Another Estes Big Daddy (2162) Lawndart Questions Thread...

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

If you had an Estes Big Daddy (2162) lawndart, did you apply tape to the shoulder of the nosecone?

  • Yes

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • No

    Votes: 5 71.4%

  • Total voters
    7

K'Tesh

OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2013
Messages
15,474
Reaction score
1,964
I keep getting pushback on FB from veteran BD owners... Here's the last exchange...

Random Big Daddy Owner said:
I’ve flown my two Big Daddys dozens of times and seen plenty more flown by others...never experienced a problem or seen someone else have one with the nose cone ejecting.
K'Tesh said:
I'm glad to hear that you haven't had any problems with your BD.

Please answer this question. Have you done anything... anything at all... to improve the fit of your nosecone to the body tube? Such as applying tape to the shoulder to snug the fit of the nosecone to the body tube. This would be following the instructions found in the "PREPARE RECOVERY SYSTEM" step (damn I miss instruction step numbers).
I suspect that the BDs that are lawndarting (the ones that are not having ejection charge failures (something that some people are claiming is the cause)) did not follow the step indicated in red in the image below. I believe that this easy-to-overlook-step is a *MAJOR* part of the reason that this kit has the reputation that it does. The rest of the cause is that the nosecone is simply too loose in its manufacture to allow that ramp to open up in a drag separation situation
1611429898396.png


So, you've seen the poll question... Here's some answers I'd like to find out...

If you had a BD lawndart:
Did you apply masking tape or any other kind of tape, to the shoulder as indicated in instructions?
Did you modify the nosecone *IN ANY WAY*? If so, how?
Did you believe that there was a weak ejection for some reason? Why do you feel this way? Is there any evidence for a weak ejection?
Was there any scorching or other indication that the ejection charge fired off (or didn't)?
Were you flying it with non-Estes motors (e.g. Aerotech RMS) and forget to add the ejection charge?

And the BIG QUESTIONS...

Did you file a MESS Report?
Did you contact Estes?
If so, who, or what department, did you contact about this explaining what happened? FYI their Compliance Officer is currently Heather Brown (in the past it was either Mary Roberts, or Chandra Serfoss).

If you've flown a BD, but never had a lawndart:
Did you apply masking tape or any other kind of tape, to the shoulder as indicated in instructions?
Did you modify the nosecone *IN ANY WAY*?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Long_Gone

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 12, 2020
Messages
260
Reaction score
121
Location
NEPA
I had a Daddy dart (Twice) BUT, I put in C6-3 and it's not enough................................... All D&E flights BP and RMS were textbook!

LG~
 

K'Tesh

OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2013
Messages
15,474
Reaction score
1,964
Update: got an answer to the question I posed to the previously mentioned BD owner.

Random Big Daddy Owner said:
yes, I have some tape on my nosecone. I have tape on the nosecones of many of my rockets, and there are a few others that I’ve had to lightly sand for proper fit. And in my experience sometimes tape needs to be added or removed to adjust fitment based on weather conditions or even for soot build up- especially in the Big Daddy with its short stubby tube. In my opinion it’s a pretty basic part of the hobby that most other than beginners would be aware of.
Again, it's my theory that the major reason this kit has a history of falling out of the sky is the looseness of the nosecone and the combination of the high drag of the short body tube and its lightweight construction. This theory has evolved to explain why some have a problem with it, and others don't... Missing the instruction for adjusting the fit of the nosecone or finding that step, and following the given instruction. Those that miss it have problems, those that don't miss it, don't. Their are possible fixes that Estes could do. Either change the design of the shoulder (tightening it and/or removing the ramp (which would be expensive)), or do a better job of making it obvious that this design (and likely the new nosecone for the Der Big Red Max (9721)) *REQUIRES* tape to adjust the fit (a simple change to the instructions and a lot cheaper than re-tooling the mold). Either way would likely be a lot cheaper than if someone gets hurt because one of these rockets falls on them, and any lawyer representing them finding these threads discussing this issue.

Another theory I have for the BD's nosecone... The shoulder was made loose as it was to accommodate heavy walled body tubes.
 
Last edited:

Long_Gone

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 12, 2020
Messages
260
Reaction score
121
Location
NEPA
I never taped the nose cone, and I just looked at it and the only thing I did to is was sand the flashing from the seam. I fits pretty snug not loose at all. Maybe that's why I never had issues. No room to tilt at all. Is it possible the design was ever so slightly modified during the production run to change the characteristics? Mine is pretty old, easily 10 years old. About 25-30 flights total. Was on the shelf for a while, especially when I was deployed and the wife will not launch rockets without me there.

