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  1. #1
    Join Date
    8th October 2014
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    Mesa,Az
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    Aerotech Mirage Build

    Thinking L1 cert on this rocket*** It was my birthday today and to my surprise I found a nice big box this morning with my name on it.
    An Aerotech Mirage.. Right on. Ive seen this kit around for 15yrs at least but never had one. Very impressive .. I took the tubes and couplers and cone- put em together to see the height,,dang its a big one. Recovered in 2 sections - 2 chutes. Think I will build for H motors also but for us all to go out to our favorite desert spot and fly -The F50 and G64 motors will be great. Going to be a great build. Im open for any mod tips. There must be a build thread out there for this kit but I didnt find it so here we go.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by crazyed; 24th May 2015 at 03:36 AM. Reason: Dual deploy info being added

  2. #2
    Join Date
    22nd September 2014
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    2,559
    My quick list of Aerotech modifications -
    No motor hook or block, retainer only instead
    Toss the square lugs, cover their cutouts with CWF and put rail buttons elsewhere on the body tube
    Throw out the mesh and use a Nomex square on the parachute
    Nice long Kevlar shock cord

    My Arreaux is an L1 4000 foot champ!

    - punishing the punishers, nuking the nukes -

  3. #3
    Join Date
    8th May 2012
    Location
    Southern, CA
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    6,338
    Isn't that the big long rocket with two chutes I think? DD?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    20th February 2009
    Location
    Cayuga, Indiana
    Posts
    12,882
    I love the Mirage. Built mine dual deploy and set up for hybrids. Unfortunately, never got to fly a hybrid before this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I still have another kit in the pile I plan to build though as a replacement.
    L3, TRA #11847
    Tripoli Indiana #132
    Tripoli Central Illinois #59
    Central Illinois Aerospace (NAR) #527
    Chicago Rocket Mafia, "Big Bucks" Dixon
    ___________________________________

    Quiet little voices creep into my head. -- We Were Promised Jetpacks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    24th October 2013
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    122
    I built mine stock many years ago (before I knew anything other than stock was an option) and must say I love the mesh. If you can find a way to fit your H motor in there and keep the mesh I'd try for that first.

    The only mod I've done happened after one flight where the top half parachute did not come out of the body. Luckily it landed in tall grass horizontally and was undamaged. To remedy that I put a tiny dot of Velcro in the center of the two parachutes and stick them together when prepping for flight. Then when the two halves separate the parachutes both pull out of the tube every time. the tiny dot isn't enough to keep them stuck together when they inflate.
    NAR 96387SR
    Tripoli 15139 L1 - Wildman Darkstar Jr, CTI H123 SK, May 11 2014

  6. #6
    Join Date
    8th October 2014
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    Mesa,Az
    Posts
    691
    A pic of the airframe and cone just to see how tall it is. Floor to almost ceiling height. Right on.Attachment 249073

  7. #7
    Join Date
    8th October 2014
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    Mesa,Az
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    691
    Im going to use the hook but not slotting in the forward end and leaving out the block also for H motors. Cut a couple notches in the sides of the clip so it doesnt break loose from the epoxy from the ejection charge. Ive done this with all my AT rockets with never a failure. Also thinking ahead a bit to do the electronic dual deploy.Attachment 249074

  8. #8
    Join Date
    8th October 2014
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    Mesa,Az
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    691
    Paint will be yellow fins-black on lower airframe section 1- black midsection with decal and yellow again forward section 3 and cone.Attachment 249076

  9. #9
    Join Date
    19th January 2009
    Location
    Tucson, Az
    Posts
    2,389
    Do not use the motor hook that came with the kit. Aerotech has just come out with a new screw on motor retainer for their kits (and other 29 mm mounts). These are glued onto the end of the motor mount tube and allow for better retention then the clips.

    http://www.buyrocketmotors.com/aerot...otor-retainer/
    more rockets then cents

