Apogee Zeyphr Finished

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Spitfire222

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Nice rocket, and cool paint job!

I have a Zephyr in the cart at Apogee, but the shipping cost being 1/4 of the rocket's price is what's keeping it there for now...

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I've always wondered if any Zephyr owners/fliers have had problems with the fins being damaged upon landing? Those point fins extending below the end of the body tube look like they would be vulnerable to breaking. I know the Zephyr's fins are pretty iconic/unique, but I could see myself trimming those points down a bit.
 

mtnmanak

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Nice rocket, and cool paint job!

I have a Zephyr in the cart at Apogee, but the shipping cost being 1/4 of the rocket's price is what's keeping it there for now...

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I've always wondered if any Zephyr owners/fliers have had problems with the fins being damaged upon landing? Those point fins extending below the end of the body tube look like they would be vulnerable to breaking. I know the Zephyr's fins are pretty iconic/unique, but I could see myself trimming those points down a bit.
I have two Zephyrs - both modified for dual deploy - with lots of hard landings (had at least a couple flights with complete main parachute malfunctions - my fault, not the rocket). I have seen damage to the cardboard components and have replaced the nosecone in one of them, but the fins have never had so much as a dent. Very solid plywood fins.

The Zephyr is very reasonably priced for what you get. To mitigate the shipping hit, I recommend buying all the components you need for dual deploy when you buy the kit (payload bay, coupler, switch band, ebay sled, etc). That way, even if you just use the bird in single deploy mode for your level 1 cert, you can immediately build out the dual deploy, test it on a bunch of H & I impulse flights and then fly it with a J for Level 2 cert.

I do recommend upgrading the parachute that comes with the kit. It isn't bad, but there are vastly better options out there.
 

Spitfire222

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I have two Zephyrs - both modified for dual deploy - with lots of hard landings (had at least a couple flights with complete main parachute malfunctions - my fault, not the rocket). I have seen damage to the cardboard components and have replaced the nosecone in one of them, but the fins have never had so much as a dent. Very solid plywood fins.

The Zephyr is very reasonably priced for what you get. To mitigate the shipping hit, I recommend buying all the components you need for dual deploy when you buy the kit (payload bay, coupler, switch band, ebay sled, etc). That way, even if you just use the bird in single deploy mode for your level 1 cert, you can immediately build out the dual deploy, test it on a bunch of H & I impulse flights and then fly it with a J for Level 2 cert.

I do recommend upgrading the parachute that comes with the kit. It isn't bad, but there are vastly better options out there.
Thanks for the info! Good to know my worries about the fin ends are unfounded. I know I'll eventually pull the trigger on the Zephyr :)

Do you have any recommendations for good HPR parachutes? I have personal experience with Top Flite, but I've heard of Bama, LOC, Fruity, etc
 

mtnmanak

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Do you have any recommendations for good HPR parachutes? I have personal experience with Top Flite, but I've heard of Bama, LOC, Fruity, etc
Giving advice on TRF about parachutes is like giving advice on religion or epoxy :)

Having said that, I have tried many of the parachute manufacturers and some time ago I standardized on two. For all my rockets 25lbs and below, I use Fruity Chutes. They are expensive, but I have found them to be worth it. Their Iris Ultra Compact chutes give you super performance in a small package. With a 2.2 Cd, they outperform most other chutes at the same size, so you can downsize and still have safe landing speeds. I am a big believer in smaller chutes - they tend to have less deployment issues and eject easier. So, I use their Iris ultra chutes for most HPR mains and their Classic Ellipticals for drogues. As a bonus, they have one of the best descent calculators on the web.

Realistically, you only need one chute of each size. I install a swivel on the attach point on the rocket (usually the payload bay shock cord) and then use snaplinks to clip the parachute to the swivel. This way, not only can I switch the parachutes between rockets, I can make a call at the field based on weather conditions.

For rockets 25lbs and over, I use Skyangle Cert 3 parachutes and drogues.

