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  1. #1

    Homemade rocket larger than the "big bertha" commercial kit

    Hi,
    I'm new to the forums, and I'm looking to build a very large rocket. I've built several kit rockets, and made a few dozen on my own from scratch already. Largest so far was 36 inches tall. I want to build a really big one now, like 5 or 6 feet from tip of fins to tip of nose, any suggestions?

    I think one more powerful engine may be better than a few staged ones in this case, but again, I'm new to rockets of this size.

    I'm not looking to make anything that uses metal or plastic (except for the nose and possibly the fins)

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    29th July 2012
    Location
    Belleville, IL
    Posts
    479
    A lot of kit manufacturers make large kits. What size motors have you been using? What materials? Look at some of the kits for 29mm motors to start with larger reloadable motor systems (RMS). Look at the MPR and HPR sub-forums. Lots of good stuff to keep you busy for a year or two. An Estes Mean Machine is 6' long and flies on 24mm motors. There are 6' long rockets that fly on 98mm motors. How crazy do you want to be?
    Don't forget the other differences with size. Model rockets are toys covered with dollar bills, Medium power model rockets are covered with ten dollar bills and high power rockets are covered with hundred dollar bills.
    Welcome to the madhouse, and I hope you have as much fun as we do.
    Last edited by mikemech; 4th March 2014 at 06:23 AM.
    Clear skies and fair winds,
    Mike
    My fleet

    Alpha, Athena, Big Bertha (18 & 24mm), Breakaway, D-Region Tomahawk, Delta Wedge, der Red Max, Eggspress, Fireaero, Flutter-by, Gyroc, Mini Comanche 3, Mini-Max 13 & 18, Mosquito, OverDrive, Ricochet, Sky Hook, Sprite, Starbird, Star Trooper, Super Neon XL, Surveyor, Trifecta, Ventris, Wachamacallit, Warp II

    NAR 31689 SR

  3. #3
    Head on down to your local Fry's if you have one in your area and grab some Pro Series II rockets for $19.99 while they last.
    Full time sign guy, night time BAR.
    http://www.solarartgraphics.com

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by mikemech View Post
    A lot of kit manufacturers make large kits. What size motors have you been using? What materials? Look at some of the kits for 29mm motors to start with larger reloadable motor systems (RMS).
    Largest engines I've used have been D's. Would I need some kind of special license to use a stronger one than that?

    Materials have been wooden fins, plastic nose cones, and cardboard tubing. Not shifty paper towel roll cardboard, they were tubes intended for model rockets.
    Last edited by BassetsForBrown; 4th March 2014 at 06:26 AM.

  5. #5
    You could have a lot of Fun with an Aerotech G-Force. You won't need Level 1 Cert or a Waiver to fly up to G-80 Composite Motors, and it's nice and Big. You can find them for around $64.00 online usually.
    To date, the G-Force is the largest I've flown, but sadly, after 7ish or so Launches, mine ended up in a Tree too large. First time it was Treed I cut it down with a Chainsaw.

    LOC Precision has some great offerings in the size range you are looking for too.

    Welcome Aboard.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TopRamen View Post
    You could have a lot of Fun with an Aerotech G-Force. You won't need Level 1 Cert or a Waiver to fly up to G-80 Composite Motors, and it's nice and Big. You can find them for around $64.00 online usually.
    To date, the G-Force is the largest I've flown, but sadly, after 7ish or so Launches, mine ended up in a Tree too large. First time it was Treed I cut it down with a Chainsaw.

    LOC Precision has some great offerings in the size range you are looking for too.

    Welcome Aboard.
    $64 is the cost for the rocket, not per motor right? If that's the cost of a motor, it's too much to pay per launch for me haha.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BassetsForBrown View Post
    $64 is the cost for the rocket, not per motor right? If that's the cost of a motor, it's too much to pay per launch for me haha.


    Cost of the Rocket Kit. You really should go check out the Aerotech Site and the LOC Precision Site. Good Stuff.

    Here you go.

    http://www.aerotech-rocketry.com/

    http://www.locprecision.com/
    Last edited by TopRamen; 4th March 2014 at 07:27 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by slipperyfrog View Post
    Head on down to your local Fry's if you have one in your area and grab some Pro Series II rockets for $19.99 while they last.
    This is pretty good advice. An Estes Partizon is 56" tall, nearly 5 feet. It uses 29 mm motors. Right now those are 10 bucks at Fry's, usually more than that. You can get 29 mm EconoJet motors for around $26 for 2 at Hobbylinc.

    If you want to keep it economical and step up to larger rockets, try a Maxi Alpha 3 for less than $20 at Hobbylinc. http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/est/est1903.htm

    It's cheap and easy to build. I'd recommend epoxy fillets for the cheap plastic fins. I added a 14" BT-80 payload section to make the whole rocket around 4 feet tall.

    That way you can use economical E9 and E12 motors:
    http://www.hobbylinc.com/estes_e9-4_...et_engine_1673
    http://www.hobbylinc.com/estes_e12-4...et_engine_1692

    You can even try your first composite E20 motors:
    http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/aro/aro52007.htm

    Or if conditions are not great, you can still use a D12.

    It's a good way to break into larger rockets without breaking the bank or skipping too many steps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    27th September 2010
    Location
    South Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    6,515
    Where are you from by the way? Have you looked into any local clubs? Keep in mind that larger rockets require larger launch pads, and the composite motors referred to require 12v launch systems. Welcome to the forum.
    Unstable by design
    www.wooshrocketry.org NAR Sec. 558
    WOOSH Rocketry (mostly) on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/guytogo75?feature=mhee

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by chadrog View Post
    Where are you from by the way? Have you looked into any local clubs? Keep in mind that larger rockets require larger launch pads, and the composite motors referred to require 12v launch systems. Welcome to the forum.


    Good Point about the larger Pads, but lets face it, you can make a 12V Launch Controller with some Speaker Wire, (30ft. Minimum for Safety!) and 2 6V Lantern Batteries. That's how I used to do it before I baught an Aerotech Interlock Controller, which I switched to Alligator Clips. I still use 2 6V Lantern Batteries wired together.

    BassettsForBrown, spend some Time here and see what others have done as far as building their own Gear like Pads and whatnot. When you get into Launching from a Rail, you can find a 6' Length of 1010 Rail for under $30 online.
    Check out the "Ground Support" Section here.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    27th August 2011
    Location
    West Tennessee
    Posts
    1,953
    If it is mainly size you are after, consider FlisKits Decaffienator (about 6 feet) or Richter Recker (over 7 feet.) 6 foot Estes Mean Machine is available on Amazon but at $31 a bit pricey. Given you have scratch building skills, a mean machine clone would not be difficult, and you can pick a motor mount that would fit the engines available at your local hobby store.
    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.

  12. #12
    Hey Bassets', Hobbylinc just sent me their weekly Email about their Sale Items and they have the Aerotech G-Force for $59.99.

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