  10. #10
    Join Date
    8th October 2014
    Location
    Mesa,Az
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    691
    Quote Originally Posted by terryg View Post
    Do not use the motor hook that came with the kit. Aerotech has just come out with a new screw on motor retainer for their kits (and other 29 mm mounts). These are glued onto the end of the motor mount tube and allow for better retention then the clips.

    http://www.buyrocketmotors.com/aerot...otor-retainer/
    I already epoxied the hook and those new retainers work great as they are being used quite a bit these days. I just pried up the forward end of the hook and slipped a piece of spare 29mm tube under it and epoxy.(so it stays in place and will secure the motor at ejection.)keeping the block out also. An H180 will fit nicely. The screw on retainer would be great but I had the itch to get the smell of epoxy in the air and have a finished rocket around Christmas time for a family launch I would have to order a couple and Mail order may be a little slow right now ho ho ho ... soon the retainers will be part of all the kits and we wont have have to order on the side. This bit brings to mind a time when I tried to friction fit a Kosdon I500---lol That didnt work, was a scary show motor retention ..yep, gotta be right

  11. #11
    Join Date
    18th October 2013
    Location
    Rumney, NH
    Posts
    1,188
    I'm subscribed! I really want to get this kit!
    Cody Smith
    NAR JR #93698
    TRA JR #15282 TMP Certified!
    Level One- 4/19/14 LOC IV H148R
    MMMSC, KARSNH
    www.starleopard.net
    Check out my blog!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    1st September 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,109
    I had one as well, but it only flew twice. I had failure of the midbody separation, which seemed to happen a lot on my stock-built AT kits. Impressive rocket, do agree with others to not limit yourself to the 29/40-120 case in your MMT if possible. Mine was stock, and died before I got my L1, but if (when) I rebuild....

    Enjoy it!
    NAR 96681
    L1 - May 29, 2014 LOC Norad ProMax, H120
    L2 - Feb 21, 2015 Fiberglassed Madcow Frenzy, J280

  13. #13
    Join Date
    8th October 2014
    Location
    Mesa,Az
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    691
    I am really liking this build and going well as expected with an Aerotech kit. There is time now for me to consider beefing up the mid section as an H180 is a motor I want to build for. The mount will take it. But how to strengthen the mid section? not sure. Line the airframe somehow, a couple things come to mind and i will share as I figure on them. Today the mount went in and 1 shock cord. Its raining here so i didnt get to paint. (darn)
    Attachment 249117Attachment 249118

  14. #14
    Join Date
    8th October 2014
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    Mesa,Az
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    Checking the fins for fit and looksAttachment 249119
    Wont do the sideways thing again lol

  15. #15
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    8th October 2014
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    Mesa,Az
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    Quote Originally Posted by soopirV View Post
    I had one as well, but it only flew twice. I had failure of the midbody separation, which seemed to happen a lot on my stock-built AT kits. Impressive rocket, do agree with others to not limit yourself to the 29/40-120 case in your MMT if possible. Mine was stock, and died before I got my L1, but if (when) I rebuild....

    Enjoy it!
    Am wondering what you would do different to prevent the failure? Thx ed

  16. #16
    Join Date
    8th October 2014
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    Mesa,Az
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixontj93060 View Post
    I love the Mirage. Built mine dual deploy and set up for hybrids. Unfortunately, never got to fly a hybrid before this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I still have another kit in the pile I plan to build though as a replacement.
    Do you know how much weight can be added to the nose cone section (drogue chute and electronics)and remain stable ? It seems like I should be able to use a simple dual deploy timer, smaller drogue in front and the main chute in the rear.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    20th February 2009
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    Cayuga, Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyed View Post
    Do you know how much weight can be added to the nose cone section (drogue chute and electronics)and remain stable ? It seems like I should be able to use a simple dual deploy timer, smaller drogue in front and the main chute in the rear.
    Adding weight forward of the CG only moves it further forward and continues to increase stability, not reduce it.
    L3, TRA #11847
    Tripoli Indiana #132
    Tripoli Central Illinois #59
    Central Illinois Aerospace (NAR) #527
    Chicago Rocket Mafia, "Big Bucks" Dixon
    ___________________________________

