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My first fiberglass rocket!


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  1. #1
    Join Date
    1st July 2013
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    Portland, OR
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    My first fiberglass rocket!

    A while ago I posted in this thread asking what to use to glue fiberglass together. Since then my girlfriend and I started working on our new fiberglass rocket. This is a first for both of us, and we are going to launch it with an F engine at first but I thought it would be more relelant in the HPR discussion since it's a fiberglass rocket and many of the building materials we used are more relavant to high power rockets, but I'm happy to move it if people would like. Since it is around the 4th of july (we actually started working on it on the 4th), we are going to make it an America themed rocket... specifically Captain America

    Anyway, the first thing I did was get the engine retainer on the engine tube... I ordered the size too small from Apogee. Since the rocket kit wasn't branded I wasn't sure wich size retainer to get. Because of that I bought the medium retainer which was a bit too small. I tried to sand the retainer and the engine tube a bit, but I don't have a dremmel of my own which made it rather difficult. I ended up essentially press fitting the engine mount onto the tube, using a vice, without JB weld since the fit was so tight.
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    We JB welded the bulk head to the engine mount and primed it and the end of the rocket tube with high temperature spray paint.
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    The only shock chord we had laying around was a bit too small, but we drilled a hole in the upper bulk head to attach it. We are just using the shock chord to connect the nose cone, but not the parachute because I don't think it can handle the weight of the whole rocket.
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    Here's some more of my girlfriend getting ready to put the fins on. For this we used some Loctite marine epoxy which as a two hour setting time and a 24hr curing time. After securing the fins and waiting about three hours I noticed that one of them was crooked. This was my first time using epoxy and fiberglass... so I was freaking out. I was able to cut some of the epoxy off using a utility knife and then, luckily, I was able to break the rest of it without damaging the fin. It was very lucky.
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    By the end of the first day of working on this my girlfriend and I had gotten it assembled and three coats of primer (which was all the primer we planned on using).
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    16th January 2011
    Location
    Spring Green WI
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    1,326
    hhh
    Last edited by crossfire; 6th July 2013 at 02:15 PM.
    TFRLLC
    TRA 2225
    TWA
    QCRS
    WOOSH

  3. #3
    Join Date
    16th January 2011
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    Spring Green WI
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    IS this rocket a Jart? You can fly this on many different reloads even J reloads.Have fun
    Gary
    TFRLLC
    TRA 2225
    TWA
    QCRS
    WOOSH

  4. #4
    Is that shock cord the elastic type? If so, I would like to recommend that you replace it with something better; like nylon or Kevlar. Elastic and fiberglass are a recipe for disaster... at any level beyond the Estes and Quest kits.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster, and if you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #5
    As far as I understood you are going to attach the nose cone to the bulkhead, but you will not connect the chute to the nosecone?

    You are aware that normally the nosecone is used to pull out the chute?

    So, unless you use a piston, you should reconsidering your shockcord configuration.

    And if the cord can not handle the weight of the rocket, it is likely that it can not stop the nose cone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    21st April 2010
    Location
    So central WI, USA
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    3,440
    assuming that this is a Wildman jart, a)there isn't room for a piston b) the chute is not directly attached to the nose (it is attached to the shock cord(which is usually 15'(yes I said 15') of 1/8" Kevlar) c)check your cg in flight configuration (with motor) most Jarts need nose weight(hold off painting the nose until after you get the proper balance ). all that said, Jarts fly nicely with an F40, F50, F52, they tend to try and get lost on G's.
    rex

  7. #7
    Join Date
    21st April 2010
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    So central WI, USA
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    oh, and for those wondering about which retainer you need for a Wildman rocket with a 29mm mnt...you need an Aeropack RA29P.
    Rex

  8. #8
    Join Date
    17th May 2011
    Location
    Lancaster, NY
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    2,370
    Two bits of advice. Ditch the elastic, and to keep the fins on straight, print out a fin alignment guide at www.payloadbay.com, trace it on cardboard and make a jig to hold them in place

    And yea, That looks a whole lot like a Jart.
    David McCann
    Dave's Rockets
    URRG / Level 2 / TRA# 14210

  9. #9
    Join Date
    1st July 2013
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    62
    Quote Originally Posted by DizWolf View Post
    Two bits of advice. Ditch the elastic, and to keep the fins on straight, print out a fin alignment guide at www.payloadbay.com, trace it on cardboard and make a jig to hold them in place

    And yea, That looks a whole lot like a Jart.
    Thanks for the advice about the elastic. I didn't know that. I will use a piece of spectra instead. I actually started working on one already. Anyway, here's photos of some more progress that we made on it.

