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  1. #1
    Join Date
    15th May 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois Rocket Assembly and Test Facility (NIRATF)
    Posts
    1,927

    Launch Pad Gallery

    My goal for this thread is for it to be a collection of finished launch pads, sort of like the galleries of finished rockets in a different section of TRF. Not as a replacement for "how to" build threads (please continue to do so, we love to see your progress), but to function as sort of an index of "what is possible" for people or clubs starting their own and looking for ideas. So, please post pictures of launch pads you have flown from or your own completed ones. If you choose to do a build thread (yes!), put a picture or two of the completed pad here, and maybe a link to the build thread for people to follow. You can also post a picture of your project in build, but please keep it updated by replacing old photos as you progress. I hope this will be a bit easier than doing a search for pads and then sorting through pages looking for the final product. Cheers.

    Last edited by SMR; 1st July 2016 at 12:31 AM.
    Proud member of WOOSH, FVR, IR, QCRS, (RC)2
    2013 APCP: 48,397.3 Ns (18% P)
    Highest altitude achieved: 21,981' AGL

    "Gravity is a cruel and unpredictable mistress"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    15th May 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois Rocket Assembly and Test Facility (NIRATF)
    Posts
    1,927
    So, I'll start off. 1st picture is my ubiquitous Rockwell JawStand pad, which I use for rockets up to about 20 pounds. Easy to build, setup, and use, though not study enough to carry much weight. 1010 rail.

    Second photo is my trusted Quad-pod, good to about 40 pounds. I had a little trouble with it blowing over in light winds when new, so replaced the stock tubular legs with 1" square stock, with longer over-center locks to widen its footprint and lower the center of gravity. 1010 or 1515 rails. Also replaced all the hardware with stainless.

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    Last edited by SMR; 1st July 2016 at 12:32 AM.
    Proud member of WOOSH, FVR, IR, QCRS, (RC)2
    2013 APCP: 48,397.3 Ns (18% P)
    Highest altitude achieved: 21,981' AGL

    "Gravity is a cruel and unpredictable mistress"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    15th May 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois Rocket Assembly and Test Facility (NIRATF)
    Posts
    1,927
    The next two are works in progress. These pictures will be update (replaced) as work progresses.

    First is my next generation Heavy Duty pad. It started life as a baseball swing-trainer, which I found at a garage sale. It has a very stable footprint yet easily folds for transport. Just have to attach a mechanism to hold-n-fold a 1515 rail.
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    Last edited by SMR; 1st July 2016 at 12:05 AM.
    Proud member of WOOSH, FVR, IR, QCRS, (RC)2
    2013 APCP: 48,397.3 Ns (18% P)
    Highest altitude achieved: 21,981' AGL

    "Gravity is a cruel and unpredictable mistress"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    15th May 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois Rocket Assembly and Test Facility (NIRATF)
    Posts
    1,927
    This post is/will be for a larger pad, utilizing a 3.0 meter (9.84') section of F33 Global triangular truss normally used for stage lighting. On it will go a 12' x 1515 rail, (purchased locally to save freight shipping on oversize items). The base will be made from 2" square steel and recycled skate board grind rails. Design spec added that it has to fold up and fit inside my existing rocket-dedicated trailer.

    progress update - about 30% complete. scale model built as parts buck, chassis of full-size now on wheels, truss support structure to go, with the truss hinged at about the 3' level to reduce the dead weight needed to lift when a rocket is loaded.. Build thread here
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    Last edited by SMR; 30th June 2016 at 11:53 PM.
    Proud member of WOOSH, FVR, IR, QCRS, (RC)2
    2013 APCP: 48,397.3 Ns (18% P)
    Highest altitude achieved: 21,981' AGL

    "Gravity is a cruel and unpredictable mistress"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    15th May 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois Rocket Assembly and Test Facility (NIRATF)
    Posts
    1,927
    I flew off this pad quite a few years ago at an early MidWest Power. I don't know who built or owns it, but I love this pad! Very stable footprint, legs fold for transport. Windage adjustable in elevation and azimuth.
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    Last edited by SMR; 1st July 2016 at 12:08 AM.
    Proud member of WOOSH, FVR, IR, QCRS, (RC)2
    2013 APCP: 48,397.3 Ns (18% P)
    Highest altitude achieved: 21,981' AGL

    "Gravity is a cruel and unpredictable mistress"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    16th November 2014
    Location
    Apple valley, CA
    Posts
    5
    this is my pad i made 100% tig welded will fit 1" and 1.5" rails

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    NAR# 98824
    level 1 February 2015 Estes Argent CTI H123 sk
    level 2 March 2015 Always Ready Rocketry Basic Blues CTI J 280 ss
    level 3 November 2015 Wildman ShapeShifter 5" CTI M2080 sk
    (LDRS35"Night Flight King" "Aurora Borealis"King Viper 8600+LED's)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    9th July 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,417
    My pad is a low cg, tilting head, adjustable legs, drill chuck for up to 1/2" rod and 1/4"x28 bolt for our 1010 rail.

