1/5 Scale Nike Hercules Build Thread

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tjsnakez

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Ok, I’m more of a lurker on TRF than anything else, but I HAD to do a classic build thread for this rocket.

For a little backstory, I’ve been in rocketry since 1999 (age 5), and high power since 2004 (age 10). Growing up I had the extreme rocketry LDRS 20 VHS I used to watch over and over again. For those unfamiliar, Wedge Oldham built a massive 1/3 scale Nike Hercules that was absolutely beautiful. (And you can still check it out at nikeproject.com)
I knew someday I wanted to make one of my own.

When I was around 15 or so I had decided to was going to build my own 1/5 scale Herc. I spent forever working out the details and finally realized I didn’t have the money, or the skills necessary to pull that project off at that time and scrapped it.

Fast forward to 2019: I had decided the big Herc was happening and I purchased the motors I planned on using to hold myself accountable. Still nothing. Well come 2022, it is finally happening!

I am in a lot of ways copying the way Wedge built his big Nike. But to his credit, he came up with great solutions for some of the problems the Nike Hercules presents itself with.

General Overview

It should come out to around 8’ tall. 6” diameter sustainer and a booster comprised of (5) 3” tubes. The plan is to fly it at Airfest this year on a cluster of (4) J350W’s staging to a J415W.
If it ends up lighter than I am anticipating, I may swap out two of the J350’s for I180’s instead.

The booster chute will deploy from the rear using a Fetherweight Raven. The Raven will also handle the separation charge.

Staging will be done using an old Perfectflite MiniTimer3 coupled with the new rocket Tiltometer for safety. Dual perfectflite altimeters will be used for deployment.

I’m going to try and build this as I would have if I built it in 2009. Glassed paper and phenolic. Aircraft ply. Mirror clips for retention. Fun stuff!

I’m not much of scale modeler, but I will be trying my best to keep things at least proportionally correct. I will be cheating and using a standard 4:1 PML nosecone, because I don’t feel like turning my own.

Ok, enough rambling! Time for pics!
 

tjsnakez

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I cut the centering rings for the booster and then drew a quick template to figure out the notch needed to fit around the central 3” recovery tube. More on that later.
 

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tjsnakez

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I started by cutting the tubes to length and then glassed them all with fiberglass sleeve from soller composites. I went with sleeves because laying up 6 tubes by hand sounded like a nightmare. This is my first time using a sleeve and I loved it! The tubes were wrapped with Mylar and squeegeed out to a beautiful glossy finish!
 

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tjsnakez

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So here is the booster. Four 3” LOC tubes were notched to fit around a central 3” PML phenolic tube. This allows for a simple recovery arrangement using the middle tube, with motors in the outer tubes. I went with phenolic in the middle for a bit of added strength and preference of coupler fitment.
 

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tjsnakez

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Here you can see the booster and sustainer motor mounts ready for fillets! The sustainer has stepped rings to follow the profile of the tapered aft section. I will skin it with phenolic and glass over it.

Ok that’s all for now! Time to work more on the rocket!
 

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UPscaler

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Here you can see the booster and sustainer motor mounts ready for fillets! The sustainer has stepped rings to follow the profile of the tapered aft section. I will skin it with phenolic and glass over it.

Ok that’s all for now! Time to work more on the rocket!
Wow that's a big nosecone and coupler in the background there.

I wonder what that's for.

Braden
 

aerostadt

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As you might know there is another 1/5 scale Nike Hercules that is proceeding on TRF right now.

 

tjsnakez

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As you might know there is another 1/5 scale Nike Hercules that is proceeding on TRF right now.

I saw that. That's one heavy herc!
 
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tjsnakez

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A little update on this project. I quickly realized I had forgot to run conduit for the igniter wires and tubes for the coupling support rods. So I drilled some ugly holes with a very long drill bit and got everything squared away! Got kinda sloppy with the epoxy, but the heavier the better for this rocket. I’m still way under my projected weight so far.

You can see I threw together a tray for the electronics to go. That will be accessed through a hatch in the airframe.
92A63A3D-9639-43E4-99DE-9448EE695BB3.jpeg 22665058-EF48-4980-8874-626A5883E049.jpeg
 

tjsnakez

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Next I figured the circumference on the top and bottom diameters of the tailcone section and divided by six to cut the skins for it. Since I cut them out of 6” phenolic I made a relieve cut in the aft end to make it conform to the smaller diameter.

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UPscaler

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A little update on this project. I quickly realized I had forgot to run conduit for the igniter wires and tubes for the coupling support rods. So I drilled some ugly holes with a very long drill bit and got everything squared away! Got kinda sloppy with the epoxy, but the heavier the better for this rocket. I’m still way under my projected weight so far.

You can see I threw together a tray for the electronics to go. That will be accessed through a hatch in the airframe.
View attachment 520970 View attachment 520971
Wow, forgot the conduit.

Are you even qualified to build something of this caliber? SMH :(

Braden
 

tjsnakez

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Wow, forgot the conduit.

Are you even qualified to build something of this caliber? SMH :(

Braden
I need to fly more single stage rockets with conduit to prove I’m ready for a two stage, huh? :( And more J350’s - that’s usually the answer
 

tjsnakez

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@tjsnakez - keep building. You will find so many people full of advice on this forum - some well meaning and some well meaning but couldn't be socially graceful if their life depended on it. It's your hobby too. Build what you want. Invest in what you want.
Thanks! However, Braden is just trolling me :) we are good friends making fun of people who put down others and gate-keep in the hobby.
I agree though, build what you want and have fun!
 
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