Just want to add this disclaimer - these are my preferences, many people on this forum have great suggestions and preferences that work for them, so it does pay to ask around. There are great options that are cheaper than Fruity Chutes and Skyangle.

The only thing I would really recommend is sticking with a brand and product through a number of weight classes. This gives you apples-to-apples comparison when you need to decide which size chute you want to use. If you use a bunch of different brands, it is almost impossible to compare and decide. A 48" Fruity Chute Iris Ultra Compact is vastly different than a 48" LOC, for example. I want to be able to reduce the decision factor to size only and the only way I know to do that is by using the same brand/model at different sizes.

The reason I switched to Skyangle for my big stuff is they are more cost effective at those sizes. Fruity Chutes is awesome, but they get out of my price range above 84". On the other hand, a SkyAngle Cert 3 XXL can handle a 100+ lbs rocket and is only $240.

Once you figure out the chutes you want to go with, recommend waiting for Black Friday sales. You can really save a bundle at that time of the year.
 

grouch

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Do you have any recommendations for good HPR parachutes? I have personal experience with Top Flite, but I've heard of Bama, LOC, Fruity, etc
One thing you are going to want to consider is where you fly factors in on chute choice. If you fly in an area where there are briars, cactus or other rough vegetation, you might want to stick with panel chutes. Nothing is worse than ruining a $75 Fruity after it get wrapped up in vegetation that want's it more than you want it back. I've ruined enough to know I don't want to do it anymore. For what I'm flying, the flat panel Top Flights are my go to.
 

Budro0

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Do you have any recommendations for good HPR parachutes? I have personal experience with Top Flite, but I've heard of Bama, LOC, Fruity, etc
I agonized over this for a long time and eventually just bought a couple for one rocket and did some tests. I ended up really liking Spherachutes and Rocketman. For my 1.9lb rocket, I use a 3ft from both (standard Sphera and standard parabolic Rocketman). Both give virtually the same descent rates. I really like everything about the Spheras and have no complaints. The Rocketman chutes can be a little diffucult to pack in the same airframe that a Sphera fits. Prices were comparable, but I know I've only bought Rocketman chutes on sale.

Not to say anything bad about any other company, but Julie at Spherachutes is amazing and her 4 day turnaround on a custom chute meant I had a chute that was perfectly sized for my L1 rocket in less than a week.
 

Alan R

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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I've always wondered if any Zephyr owners/fliers have had problems with the fins being damaged upon landing? Those point fins extending below the end of the body tube look like they would be vulnerable to breaking. I know the Zephyr's fins are pretty iconic/unique, but I could see myself trimming those points down a bit.
+1 per @mtnmanak those plywood fins are really solid and I've never had a problem. Launch weight is only about 3.5 lbs. so not a lot of stress unless you have complete failure.

I have a Zephyr in the cart at Apogee, but the shipping cost being 1/4 of the rocket's price is what's keeping it there for now...
or just look at it differently. Pretty much any similar kit probably costs almost $25 more once you add in a chute and nomex that the other guys don't include.
 

Spitfire222

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Thank you all for the great info on parachutes and the Zephyr. I apologize for kind of hijacking the thread, but hopefully it will get back on track when @JasonB flies his Zephyr this weekend!

I like the idea of sticking to one chute brand to better compare between sizes and styles. Also it looks like the Zephyr is currently out of stock, so that decision is made for me, for now. I know I'll get one eventually!
 

Arpak

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Nice rocket, and cool paint job!

I have a Zephyr in the cart at Apogee, but the shipping cost being 1/4 of the rocket's price is what's keeping it there for now...

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I've always wondered if any Zephyr owners/fliers have had problems with the fins being damaged upon landing? Those point fins extending below the end of the body tube look like they would be vulnerable to breaking. I know the Zephyr's fins are pretty iconic/unique, but I could see myself trimming those points down a bit.
If I can throw my hat in, the Zephyr fins are solid as hell probably helped by the assembly allowing you to place internal fillets easily. I lawndarted my zephyr last launch and one of the fins completely dug itself into the ground, the fin is fine with some minor cracking in the little overhang cut out bit. I'm sure I can fix it with some epoxy however.
 

