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  1. #1
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Maryland, 20794
    Posts
    485

    3/4 Mercury Redstone

    TRF,

    I am always impressed by the modeling work of Steve Eves, Vern Hoag and Karl Hemphill. If memory serves it’s been about 7 years since anything of that scale has flow in the US. Perhaps it’s time we get back to it?

    I would propose a 3/4-scale Mercury Redstone for flight March / April of 2017. Specifications of the rocket are roughly:

    52.5-inch diameter.
    750-inch height including escape tower.
    500-pound pad weight.
    Single experimental 8-inch x 6-grain Q-impulse motor.
    Target altitude 5,500 feet.

    I believe the rocket can be built on budget of $4,000. Propulsion will cost another $4,000. By luck and with the blessings of a great wife I have sequestered $5,000 towards the project.

    I also have a preliminary offer to warehouse space for the construction and short term storage of the project. There is also a preliminary plan for transportation to and from the launch site.

    Feckless Counsel


  2. #2
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Maryland, 20794
    Posts
    485
    TRF,

    The rocket would be built using semi-monocoque construction. The basic airframe consists of 9 interlocking sections. Each section is made from four 6mm plywood formers intersected by twenty 3.5mm plywood stringers. Former and stringer are notched “half lap” and are 3-inches wide / 3-inches web. Five pieces of 1-inch fiberglass tubing act as longerons. The fiber glass tube also receive 3/4-inch solid fiberglass dowel pin to secure sections together.

    Sections, once assembled and glued, are wrapped in a single turn of 6-ounce fiberglass cloth saturated in epoxy dyed white. Note white is the primary color of the Mercury Redstone. I do plan to lay fiberglass flat, let it gel a little, and then roll the airframe over.

    Feckless Counsel

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    7th July 2013
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    3,303
    Great project! I love these big projects, Steve Eves Saturn V launch was what inspired me to get back into this hobby.

    A few questions.

    Where do you plan on launching it?
    Are you looking for help if so what tasks?
    Are you looking for sponsors or another financial partner/s?
    Commercial or EX?
    Michael Pitfield
    TRA 14579 L2
    NAPAS BoD
    URRG
    MARS
    CRC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Maryland, 20794
    Posts
    485
    TRF,

    One critical question is can such a gossamer construction survive assembly and flight. I believe the answers is yes.

    Stress analysis has been performed on the proposed airframe. Note this is a preliminary analysis on the 530-inch (44-foot) airframe tube alone. Three situations are considered:

    1. Simply supported on each end under its own weight.
    2. Accelerated in a vacuum at 10G vertical (scenario 1)
    3. Accelerated in a vacuum at 10G but 6-degrees off vertical (scenario 2)

    As illustrated in the first picture total deflection on the basic airframe is just 4mm under its own weight. That is less than 0.03% indicating a quite “stiff” structure. Skin stresses are in megapascals and well below the 262-megapascal yield stress of fiberglass.

    The second picture address acceleration. At 10G skin and plywood frame a well below yield. Plywood is anisotropic meaning its strength is not the same in all directions. Given the worst possible yield strength of Baltic birch is 29-megapascal this airframe is 50% yield at 10G acceleration in a vacuum.

    Given these results I plan to build two sections as proof of concept. Those sections will include the deployment scheme so that can also be tested. More on the deployment scheme later.

    Feckless Counsel
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Maryland, 20794
    Posts
    485
    mpitfield,

    Thanks for your reply and appreciate we share the same inspirations.

    Assuming I actually get it done this will be an MDRA exclusive.
    Labor is always appreciated especially recovery.
    I think the program is financed but might ask for loans of big parachutes.
    Experimental motor.

    Feckless Counsel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    8th November 2015
    Location
    Alexandria Va
    Posts
    1,361
    Quote Originally Posted by mpitfield View Post
    Great project! I love these big projects, Steve Eves Saturn V launch was what inspired me to get back into this hobby.
    Amen! Will watch this thread with gleeful delight. I have shown Steve's video on youtube to so many people. It was the most amazing thing. I believe this will be right up there, with an amazing rocket!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    25th July 2015
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    1,287
    Subscribed! Can't wait to see this
    NAR# 100470
    L1- 10/18/15 LOC IV CTI H163
    L2- 4/16/16 Madcow PAC-3 CTI J285

  8. #8
    Join Date
    20th February 2009
    Location
    Cayuga, Indiana
    Posts
    12,886
    Quote Originally Posted by Feckless Counsel View Post
    Sections, once assembled and glued, are wrapped in a single turn of 6-ounce fiberglass cloth saturated in epoxy dyed white.
    What do you use for your white dye?
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Maryland, 20794
    Posts
    485
    dixonj93060,

    Data suggest aniline dye has good color saturation with minimal affect to adhesion.

