A Dollar Tree Halloween Spider converted into a rocket powered "Flying Saucer"

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,543
Reaction score
376
Last year, there were Halloween "spider web" bowls converted into Flying Saucers. Unfortunately Target did not have them this year, though Dollar Tree did, and so did a Goodwill store.

Anyway, I saw a Halloween Spider at Dollar Tree the other week and decided to try that as a "saucer". It is a plastic frame skeleton that has a lot of fuzzy "tinsel" like stuff attached to it.



Conversion was very simple, the spider itself required no cutting, only gluing. I balanced it on my finger, and it happened to balance right at an intersection of the frame. I used the theory that wherever it balanced laterally, would be roughly equal to the center of frontal area and center of lateral drag.

It met two key design engineering technical criteria. One being that it passed the T.L.A.R. test (That Looks About Right). Also, it was rated as 90% likely to work, by "GeorgeSim". I often use GeorgeSim for rockets that RockSim cries uncle in trying to figure out.

So, got to fly it at a launch Saturday. A number of people had some of the Halloween spider bowl saucers. So, got to take some neat pics.



And the spider, someone named it "Webster", It FLIES! Pretty well. The odd thing is it is almost dead perfect in the pitch axis. It veers to the right in the Yaw axis. I have not figured out exactly why, but suspect there may be a bit less of the tinsel-like stuff on the left side than the right so there may be a drag imbalance.

If anyone wants to make their own and can find it (Dollar Tree stores have moved in a lot of thanksgiving and Christmas stuff and not much Halloween stuff left), here's the basics.



Cut a 2.5" long 18mm tube for the engine month, and glue some sort of disk or plug to the front of it. Used 5 minute epoxy and slather a good bit of epoxy around the frame webbing so the epoxy will cure around them to lock in place. Also epoxy on the front end of the engine tube, on the plugged end. Pug in place dead-center of the cross frames where it balances, and hold it so it is 90 degrees to the bottom of the frame as it cures.

Once cured, get a centering ring, I used 18mm to BT-60 ring. Cut out a gap near the 18mm hold to give plenty of room for the launch lug. Mix up even more epoxy. Slather if into the frame, and also onto the centering ring, then slide the ring on and press it into place as the epoxy cures. but make sure the notch for the launch lug is oriented so that the rod will pass in between the frame webs. After curing, glue a lug to the 18mm tube, aligned for he rod to fit thru between the frame webs.



If you want to, paint the ring/mount/lug black (I cut a 3" hole into a sheet of paper to crudely mask off most of the spider)

DONE. Fly it on B6-0 or C6-0. Do not fly it with anything using a delay and ejection, in case it would land on the ground before ejection.

- George Gassaway





 
Last edited:

K'Tesh

OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2013
Messages
13,946
Reaction score
763
Jumping Spiders! Look Out Peter Parker!!!
 

KenECoyote

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
2,682
Reaction score
73
Awesome! I love it! Also I think I might already have one of those among my Halloween decos. :)
 

rstaff3

Oddroc-eteer
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
11,716
Reaction score
8
Great idea, George. You are the king of dirt cheap Halloween oddrocs.
 

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,543
Reaction score
376
Thanks.

I have done a variety of oddrocs, seasonal or not...... :)

For size reference the body tube is 4" diameter, chute was a big Pumpkin leaf bag (56" long IIRC). Did a few of those, flown all year round.



This one cost TWO bucks for the key parts…

 
Last edited:

K'Tesh

OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2013
Messages
13,946
Reaction score
763
Here in Portland, we have a saying "Put a bird on it". George has a saying too... Put a motor on it. :wink:
 

Daddyisabar

Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
4,533
Reaction score
168
Location
Littleton Colorado
Very cool. the red flame almost looks like a red hour glass shape on the belly, that makes it even scarier!

I also like the T.L.A.R. test. I will have to try that one on our RSO next time, seeing as how the "Mindsim" term for an oddroc went over like a lead Zeppelin a few years back.:( That eventually got jokingly turned into a percentage chance of grievous bodily harm with "Hopesim.":) Even when I tried to say I upgraded my "Mindsim" from DOS to Windows 95 and that I would get a new processor it still did not fly.:( The RSO must have liked Macintosh operating systems. Oh well, nothing beats hard science and a solid computer simulation.

