A totally transparent rocket...

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by snrkl, Jun 12, 2017.

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  1. Jun 12, 2017 #1

    snrkl

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    I'm toying with the idea of making a totally transparent rocket.

    Does anyone know if standard tube sizes are available in clear tubes?

    I think it would be an interesting thing (until the BT becomes blackened from ejection charges...)

    I'm thinking transparent NC (that might be hard to find) and transparent fins too...

    Transparent MMT tube. The whole 9 yards.

    It would be like wonder woman's invisible jet...

    ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1497257592.092520.jpg
     
  2. Jun 12, 2017 #2

    OverTheTop

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    I was thinking of making something like that a few years ago. "Nothing to Hide" would have been its name. You are welcome to use the name if you like.

    That statement actually means a fail (falling short). You need to go 10 yards to go the distance in gridiron.
     
  3. Jun 12, 2017 #3

    gpoehlein

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    Yes - I believe that e-Rockets sells clear payload tubes in both BT-20 and BT-50 sizes - not sure about lengths. Also, the tubes used to shield fluorescent tubes is just a bit larger than BT-60 (just needs a bit of shimming of the nose cone shoulder).

    The real question is not whether you CAN but rather whether you SHOULD. I remember a number of people who tried launching the Estes Phantom rocket when it was available - Micromeister comes to mind. If you are lucky, it will singe and discolor the inside of the tube on the first flight. If not, it will burn through the tube. Clear body tubes would make pretty much a one-shot model.
     
  4. Jun 12, 2017 #4

    snrkl

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    I hear you - but the real reason one builds rockets really: for the "Oohs" and "Aaaahs" at a launch day.. ;^)

    Plus, It would be a great way to show kids what is in the rocket...
     
  5. Jun 12, 2017 #5

    SpaceManMat

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    Perhaps if you can fit an inner clears sleave so you can replace it after each flight?

    Other option may be to have a regular inner tube for the ejection charge.

    Or if you build it big enough you could use an altimiter and servo arrangement for powerless ejection.
     
  6. Jun 12, 2017 #6

    TangoJuliet

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    Best to build a "Phantom" for display and educational purposes only I think, then build an identical model with traditional materials for flight. As stated, the ejection gasses will quickly discolor any clear parts.
     
  7. Jun 12, 2017 #7

    Incongruent

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    I thought about this concept as well.


    Use polycarbonate fins, flame polish (I think that's the term, you heat the plastic quickly with a torch and that makes the plastic smooth and as a result, clear.) the cut edges.

    Rear ejection circumvents the need for recovery wadding and protects the parachute. You might be able to use fishing line for shroudlines and to attach the parachute to the rocket. A polycarbonate bulkhead and to protect the internals from the ejection charge, either a layer of clear epoxy or a circle of borosilicate or tempered glass (however, you can't cut tempered glass to size) surrounded at the edges by clear epoxy but exposed in the middle to take the brunt of the ejection charge.

    If you can find a suitable high temperature epoxy which won't discolor in flame the first option would be significantly better. Theoretically the two methods would allow you to wipe out the ejection residue after each flight.
    Still check with your RSO to see if you can use the latter before attempting it.
    You might also be able to use sacrificial pieces of polycarbonate sheet and tubing to protect the rocket.

    For the shock cord, I don't know. My best solution is Kevlar, perhaps dyed to match your launch site colors, but in many cases that would just be yellow. (http://www.dupont.com/products-and-...releases/kevlar-is-not-just-about-yellow.html)

    I think apogee has clear polycarbonate tube in a variety of sizes as well.

    Polycarbonate does vacuum form, so the nose cone could be made that way.


    Good luck on recovery.
     
  8. Jun 12, 2017 #8

    Incongruent

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    So I'm assuming you haven't built a Saturn V and painted it rainbow to agitate the scale fanatics.
    Hmmm — that might actually be "Aaaah" but with different emotions and more forceful punctuation.
     
  9. Jun 12, 2017 #9

    Steve Shannon

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  10. Jun 12, 2017 #10

    Micromeister

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    Yes! As Greg mentioned, I've been flying an Estes Phantom (extended with a bit longer Clear Polyproplylene body) for a couple decades now at demonstrations for Grade and Middle School Groups.

