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  1. #1
    Join Date
    17th November 2015
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    1,052

    Blue Tube Mega Vector Force

    So it looks like my 38mm Minimum Diameter project is a bust. This means I get to build something else.... And I really think I'm going to go for this project I've had my eye on for a while: Upscaling the Vector Force with Blue Tube. OpenRocket says that pretty much the sky's the limit -- I should be flirting with a mile-high flight, I should be close to breaking the sound barrier; if I pass my L2 and can stuff a J in there, I can do both in one flight.

    Before I jump in, does anyone see anything problematic with this? I may have posted this before, can't remember.

    Here's a great thread with pictures of what the original Estes product looks like:
    http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...s-Vector-Force

    I built one and utterly destroyed the finish (that's when I found out that enamel REALLY MEANS DON'T TOUCH FOR 48 HOURS) and got so frustrated I found a second one and bought it and built it. It's now one of my favorites - a perennially fun LPR bird that flies dead straight.

    Here's what it ought to look like:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ...and here's the OpenRocket for your consideration.
    There are some details missing (like fillets and other minutae) but ... thoughts? If I have TTW fins, do I need to glass them as well, or is that overkill? I was thinking about making the transitions out of pine (maybe glassed?) or having a friend with a 3d printer knock them out. Would plastic or pine hold up to transonic/supersonic speeds?

    Initially I had envisioned this as having a 29mm MMT, but I figure that I have more flexibility with a 38 -- I can always toss an adapter in there. So the original was 38mm (with 29mm mmt) to 29mm to 18mm for the upper body. Now it's 54 -> 38 -> 29, which means that a: I can build the whole thing out of Blue Tube and b: I ought to be able to find a nose cone pretty easily.

    mega vector force54.rkt


  2. #2
    Join Date
    17th December 2013
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    Awesome. I have an Estes Vector Force I have yet to build.

    I would definitely go with the 38MMT. Aerotech motors are roughly the same price for 29mm and 38mm in the same impulse range. And CTI has a good offering of 'J's for the Pro38 case. Loki kas some 38mm 'K's, but it would probably be as long as your arm.

    I have yet to fly anything bigger than a 'G' so all I have done is look at numbers and buy cases and it looks like 38mm is a good place to be. Longer burn times than 29mm but don't break the bank like 54mm.

    I can't answer as to whether you should glass anything or not, haven't try for mach yet.

    Mikey D

    Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
    TRA #16513
    Level 1: Danger Close ---AT H123W to 1240'--- 29 OCT 2016
    Level 2: Binder Design Tyrannosaur ---AT J315R to 2148'--- 30 SEP 2017

  3. #3
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    17th November 2015
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    Awesome. You'll enjoy the VF. I did mine in matte green with red transition, fins, and NC. Has a very "80's Soviet Missile" look to it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    22nd August 2015
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    Rhode Island
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    I think this sounds great. You shouldn't need to glass blue tube. I would think that the biggest issue with transsonic/supersonic speeds would be fin flutter. I'm guessing that the 0.152" plywood fins would need reinforcement. But this is new territory for me too. Time to figure out FinSim.
    NAR #100940, RIMRA & CMASS
    L1 - 4/17/16, Tyrannosaur (by Binder Design), Loki H144
    L2 - 8/19/17, Terrordactyl (by Binder Design), CTI J250

  5. #5
    Join Date
    27th December 2012
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    302

    Blue Tube Mega Vector Force

    I recently finished an upscale Vector Force with cardboard tube (BT70 to BT60 to BT 55) , 1/8 plywood fings & 29 mm MMT. Also set it up for dual deploy. Unfortunately , I haven't had a chance to fly it yet. I used a cardboard tube from an igniter to run the main charge through the balsa transition. Hopefully it flies as well as the LPR version.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sl98 View Post
    I recently finished an upscale Vector Force with cardboard tube (BT70 to BT60 to BT 55) , 1/8 plywood fings & 29 mm MMT. Also set it up for dual deploy. Unfortunately , I haven't had a chance to fly it yet. I used a cardboard tube from an igniter to run the main charge through the balsa transition. Hopefully it flies as well as the LPR version.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice!! Good luck!

  7. #7
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    OK, the build is officially on. I have a friend cutting the wings and putting together transitions for me; I just need to go shopping for Blue Tube. Trying to decide whether it's worth it to have them CNC the fin slots or if I should DIY with Dremel. My gut says to go with the former, pricey as it is -- it's one less thing to screw up, right?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    9th July 2014
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    Why screw it up yourself when you can let someone else do it for you?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonimus View Post
    Why screw it up yourself when you can let someone else do it for you?
    You make a compelling argument

  10. #10
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    17th November 2015
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    OK, what am I forgetting? I've got the fins, transitions, and nosecone coming.

    Ordering Blue Tube airframes, recovery harness, parachute, blanket, centering rings, motor retainer, and rail buttons. Am I forgetting anything?

