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  1. #1
    Join Date
    2nd September 2017
    Location
    Duluth Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    5

    1st rocket for my grandson

    I am planing on buying my grandson a kit for his birthday (12 yr). There is an athletic field a block from his house that would make a great launch area, but a poor recovery area due to a nearby highway. I have been looking for kit/motor combinations to have a fairly low max altitude to minimize drift, but I am getting lost on figuring out how high a given rocket will go with various recommended engines. Also, I am looking for opinions on wither the launch site is usable at all.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks, Dale


  2. #2
    Join Date
    17th February 2014
    Posts
    652
    As a rule of thumb, fat (larger diameter rockets) stay low. Estes crayon, Freefall, Big Daddy, Der Red Max are examples. If you launch one of those on their recommended smaller motors, they won't go too high. On the flip side, a small Estes gnome will go pretty high on a small A motor.

    You can poke around the Estes website and look at the recommended motors and altitude ranges for different rockets. For instance, with a Der Red Max Estes website says Recommended Engines : B6-2, (first launch), B4-2, B4-4, B6-4, C6-5 Projected Max Altitude: 600 ft. (183 m)

    You can use thrustcurve.org to get a table of altitudes for different rockets and motors from the MOTOR GUIDE section.
    Again, using a Der Red Max, for example:
    Body diameter: 1.64 inches
    Dry Weight: 2.4 oz (68g) This is the weight without the motor.
    MMT diameter: 18mm (this is the diameter of the motors it can take)
    MMT length: This doesn't really matter. Just put in 6"
    Complexity: simple
    Finish: average
    Moto Mfr: Estes Industries
    Motor type: All
    Certified by: All

    You get this table:

    .............Motor ................Weight .......Launch .......Velocity ......Accel .........Altitude .......Time ....Delay
    Motor Weight Launch Velocity Accel Altitude Time Delay
    Estes B6 2.9oz 49ft/s 137ft/s 14.0G 256ft 4.0s 3s
    W Estes C5 3.3oz 56ft/s 211ft/s 23.2G 584ft 5.8s 4s
    W Estes C6 3.2oz 49ft/s 219ft/s 13.9G 597ft 6.0s 4s

    If you really wanted to be safe, you could get a B6-4. at 256 feet max altitude, that will hardly drift. On a windless day, you could do the C6-5 and send it up to 600 feet.
    Your grandson can change the finish selection and see how putting a nice smooth paint job on affects the performance.

    A Big Daddy is 3" around and takes the big 24mm C and D motors. Lots of smoke and noise with not too much altitude. Those are fun for small fields.

    NAR
    L1: 2/2/13, Madcow 4" Patriot. CTI H143
    L2: 9/2/14, Madcow 4" AGM33 Pike. CTI J335. 2,878 ft, 418 mph
    L3: 1/7/17, Wildman Drago XL. AT M1500. 13,559 ft, 1,017 mph, Mach 1.2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    17th February 2014
    Posts
    652
    On the flip side for an Estes Gnome
    From Estes:
    Length: 10.25 in. (26 cm)
    Diameter: .54 in. (14 mm)
    Estimated Weight: .5 oz. (14.2 g)

    Recommended Engines: 1/2A3-2T, 1/2A3-4T (First Flight), A3-4T, A10-3T
    Projected Max Altitude: 800 ft. (244 m)

    From Thrustcurve:
    .......................Motor ................Weight .......Launch .......Velocity ......Accel .......Altitude ...Time ....Delay

    W Estes 1/4A3 0.7oz 65ft/s 89ft/s 24.4G 120ft 2.8s 3s
    W Estes 1/2A3 0.7oz 81ft/s 165ft/s 37.6G 346ft 4.6s 4s
    Estes A10 0.8oz 84ft/s 256ft/s 55.7G 725ft 6.3s 5s
    W Estes A3 0.8oz 69ft/s 287ft/s 25.7G 832ft 6.8s 6s
    NAR
    L1: 2/2/13, Madcow 4" Patriot. CTI H143
    L2: 9/2/14, Madcow 4" AGM33 Pike. CTI J335. 2,878 ft, 418 mph
    L3: 1/7/17, Wildman Drago XL. AT M1500. 13,559 ft, 1,017 mph, Mach 1.2

  4. #4
    Join Date
    14th March 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,443
    And you can use a streamer instead of a parachute. Streamers really cut down on drift and the rockets descend faster than on a parachute. You can use crepe paper streamers sold at party stores as it must be fireproof by law.
    Zeus-cat
    NAR# 92125 L1
    Total Impulse for 2018: 987.5 N/s Flights: 46
    2018: A:10, B:3, C:14, D:12, E:4, F:1, G: I have now launched a G motor, H:0, I:1

  5. #5
    Join Date
    2nd September 2017
    Location
    Duluth Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    5
    That thrust calculator was very helpful. In the process of researching local park rules, I found that a park about 1/2 mile away is used by school science clubs as a launch site. That cures my highway concerns. A rocket coming down in someones back yard is an oops, one coming down on the hood of a car going 50 MPH is a OHHH SH*T!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    2nd September 2017
    Location
    Duluth Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    5
    That was in the back of my mind as a solution.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    2nd September 2017
    Location
    Duluth Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    5
    And you can use a streamer instead of a parachute. Streamers really cut down on drift and the rockets descend faster than on a parachute. You can use crepe paper streamers sold at party stores as it must be fireproof by law.
    That was in the back of my mind as a solution.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    6th June 2009
    Location
    Middle of the Mitten, MI
    Posts
    2,334
    Good point on streamers allowing faster descent and as a result cutting down on drift, but keep in mind with that higher descent speed you may get some dinged-up fins on landing.