    The trick is to use an albative internal sleeve to catch the burning bits and soot from our ejection charges, I ususally add a couple extra squares of FP wadding in the clear nose cone just for extra protection. Sorry I don't have any good flight photos of this rocket as it doesn't show up well in the daytime!

    I also have a Clear Polycarbonate and styrene Nike-Apache that was created solely for Night Launches. The outter tubes are Clear polycarbonate mailing tubes from McMaster-Carr. To get the proper sizes you have to do a little math as the ID and wall thickness are the only available measurements, most come 48" long. They have a 2.62OD clear tube that is almost an exact match for BT-80 bodies and Payload sections.

    There are a couple Clear Nose cones out there and plenty of clear plastic stuff at the dollar store that can be converted into nosecones.
    Most Estes White, Yellow & some Red Styrene nose cones light up well with LED's. there are also several kits that have white styrene transitions the work well with LED lighting.

    Clear .063 and thinner Polycarbonate (Lexan) does a great job as Clear fin material. If you want to light up the fins they can be fabricated from .020" or .030" clear Polycarbonate sheet using Weld-on-16 adhesive. It also helps to frost the ID of the fins to dispurse the LED lighting.
    I've found frosted polyester sheet works best as the albative internal sleeve and will last 3-5 launches before needing to be replaced. Heavy tracing vellum also works as a single flight shield.

    To be perfectly honest as mentioned above: Clear Mod-Rocs are not that impressive during daylight flights. They are on the otherhand quite impressive during night flights.

    Stuffer tubes of standard cardboard body tubes & centering rings can be covered with Chrome Mirror Trim Monokote so they disappear from view which makes hiding wiring and other internal features much easier.

    There are also a number of transparent "colored" Lamp shields in T-8 (about 1") and T12 about 1-1/2" diameters that can make interesting outter body shells in red, yellow, amber, orange & green. These Tube Covers come in 48" and 96" polycarbonate.
    Hope these notes and pics help.

    000-sm_Stretch Phantom Demo._07-12-83.jpg

    670a1-sm_Phantom NITE Nike-Apache wo Shield_08-30-07.jpg

    NL-13b1b_670 Phantom Nike-Apache C6-3 Day Liftpoff_09-22-07.JPG

    670b8a-sm_LED Lit Fins added on edge_08-04-07.jpg

    670f-sm_Nike booster unit complete with lugs_08-30-07.JPG

    670o1-sm_PNA CleanUp inside tube after 2 flts_09-23-07.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  11. Jun 12, 2017 #11

    les

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    look for clear plastic wine/Champaign glasses. Cut off the stems and you have a nose cone
     
  12. Jun 12, 2017 #12

    Micromeister

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    A little more follow-Up:
    Photos of the clear tubes from McMaster-Carr, what the Phantom Nike-Apache inside sleeve looks like after cleaning & a BT-80 size Night Flying Payload section.

    670o2-sm_PNA CleanUP_Pull out  Protective sleeve_09-23-07.JPG

    670o3-sm_PNA CleanUP_after 409 wipedown Parts AOK_09-23-07.JPG

    670o4-sm_PNA parts after cleaning before repacking_09-23-07.JPG

    670o5-sm_PNA repacked After 2 Launch Clean up_09-23-07.JPG

    604uc09b-Lg_Room Lights on_51 LEDs ON_06-03-11.jpg

    604uc09c2-Lg_Lights off-51 LEDs & Flashing NC ON_06-03-11.jpg
     
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  13. Jun 12, 2017 #13

    AdAstraPerAspera

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    Actually, I'm fairly certain the expression "the whole nine yards" was used correctly, at least in American English. Maybe it has picked up other meanings elsewhere, but I have never heard it refer to a failure. The origin of the phrase is also unclear.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_whole_nine_yards
     
  14. Jun 12, 2017 #14

    Steve Shannon

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    I agree; whatever the origin, it has always reflected a full effort, not falling short.


    Steve Shannon
     
  15. Jun 12, 2017 #15

    rstaff3

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    +1, this works well. I haven't tried trimming one to a much smaller size. I just found a packing tube that was right.
     
