1971 Onboard Rocket Movies!

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jmmome

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As seniors in 1971 at Cardinal Stritch High School, Oregon OH, Kirk Packo and I built and flew a scratch-built-from-Centuri-parts two stage rocket powered by two "F" motors on the first stage, and a single "F" motor on the upper stage. A one pound Kodak 18fps 8mm movie camera from a pawn shop, affixed with a front surface 45 degree angle mirror, caught the action looking down- Kirk's brilliant idea for the mirror.

Not great visual quality compared to today's mini camcorders, but it was a fun accomplishment for two 17 year olds with just enough knowledge to pull this off.

My thanks to Dr. Packo for finding the film after all these years and creating a wonderful video from them!

 

BABAR

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That was quite an accomplishment at that time!
 

John Cummings

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Amazing accomplishment back then (and even so today)! Would love seeing more 17 yr olds doing these things...

Are there any pictures of the rocket itself?
 

jmmome

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vlcsnap-2019-10-21-12h18m31s934.png

It would have been very similar to my 1977 "CINEMA 2" rocket, although the booster fins were of a different shape. I slotted the top of the booster section several inches, and the upper section rested in those slots during ascent.

I remember using trainer's athletic cloth tape and Elmer's Glue on the fin/body tube joints to make a poor man's fiberglassing reinforcement back then. Don't know where the original rocket went- probably to a landfill when I went to college.

Here's a link to this 1977 YouTube launch video:
 

aerostadt

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Film leaves quite a bit to be desired by today's standards, but was quite an accomplishment back then in the good old days.
 

John Cummings

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I enjoyed the period “Photomat Transfer Service” logo!

Not familiar with the Centuri (Enerjet?) “F”s of that period but I assume they were black powder motors and staging was handled in the traditional manner?

Thanks for sharing!
 

jmmome

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Black power- I think about 1 1/8" dia. x 8" long. Generated about 40 pounds of thrust each as I recall. Since there were two booster and only one main stage motor and thus not two motors in line with each other, I needed to use some nichrome quick-burning fuse between booster and main stage motors to ignite the main stage motor.
 

ewomack

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1971?!? Wow, I was barely alive. I've also worked with film in the past (both 8mm and 16mm) and I can vouch for its fussiness as a medium. I thought attaching a key-chain video camera to a rocket was a big enough deal, but getting a film camera to actually work on a launched rocket almost 50 years ago makes that look like a joyful frolic in the garden. That's awesome footage and an impressive feat. I'm glad the film survived into the digital age - not all of mine did.
 

aerostadt

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In about 1965 Centuri introduced the Min-Max motors, which were Black Powder E and F-motors. I had a one or two of the smaller end-buring E-motors and they were wimpy. I could not get them to do anything with regard to lifting a rocket. On the other hand the large port-burning F-motors packed a wallop for the those days. They produced from around 20 pounds to 40 pounds of thrust. In about the 1972 time -frame Centuri introduced the Enerjet E and F-motors, which were single-use composite motors very similar to what we have today.
 

jmmome

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I think the 8mm film lasted for about three minutes or so. I chuckle now when I get antsy as my rockets sits on the pad for 10 or 15 minutes with the 60fps camcorder running and probably 60+ minutes of power in the Mobius' battery.

As a kid, I started with the Camroc, but quickly wanted a movie- not just one still photo. But that still photo was better quality than any frame capture from the 18fps Kodak movie camera launches. I'll see if I can dig up a Camroc photo of mine from the late 60's- seems like you had to mail the exposed cartridge back to Estes maybe? It's been a LONG time and that memory is fuzzy.................
 

JimJarvis50

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In about 1965 Centuri introduced the Min-Max motors, which were Black Powder E and F-motors. I had a one or two of the smaller end-buring E-motors and they were wimpy. I could not get them to do anything with regard to lifting a rocket. On the other hand the large port-burning F-motors packed a wallop for the those days. They produced from around 20 pounds to 40 pounds of thrust. In about the 1972 time -frame Centuri introduced the Enerjet E and F-motors, which were single-use composite motors very similar to what we have today.
I always wanted some of those Min-Max motors but couldn't afford the rail transportation. When I look at late 60's Centuri catalogs, I still drool over them.

Excellent project on the videos! Very ambitious. I'm glad you have them saved. I had a couple of Camroc photos, which would have been from 67/68 time frame? Somehow, they have gone missing. I go looking every now and then, but no joy.

Jim
 

prfesser

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Somewhere I have a video of an Astrocam upscale---Videocam, I think it was called---on an L sparky motor, one of Jim Mitchell's "Yellow Jacket" motors. Would have been considerably later, around 1996 or so.

Best -- Terry
 

jmmome

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Love to see it- please post if you can find it. I looked and looked for the Camroc photo- no joy.
 

Greg Furtman

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As seniors in 1971 at Cardinal Stritch High School, Oregon OH, Kirk Packo and I built and flew a scratch-built-from-Centuri-parts two stage rocket powered by two "F" motors on the first stage, and a single "F" motor on the upper stage. A one pound Kodak 18fps 8mm movie camera from a pawn shop, affixed with a front surface 45 degree angle mirror, caught the action looking down- Kirk's brilliant idea for the mirror.

Not great visual quality compared to today's mini camcorders, but it was a fun accomplishment for two 17 year olds with just enough knowledge to pull this off.

My thanks to Dr. Packo for finding the film after all these years and creating a wonderful video from them!

Can you find a pic of the Kodak camera on the web & post it? I'm curious.
 

jmmome

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It was probably this camera, or maybe an earlier version of it. Kodak Hawkeye 8mm. Got rid of the actual camera years ago. Bulky, and about one pound, as I recall. We got it at a local pawn shop, so we had no idea how old or new it was.

shopping.jpg
 

jmmome

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Just cut two holes in the payload section body tube and slid it through- lens pointing out. Taped it in place- probably with masking tape or cloth trainers tape. A 45 degree angle front surface mirror allowed the Kodak to look down the rocket.
 

Falcon195

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Jmmome Were those flights done at Stritch? I currently live in Oregon.
 

jmmome

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They were! We almost put the rocket through the school window, when we foolish 17 year olds decided to launch between the two wings of the school- all glass walls. What could go wrong..........lol.

I now live in Maumee- we should get together to launch sometime. My normal launch site is with JMRC at MIS Speedway. Once a year I go to Three Oaks MI to launch the big stuff.

If you want, check out my YouTube channel..........jmomenee
 

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How was those motor ignited? Seems like a big delay from first seeing sparks and smoke and the motors actually firing?
 

jmmome

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We used a quick-burning fuse which was wrapped with nichrome wire- can't recall where we purchased it back then. With only one motor on the second stage and two on the first- no two motors were inline- that was the only way to ignite the second stage.
 
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