EK~
 

KenECoyote

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
2,920
Reaction score
193
Ah, the Big Dart saga continues! I also saw your post with concerns about the DBRM using the same nose cone. Years ago I suggested an easy fix would be to affix a wood disk to the nose cone bottom, but I never got around to doing it myself. However I think I created some out of Basswood for another member to try and it worked well.
 

Back_at_it

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
524
Reaction score
398
As I mentioned in the other thread on this subject. I never had a total lawn dart but rather two back to back near misses where the nose cone pushed out but didn't pull the laundry with it and it kinda fluttered down. The nose cone on that rocket didn't need tape but wasn't too snug either.

I test fit my nose cones before every flight by picking the rocket up by the cone. If the nose cone comes out without lifting the rocket, it's too lose. If I can completely lift the rocket by the cone then it's too tight. I'm looking for the weight of the rocket to slowly separate the body from the nose cone as I lift it up. Just a nice slow slide off.

For the record. I'm not sold on drag separation. I've heard people talk about it but I have never seen a single instance of this happening in anything I have flown or been witness to and I have flown a few fat draggy rockets with loose nose cones in my life.
 

KenECoyote

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
2,920
Reaction score
193
Ah, the Big Dart saga continues! I also saw your post with concerns about the DBRM using the same nose cone. Years ago I suggested an easy fix would be to affix a wood disk to the nose cone bottom, but I never got around to doing it myself. However I think I created some out of Basswood for another member to try and it worked well.
Believe it or not, I *just* happened to find my basswood template about an hour ago while trying to find something else...I made this ~5 years ago! Should be a simple fix for anyone concerned about the cut shoulder venting out ejection gasses too much...just make one, small hole on the side for the cord and epoxy in place on the base.
IMG_20210323_120717348.jpg
 

Scott_650

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
893
Reaction score
393
I’ve had a couple failed recoveries on my (now shortened) Executioner which uses a very similar shoulder design as the BD cone. Both were caused by the nose cone coming part of the way out of the body tube - once the partially opened rocket hit lengthways with little damage, second time it finally disengaged completely but too low for the chute to open. Both incidents were during cold weather, 40F or lower, and both times I didn’t check the nose cone fit before launch. I don’t know for sure since after the second incident the upper edge of the body tube was too crumpled to check the fit of the cone but my best guess is the fit was too loose due to the cold temps - earlier in the Executioner’s tenure I had made a point to check the fit before launch and it passed the “moves just a bit when you pick it up by the nose cone” test. So I’m in the “snug fit” camp when it comes to larger rockets with a sharply angled nose cone shoulder design.
 
Last edited:

Tyler P

Nom-nom-nom...
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
719
Reaction score
310
I spend quite a bit of time making sure nose cone fit is optimal and haven't had any rocket have a drag separation of the nose cone, or a nose cone stick on deployment. I don't have a Big Daddy, but I have heard of both things happening. Either having too lose a cone and it drag separating, and some people claiming that the ejection charge isn't enough for the fat tube. I can't see the latter actually being a legitimate problem unless someone has made the nose cone fit too tight.
 

KenECoyote

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
2,920
Reaction score
193
I spend quite a bit of time making sure nose cone fit is optimal and haven't had any rocket have a drag separation of the nose cone, or a nose cone stick on deployment. I don't have a Big Daddy, but I have heard of both things happening. Either having too lose a cone and it drag separating, and some people claiming that the ejection charge isn't enough for the fat tube. I can't see the latter actually being a legitimate problem unless someone has made the nose cone fit too tight.
I believe one of the problems is the cut on such a long/deep shoulder...
IMG_20210324_113915749.jpg
 

BMcD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
75
Reaction score
25
If you've flown a BD, but never had a lawndart:
Did you apply masking tape or any other kind of tape, to the shoulder as indicated in instructions?
Did you modify the nosecone *IN ANY WAY*?

Yes. No.
 

KenECoyote

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
2,920
Reaction score
193
If you've flown a BD, but never had a lawndart:
Did you apply masking tape or any other kind of tape, to the shoulder as indicated in instructions?
Did you modify the nosecone *IN ANY WAY*?