Very dangerous for the odd roc flier to go into the dollar or craft stores where an item on sale seems like a great bargain to make fly, but the epoxy, motor and other material requirements to make it fly can add up fast. Now days once I enter such a store for the kids Halloween costumes I just keep repeating the wisdom of Master Yoda; "keep your mind on where you are at, focused on what you are doing." Do not wander off into a future Mindsim of "Can I make that thing fly." I am also inspired by the don't be like "Arts and crafts Tony Romo" commercial now playing on Direct TV.

But then I see that witch on the broom thing that would be "Wizard of Oz" cool with a long burn smokey motor. Well Jimmy, there you go again! Resistance is futile.
 

burkefj

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,062
Reaction score
365
Nice George, the pumpkin bag chute is great, as is the spider....
 

jadebox

Roger Smith
TRF Sponsor
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
5,617
Reaction score
158
Very cool! As a fan of fuzzy flying spiders, I may have to copy that. :)

-- Roger
 

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,543
Reaction score
376
The leaf bag chute (using the whole bag as a chute), there is a trick , otherwise the Jack-o-Lantern face is upside down.

So, look at how the bottom of the bag is sealed and pleated. Then copy that with the open (normally top) end, using good quality clear package tape. Once done, then you can cut open the bottom of the bag, and attach shroud lines. Another trick I often have done is to use some 1/32" music wire rods, about 3/4" long, for packing tape folded across both sides of the plastic to secure the wire rod horizontally along the bottom edge of the chute, then punch a small hole in the middle (thru the tape and plastic), just above the wire, to tie the shroud line onto the wire. Never had one pull or rip out.

Also, packing those chutes is different. Flatten them, folding to a workable width, and form the "top" end of the chute, start rolling it up, not fold. So when it is ejected, it does not unfold, it unrolls, then slowly starts to inflate. These never "pop" open, they do a slow deploy that takes a few seconds (feature, not a bug).

I also use a small chute, around 12 to 18", as a drogue chute to help to yank the big chute out of the main body in case the ejection does not blow it out (you can jus see it in the pic). For that to work well, the main chute needs to slide out of the tube easily. So, I pack the chute ot a smaller diameter than the inside of the tube (say 3.5" diameter inside of a BT-101), and use a wrap and a half of paper towel to help keep the rolled up chute rolled up, so it will not expand once inserted inside the model.

- George Gassaway
 
Last edited:

rstaff3

Oddroc-eteer
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
11,716
Reaction score
8
The leaf bag chute (using the whole bag as a chute), there is a trick , otherwise the Jack-o-Lantern face is upside down.

So, look at how the bottom of the bag is sealed and pleated. Then copy that with the open (normally top) end, using good quality clear package tape. Once done, then you can cut open the bottom of the bag, and attach shroud lines. Another trick I often have done is to use some 1/32" music wire rods, about 3/4" long, for packing tape to secure horizontally along the bottom edge of the chute, then punch a small hole in the middle (thru the tape and plastic), just above the wire, to tie the shroud line onto the wire. Never had one pull or rip out.

Also, packing those chutes is different. Flatten them, folding to a workable width, and form the "top" end of the chute, start rolling it up, not fold. So when it is ejected, it does not unfold, it unrolls, then slowly starts to inflate. These never "pop" open, they do a slow deploy that takes a few seconds (feature, not a bug).

I also use a small chute, around 12 to 18", as a drogue chute to help to yank the big chute out of the main body in case the ejection does not blow it out (you can jus see it in the pic). For that to work well, the main chute needs to slide out of the tube easily. So, I pack the chute ot a smaller diameter than the inside of the tube (say 3.5" diameter inside of a BT-101), and use a wrap and a half of paper towel to help keep the rolled up chute rolled up, so it will not expand once inserted inside the model.

- George Gassaway
Good to know, thanks. I'm sure I wouldn't have figured out that the face was upside down until I had the entire thing assembled.
 
Top