    Quiet little voices creep into my head. -- We Were Promised Jetpacks

  18. #18
    Join Date
    1st September 2010
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyed View Post
    Am wondering what you would do different to prevent the failure? Thx ed
    I lost an arreaux and a g-force to this as well, and my barracuda came in ballistic but was salvageable. The couplers weren't tight, so I think the airframes bend and bind the coupler. When I rebuilt the 'cuda, and on my aerobee build I modified the MMT by extending it, and converted both to nose-eject recovery. Much more success with this configuration!
    Not sure this is feasible on the mirage, would take a lot of stuffer tube, but that would increase the rigidity! If you try it, calculate out the volume of the stuffer/MMT, including the bay for the laundry- may take more charge than AT provides?
    NAR 96681
    L1 - May 29, 2014 LOC Norad ProMax, H120
    L2 - Feb 21, 2015 Fiberglassed Madcow Frenzy, J280

  19. #19
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    8th October 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixontj93060 View Post
    Adding weight forward of the CG only moves it further forward and continues to increase stability, not reduce it.
    Thankyou kindly lol I knew that..but I will call it an epoxy fume induced moment.
    Ed
    Last edited by crazyed; 24th May 2015 at 03:37 AM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    19th January 2009
    Location
    Tucson, Az
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    I did my L1 cert on an Aerotech Astrobee D which is about 19 inches shorter then the Mirage. It was a real work horse that I finally semi-retired (its in the attic) due to accumulated fin damage after about 30 flights. I added a rear centering ring with T nuts for positive motor retention. I did this since I once recovered my aerotech Warthog from a Mesquite tree with the engine case hanging 3/4's of the way out of the motor mount. Since then I have always wrapped masking tape around the clip as insurance to keep it in place. I left the mesh in place on mine and never had any problem with it. Aerotech couplers always seem to be too tight and I peeled a paper layer off it to make a more reasonable fit. The G force has traditionally had separation problems due to this and being at the point where a little more BP is needed for reliable ejection with hobby line cases (I do not know if this is the case with the mirage). You might consider adding rail buttons on the other side of the rocket so you can launch it off both rods and rails (its a long rocket that can sway a lot on a windy day). On my Astrobee D I got tired of chasing two pieces so I tethered the two together with a 6 foot cord. I would not recommend converting it to dual deploy for a couple of reasons. The first being that the 2.6 in diameter is a bit tight for first time dual deploy setup (3 or 4 inches is a lot easier). The other is that it is a good flier on G's and small H's, if you add more weight for dual deploy then you have to kick up the recovery system, etc. The big weakness with these bigger Aerotech kits is the fragility of the fins, so you want keep the weight down as much as possible.
    Last edited by terryg; 18th December 2014 at 08:45 AM.
    more rockets then cents

  21. #21
    Join Date
    8th October 2014
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    Mesa,Az
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    Quote Originally Posted by terryg View Post
    I did my L1 cert on an Aerotech Astrobee D which is about 19 inches shorter then the Mirage. It was a real work horse that I finally semi-retired (its in the attic) due to accumulated fin damage after about 30 flights. I added a rear centering ring with T nuts for positive motor retention. I did this since I once recovered my aerotech Warthog from a Mesquite tree with the engine case hanging 3/4's of the way out of the motor mount. Since then I have always wrapped masking tape around the clip as insurance to keep it in place. I left the mesh in place on mine and never had any problem with it. Aerotech couplers always seem to be too tight and I peeled a paper layer off it to make a more reasonable fit. The G force has traditionally had separation problems due to this and being at the point where a little more BP is needed for reliable ejection with hobby line cases (I do not know if this is the case with the mirage). You might consider adding rail buttons on the other side of the rocket so you can launch it off both rods and rails (its a long rocket that can sway a lot on a windy day). On my Astrobee D I got tired of chasing two pieces so I tethered the two together with a 6 foot cord. I would not recommend converting it to dual deploy for a couple of reasons. The first being that the 2.6 in diameter is a bit tight for first time dual deploy setup (3 or 4 inches is a lot easier). The other is that it is a good flier on G's and small H's, if you add more weight for dual deploy then you have to kick up the recovery system, etc. The big weakness with these bigger Aerotech kits is the fragility of the fins, so you want keep the weight down as much as possible.
    Great points Terry. I was thinking this might not be the one for a first time DD. On the other hand it could prove to be alot of fun as DD. Also the Mirage and an H180 is probably only going to see around 1,800ft and motor ejection will be just fine with a tether and building this kit as a solid performer on F- G and H motors is perfect..BUT if there is a timer under the tree-I dont think I could resist using it on the Mirage We will see. The bulkhead is ready and some painting to fins today..Yay
    Attachment 249228Attachment 249231
    Last edited by crazyed; 19th December 2014 at 05:33 AM.