    Feckless Counsel

  10. #10
    Join Date
    7th July 2013
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    3,303
    Quote Originally Posted by Feckless Counsel View Post
    Assuming I actually get it done this will be an MDRA exclusive.
    Labor is always appreciated especially recovery.
    I looked at the MDRA website and based on Centreville to Toronto that would be about a half day drive for me...I would love to attend this one and if so lending a helping hand where I could would be a treat. I need to work on a cover story to convince the wife and kids on why we need to go in that direction, oh and there just happens to be a big rocket launch!
    Michael Pitfield
    TRA 14579 L2
    NAPAS BoD
    URRG
    MARS
    CRC

  11. #11
    Join Date
    20th February 2009
    Location
    Cayuga, Indiana
    Posts
    12,886
    Quote Originally Posted by Feckless Counsel View Post
    dixonj93060,

    Data suggest aniline dye has good color saturation with minimal affect to adhesion.

    Feckless Counsel
    I have used Titanium Dioxide in the past. First try was a paste in a base of mineral oil. Tint worked great and didn't notice any real effect on the epoxy cure. But I'm not a chemical engineer, there may be a better base to use.
    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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    22nd February 2013
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    3,683
    Might have to make a trip to the in-laws for this one. Not a bad drive from Frederick.
    So much of my rocket building time has been diverted toward my "other hobby": Race Timing

  13. #13
    Join Date
    26th February 2012
    Location
    Poultney , Vt
    Posts
    914
    Wow this makes my full scale Iris look like a Estees RTF model. I am really looking forward to this project.

    Eric
    You must always push your limits , because if you never fail , you will never succeed .

  14. #14
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Maryland, 20794
    Posts
    485
    TRF,

    Some updates to this project for those interested. Attached is a CAD "skin" demonstrating general shape of the 3/4 scale model. Note the structural references in the booster section.

    Feckless
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
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    Maryland, 20794
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    485
    TRF,

    General detail of the booster is shown in the first attachment. A fin is illustrated along with CAD detail of the thrust plate and one fin former.

    Feckless
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16
    Join Date
    7th July 2013
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    3,303
    I am excited to see an update on this one, do you think 2017 is still a realistic target, if not, 2018?
    Michael Pitfield
    TRA 14579 L2
    NAPAS BoD
    URRG
    MARS
    CRC

  17. #17
    Join Date
    30th January 2016
    Location
    US > OK > NE
    Posts
    3,474
    Wow.

    V2 vs SaturnV

    Steve's Saturn V was 36' tall where as Our V2 is 14M or 45' 11" - 9' more than Steve's. So, we're taller.

    At 1:10 scale, Steve's Saturn V had a diameter of 3.3' - the V2 was 5.5'. Again, we're larger.

    Steve's Saturn V was 1600lb, our final weight was about 400kg or 880lb - Steve's was heavier.

    Steve used 9 motors - 8xN's and 1xP - we're using just one! O25,000. Getting a rocket of that size off the ground with a single motor was a goal which we achieved.
    Quote Originally Posted by Feckless Counsel View Post
    3/4-scale Mercury Redstone

    52.5-inch diameter.
    750-inch height including escape tower.
    500-pound pad weight.
    Single experimental 8-inch x 6-grain Q-impulse motor.
    Target altitude 5,500 feet.
    Last edited by dhbarr; 17th July 2016 at 07:41 AM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    29th October 2009
    Location
    Cuyahoga Falls,Ohio
    Posts
    1,207
    In 2010 Steve had his Saturn 1B at the Cleveland Airshow.I was a volunteer that helped out at the display tent that we had our rockets in.Steve's Saturn 1B was displayed on the trailer that served as the launch pad and tower.I think it was 21ft. tall.A thing of beauty.After the show we took the rocket apart as it was a 2 stage for the trip back to his shop.I did not make it to Price Md. to watch the launch but had the pleasure of helping Steve launch a few of his smaller rockets at a club launch a few years ago.It was my first time seeing a K motor.Steve launched 2 rockets on K's.Really a great guy.Hope you have a successful build and launch with your Redstone.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    13th November 2009
    Location
    Greater Chicago Area
    Posts
    4,640
    Merc Redstone fan, so I have to subscribe.

    Greg

  20. #20
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Maryland, 20794
    Posts
    485
    TRF,

    Please see attached detail of the escape tower. Plan is to fabricate the tower from stock tubing with 3D printed joints.

    Feckless
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  21. #21
    Join Date
    13th November 2009
    Location
    Greater Chicago Area
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    4,640
    Are the printed joints plastic? If so, I would be concerned that they might break apart under the aero loads.

    Greg

  22. #22
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Maryland, 20794
    Posts
    485
    TRF,

    Please see attached surface detail of the Mercury capsule.