    Just welded:


    Head tipped:


    Painted with LOC-IV for scale:


    With 1/8" rod and Apogee boosted glider:


    With 1010 and Wildman Interceptor:

  8. #8
    Join Date
    17th January 2011
    Location
    Spring Green WI
    Posts
    2,618
    I really like low pad designs. I just don't like climbing a ladder to arm a rocket.
    TRA 2225
    TWA
    QCRS
    WOOSH

  9. #9
    Join Date
    3rd April 2013
    Location
    Northbrook, IL
    Posts
    197
    A heavy duty pad my son designed and built for me. First flight was 160+ pound rocket. pic is my mean machine.
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    Dan Schwartz
    Python Rocketry
    “The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson
    It is science that makes us human. DS

  10. #10
    Join Date
    27th December 2015
    Location
    Hailey, ID
    Posts
    126
    Here is another low CG pad.

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    NAR Member
    Class D water rocket world record 417 feet 130 mph..
    Machbuster #8 Mach 1.71 on a G80 5260 feet.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    13th October 2013
    Location
    Campbell River, British Columbia
    Posts
    26
    My design that incorporated several ideas I seen on the forms. I had it welded up by a local fab shop and all aluminum with removable legs.


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    6th February 2015
    Posts
    635
    Quote Originally Posted by retortec View Post
    Here is another low CG pad.

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    Plans, please!


  13. #13
    Join Date
    6th February 2015
    Posts
    635
    Quote Originally Posted by rugger09 View Post
    My design that incorporated several ideas I seen on the forms. I had it welded up by a local fab shop and all aluminum with removable legs.


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    Strong work. Looks solid!


  14. #14
    Join Date
    25th January 2009
    Location
    Glennville, GA
    Posts
    17,860
    Pad envy!
    -----------------------
    Chuck Haislip
    NAR/Tripoli Level 3
    Formerly a Prefect of ICBM - TRA #60

    Level 1 - LOC Minie Magg; Level 2 - PR Broken Arrow;
    Level 3 - 10 inch Nike Smoke
    2015 Ns for Year: 1315 Newtons
    My rockets usually fly naked. If they survive, they earn their paint.

    Come fly with ROSCo or ICBM in Camden SC => http://rocketrysouthcarolina.org

  15. #15
    Join Date
    19th January 2009
    Location
    Stafford VA
    Posts
    6,879
    The pics that have been posted are of some really pretty pads. What I'm going to post are of our club pads, not so pretty.

    These where at least 7 years old when the pics were taken and they are not so pretty. They are put out into the field in October and sit out there until April. Then they are pulled apart and leaned up against the side of a sea container over the summer. They are now over 8 years old and have been out in the weather every day for 8 years. They still work great.
    Just note, these are not easily transportable pads. We haul them a 1/4 mile from storage to the field and back just twice a year.

    This is a 1010 pad. We have similar 1515 pads. The base is a 1030 bar with the 1010 pieces attached to it. The blast deflectors are part of the structural part of the pad. Those are steel and have rusted some, but surprisingly little considering the amount of time they have spent out in the weather and the amount of corrosive exhaust they have deflected over the years.
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    Here you can see how the deflection plates are attached to the 1010 rails. The deflection plates are what connect the 1030 base piece to the 1010 bar used as a T on the end to stabilize the pad .
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    Here is how the rail is attached to the pad. If you pull the upper and lower 1/4" pins, the central 1010 launch rail can be removed from the pad. In normal operation, only the top pin is pulled and the rod is tilted down to load the rocket. It is then tilted back up, the pin installed and the rocket launched. Of course we used stainless steel pins so they don't rust while sitting out in the field. BTW, there is a notch in the steel deflection plate assembly so the 1010 launch rail bottom can kick forward when it is tilted back for rocket loading.
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    This is the bottom of the T. When the launch rail is tilted back, it rests on this vertical piece.
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    These are not pretty pads or easily portable pads, but they have been great as club pads and have held up to 8+ years of sitting in the Virginia weather. I'm sure we will have to replace the deflector plate before too long, but the aluminum parts have held up great. If you are looking for durable pads that can take a lot of abuse, these might be what you are looking for!
    Handeman

