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Rockiteer

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Hello everyone, Just wanted to share my current project after recovering from Chemo-Radiation treatments for throat cancer. Yea, I was doing this before Neil and Buzz walked on the moon. Those were the wild-west days of model rocketry. How we have grown since 1968... WOW! This is no longer your C6-5 stuffed into an Estes Big Bertha anymore. No sir! Settled on a 29mm motor so I can launch without a L1 certificate and maybe later qualify if I can get some transportation to a meet (the radiation fried my eyesight and depth perception so I don't drive anymore). Basicly I used Estes Pro Series II components (2" inch body tube coupled to their 2.5" inch body tube) with a lot of stuff from my local hardware store (yea we still have a family owned one here in my little town). Note to myself; next time use standardized body tubes so you don't have to engineer your own centering rings and ejection baffles. Found an outfit in Los Vegas that will do custom laser cutting so I had centering rings and fins cut using CAD drawings I developed on my computer. Very reasonable a super fast turnaround time for the product. Right now I have everything assembled, just a load of body prep and sanding to get everything the way I want it before applying final paint. Used a lot of super-glue to fill in seams and good old two part epoxy mix for fillets on the fins. What started out as a 53" rocket has morphed into a 74" monster. Here are some photos I took along the way. More to follow as things progress and of course a YouTube video when we launch this sucker. Reach for the stars and beyond everyone!

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Rockiteer

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Thanks Steve and appreciate the encouragement.
 

Rockiteer

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Appreciate the encouragement. Applied some paint to the upper stage today. Everything is curing before I mask off the fins and paint Fire Engine Red. Wanted to go with International Orange but the cheapest can was $17 on Amazon. I'll go with good ole $3 a can Krylon. Shame they don't market an International Orange. Funny how all that practical Navy training has come in handy now that I am retired and have lots of time to play with grownup toys.

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Rockiteer

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I was eighteen Woody in 1974 when I joined the Navy. We didn't have certifications back then. You just purchased an Estes kit at the local hobby shop, built it and stuffed a C6-5 (Estes' most powerful motor back then) in it and off to the sports fields in our neighborhood to launch the sucker. So much has changed since then. I am really excited about the new motor sizes, polymer adhesives, the use of composite materials like fiberglass, and most of all 3D printing technology. Oh forgot the advent of personal computers and vectored graphic rendering programs like AutoCad and CorelDraw. Back in my day you drew everything out in shop class for credit in Industrial Arts, then cut out the balsa wood fins in wood shop and cut the cardboard centering rings out at home with an exacto knife. Three things are on my Christmas wish list; a programmable x - y laser cutting table, programmable milling machine, laser 3D scanner and a 3D Printer. Thank you President Kennedy for the Space Race and it's Peace Dividend of technology.
 

Steve Shannon

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Appreciate the encouragement. Applied some paint to the upper stage today. Everything is curing before I mask off the fins and paint Fire Engine Red. Wanted to go with International Orange but the cheapest can was $17 on Amazon. I'll go with good ole $3 a can Krylon. Shame they don't market an International Orange. Funny how all that practical Navy training has come in handy now that I am retired and have lots of time to play with grownup toys.

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I buy $6 fluorescent orange paint at Ace Hardware. It helps me find the rocket.
 

fyrwrxz

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Welcome back to the smoke and TRF, Rockiteer! Way to make a comeback! Straight smoke and good chutes, brother.
 

Woody's Workshop

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1974, so long ago I almost forgot about them years.
I was deep into my first run in the rockets.
Couple years later and I had wheels and a license and discovering other things with more curves than rockets!
 

Rockiteer

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The encouragement and approval is most appreciated everyone. Got busy last night and this morning applying the final paint. All there is left to do is some minor touching up, feathering of seams where paint colors overlap and the application of decals I developed using CorelDraw and printed on my HP color laserjet printer. Now I just need to purchase a 29mm motor casing and build a launch circuit. Any recommendations? Areotech or Cesaroni Pro-X casings and propellants, pros and/or cons. Take care and always reach for the stars and beyond!

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Bat-mite

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In your other thread, if you attend an MDRA launch, our dealer is AMW-ProX, which is exclusively a Cesaroni dealer. All 29mm HPR reloads require a $35 shipping HAZMAT fee. So if you can buy your motors locally, you will save tons of money. Also, check AMW's web site, but I think they have a cert special where if you buy the reload, you get a matching case for free. You still need to buy the aft closure.