    On a small field such as a football or baseball field surrounded by trees and-or highways, you'll want to keep a close eye on wind direction and speed.

    Remember most rockets tend to weathercock, that is, curve into the direction of the wind, while under power, then drift along WITH the wind after ejection.

    It's actually common for more seasoned rocketeers to tilt their launch rod into the direction of a light breeze, so the rocket will weathercock and curve into a low upwind trajectory, then when the chute/streamer ejects, it drifts right back down into your lap.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    16th September 2015
    Posts
    116
    If you're looking for something easy to make and fun to launch take a look at Art Applewhite's free paper rockets at www.artapplewhite.com. I had our vacation bible school kids build and fly these last summer. I still launch one in the back yard here at home when I just feel like making some smoke! Estes crayon rockets are great flyers on A and B motors but they're ready to fly so he's not going to get much building experience. Any BT60 based kit that builds out to 3 - 5 ounces would work well on an athletic field on A or B motors.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    6th June 2009
    Location
    Middle of the Mitten, MI
    Posts
    2,334
    Another good strategy to keep in mind is to make your first launch with the smallest recommended motor for the given rocket; that gives you a chance to keep an eye on it and see how it behaves in flight, especially in terms of weathercocking and chute drift. If you misjudge wind direction, etc etc, probably your worst case scenario is a walk of a couple hundred feet.

    If you crank up with a more powerful motor, if you misjudge the wind, it may be na-na, hey-heyy-hey, goodbye.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    14th August 2017
    Location
    Salt lake valley ut
    Posts
    32
    [QUOTE=Scott_650;1724393]If you're looking for something easy to make and fun to launch take a look at Art Applewhite's free paper rockets at www.artapplewhite.com.

    Applewhites flying saucer rockets are a good bet for low altitude plus lots of smoke and visual appeal. I have not tried his free paper rockets though.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    6th March 2010
    Location
    Amesbury, MA
    Posts
    2,031
    Take a look at the dooDad kit from Fliskits and any of their other Skill Level 1 kits. The dooDad and other Jig-Tech finned rockets are almost fool-proof to build and fin alignment is automatic. Great small field rockets that can be boosted higher when you're in the right place.
    KENN BLADE
    NAR #80160
    CMASS President
    MMMSC Ambassador-at-Large
    NAR S&T Member

  13. #13
    Join Date
    5th December 2013
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    7,525
    As for the field, it is plenty long enough, but the width is a kicker. As a rule of thumb, one should not plan to go higher than twice the distance of the smallest part of the field. For you, that looks like about 300' max altitude, which isn't much. Any larger options within the region?

    John S. ---- NAR #96911 ---- TRA #15253 ---- MDRA #067
    L1, 3/15/14: Aerotech Sumo, CTI H133BS
    L2, 6/21/14: Giant Leap Vertical Assault, CTI J240RL
    L3, 3/12/16: MAC Performance Radial Flyer, CTI M1101WH
    Altitude: 13,028', L3 flight; Speed: Mach ???, L3 flight

  14. #14
    Join Date
    2nd September 2017
    Location
    Duluth Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by KennB View Post
    Take a look at the dooDad kit from Fliskits and any of their other Skill Level 1 kits. The dooDad and other Jig-Tech finned rockets are almost fool-proof to build and fin alignment is automatic. Great small field rockets that can be boosted higher when you're in the right place.
    I settled on an Este Taser starter kit, mainly to get the launch equipment cheap, and a Este Viking level 1 as a first "project" rocket. I also got a pack of A8-3's for a minimum power first flight, and a pack of of B6-4's for a medium power second launch for both of them.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    15th October 2016
    Location
    Huntsville AL
    Posts
    2,274
    For the day when you decide you both want a Launchpad and launcher each ( ), Check out the Tandem-X launch set. It's got a great E2X (Amazon) and Skill-1 rocket (Crossfire). [Although Estes now calls them Skill-2 and 3 respectively.......]

    If you've got a Hobby Lobby nearby, use the 40% coupon.
    "I'm at least 70% confident about whatever I say (90% of the time)"- college me

    NAR 101195
    Level 1: Big SAM, 9/10/16

  16. #16
    Join Date
    15th October 2015
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,376
    Taser - good choice. It flies great on A8-3s, up to 200-ish feet. Starts getting altitude with Bs. REALLY gets up there on Cs.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_9K_qXhL0U


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtT9nRIKbU4


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBJaKAs0x3M
    NAR L1 - Optima 3" upscale/CTI H133 @ NYPower 20, May 28, 2016
    My YouTube channel

  17. #17
    Join Date
    30th January 2016
    Location
    US > OK > NE
    Posts
    3,926
    Quote Originally Posted by Cabernut View Post
    Taser - good choice. It flies great on A8-3s, up to 200-ish feet. Starts getting altitude with Bs. REALLY gets up there on Cs.
    d10, for science? :-)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    27th August 2011
    Location
    West Tennessee
    Posts
    2,865
    Quote Originally Posted by Grandpa_Dale View Post
    I settled on an Este Taser starter kit, mainly to get the launch equipment cheap, and a Este Viking level 1 as a first "project" rocket. I also got a pack of A8-3's for a minimum power first flight, and a pack of of B6-4's for a medium power second launch for both of them.
    For a cool look and less damage on landings, consider putting the Viking fins on swept forward the nstead of back. This way the rocket hits the ground engine butt first. Nobody cares if you ding an engine casing.

    It is amazing what you can do when you don't have a choice.

    Smart people learn from their mistakes.
    REALLY SMART PEOPLE learn from OTHERS' mistakes.

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