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Which method do you prefer?

I used to go with A, thinking less contact with the rail and less friction. Wind would usually blow an Estes model on a rod into this orientation anyway. However, I worried that a top heavy rocket may torque/bind the buttons. This forced me to add a 3rd rail button near the CG on some models.

Method B may be more secure riding up the rail with just a minor friction penalty.

2. I don't think it matters. Either way the friction should be the same, the y component of the weight x the coefficient of friction.

Steve Shannon

3. Ditto,

Also remember that if one has access to a simulator to run several simulations in a variety of wind conditions. One may find if they do a few degrees on the rail downwind of the prevailing winds, they may find the rocket does a curved flight to a minimal
velocity apogee. That's an ideal state to dump the main or the drogue for a lower stress deployment.

If one puts too much angle upwind (into the prevailing winds) the rocket may weathercock further into the wind (depending on the fin area)
adding more of an angle to the trajectory and a higher velocity deployment at the "lower" apogee.

Kurt

4. Originally Posted by Steve Shannon
I don't think it matters. Either way the friction should be the same, the y component of the weight x the coefficient of friction.

Steve Shannon
Yep, I can see that. I was thinking that B, due to gravity, would more often make body tube contact with the rail (body tubes do get scraped up from rubbing on the rail.). So, two fiction coefficients at play: lug on rail, and body tube on rail. Very minor, I am sure.

5. Originally Posted by Buckeye
Yep, I can see that. I was thinking that B, due to gravity, would more often make body tube contact with the rail (body tubes do get scraped up from rubbing on the rail.). So, two fiction coefficients at play: lug on rail, and body tube on rail. Very minor, I am sure.
You're right, if your buttons allow your body tube to contact the rail that is another source of friction. That's more likely with the 1010 rails than the original Blacksky rails which weren't much wider than the buttons.
When I set up the pads at our launch I'm more driven by the following:
1. When the rail folds down it must point away from the spectators.
2. I don't want the rail between the spectators and the rocket because it might be a distraction in photos. (Not a huge concern, but why not).
3. I always tilt the upright rail slightly away from the flight line.

Those criteria result in the rocket laying on the rail instead of being suspended from it.

Steve Shannon

6. +1 on that. We do all the same things with all of our club rails. The only angle is slightly away from the spectator area, otherwise they stay vertical.

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