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  1. #1
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998

    Boris Katan flights 2016 -> Clusters + 3D Printing Fun <-

    For 2016 I will continue to post all my projects and flights in one annual thread as in previous years.
    This makes is easier for me to post, and easier to follow for anyone who subscribes.
    Also avoids having threads for some projects and not others.

    In November 2015 acquired and assembled a Rostock MAX 3D printer kit. Chosen because it has a large build area – 280mm diameter x 350mm tall - and a reputation for good quality prints.

    Kit took about 30 hours to build, following 280 pages of instructions for hardware assembly, software setup and calibration. 500+ pieces in all. Followed all instructions precisely, to minimize problems and maximize printing when done. Building familiarity with 3D printing and CAD software, and adding capabilities to the base printer have been my winter project this year. Taking hundreds of hours and printing many dozens of test and usable parts so far.

    Goals are to learn about and use a cool new technology and to 3D print a variety of rocket parts.
    Only thing better than one great hobby is using one to complement another!

    TRF 2015 build and flight thread
    TRF 2014 build and flight thread
    TRF post on printer build
    Completed Rostock MAX 3D printer before modifications:

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    Last edited by delta22; 27th April 2016 at 02:18 AM.
    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    While filament deposition 3D printers can work with a variety of materials, my primary interest is working with ABS because:
    1) it is more heat resistant than many other 3D printable plastics
    2) it is physically resilient and shock resistant
    3) it can be welded and/or surface finished with acetone
    4) it sands and cuts in a manner fairly similar to wood

    However, ABS shrinks as the temperature changes after the hot melt process used for 3D printing. So larger ABS parts require a heated print chamber to greatly slow down the cooling/temperature transition process. Final cooldown after the print is complete prevents large ABS parts from warping. As the printer kit does not include a heated chamber, had to add one.

    Enclosure materials:
    Walls and top: 1/4" Sureply, as this is cheap and flat.
    Floor and door construction: 1/4" marine grade plywood, as this is stiffer.
    Corner reinforcement: 1"x2" pine
    Heat reflection liner: 18" wide commercial Tinfoil and lots of aluminum tape

    Hardest part was shaping the top and bottom as they had to conform to the printer.
    Used DAP Contact Cement to adhere tinfoil to inner surfaces of chamber during assembly.
    Elmer's wood glue attached 1"x2" corner rails to a wall.
    Then screwed wall assemblies together.

    Designed so each wall, top, bottom and door can be removed with screws if necessary.

    Used a popcicle stick to smooth out slight wrinkles in Tinfoil and aluminum tape as needed.
    First screwed in top and bottom sections.
    Then screwed on sides and back.
    After each step, applied aluminum tape liberally to seal corners and make sure all internal surfaces were heat reflective.

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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    For the enclosure door, used 3 overlapping layers of 1/4" marine plywood.
    Middle layer was not as wide as front and back layers, creating a pocket to hold the Lexan polycarbonate window.

    As the Lexan was thin, used two layers with a thin air gap. This fit well in the 1/4" pocket created by the plywood. Elmer's wood glue bonded the plywood.

    Covered door with aluminum tape. 3 small hinges and a magnetic door catch secure the door.

    Installed a 300W rated ceramic lamp fixture with a 250W (120V AC) heat lamp in the upper left side of the enclosure. Temperature limited by an Inkbird ITC-2000 controller set to shut off at 70C. Most of the time the chamber sits at a natural temperature equilibrium at 60-70C, once in a while hitting 70C and shutting off the heat lamp for a minute or two.

    This has been effective in preventing any warping in the larger ABS prints completed so far.
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    More printer mods:

    1) Added 4 legs to the enclosure, giving the modified printer a broader and much more stable base.
    The enclosure is rigid enough that there is no structural flexing at all. Particularly beneficial when the door is open, as that shifts the center of balance significantly.

    2) Installed a relay to automatically power on and off the chamber heat lamp at the same time as the heated filament extruder head.

    3) Replaced printer’s 12V power supply with an Antec 450 watt PC power supply for more coinsistent power delivery. Used a large 50A rated dryer plug as a connection point between printer and PS. Did not want to use a standard 120 VAC outlet as the consequences of accidentally connecting 120V power to the 12V system is much nastier than I would ever want to contemplate. Done so I can carry the printer more easily on those rare occasions when that comes up.

    Completed just before I brought the printer to my work for show and tell. I teach a Computer and Networking Tech program at a trade school. The 3D printer generated a lot of excitement and interest.
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    3D printed a few parts for use around the house:

    Replacement stove knob for my mother’s stove, several prototypes shown.