    TRA #09903 L3 :D 3/29/2015

    "If you don't use your head, you have to use your feet!" my Dad

    Tripoli Central Virginia #25 - BattlePark.org

  16. #16
    Join Date
    1st July 2015
    Location
    British Columbia Canada
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by rugger09 View Post
    My design that incorporated several ideas I seen on the forms. I had it welded up by a local fab shop and all aluminum with removable legs.


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    Nice pad! Now if you don't mind me asking, was it expensive to get it built? I'm in Kelowna and I decided I need a pad and this one looks great. Would they build another one?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    13th October 2013
    Location
    Campbell River, British Columbia
    Posts
    26
    I spent some time with the fab shop getting it right. They were fun toward with. It was 475 plus tax. They were hoping that I would 'get the word out' that they have built this prototype and have the jigs now done to build more so would be floored that others are interested. You can speak to Jason at 250-286-9992. You should know that they did not supply the rail or the angles that connect the rail to the pad. I did that but they would be able to copy mine and make it much better. Jason can call me if he wants mine as a template. Please let me know if you call him and I will help if I can. I'm in town.

    Do you fly in Kelowna? Is there a local club? Msg me, I'm looking to build up my network in the province and do travel to fly!

    Cheers

    Shannon

  18. #18
    Join Date
    1st July 2015
    Location
    British Columbia Canada
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by rugger09 View Post
    I spent some time with the fab shop getting it right. They were fun toward with. It was 475 plus tax. They were hoping that I would 'get the word out' that they have built this prototype and have the jigs now done to build more so would be floored that others are interested. You can speak to Jason at 250-286-9992. You should know that they did not supply the rail or the angles that connect the rail to the pad. I did that but they would be able to copy mine and make it much better. Jason can call me if he wants mine as a template. Please let me know if you call him and I will help if I can. I'm in town.

    Do you fly in Kelowna? Is there a local club? Msg me, I'm looking to build up my network in the province and do travel to fly!



    Cheers

    Shannon

    Hey thanks for the reply. 475 is not bad at all for that pad but I will have to wait as the wife says so . when I am ready I will be calling them. I don't fly in Kelowna as there is no where to fly really or at least that I have found yet. I will be looking around in Kamloops as there is places there that I have flown before. Do you fly on the island much? Have you been to any big launches?

    talk to you soon
    clinton

  19. #19
    Join Date
    27th December 2015
    Location
    Hailey, ID
    Posts
    126
    I just finished a 2 1/2' tower for my small high speed launches. Tower has a removable base with integrated blast plate and ground spike. With the base removed it can drop into my universal launcher using a rail adapter.
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    NAR Member
    Class D water rocket world record 417 feet 130 mph..
    Machbuster #8 Mach 1.71 on a G80 5260 feet.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    26th June 2016
    Location
    Mobile, AL, USA
    Posts
    1,236
    Nice tower! I really like that.
    NAR # 37682

    All the weird kids are doing it!

    If at first you don't succeed... You're about average.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    28th October 2015
    Posts
    11
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ID:	305131My low/mid powered pad..
    I'll have to post pic's of my high powered pad later (don't have pic's right now)
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    Last edited by Joel621r; 11th November 2016 at 09:08 AM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    27th December 2015
    Location
    Hailey, ID
    Posts
    126
    Nice! I will throw up my Centuri launch pad clone as well. This one is made of oak and is almost double the size of my original LIA-100.

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    Last edited by retortec; 10th November 2016 at 02:22 AM.
    NAR Member
    Class D water rocket world record 417 feet 130 mph..
    Machbuster #8 Mach 1.71 on a G80 5260 feet.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    3rd December 2013
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    175
    I made those for my club (3x);
    Specifications asked: the height when loading, loading hinge and adjustment on 2 different levels, and a central foot to climb the pad. The legs are removable. Powder coat makes them easy to clean.
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    Now L4!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    3rd December 2013
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    175
    Another one, in stainless steel. Two spring pins gives 11.25° increment when turning the rail. Legs fold.
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    Now L4!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    3rd December 2013
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    175
    Aluminum, the mast doesn't rotate, but very light.
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    Now L4!

