Richardson ENC USNR Ret.
    TRA 8703 L3

    It is my opinion that stupidity should be painful, very painful. If it was I think there would be less of it in the world today.

  11. #11
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailorbill View Post
    Since we are talking large Delta rockets here is a link to a Delta III project I was part of.
    http://www.insaneprojects.com/default.html

    Length: 21 ft
    Diameter: 24" (payload bay) 16" Lower Body Tube
    7.5" Strap on Boosters
    Weight: around 400 lb
    Power: one(1) P and nine(9) L's
    Parachutes: two (2) C9's, nine(9) RocketMan R-12's and
    one (1) 36"? for the nose cone





    Photo by cjl's dad Ray
    Boy that was fun.
    I love your Main Page Title: "Delta III Project If Boeing can't do it, why can't we?"

    Yes, we didn't have much luck on the real thing...now we are United Launch Alliance, successfully launching Atlas V's , Delta IV's and winding down the Delta II's......

  12. #12

    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta-IV View Post
    Project If Boeing can't do it, why can't we?"

    Yes, we didn't have much luck on the real thing...now we are United Launch Alliance, successfully launching Atlas V's , Delta IV's and winding down the Delta II's......
    I have to ask, why did you make the Atlas V's so dang ugly

    EDIT: My avatar should look familiar Do you have anything to do with tours when they come through, Tony Gannons in particular?

  13. #13
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinL View Post
    I have to ask, why did you make the Atlas V's so dang ugly

    EDIT: My avatar should look familiar Do you have anything to do with tours when they come through, Tony Gannons in particular?
    Well I was from the Boeing side of ULA, so can't blame me for the Atlas V

    I am an Electrical Engineer working on the payloads, so I usually don't get involved in tours as such. We do have quite a few of them, which is great so that others can see what we do on the Unmanned Side.

  14. #14
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Need some help from our forum members. Here is a photo, can someone analyze this and tell me what went wrong?




    Luckily, the strap-ons recovered nominally, the main sustainer lawn darted into some soft sand...just the payload was destroyed...it will fly another day.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Looks to me like the igniter is still in the core.

    Did I win?
    NAR# 86830 Level 1 (25 Mar 2007)
    Member TORC 703, QUARK 624

  16. #16
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    It was a bad day for my Delta's...Flew my Delta IV Medium 4 meter, I had my first CATO (E18-4W) 24mm reload...the rocket left the rod and then the nose popped off and a fire ball came out of the forward end and around the fins.

    The rocket is toast, the flames shot out through the forward enclosure ejection charge hole, and elongated it into a kidney shaped hole.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveCombs View Post
    Looks to me like the igniter is still in the core.

    Did I win?
    Bing Bing Bing Bing.......



    I later found that I had a broken igniter wire in my clip whip....no electrons, no lighty..
    NAR #12821 - Level 1
    Clubs: ROCK (Orlando), NEFAR (Bunnell)



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  18. #18
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    The other end...
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  19. #19
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    Re: Delta IV Heavy

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta-IV View Post
    I later found that I had a broken igniter wire in my clip whip....no electrons, no lighty..
    And not something a typical continuity check would have found. Makes me want to C-check each lead on my clip whip when I get home.

    HARSH. That really is a good looking model.

    NAR# 86830 Level 1 (25 Mar 2007)
    Member TORC 703, QUARK 624

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