    Sink drains for kitchen and bathroom sinks.
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Initial rocket prints were:

    1) a 100mm diameter saucer with a single vertically mounted 18mm motor mount and

    2) a 200mm spinning saucer with 2x 18mm motor mounts, a mini version of my other spinning saucers.

    These both flew at the CMASS Winter Follies launch in Acton, MA on 1/17/2016.

    The 100mm conventional saucer flew on a B6 and a C6.

    I set up the 200mm saucer 5 times for flight, first with 2x B6 and then the following flights were set up with 2x C6 power. Due to a combination of factors only one of these flights successfully fired both motors, the other 4 attempts all fired just one motor. I believe there was a stacking of factors, cold temperature slowed the firing of both igniters and motors, high relative humidity, the motors were positioned very close to the clothespins I was using to hold the rocket up the rod and kept tangling with the igniters as the rocket spun.
    These four cluster ignition failures were twice as many as I had all of last year.

    Also flew an Applewhite 12inch Classic Saucer twice on AT G53 Smokey motors.

    pic 1: 200mm saucer on printer bed
    pic 2: three 200mm print fails and one print success
    pic 3 and 4: 100mm saucer with 18mm motor
    pic 5 and 6: 200mm saucer firing one motor
    pin 7 and 8: finally 200mm both motors fired for a cool flight
    pic 9 Applewhite on G53
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    Last edited by delta22; 26th April 2016 at 02:09 PM.
    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Next modded printer with the E3D Volcano print head which uses larger extrusion nozzles.
    “Standard” extrusion nozzles are 0.4 or 0.5mm. Volcano nozzles are available in 0.6, 0.8, 1.0 and 1.2mm sizes. Used a PC Molex connector to facilitate swapping print head.

    Volcano Pros: faster and stronger prints and a more reliable printing process

    Con: rougher/cruder surface finish

    Printed several 150mm red conventional saucers with a central 24mm motor mount testing different nozzles and settings. Decided that I liked the 0.6mm nozzle size best for its balanced compromise of features.

    More posts to come very soon, still catching up…
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    20th February 2009
    Location
    Cayuga, Indiana
    Posts
    12,484
    I don't know anything about 3D printers, but it seems like you have a great tool and setup you have developed there!
    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 January 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    11,274
    Looks like a fun toy. I look forward to the wild and wonderful things that will come out of it.
    Last edited by rstaff3; 26th April 2016 at 02:58 PM.
    Dick Stafford
    The member formerly known as the Pointy-Haired Moderator.
    The Original Rocket Dungeon
    Volunteer compiler of product news for ROCKETS Magazine

  10. #10
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Filament deposition 3D printing builds prints up a layer at a time, so each print starts from a flat surface and shape overhangs must be managed carefully. Either the part only spreads gradually from its base, or some kind of support is required.
    Pic 1 and 2: If support uses the same material as the desired part, then a significant amount of cutting, and sanding is likely to be required. Part surface quality in these trimmed areas suffers.

    There is also a grain to filament deposition printing. Fine strands of heated plastic are laid out in the X and Y “horizontal” dimensions, so these are strongest. Filaments are built up in layers in the Z “height” dimension, so anything less than excellent layer adhesion between every single layer results in less stiffness and ultimate strength in this dimension.

    For both of these reasons, planning the orientation of the part during the print process is critical.

    Another technique to handle support for 3D printing overhanging part shapes is to use a second type of plastic that is thermally and mechanically similar, but chemically incompatible for support. Then it is possible to cleanly separate the part from the support by pulling them apart. With ABS printing, it is possible to use HIPS (high-density polystyrene) for support material. They melt at similar temperatures, but with different chemistry, are not prone to bond to each other.

    So the next modification was a big one - convert the printer to be able to handle two filament materials at the same time. The stock Rostock MAX, like many other printers, was designed to handle one filament at a time.

    Pic 3: Two Bondtech QR filament drivers were added to the printer. The second filament driver and the new heated print head required additional wiring and modifying firmware settings to the Rambo (Arduino processor) logic board in the printer. Yellow filament is ABS and white is HIPS.

    Pic 4: A E3D Cyclops heated print head was installed. This is a new design that had two filament inputs, but extrudes both materials through one nozzle. Alternative design options not chosen would have had two filament inputs feeding two nozzles.

