Anyone still having E engines explode

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ExoResearch

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This video is from 4 years ago. I had this one and another launch, both have the same result. I heard there was an issue with them at the time. Is it still a thing, or are they more reliable now?
 

Voyager1

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I attempted to fly 3 E9s and 3 E12s recently. The 3 E9s and 2 E12s exploded.
 

Funkworks

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I have a few E9s and I’m looking forward to using them in an older rocket that has flown enough and I don’t mind losing.
 

Bill S

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I've seen several E12 CATOs at launches this last fall. One guy had back to back CATOs, both motors bought from Hobby Lobby. I encouraged him to file an MESS report and contact Estes.
 

mo2872

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Have flown about a dozen E12’s in the last 7 months with zero failures. All Hobby Lobby purchases.
 

ExoResearch

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I found that it seemed to be batch related. At least 4 years ago when I launched this one. One pack was totally fine. One pack, 2/3 blew up.
 

Art Upton

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Same issue E30s had 6 years ago blowing up ruined a nice Arreoxx , batch issue as composites don't have temp cycling issues like BP motors...
 

DeWain

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What fails on an Estes E that CATOs? If it is the nozzle, would strengthening the clay with an adhesive help? I have yet to have a CATO, but then I haven't flown many black powder motors higher than a D12.
 

Nytrunner

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Flame front seeps between grain and case. More burning area creates higher pressure which blows out either the forward delay layers, or the nozzle. I believe its more the nozzle/case interface which gives since folks have reported the whole nozzle being shot out and clanging off the deflector

I imagine adding in an extra step like adhesive would require a substantive modification to their motor process and probably slow down their production
 

w8lew

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With documentation of the CATO including pictures, Estes will refund you with new motors. If the rocket is damaged and it is an Estes manufacture, documents showing the rocket's condition may sway them to send a new kit as well. I found the customer service position on CATO occurrences to be flier friendly.

Obviously, no one wants a CATO. Anyone concerned that their Estes E motors could be at risk, please see that Zeus-cat has a link for you to review.

Estes CS said to me it was an issue with using a motor that was subject to large temperature swings causing separation of the casing from the propellant. The problem was mostly related to certain Lots. (See Zeus-cat's post above) As a protective measure, CS said to keep all your Estes motors inside your home to help keep this problem minimized.
 

readytorock556

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I just use Aerotech reloads. 24/40 cases are awesome, most of the Ds I use are Aerotech 18mm reloads.
 

shockie

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Estes needs to get rid of the 1950's pyrotechnic technology and come into the 21st century with reloadable bp motors.
Just use composite plastic cases with screw on/off nozzle inserts and replace the bp/delay/ejection charge every use.


You could then operate bp motors at higher chamber pressures and get a higher Isp.
Or better yet reloadable composites.

By the way, GH Stine suggested reloadable BP motors in early 1958 to Orv Carlisle.
 
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jrap330

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What fails on an Estes E that CATOs? If it is the nozzle, would strengthening the clay with an adhesive help? I have yet to have a CATO, but then I haven't flown many black powder motors higher than a D12.
No, nozzle issues will give you trust issues. Temp cycling, poor handling causes cracks allowing the gasses to expand and possible explosion.
 

trialsguy

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It looks like there has not been a reported suspected bad motor on the TRF list since January 24, 2020?

Or am I not looking at the most receint list?

:rolleyes:
 

Arsenal78

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I've had plenty of E9's explode and when Estes discontinued those for the E12's, they have the same damn problem. I will not fly any Estes E in something I want back. It's the model rocketry Russian Roulette game.
 

CoAz2k

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I just use Aerotech reloads. 24/40 cases are awesome, most of the Ds I use are Aerotech 18mm reloads.
I'm heading in that direction as well. I have purchased, but not yet used, 18/20, 24/40 and 24/60 casings and reloads. They are victim to the 2020 induced flight delay...

About four years ago, I lost a Big Daddy to an Estes E CATO. Estes did replace the kit and motors. I did make a report.

My daughter and I played a version of Russian Roulette with two more motors from the same package/date code in two other rockets and they both flew fine.
 
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RalPh8

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Just had my first E9 blow up on me today. On an egg lofter. Needless to say the egg didn’t make it. Lol
 

Nytrunner

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Estes needs to get rid of the 1950's pyrotechnic technology and come into the 21st century with reloadable bp motors.
Just use composite plastic cases with screw on/off nozzle inserts and replace the bp/delay/ejection charge every use.
And people complain about how much motors cost today! :D
 

icyclops

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Used a really old E15 and caboom.....all I have area old ones....so don’t know about new stock.
 