    I'm getting excited. This thing is going to look super cool.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    17th December 2013
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    Slagle, La
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    You mentioned airframes - how bout MMT.
    Quick links
    Rivets or screws if you intend to make it easy to disassemble.
    You probably have those, but just covering some basics.
    Extra 5' of 1/2" tubular kevlar...and send it to me.
    Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
    TRA #16513
    Level 1: Danger Close ---AT H123W to 1240'--- 29 OCT 2016
    Level 2: Binder Design Tyrannosaur ---AT J315R to 2148'--- 30 SEP 2017

  12. #12
    Join Date
    17th November 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyDSlagle View Post
    You mentioned airframes - how bout MMT.
    Yup, some of the 29mm tube becomes MMT, some becomes airframe
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyDSlagle View Post
    Quick links
    Always Ready doesn't sell them, think I can get them local.
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyDSlagle View Post
    Extra 5' of 1/2" tubular kevlar...and send it to me.
    Heh. Actually I'm getting a nylon harness that I'm using as a shock cord, then I have some old Kevlar that I'm using to go down to the MMT.
    Think it's time to pull the trigger on this!!!

  13. #13
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    17th November 2015
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    Rocketpoxy and Bluetube are on their way. IT'S ON, Y'ALL.

  14. #14
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    15th July 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActingLikeAKid View Post
    Rocketpoxy and Bluetube are on their way. IT'S ON, Y'ALL.
    Pictures, or it didn't happen!
    ATCS(AW) Tom Keith, USN, ret. _____NAR 99781 L1_____MDRA 212
    SEVRA, NAR 621http://www.sevra.org/ Tripoli East North Carolina (Bayboro), TRA #65, http://ncrockets.org/, MDRA http://www.mdrocketry.org/
    LVL 1 24 October 2015, Leviathan, CTI H133, 2469 ft, Bayboro
    LVL 2 Soon, Super DX3, AT J420 Redline, est 3500 ft, Bayboro or MDRA

  15. #15
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    17th November 2015
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    Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16
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    Most of the parts are here. Tubes need to be cut.

  17. #17
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    17th November 2015
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    Let me try that again...
    and no, I'm not making a 12-foot rocket (though wouldn't that be awesome?) I got the long sections of Blue Tube so I can use the remnants for other projects (also for "OH NO THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT TO" insurance). 3d printed NC and transitions. Going to get an aluminum rod to secure the first upper section, still deciding on what to do for the tip-top section. May glue it; may put some pins in so I can cram a GPS up there.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18
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    Tidewater area of Virginia
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    Cool. Are those solid or hollow prints?
    ATCS(AW) Tom Keith, USN, ret. _____NAR 99781 L1_____MDRA 212
    SEVRA, NAR 621http://www.sevra.org/ Tripoli East North Carolina (Bayboro), TRA #65, http://ncrockets.org/, MDRA http://www.mdrocketry.org/
    LVL 1 24 October 2015, Leviathan, CTI H133, 2469 ft, Bayboro
    LVL 2 Soon, Super DX3, AT J420 Redline, est 3500 ft, Bayboro or MDRA

  19. #19
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    17th November 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banzai88 View Post
    Cool. Are those solid or hollow prints?
    Thanks!
    Transitions are filled with a "honeycomb"-ish matrix. NC is hollow. Going to try to stuff an Eggfinder in the upper section, as high up as I can.
    Same friend is going to fabricate a sort of "super eyebolt" for the lower-upper section - basically allthread with an eye on the end.

  20. #20
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    Tidewater area of Virginia
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    Innovative, I like it. Did you print them yourself or use a service?
    ATCS(AW) Tom Keith, USN, ret. _____NAR 99781 L1_____MDRA 212
    SEVRA, NAR 621http://www.sevra.org/ Tripoli East North Carolina (Bayboro), TRA #65, http://ncrockets.org/, MDRA http://www.mdrocketry.org/
    LVL 1 24 October 2015, Leviathan, CTI H133, 2469 ft, Bayboro
    LVL 2 Soon, Super DX3, AT J420 Redline, est 3500 ft, Bayboro or MDRA

  21. #21
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    17th November 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banzai88 View Post
    Innovative, I like it. Did you print them yourself or use a service?
    Thanks! I have a friend with a 3d printer who I think I owe a bottle of Scotch or something

    I'm really pleased with my idea for an upper-tube sled. Fancy stuff a-comin'.

  22. #22
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    17th November 2015
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    Question for anyone following: Is too much stability a bad thing? According to my initial forays, this thing will have stability of 4-5 cal with a motor in it. Obviously, that means it's prone to weathercocking in a good wind, but other than that, is a super-stable rocket a bad thing?

  23. #23
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    17th December 2013
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    Wow. That is stable! Other than the weathercocking your mentioned, I can't think of any reason too much stability is a bad thing. But most of mine are barely 1 Cal off the rail. I've read threads that talk about over stable rockets but can't remember the arguments. Soooo... as usual, I have not helped at all. LOL.