    Cyclops pros: easier alignment with one extrusion nozzle, less risk of second nozzle bumping into part, less dripping of hot plastic from second nozzle not in use (all frequent problems)

    Cons: Still a fairly experimental design so tuning process is to be expected, cross contamination of incompatible plastics will have to be overcome

    As the Cyclops is only currently available with a 0.4mm nozzle, I purchased several 0.6mm drill bits and extra nozzles. On the second attempt, with oil lubrication, was successful in drilling a nozzle to 0.6mm. This is what I print with now.
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    Last edited by delta22; 27th April 2016 at 04:29 AM.
    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Designed a mount/cover for the 808 #16 video camera. With 720 30p capability and a moderate price, my preferred onboard video camera for rocketry.
    The angles necessary for aerodynamic shape of the mount and conforming to rocket body required support for 3D printing.

    This was my process calibration/test part for refining ABS + HIPS printing with the Cyclops.
    Pic 1: It took about 20 prints to get the process dialed in.
    Pic 2 and 3: Failure mode for earlier prints was weak layer adhesion between ABS layers due to cross contamination from HIPS.

    Pic 4 and 5: Primary elements of successful process were very large retraction of filaments when switching filament types, as well as a very large sacrificial “wipe tower” used during filament transitions. While the basic approach is intuitive, getting these and many other settings dialed in were a process.
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Many designs do not require support, and these can be efficiently printed all in one material. Having done a few saucers, wanted to do a more conventional rocket shape that was also 100% 3D printed.

    Worked up a stretch V2 design that was 2 inches diameter, with a 12 inch nose cone and 12 inch body. Inside top of NC has tubular ribbed area to receive and retain ¼ oz nose weight and epoxy. Both major rocket parts were printed with rocket separation point facing down, to avoid overhangs. Also printed a plug for the bottom of the NC and bonded to NC using acetone.

    Did run into print quality issues with the tip of the NC so tweaked settings on a bunch of test NC tips until these were dialed in and got a nice final product.

    2 inch diameter x 24 inches tall, designed to fly on a D12-5 with a flight weight of 9oz. A fun little flyer that is a prototype larger things to come…

    Future projects on a larger scale will be printed in sections and “welded” together with acetone. Some will include conventional rocket body tubes with 3D printed nose cones and tail/fin sections
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Prepped for the CMASS Spring launch:

    Pic 1: Suyuz, which had been on loan for a year to an independent filmmaker as a prop for a project that was unfortunately not able to be completed.

    As it was back home it needed to fly again…

    And the Bomarc, Turbine Rocket Saucer, plus 100% 3D printed: 150mm saucer and 2in stretch V2 “Mellow Yellow”

    35 motors loaded and ready to burn...
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    CMASS Spring launch - 4/23/2016 - Amesbury, MA

    Rained heavily for most of the two hour drive to the field, letting up just minutes before arrival. Cloudy with no wind in the morning, becoming sunny and gorgeous in the afternoon.

    First flight was the Mellow Yellow on a D12-5. Nice straight liftoff, shock cord separated on deployment, but the ABS was tail section was undamaged from its fall.

    Then the Soyuz went up on a central CTI G68 White + 16x D11-P engines in the boosters. Went up nicely on a column of fire and smoke, firing all motors and arcing over at 604ft.

    Recovered in two parts on 3ft and 4ft chutes. One of the tiny fin tips broke off, easily fixed. The escape tower will need the sacrificial tube section (1/2in launch lug) replaced, but that was expected.
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    Last edited by delta22; 3rd May 2016 at 01:33 AM.
    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Bob Krech flew a perfect L2 certification flight with his “BillDan” LOC Warlock on a CTI J285-8 Classic.

    The rocket appeared to hang in the air on its chute and took 2min 32sec to complete a flight reaching 1800ft!

    It was an honor to be a cert witness.

    The rocket commemorated Bill Spadafora and Dan Parsons.
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Turbine Rocket Saucer went up loaded with 6x D11-P engines.
    While all igniters fired, one motor did not.
    Always a fun flyer.
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Bomarc lifted off firing 6x D11-P + 4x D12-5 engines for another great flight.

    Last up was the 150mm Saucer on a D11-P.

    Flight videos will be posted soon.
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    25th February 2014
    Posts
    514
    WOW!! i love those cluster rockets!
    and the saucers are so cool!
    i really need to start learning more on clusters.
    you sure do some amazing work.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Thanks.

    Bob Krech flew a very successful L2 cert flight at the launch.
    It was my honor to be a cert witness.

    The flight hung in the air for 2:32sec on updrafts, for the most suspenseful flight of the day.

    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Video of my flights 4/23/2016:

    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  21. #21
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Prepping for the Joint CMASS / MMMSC launch at the large, beautiful field in Berwick, ME.