Underdog

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In the NAR video posted in July, the folks at Estes said that they were retooling the process for making E motors (and that is why they were in short supply). The retooling was to coincide with the release of the new larger diameter 29mm kits; Der Red Big Max (March release/Pro Series), Saturn, Door Knob. Someone directed me to check the date code to make sure they were made in October 2020 or later. The Estes response comes at 23:40 and 32:10 in the video.
Was this retooling successful in addressing the CATO issue with “E’s”
Estes discussion at virtual National Association of Rocketry in July
estes retooling E motors.JPG
 
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Back_at_it

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Have flown countless numbers of the the E9, E12 and F15 motors with ZERO failures. We sent up 15 rockets over the holidays on these along with some E and F composites with no issues. I've had rocket failures where the rocket will come apart or an old motor mount will fail but never an issue with the motor itself. (wasn't me, but lets not talk about a Majestic that someone thought was a snap together kit).

This has to be an issue with handling or storage of the motor as I don't feel age has anything to do with it. Clearly we have no control over how the motors are handled or stored before we get our hands on them so we don't know how they have been treated. I can tell you that mine are stored in my dry basement hanging on a peg on the wall just as they would in a store. Temp down there is between 55F to 70F winter to summer. I also take care not to drop or bang them around.

I have absolutely no reservations flying those motors in anything.
 

shockie

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SO what are you saying? That a reloadable BP motor would cost more than a disposable one? Do reloadable composite motors cost more than single use disposable composites? I don't know, that's why I'm asking.

Think of the advantages: a more efficient nozzle, higher chamber pressures so you could do DEF high thrust without having to worry about a shot nozzle, higher ISP.... the drawbacks are that you have to be 18 to buy a metal reloadable; that's at least a 20-25 yr old regulation that definitely needs to be changed to 16 yrs old at a minimum.....I think it's been shown over 20-25 years old that RMS is just as safe as single-use disposable motors are, if not safer.

The problem with DEF BP is that the clay nozzle is held in place through a mechanical bond ; it's pressed and swells the casing somewhat and then it contracts back.....this bond is only good for up to maybe 250psi max..... If you could run BP at 400 psi the Isp might increase 10-to 15 % ; plus you could have D30 to F40 BP motors ; but if you used a reloadable casing then you wouldn't have to worry about nozzle cracks and thermal humidity cycling affecting the nozzle BP slug interface....

AT uses clay nozzles in their single use ABCD Q-Jets.....and they designed a "circular" hook of a sorts that helps retain the nozzle so it won't blow out....why can't Estes get with New England Paper company, the company that supplies the paper engine tubes and come up with a way to pre-roll such a paper ring on one end of a paper tube that would act like the circular hook that AT has?
 

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RalPh8

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SO what are you saying? That a reloadable BP motor would cost more than a disposable one? Do reloadable composite motors cost more than single use disposable composites? I don't know, that's why I'm asking.

Think of the advantages: a more efficient nozzle, higher chamber pressures so you could do DEF high thrust without having to worry about a shot nozzle, higher ISP.... the drawbacks are that you have to be 18 to buy a metal reloadable; that's at least a 20-25 yr old regulation that definitely needs to be changed to 16 yrs old at a minimum.....I think it's been shown over 20-25 years old that RMS is just as safe as single-use disposable motors are, if not safer.

The problem with DEF BP is that the clay nozzle is held in place through a mechanical bond ; it's pressed and swells the casing somewhat and then it contracts back.....this bond is only good for up to maybe 250psi max..... If you could run BP at 400 psi the Isp might increase 10-to 15 % ; plus you could have D30 to F40 BP motors ; but if you used a reloadable casing then you wouldn't have to worry about nozzle cracks and thermal humidity cycling affecting the nozzle BP slug interface....

AT uses clay nozzles in their single use ABCD Q-Jets.....and they designed a "circular" hook of a sorts that helps retain the nozzle so it won't blow out....why can't Estes get with New England Paper company, the company that supplies the paper engine tubes and come up with a way to pre-roll such a paper ring on one end of a paper tube that would act like the circular hook that AT has?
Hopefully the AT/Quest Q-jets will spark stiffer competition from Estes and the like
 

Nytrunner

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SO what are you saying? That a reloadable BP motor would cost more than a disposable one?
Essentially yes. By nature of the significant capital investment required to either A) retool their existing machines or B) replace the machines entirely with fabricators that have the added features.
 

shockie

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OK reloads might be out of the question due to cost, but what about somehow forming an inner paper ring into the nozzle end of the paper tube to help keep the nozzle from blowing out? I'm sure NEPT/Estes could work on this jointly and figure it out. I was just re-reading Matt Steels excellent 1990 R&D report(May/June 1992 AmSpam) about what are the underlying causes for nozzle ejection and catos....A highly recommended read by the way. And 30 years ago he suggested a different casing material for BP rocket engines. In that, a different casing material could help prevent or even end catos and such? In the Pyrotech field, those that make Pyrotechnic BP rockets, wax the inside of the casing before pressing the powder. This has virtually stopped catos? But what does this waxing do? Does it help the case/grain bond? does it prevent moisture between the grain/paper casing?

If you read Matt Steel's report and then you read the above, 1 + 1= 2 ......

Couldn't you create a convoluted tube (parallel wound) that has a waxy internally finish with a lower inner paper ring? Is that beyond 21st century technology? Could it not be used with current Estes MABEL technology?
 
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