Loki Research sells H and I motors that ship HAZMAT-free, but only in 38mm. Loki does not deal in 29mm at all.
 

Rockiteer

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Most appreciated John. Not a whole lot of anything out here in western Maryland except for overdosing on opioids. Have an old shipmate from my USS Nimitz days who has a farmett west of Roundtop mountain and is willing to let me shoot my beastie in his field. Really looking forward to participating in one of the MDRA shoots this fall when I get my act together. Again appreciate the info and encouragement. Hope to meet face to face someday and share stories (aka lies... It was that high).
 

Bat-mite

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Please keep in mind that any launch of a high power rocket requires an FAA waiver, private property or not. The FAA owns the airspace.
 

Rockiteer

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I have a 3k foot maximum ceiling for a launch without a FAA waiver? Correct John? 3 lbs and 3k foot are the boundaries. Thanks for the AMW-ProX website also.
 

jsdemar

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I have a 3k foot maximum ceiling for a launch without a FAA waiver? Correct John? 3 lbs and 3k foot are the boundaries.
If the loaded rocket is under 3.3lbs and the propellant is less than 125 grams, you don't need a waiver, and there's no ceiling. This assumes you're not in restricted airspace (check the FAA sectional chart where your friend's farm is).
 

Rockiteer

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Yea Woody, seems like only yesterday. I finished boot camp and ended up on a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam during the closing days of the conflict. Had the honor of lobbin the last 5 inch shells in support of ground forces then evacuating US personnel stranded up north near the DMZ. As the years went by it was apparent it would be very hard to launch a model rock from the stern of a naval warship without causing a sturr. The last model rocket I built in high school was a conglomerate of two Estes kits to make a then very impressive four foot tall rocket. It was left at home along most of my personal stuff when I shipped out and somehow got tossed in the shuffle of time. Photos of those days were also lost in the many moves cross country from San Diego to Norfolk, London (England), to Seattle, back to Norfolk, Fort Mead, back to Norfolk the finally Washington DC. I hate moving.
 

Rockiteer

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Will do and I remember what an FAA sectional chart is... Was a tactical Air Controller in the Navy (NEC 0316 and 0317). Thanks John for the clarification.
 

Rktman

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Welcome back to what is in my opinion the most fascinating sport and hobby there is. And what an impressive way to do it, your build is remarkable! Like yourself I've been away many decades so this second time around is much more satisfying and exciting than when I was 12, mostly because so much has changed (and so much has stayed the same, especially the fun aspect). Following your thread with much interest.
 

scsager

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Hello and Welcome to the Forum.

Here's my 2 cents worth of advice - from one "old rocketeer" to another...

- Launching on your friends farm should be lots of fun.
- It's much easier to recover your rocket if you launch under crystal clear blue skies.
- If your eyesight isn't what it used to be - clouds or overcast skies will increase the the chance of loosing the rocket a thousandfold.
- Launch a few easy ones just to start with.
- You might want to launch a few unmodified or "stock" rockets using the "recommended" motors - ones with a projected altitude of 500-700 feet... just to get back in the "swing" of things.

- If you do get a chance to attend a club launch at MDRA or elsewhere - you'll be "hooked". The friendships you'll make, and the cool rockets you'll see - that's what makes club launches so amazing.

!! GOOD LUCK !!
 

Rockiteer

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Funny Eric, when we all hit our junior or senior year of high school we all seemed to put away our toys (model rockets) for a job (careers), a car and a girlfriend. Now that I am retired I don't give a crap about a job, can't drive anymore due to the side effects of radiation treatments for throat cancer and most definitely don't want a girlfriend anymore. My experiences started in Scouting when our troop participated in a small group launch at the city park in 1968. It was all down hill from their. I was that kid who like music, to draw and was in the drama club. Not that I didn't enjoy sports, I was a pretty good 3rd baseman for a thirteen year old back then and played intramural youth baseball (we didn't have Little League in our community) well into my high school years. The decision not to go out for the varsity team was mainly due to all the jerks and jocks that I had to deal with in the hallways so why excavate the situation. Funny, the knowledge gained through model rocketry was instrumental in my career successes in the Navy through Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) and later as an Anti-Submarine and Air-Intercept controller. It was only natural that when I finally retired and settled down that I would get back into model rocketry.
 