    Mr. Gleason,

    Your point on printed parts is well noted. Those cannot be PLA. I think we've all learned PLA turns to snot in the sun. Team does have access to laser sintered nylon. I'm reasonably confident in that material. It is as durable as injection molded parts.

    Mpitfield,

    I am still hopeful this project will fly in 2017. Given MDRA is hosting LDRS next spring this launch may have to wait for Higgs Farm the fall of 2017. That presumes, of course, we finish the build and that this project is acceptable to MDRA. I think their BOD need some time to review construction details and field logistics.

    Feckless
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  23. #23
    Join Date
    15th March 2016
    Posts
    334
    I would start talking to MDRA sooner rather than later.

    Steve is a great guy, but don't forget that he had a lot of help. He was working with and bouncing ideas off all the smartest, most experienced people at MDRA right from the start. That is why they let him fly.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    15th March 2016
    Posts
    334
    BTW, you can always look into laser simmered metal parts. They can make printed parts in just about any material now...

  25. #25
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Maryland, 20794
    Posts
    485
    TRF,

    This project requires about 850 square-foot of surface covering making that material one of most economically sensitive choices. Economy is complicated by a set of performance requirements ripe for debate. I say debate because such requirements are not easily calculated. Too much math spoils the hobby. The tendency, after some debate, is overdesign. Nevertheless I present two options for your debate:

    1. G10 sheet 0.010 inch thick. Tensile strength 30KSI. Density 0.065 pounds per cubic-inch. Elongation at break 0.3%. Cost $3 per square-foot.
    2. Electrical grade Kraft paper 0.020 inch thick. Tensile strength 10KSI. Density 0.025 pounds per cubic-inch. Elongation at break 9%. Cost $1 per square foot.

    Other suggestions are welcome considering objectives:

    1. About $2.00 per square-foot
    2. Available in minimum sheet size 60 x 85 inch
    3. Rigid enough to hold a cylinder across frame’s stringers
    4. Flexible enough to follow fin contours. Say a 3-inch bend radius.
    5. Fire resistant
    6. Bonds with epoxy and paint

    Feckless

  26. #26
    Join Date
    1st April 2016
    Posts
    49
    Right now I am building the New Estes Mercury Redstone. I am really interested to see were this build goes!
    Currently, I have launched a total of 13 rockets with a combined impulse of: 76.25 Newton Seconds

    Updated 11-1-17

  27. #27
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Maryland, 20794
    Posts
    485
    TRF,

    Our team has fabricated an 80 degree arc-length of airframe to improve our understanding of this design. Principle goals are:

    1. Verification of slot dimensions for tight and flush fit
    2. Confirmation of CNC house tolerances
    3. Drape of skin material
    4. Rigidity of assembly

    First attachment illustrates our sample pieces. Note a yardstick is included for scale:

    A. Former, 6mm thickness, 3-inch web, Baltic birch plywood
    B. Stringer, 3mm thickness, 3-inch web, Baltic birch plywood
    C. Longeron, 1-inch OD, ¾-inch ID, pultruded fiberglass

    Second attachment illustrates the assembled frame. Fit of plywood pieces is perfect. Stringers sit flush to formers with a firm hand squeeze. The assembly pulls itself to square. Longeron fit is just a little tight and needs adjustment to facilitate bonding.

    Third and fourth attachments illustrate skin application. The 0.010-inch thickness G10 sheet drapes nicely to our contours. It is light, tough and tensile strong. It is certainly the superior material. We are still seeking a domestic source to provide that in 60 x 84 inch format. Otherwise we will have to consider Asian imports.

    Everything shown is dry fit. Time to apply adhesives and do some abuse testing.

    Feckless Counsel
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  28. #28
    Join Date
    15th December 2011
    Location
    Too far from the event horizon.
    Posts
    1,752
    Feckless, I've always enjoyed your build threads and watching your launches--fascinating from concept to landing.

    For separation and recovery, are you going to do rotating cams or what? I don't imagine slip joints would be ideal with the stringers, right?

    But as always... Fascinating work. Eagerly awaiting further updates!


    Later!

    --Coop
    "For although the nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men." --HP Lovecraft

    Custom crafted recovery: http://paramedichutes.com

  29. #29
    Join Date
    27th January 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,165
    I'm glad to see a large lightweight rocket project, where it actually has a built up structure instead of just tubes and 2x4's...Interested to see your plan for thrust and recovery attachment/loading to the airframe.

    Frank

  30. #30
    Join Date
    18th January 2009
    Location
    Virginia - Central
    Posts
    3,999
    That does look pretty darn cool.....

    We got two categories of pilots around here. We got your prime pilots that get all the hot planes, and we got your pud-knockers who DREAM about getting the hot planes.
    Now what are you two pud-knockers gonna have?... Huh?”
    Pancho Barnes-
    The Right Stuff
    http://www.mwavs.com/0053148414/M4RS...udknockers.m4r

    Tripoli #2747

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