    Here is my girlfriend taping off the rocket for painting. Taping is her field, and painting is mine so it works out really good.

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    And here is what it looks like after we did the red paint. We still have plans for painting the fins blue and I'll post some photos of it when it's completely done. Also, we did not clear coat the body yet, and that's why the nose cone looks a little different.

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    Hope you guys like it. I will post photos of the parachute and "shock chord" which will now be spectra para-chord (since that's what I had laying around. Will it be ok for me to epoxy the para chord to the rocket... Since I can't run it through the holes I drilled for the original shock chord. Thanks for all the advice so far - it's really helpful, and I hope everyone likes the photos.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    1st July 2013
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    Today my girlfriend and I worked some more on the paint. We taped off the body of the rocket and then painted the fins blue. The only things we have left to do are the body's clear coat, the heat resistant paint on the bottom of the rocket, and then finally we will need to attach the chord holding the parachute. We are using a 15" parachute because we wanted something small that will let the rocket descend fast. We usually launch in pretty small fields and this way it won't have too long to get lost or caught in trees.

    Here's the parachute apparatus that is 4th of July themed to match the rocket. We flame proofed the american flag and it will double as the parachute protector as well as a nice decoration as the rocket descends. The flag also serves as extra mass up high to make the rocket a little more stable.
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    And here are the photos of the fins paint job. Again, we still need a clear coat but it is looking good.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    16th January 2011
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    Spring Green WI
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    You guys did a very nice job building the rocket. The paint job is sharp. What size motor are you going to use for its first flight?
    GAry
    TFRLLC
    TRA 2225
    TWA
    QCRS
    WOOSH

  12. #12
    Join Date
    1st July 2013
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossfire View Post
    You guys did a very nice job building the rocket. The paint job is sharp. What size motor are you going to use for its first flight?
    GAry
    Thanks a lot, Gary. We are planning on using a CTI F59 for the first flight and then working our way up from that. According to OpenRocket it should go about 865ft.
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    The thumbnail below is what it looked like before I figured out how to adjust the deployment charge time. Even thought I have it set at the apogee in the simulation I do not know how to figure out how much to shorten it by in real life. I may export the data to excel and then look at the numbers to figure out what the delay should be.
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    Last edited by kjmccarx; 9th July 2013 at 06:33 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    21st April 2010
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    So central WI, USA
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    you'll need to shorten the delay by about 6 sec.
    rex

  14. #14
    Join Date
    1st July 2013
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    Portland, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex R View Post
    you'll need to shorten the delay by about 6 sec.
    rex
    Yeah, about 5.5 seconds. Here's the final photo of this rocket. It turned out well.
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    Last edited by kjmccarx; 10th July 2013 at 06:43 AM.

  15. Nice Build Hope she flies well
    Jr Level 1 Here I Come!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    1st July 2013
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    62
    We did the launch earlier today. Here's the HD photos!

    Here we are setting up for the launch. We made sure to have out fire extinguisher ready because of the fresh-cut, dry grass.


    WE HAVE LIFTOFF!


    here's a 1920x1080 wallpaper... if anyone wants is: http://bit.ly/18wAFRO

    The chute is deployed, as well as the USA flag.


    In the end we connected the spectra shock chord to the rocket via the rail button nut, and it worked out great. This was a launch of many firsts for my girlfriend and I: First fiberglass rocket, first re-loadable engine, first static shock chord, first x-form parachute, first rail launch, and first time using an engine retainer. Thanks for all of the constructive feedback throughout the process - it wouldn't have been nearly as successful without all of the help I got from TRF. I'll definitely keep posting my future rocket so people can criticize, compliment, and look.

    'Til next time
    Last edited by kjmccarx; 23rd July 2013 at 06:30 AM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    27th September 2010
    Location
    South Milwaukee, WI
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    6,502
    Am I seeing that correctly? The full blast of your motor firing directly into dry grass? Please tell me there's an optical illusion in there somewhere! Rocket looks great, BTW.
    Unstable by design
    www.wooshrocketry.org NAR Sec. 558
    WOOSH Rocketry (mostly) on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/guytogo75?feature=mhee

  18. #18
    Join Date
    1st July 2013
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadrog View Post
    Am I seeing that correctly? The full blast of your motor firing directly into dry grass? Please tell me there's an optical illusion in there somewhere! Rocket looks great, BTW.
    Yes! Optical illusion. The rocket is in a clear spot, and on a large launch pad. I though it made for a cool photo like this, though.

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