  22. #22
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    When it comes to patience I dont have alot when it comes to rockets. I just had to see those fins on the airframe. The paint these days is awesome,a bit spendy but worth it for coverage and color.Attachment 249238Attachment 249239Attachment 249240

  23. #23
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    8th October 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterBurners View Post
    Isn't that the big long rocket with two chutes I think? DD?
    Yes, at 31oz. its 1oz lighter than the GForce And 2 chutes/2section recovery

  24. #24
    Join Date
    1st September 2010
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    Tucson, AZ
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    1,109
    Ed and Terry- do you run epoxy fillets on AT builds, or bond them with epoxy to the MMT? I did that on my astrobee and rebuilt barracuda and initiator, and so far have had pretty good success.
    NAR 96681
    L1 - May 29, 2014 LOC Norad ProMax, H120
    L2 - Feb 21, 2015 Fiberglassed Madcow Frenzy, J280

  25. #25
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    8th October 2014
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    I dont use epoxy fillets on the AT rockets (fins). #1 The fins look so good on the AT rockets without the fillets. Looks clean and professional.
    #2 The AT rockets are plenty strong when using epoxy in the fin can and fin locks. ---In my experience and opinion

  26. #26
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    19th January 2009
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    I only have two Aerotech rockets, a Wart Hog and an Astrobee D and used CA to assemble them. The Astrobee D had some gaps where the fins joined the body tube that i used epoxy to fill in. I suspect that Titebond Molding and Trim Glue would also work. I like the finish a smooth fillet gives.
    more rockets then cents

  27. #27
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    8th October 2014
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    Yep- Im crazy for painting when its 54degrees outside and poor lighting. On a mission to get er done. Heres Just a peek of the the fins- no epoxy. Think I will name it -the "MIRAGE SUPER BEE". And a red nose cone for the stinger. I still have plenty of finish work and some thinking on deployment-Stock dual chutes, electronic DD or a big single chute.
    Attachment 249315Attachment 249316Attachment 249317Attachment 249318

  28. #28
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    8th October 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyed View Post
    Im going to use the hook but not slotting in the forward end and leaving out the block also for H motors. Cut a couple notches in the sides of the clip so it doesnt break loose from the epoxy from the ejection charge. Ive done this with all my AT rockets with never a failure. Also thinking ahead a bit to do the electronic dual deploy.Attachment 249074
    Here is a pic of the spacer I made to fit over the motor and between the rear closure and the motor tube. This way the hook can be used and positioned properly to keep the spring action working while eliminating the the thrust ring.Attachment 249399

  29. #29
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    And another bit of painting. The krylon cover max is doing an awesome job hiding the spirals in the airframe- very good finish. A little touch-up on the fins and tomorrow section 3 of the air frame.Attachment 249400Attachment 249401Attachment 249402

  30. #30
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    8th October 2014
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    Got some stripes today. Bummer , I did not tape properly so I have some imperfect lines. A little fixing can be done but I dont want to mess with em too much or they may get worse. But its really looking good over-all. The fins are epoxied. tomorrow the forward section gets painted but im not sure now how. Either solid yellow or with stripes. Solid yellow with the orange/red nose cone ? we will see.Attachment 249441Attachment 249442


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