  16. Jun 12, 2017 #16

    K'Tesh

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  17. Jun 12, 2017 #17

    hcmbanjo

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  18. Jun 12, 2017 #18

    OverTheTop

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    Apologies to the OP if I have the wrong end of the stick regarding the 9 yards comment. My understanding is that 10 yards is the success criteria. I wish nothing but success for the project anyway :)
     
  19. Jun 13, 2017 #19

    snrkl

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    Don't stress - I'm not precious... 😁👍🏻

    If I had to take an educated punt (pun intended) I'd say the "9 yard" reference is probably talking about covering the remaining 9 yards. (i.e: 4th down and 9 yards to go)...

    All that and I'm an Aussie making US NFL references...

    I blame the "4th and Inches" game on the Amiga as a kid...

    ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1497310919.392826.jpg
     
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  20. Jun 13, 2017 #20

    Mugs914

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    From what I have read, "the whole nine yards" originated in WWII and meant to give it all you've got, a full effort, boots and all.

    It originated from the idea that the belts of .50 caliber ammo in U.S. fighters were nominally 27 feet long. 27 ft. = 9 yards, therefore to "give him the whole nine yards" meant that you had used everything there was to use. Has come to mean almost any thing in total; "go out and get some paint, thinner, airbrush, compressor... the whole nine yards."

    So very well done Snrkl! In spite of being a native metric-speaker, you have been able to use an Imperial measurement-based metaphor in it's proper context!!! :handshake::clap::clap::clap::cheers::cheers::cheers:

    Didn't realize you were bilingual...

    Now back to our regularly scheduled thread, already in progress... :tongue:
     
  21. Jun 15, 2017 #21

    GlenP

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    Going off on a tangent here, but the expression was once used for a movie title, Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, the chick from Species, this movie has the whole nine yards

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0190138/
     
  22. Jun 15, 2017 #22

    Daddyisabar

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    My understanding is that it was from the First World War where the British Vickers machine gun used a nine yard canvas belt. Give the Boche the full nine yards! Just keep that belt dry because it will shrink and the rounds will then be seated too tight and the Boche will get you!
     
  23. Sep 8, 2018 #23

    MoeB

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  24. Sep 8, 2018 #24

    jlabrasca

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  25. Sep 8, 2018 #25

    kuririn

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    http://www.erockets.biz/clear-all-sizes/
    http://www.erockets.biz/semroc-laser-cut-fins-clear-plexi-0-06-4-fins-sem-fcl-1/
    http://www.erockets.biz/semroc-laser-cut-fins-clear-plexi-0-06-4-fins-sem-fcl-2/
    The #7 tube is the same id as a BT-20.
    And if you want to save money, you can pick up a clear plastic sheet from your local hardware store and cut the fins yourself if you like.

    Chris,
    I had some leftover parts when I built the Laser 244, so I scratch built a smaller sister ship. I call it the Laser 122:
    IMG_20180907_203359.jpg

    And here's a link to Chris' blog post on how he built a nose cone from a plastic champagne glass for about 50 cents, as others have mentioned.

    http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2011/01/tip-champagne-flute-nose-cones.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
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  26. Sep 8, 2018 #26

    vance2loud

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  27. Sep 10, 2018 #27

    jqavins

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    My notion along these lines has always been to make the body tube and motor mount tube clear and make the rest out of standard materials. That's the way of choice for educational models, and I think would be just as cool to fly. But it's not the Wonder Woman's jet idea. (Does Wonder Woman really need an invisible jet? What's that really about?)

    As for discoloration, I had two ideas. One is to use a long cardboard stuffer tube with the wadding and maybe a baffle inside. Then hot gas will come out, and some smoke, but the worst of the schmutz would be stopped inside the stuffer.

    The second idea was to use waterglass. Close one end of the body tube, put some liquid in, close the other end, lie to rocket on its side and keep it rotating slowly while the stuff dries. Once it inevitably becomes dirty, it can be washed out of the plastic tube and reapplied.
     
  28. Sep 10, 2018 #28

    kuririn

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  29. Sep 11, 2018 #29

    snrkl

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    Hehe. This thread is a little old.

    Once I saw some pad photos of how uninteresting clear rockets looked, I kinda lost interest.

    I will say, I’d probably build one for the club info stand to replace the now very old “dissected” rocket they use for public displays though...
     
  30. Sep 11, 2018 #30

    rharshberger

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    Thats why I built my upscale Phantom Estes Viking, we do a lot of school science fairs and cub scout build nights and its nice, and easier to show than explain the internals and operation of a model rocket.
     

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