    Midnight Express:
    > Built up three strips of 6oz FG followed by two layers of 1oz at the fin root to body tube joint on two fins
    > Started with 2in wide strips and each successive layer was 1/8in wider
    > Pigmented most of the epoxy resin black to better match CF fins

    > Also 3D printed a new cover for the 5.6in diameter chute compartment inside the NC
    > This increased space for the chutes when flying K power and single deploy
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    Last edited by delta22; 24th May 2016 at 05:16 AM.
    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  22. #22
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Golden Arrow (Rocketry Warehouse Adventurer 3):

    > 3D Printed a camera cover for the 808 #16 camera
    > Cover goes onto an upper screw (pic 1) and slides down - then fastened with two slightly smaller screws at base

    Worked like a charm in a flight to 720mph.
    Unfortunately, part is very hard to print due to shape, resulting in a high printing reject rate.
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  23. #23
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    CMASS / MMMSC joint launch - 5/21/2016 - Berwick, ME

    A beautiful early summer day, 70's, light winds, mostly sunny.

    First up was the Golden Arrow.

    3in diameter, 7.25ft tall, 11lbs liftoff weight - loaded with a CTI 54mm 4grain K940 White Thunder.

    Streaked off the pad pulling 23.9Gs reaching a peak of 720mph and 7775ft apogee.

    Perfect flight recovering about 1000ft from the pad.
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  24. #24
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Andrew Reilley flew a successful L2 flight.

    Beautiful yellow rocket soared on the bright flame of a CTI 38mm 5grain I357 Blue Streak for a nice clean flight.

    Congratulations Andrew!
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    Last edited by delta22; 24th May 2016 at 05:18 AM.
    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  25. #25
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    I sent the Midnight Express (3.4x Big Daddy) up on the always delightful CTI 54mm 4grain K740 C-Star.

    The liftoff was bright and loud and lovely.
    The 36lb, 10in x 68in rocket hit apogee at 1464ft

    The recovery was less delightful...
    Ejection charge separated the rocket, could even make out the puffs for the 2 redundant ejection charges (one alt and one motor fired).
    Unfortunately the harness tangled and never gave the chutes the pull they needed to exit their compartment.

    The good news is that the rocket landed on soft loose dirt. The NC with altimeters was undamaged, the fins were also still solid. Only the upper body tube will need to be replaced. Still have the tube sections needed to complete the repair as spare pieces left from the original build for my L3 in 2012.

    This flight had all the harness outside the chute compartment. Thought I had folded and packed it so that it would deploy, but that did not occur...
    Next time the harness will be partly inside the chute compartment and partly outside.
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    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  26. #26
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Keith sent up an Madcow Frenzy Massive on a very hard hitting CTI L3150 V-Max.

    Could hear the echo of the motor blast from the surrounding trees.

    Was clearly visible throughout its flight to 6000ft.

    Great flight.
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    Last edited by delta22; 25th May 2016 at 12:11 AM.
    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  27. #27
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    pic 1: another fun flight that day

    pic 2: thin wall fiberglass Formula 54 separated from its chute and took a core sample

    pic 3: Last flight of the day was my Turbine Rocket Saucer

    will post video shortly
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    Last edited by delta22; 24th May 2016 at 05:22 AM.
    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

  28. #28
    Join Date
    23rd July 2014
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    836
    Quote Originally Posted by delta22 View Post
    Derick sent up an Ultimate DarkStar on a very hard hitting CTI L3150 V-Max.

    Could hear the echo of the motor blast from the surrounding trees.

    Was clearly visible throughout its flight to 6000ft.

    Great flight.
    Correction for you:

    Keith not Derick

    Madcow Frenzy Massive not ultimate Darkstar

    Motor was right though
    NAR# 98194
    Level 1: CTI I-216, 3,043'
    Level 2: CTI K-740, 5,999'

    Personal altitude record: 12,400' CTI L395
    2014 total impulse: 9,018.2 Ns (76% M)
    2015 total impulse: 7,171.7 Ns (40% M)
    2016 total impulse: 18,664.2 Ns (91% N)
    2017 total impulse: 8,281.1 Ns (80% M)

  29. #29
    Join Date
    24th January 2009
    Location
    Littleton, Colorado
    Posts
    3,919
    Very cool stuff flying up there in New England!
    Last edited by Daddyisabar; 24th May 2016 at 11:44 PM.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    998
    Quote Originally Posted by T34zac View Post
    Correction for you:

    Keith not Derick

    Madcow Frenzy Massive not ultimate Darkstar

    Motor was right though
    Yea, that's what I said ...
    Thanks for the corrections, always been better with numbers than names.

    How did your onboard video come out?

    V V VIDEO NEXT PAGE V V

    Last edited by delta22; 25th May 2016 at 05:07 AM.
    Boris Katan
    NAR / TRA L3
    Lots of fun cluster rocket pictures and video at: www.bpasa.com

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