Brian Ditmer

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think you got a fin issue? A big parachute protected mine from a landing on a dry lakebed


Bbee.jpg
 

ksaves2

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Great,
Congratulations. now do the DD version and get the L2 in the can.
Then, you can really start spending money for reloads!;)
Or go crazy and learn to mix from a nearby club that mixes and you'll "really" be spending money then.:D

Kurt
 

JasonB

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Yep... delay was supposed to be 8s. Drilled out the delay ... 14s stock
 

Spitfire222

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I have another quick question for Zephyr owners. Is anyone rounding the LE of the fins on these? I've been looking at photos, and it doesn't seem like it. If so, is it because of the proximity of the fin tip cutout to the LE, or just not bothering? With the 1/4" fins, it seems like you could use a router and round-over bit to get a quick and easy profile on the LE.
 

Adam3836

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I have another quick question for Zephyr owners. Is anyone rounding the LE of the fins on these? I've been looking at photos, and it doesn't seem like it. If so, is it because of the proximity of the fin tip cutout to the LE, or just not bothering? With the 1/4" fins, it seems like you could use a router and round-over bit to get a quick and easy profile on the LE.
I personally did not
No reason for not doing it
Iam sure it would be effective to do so.
 

JasonB

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I did not round the leading edges. Im not trying for max alt. In my case and probably with most people they bought it to do that level 1 cert, just want a easy to build and durable. I also get ocd when I cannot make all the fins the same. No router access. I havent researched it but
I am curious exactly how much less drag or extra alt one gets from rounded leading edges.
 

Spitfire222

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I personally did not
No reason for not doing it
Iam sure it would be effective to do so.
I did not round the leading edges. Im not trying for max alt. In my case and probably with most people they bought it to do that level 1 cert, just want a easy to build and durable. I also get ocd when I cannot make all the fins the same. No router access. I havent researched it but
I am curious exactly how much less drag or extra alt one gets from rounded leading edges.
Thanks for the quick responses. I wouldn't do this looking for better performance/altitude, but just for the aesthetics. Since becoming a BAR rounding at least the LEs of fins as become habit, so it would feel weird to not do it! 😅
 

Adam3836

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Thanks for the quick responses. I wouldn't do this looking for better performance/altitude, but just for the aesthetics. Since becoming a BAR rounding at least the LEs of fins as become habit, so it would feel weird to not do it! 😅
Iam sure it would look great more refined clean finish to the fins
 

JasonB

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I didnt mind the squares off fins... gave it a more robust look to it. I do like the looks of fins that have an airfoil style pattern to them though
 

Arpak

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I have another quick question for Zephyr owners. Is anyone rounding the LE of the fins on these? I've been looking at photos, and it doesn't seem like it. If so, is it because of the proximity of the fin tip cutout to the LE, or just not bothering? With the 1/4" fins, it seems like you could use a router and round-over bit to get a quick and easy profile on the LE.
I gave it a "sanding", rounding is an overstatement.
 

TheTank

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Fin strength.... i converted mine to dual deploy shortly after my L1. Flown it a ton. Had an av-bay separation at the bulkhead and my fin can fell 3000ft on an 18” flat drogue and smacked the ice (flying off Lake Winnepesaukee) fins first/vertical. This was all the damage it sustained. Literally wicked thin CA in there, clamped it, and its good and back to flying on J’s.


FD3E867C-538D-4DC0-899D-96E411A54849.jpeg
 

Spitfire222

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Fin strength.... i converted mine to dual deploy shortly after my L1. Flown it a ton. Had an av-bay separation at the bulkhead and my fin can fell 3000ft on an 18” flat drogue and smacked the ice (flying off Lake Winnepesaukee) fins first/vertical. This was all the damage it sustained. Literally wicked thin CA in there, clamped it, and its good and back to flying on J’s.
I was only going to round the leading edges of the fins, but it's still cool to see the aft tips survive so well after a fall!
 

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