  26. #26
    Join Date
    27th December 2015
    Location
    Hailey, ID
    Posts
    126
    I may steal a couple ideas from Crumb fires stainless pad form my next project. Very cool! I will keep it rolling with a low to mid power pad. This one is PVC and has 6 C batteries with a 12v relay in one of the legs. Fuse protected and using a arm indicator with buzzer this is my 9 year olds favorite pad. Elevation adjustment pivots on nylon bushings captured under the washers. Topped with a Harbor Freight saw blade (teeth knocked off) and drill chuck on a hollow bolt. Legs are friction fit for easy transport.

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    NAR Member
    Class D water rocket world record 417 feet 130 mph..
    Machbuster #8 Mach 1.71 on a G80 5260 feet.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    28th October 2015
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by retortec View Post
    Nice! I will throw up my Centuri launch pad clone as well. This one is made of oak and is almost double the size of my original LIA-100.

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    Very Nice!!! I like that!! where did you get the angle adjustment bracket? Did you make that? Details on the hardware...

  28. #28
    Join Date
    27th December 2015
    Location
    Hailey, ID
    Posts
    126
    I made just about everything on this one. With my 9 year old the turn buckle makes adjustment way easier. And the main pivot does not need massive tension to keep a larger rocket in place. The center post is a pice of 1" square aluminum mounted on a pice of 2" L. The blast plate is a pice of 14 gauge stainless with a 14 gauge galvanized support plate. The plates are held in place with a hollow 3/8" bolt. The rod drops through the bolt into a well in the center post. Two thumb screws hold the rod in it in place. The entire thing pivots on a hardened shoulder bolt that has been pressed into the base. The shoulder passes through the center post and L with the threading staring just shy of the adjusting nut in a compression washer. Adjustments are made with a 4" turnbuckle. The ends of the turn buckle have been resized for nylon bushings for pivots. All that is held in place on the base with another 3/8" bolt. The bolt ends in a 3/8" to 1/4" coupling nut with an eye bolt. The eye bolt is for a sand bag or stake to attach if needed. All the hardware I purchased at the local ace. This is my 4th or 5th build on the Centuri style pad. I just think it looks to cool not have one around. Here are some pictures I took before final assembly and finishing. The only thing I added in the end version was a 20 degree elevation stop and ignition wire clip.
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    Last edited by retortec; 11th November 2016 at 12:38 PM.
    NAR Member
    Class D water rocket world record 417 feet 130 mph..
    Machbuster #8 Mach 1.71 on a G80 5260 feet.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    9th July 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,417
    Prior to paint:


    Painted:


    Painted, fully assembled, and loaded:
    Last edited by Tonimus; 22nd November 2016 at 11:58 PM.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    28th October 2015
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by retortec View Post
    I made just about everything on this one. With my 9 year old the turn buckle makes adjustment way easier. And the main pivot does not need massive tension to keep a larger rocket in place. The center post is a pice of 1" square aluminum mounted on a pice of 2" L. The blast plate is a pice of 14 gauge stainless with a 14 gauge galvanized support plate. The plates are held in place with a hollow 3/8" bolt. The rod drops through the bolt into a well in the center post. Two thumb screws hold the rod in it in place. The entire thing pivots on a hardened shoulder bolt that has been pressed into the base. The shoulder passes through the center post and L with the threading staring just shy of the adjusting nut in a compression washer. Adjustments are made with a 4" turnbuckle. The ends of the turn buckle have been resized for nylon bushings for pivots. All that is held in place on the base with another 3/8" bolt. The bolt ends in a 3/8" to 1/4" coupling nut with an eye bolt. The eye bolt is for a sand bag or stake to attach if needed. All the hardware I purchased at the local ace. This is my 4th or 5th build on the Centuri style pad. I just think it looks to cool not have one around. Here are some pictures I took before final assembly and finishing. The only thing I added in the end version was a 20 degree elevation stop and ignition wire clip.
    You should fabricate your adjustable bracket assymble and sell them.. I'd buy one.. I tend too think the old style Centuri pads are awsome ( mine's not exactly a Centuri reproduction , more of a kit bash between the Estes legs and the LIA 100 top plate) but I intend to make a couple true reproduction pads for my self , son, and friends.. your adjustable top would make an excellent finish to them..


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