Rockiteer

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Thanks Scott, excellent advice across the board. I am going to limit my launch altitude to under 1k feet, more like 500 to 700 feet maximum. I am too old to go tromping through the woods searching for a wayward rocket as well as climbing any trees. That is why I approached my friend who owns the acreage west of town here to use his farm as a base for launching my beastie. Funny Scott, even when I was an adolescent rocketeer back in the late 60's I was known in our school rocket club as they guy who never built a "stock" rocket out of the box. I always had to do something different. Eventually, my last project was a "kitbashed" project of two different Estes kits into an impressive 47" behemoth in those days. My shop teacher, Mr. Nett, was always impressed with my isometric drawings in Industrial Arts class of my rocket ideas and how I took it to the next level in wood and auto body paint shop in constructing my builds. Those were the wild west days indeed.
 

Rockiteer

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No worries John. I plan to keep everything well under 1k feet out here and no larger than a 29mm motor. I am too old to go tromping through the woods looking for a wayward rocket or climbing trees either.
 

Woody's Workshop

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For what it's worth, I've never certified. There is no clubs near me within reasonable distance by any means.
So...I'm limited on what a non certified flyer can buy pertaining to engine sizes.
I've flown my whole life from my life long friend and neighbors farm field.
You can go with Aerotech (or other brand) reloadable engines in 24mm and 29mm and get some awesome flights.
It all depends on the size of the rocket.
I like to keep my max to about 1500' because without going nutz to extremes with size and weight and engine size, it fits really well with the sizes of the field I have available.
You might want to check into a Jolly Logic Chute Release. This little gizmo is about the best thing since someone put butter on toast!
 

Rktman

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Funny Eric, when we all hit our junior or senior year of high school we all seemed to put away our toys (model rockets) for a job (careers), a car and a girlfriend. Now that I am retired I don't give a crap about a job, can't drive anymore due to the side effects of radiation treatments for throat cancer and most definitely don't want a girlfriend anymore. My experiences started in Scouting when our troop participated in a small group launch at the city park in 1968. It was all down hill from their. I was that kid who like music, to draw and was in the drama club. Not that I didn't enjoy sports, I was a pretty good 3rd baseman for a thirteen year old back then and played intramural youth baseball (we didn't have Little League in our community) well into my high school years. The decision not to go out for the varsity team was mainly due to all the jerks and jocks that I had to deal with in the hallways so why excavate the situation. Funny, the knowledge gained through model rocketry was instrumental in my career successes in the Navy through Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) and later as an Anti-Submarine and Air-Intercept controller. It was only natural that when I finally retired and settled down that I would get back into model rocketry.
From one old timer to another (you're actually a few years younger) I'm glad your back. Nice to know there's another Baby Boomer out there that's rediscovered their passion for the sport.
 

jsdemar

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No worries John. I plan to keep everything well under 1k feet out here and no larger than a 29mm motor. I am too old to go tromping through the woods looking for a wayward rocket or climbing trees either.
For a "Class 1" rocket, as I was describing earlier, there is no FAA ceiling limit. That's <3.3lbs loaded and no more than 125g of propellant (a small "H").

The other John mentioned "Class 2" rockets, which are above either of those limits. Larger H through an "O". Those need a waiver. "Class 3" rockets are "P" and higher and require individual review my the FAA to fly.
 

Rockiteer

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Appreciate the clarification. As I said earlier so much has changed since my wild west days back in central Texas. Come to think of it, we were shooting our rockets in the approach path to Austin International airport and still have vivid memories of those colorful Braniff Airline 727's zooming past at treetop level. There was also another one named Trans-Texas Airlines which we jokingly referred to as "tree-top airlines" as their DC9's came in on final over our school's sports activity center (combination football, track and field and baseball fields). At least we had the common sense to hold our fire as the airliners cruised overhead then launched when the coast was clear. Don't know how much damage an Estes Big Bertha would of done to a Boeing 727 or DC9 but I figure the crew in the cockpit would of had a real scare to see something go screaming past their nose.
 
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