Yes. No.
Flown 3 times.
No lawn darts
No mods, but I plan to add disk to nose cone bottom jic. Nose fit currently seems about right.
 

McKeon

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
15
Location
Pittsboro, NC
I have flown several Big Daddys (50 flights, give or take) over the years and never had a lawn dart or any other failure. in all those flights I never added tape to the shoulder. Then, a couple months ago I had two lawn darts in a row. In both cases the ejection charge did go off but the nose didn’t pop off. The first Lawn dart wasn’t too bad so I loaded it up again and the second lawn dart killed it. I searched the forum when I got home and saw that this was a known/suspected issue. I am making a new Big Daddy with a 29mm mount. I cut the bottom of the nose cone off and installed a bulkhead to eliminate the shoulder and any issues it might cause, just like back-at-it did. When I fly it I will let you know what happens.
 

icyclops

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2013
Messages
180
Reaction score
74
6 flights with no problems;
Mod: Cut off bottom or nosecone shoulder to about 1”. Glued flat wood centering ring with eye hook into nosecone about 2” from open end and attached shockcord/chute. Works fine.
 

K'Tesh

OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2013
Messages
15,474
Reaction score
1,964
I have flown several Big Daddys (50 flights, give or take) over the years and never had a lawn dart or any other failure. in all those flights I never added tape to the shoulder. Then, a couple months ago I had two lawn darts in a row. In both cases the ejection charge did go off but the nose didn’t pop off. The first Lawn dart wasn’t too bad so I loaded it up again and the second lawn dart killed it. I searched the forum when I got home and saw that this was a known/suspected issue. I am making a new Big Daddy with a 29mm mount. I cut the bottom of the nose cone off and installed a bulkhead to eliminate the shoulder and any issues it might cause, just like back-at-it did. When I fly it I will let you know what happens.
Sorry to hear that the fatal flaw got you. On the plus side, at least it happened to the same rocket both times, and not on two different builds.
 

K'Tesh

OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2013
Messages
15,474
Reaction score
1,964
As I mentioned in the other thread on this subject. I never had a total lawn dart but rather two back to back near misses where the nose cone pushed out but didn't pull the laundry with it and it kinda fluttered down. The nose cone on that rocket didn't need tape but wasn't too snug either.

I test fit my nose cones before every flight by picking the rocket up by the cone. If the nose cone comes out without lifting the rocket, it's too lose. If I can completely lift the rocket by the cone then it's too tight. I'm looking for the weight of the rocket to slowly separate the body from the nose cone as I lift it up. Just a nice slow slide off.

For the record. I'm not sold on drag separation. I've heard people talk about it but I have never seen a single instance of this happening in anything I have flown or been witness to and I have flown a few fat draggy rockets with loose nose cones in my life.
I think that one of the key factors is the addition of wind. In the video that was posted of one lawn darting with a clear drag separation it was clearly windy that day, and the rocket never really had a chance to slow down on it's fatal arc.
 

RalPh8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
166
Reaction score
66
I had one of the original Big Daddy’s from either the 90s or early 2000 can’t remember when they came out. Flew it a bunch of times and never had an issue. Then it got stuck in a tree but the parachute did deploy. Now I have one of the newer big daddy’s. I cut the shoulder and I use part of the nose cone for parachute/payload storage. I epoxied the end of the shock cord into the top of the nose cone. With the cut off shoulder (I cut it just past the slant so it’s now all vertical) it eliminates the potential of blow by from the angle. Now all the gas just gets caught inside and pops the top every time. I prolly have 6 or 7 flights on the new one. So even though I never had a problem on the original big daddy, I did modify the nose cone on the new one. Multiple flights with each and no problems.
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,382
Reaction score
1,277
It seems to me that bonding a "seal disk" to the base of the shoulder would solve the problem, while still allowing conventional Shock Cord attachment ( Shock Cord would pass through a small hole in the disk ).

Dave F.
 

Back_at_it

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
524
Reaction score
398
It seems to me that bonding a "seal disk" to the base of the shoulder would solve the problem, while still allowing conventional Shock Cord attachment ( Shock Cord would pass through a small hole in the disk ).

Dave F.
It would solve the ejection issue forsure. The added benefit of Chopping off the bottom of the nosecone is that you gain about 2 inches of much needed space inside the rocket for the wadding and parachute. .
 

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
26,690
Reaction score
4,269
Location
Glennville, GA
This is my son's favorite kit. He spend hours building it and cried when my dad crushed it.
 
Top