    Saturday I hope to fly my Partizon with 3.33 Cal and my scratch built level 1 (finally) Danger Close with 2.64 Cal. Those are the most stable I will have launched to date. I will post reports, but I don't foresee any problems with overstable birds.

    Mikey D
    Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
    TRA #16513
    Level 1: Danger Close ---AT H123W to 1240'--- 29 OCT 2016
    Level 2: Binder Design Tyrannosaur ---AT J315R to 2148'--- 30 SEP 2017

  24. #24
    Join Date
    15th March 2016
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    341
    An overstable bird will weathercock badly if it is slow off the rail. Make sure you launch with a motor with a high initial thrust and you should be good.

  25. #25
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    17th November 2015
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    OK, cool. Thanks. Next question: As it's designed, I've got about 15 inches of 54mm BT between the top of the motor and the top of the BT (if I use the biggest J possible in this thing, and I'm hoping to eventually do L2 with it) Is that enough room for a 36" chute+15 feet of cord? I'm thinking I might need more room.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    14th August 2014
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    342
    Quote Originally Posted by ActingLikeAKid View Post
    OK, cool. Thanks. Next question: As it's designed, I've got about 15 inches of 54mm BT between the top of the motor and the top of the BT (if I use the biggest J possible in this thing, and I'm hoping to eventually do L2 with it) Is that enough room for a 36" chute+15 feet of cord? I'm thinking I might need more room.
    You need to discount the length of the coupler as part of that available space but 15" is a lot to work with. I think you'll be fine.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    17th November 2015
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    This is now a build thread. Slots from ARR were just a tiny bit short (as I'd wanted) so I dremeled out the lower slots & test fit the fins. Looking good. Ordered Cabot Sanding Sealer and it will be here in a week. Up next: Extending upper-fin slots, lots of test-fitting, grinding CRs to put the harness in them.

    Anyone know if the "encapsulate the harness in epoxy" method is OK on BlueTube? I don't see why it wouldn't be, just wondered if anyone had tried it. Don't want to use a u-bolt or screw eye because there's precious little room between the MMT and the BT (mmt is 38mm, BT is 54)

    Click image for larger version. 

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  28. #28
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    17th November 2015
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    Current build list follows.
    1. Sand holes to fit fins
    2. Sand one end of 38mm tube to fit retainer
    3. Take deep breath and cut BTs to length (38mm both for motor mount & lower-upper)
    4. Sand ends of BTs nice & smooth
    5. Cut CRs to let Kevlar fit through Cut 2 slots
    6. Sand fins (45deg leading, 30deg trailing?)
    7. Sand-seal all tubes (but only inside of mmt)
    8. Bondo tubes
    9. CA top CR in place
    10. Test fit with top fins MARK MMT FOR ALIGNMENT. Adjust CR if necessary.
    11. CA mid CR in place
    12. Test fit with all fins Should be snug. Adjust CR if necessary.
    13. retest fit with all fins
    14. Score mmt all over. Put swivel on Kevlar, install Kevlar harness with swivel on it. Encapsulate with epoxy. Let cure. Whip top of Kevlar to make loop.
    15. Retest fit with all fins
    16. Epoxy CRs in place with good fillets on non-fin sides, "spot" fillets on fin-sides
    17. Install mmt Test fins while curing.
    18. Install lower fins with alignment jig. Double-butter for internal fillets.
    19. Install upper fins One at a time, clamp w/straightedges
    20. Install rear CR and motor retainer
    21. Fillet upper & lower fins
    22. Glass fins
    23. Build Eggfinder tx
    24. Build Eggfinder rx
    25. Test Eggfinders
    26. Install eggfinders and assemble upper-upper (pins to hold in place)
    27. Assemble lower-upper
    28. Primer
    29. Sand, fill.
    30. Primer
    31. color coat
    32. Contrast coat
    33. Clear coat
    34. Polish
    35. Install recovery system
    36. Fly!

    Also just for grins & giggles, I upscaled this to see what would happen with a 75mm CTI M motor. 11k feet and Mach 1.5. That would be a fun L3, if someone dropped $1500 and ALL THE FREE TIME in my lap.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    26th June 2014
    Posts
    119
    Quote Originally Posted by ActingLikeAKid View Post
    Question for anyone following: Is too much stability a bad thing? According to my initial forays, this thing will have stability of 4-5 cal with a motor in it. Obviously, that means it's prone to weathercocking in a good wind, but other than that, is a super-stable rocket a bad thing?
    Can you put a few canards up towards the top? That will bring the stability down a bit.
    Level 1. Fiberglass scratch built on an Aero Tech H123
    Level 2. Fiberglass scratch built 4 inch diameter 8 lb rocket on an Aerotech J540r at Midwest Power
    Mile high. Level 2 rocket on an Aero Tech k695 to 7334 feet at CIA launch Monticello Il.
    Max altitude 10411 on an Aerotech L1090

  30. #30
    Join Date
    17th November 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDramstad View Post
    Can you put a few canards up towards the top? That will bring the stability down a bit.
    Huh. Yeah, I could. Going to have to see how that would look...


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