BALLS 312 Estes C6-0 Cluster Record

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

BruceLee

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
30
Bruce Lee and Jerry Amrhein (Tripoli Colorado) set the new cluster record at BALLS with a rocket we call "Cluster Duck" It had 312 Estes C6-0 motors and one Aerotech Hybrid J390. Of the 312 Estes motors we got 298 to light and 14 that did not light and the J390 also lit setting he record at 299 total motors beating Larry Drakes 269 motor cluster set at Argonia in 2000. Ok, the pictures and videos have mostly come in so I am posting some here, eventually I will have a Youtube video up and running in the near future. On the rocket if you look carefully you will see the stylized Duck painted down the side and constellations painted on the nose all done by Jerry. As you can see we used 6 cluster motor groups each with its own flash pan and a central J390 hybrid motor. In the picture on the ground after the flight you can see the motors that did not fire, they are the ones with the nozzle still gray (the 4 at the center next to the central motor are just dirt), we stuck a wire into each motor to verify it fired. Stu Barrett witnessed and counted 14 non-firing motors. The video is thanks to Dave Filger of TRA MN. The photos are iphone or cut from our GoPro Video. The bottom of the Cluster Duck is 17" wide and with 298 C motors firing the flame looks like 17" of fire. We used 1.8 pounds of black powder in the flash pans and you can see 12 foot ball of fire at ignition. The J390 hybrid air-started.

As one of the owners of UP Aerospace I have to mention the number one launch video on the internet, now with over 18 million hits, google "GoPro Launch to Space" or use
 

Attachments

smstachwick

LPR/MPR sport flier with an eye to HPR and scale
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
314
Reaction score
234
Location
San Diego, CA
So that's like running a.....

(does some quick math)

an L1413 and a J390 with extra steps. 😜

Absolutely incredible flight, well done.
 

boomtube-mk2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
1,529
Reaction score
958
I notice that there are no igniters installed in any of the unburned C6-0's.
So what method did you use to ignite all those BP motors?
 

brockrwood

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
748
Reaction score
430
Location
Denver, Colorado, USA
Bruce Lee and Jerry Amrhein (Tripoli Colorado) set the new cluster record at BALLS with a rocket we call "Cluster Duck" It had 312 Estes C6-0 motors and one Aerotech Hybrid J390. Of the 312 Estes motors we got 298 to light and 14 that did not light and the J390 also lit setting he record at 299 total motors beating Larry Drakes 269 motor cluster set at Argonia in 2000. Ok, the pictures and videos have mostly come in so I am posting some here, eventually I will have a Youtube video up and running in the near future. On the rocket if you look carefully you will see the stylized Duck painted down the side and constellations painted on the nose all done by Jerry. As you can see we used 6 cluster motor groups each with its own flash pan and a central J390 hybrid motor. In the picture on the ground after the flight you can see the motors that did not fire, they are the ones with the nozzle still gray (the 4 at the center next to the central motor are just dirt), we stuck a wire into each motor to verify it fired. Stu Barrett witnessed and counted 14 non-firing motors. The video is thanks to Dave Filger of TRA MN. The photos are iphone or cut from our GoPro Video. The bottom of the Cluster Duck is 17" wide and with 298 C motors firing the flame looks like 17" of fire. We used 1.8 pounds of black powder in the flash pans and you can see 12 foot ball of fire at ignition. The J390 hybrid air-started.

As one of the owners of UP Aerospace I have to mention the number one launch video on the internet, now with over 18 million hits, google "GoPro Launch to Space" or use
I have to admit: That is AWESOME!
 

boomtube-mk2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
1,529
Reaction score
958
Flash pan
Below the motors is a metal pan with a shallow layer of black powder. Powder is ignited the flames go into the nozzle.
I'm astounded that such a system would be allowed.
Did you have to get a special dispensation to use it?
 

boomtube-mk2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
1,529
Reaction score
958
Was at Black Rock, chance of ignition starting a fire is so close to zero to be indistinguishable from zero.
At Black Rock a thermonuclear explosion is unlikely to start a fire.
Black Rock is "Hell's vestibule". . . . unless you like launching really big rockets then it's paradise.
 

BABAR

Builds Rockets for NASA
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
9,408
Reaction score
4,110
Sort of belies the typical interpretation of "just a flash in the pan."

Amazing accomplishment!
 

Arpak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
183
Reaction score
188
Location
San Antonio, TX
I have always wondered how the “blast shield” or whatever the nuclear bomb explosions push against, in an Orion type propulsion system, could withstand the force exerted on it.
From what I understand, Its not a massive nuckear bomb, and most renders of it I have seen had a damper system on the plate itself.
 

cbwho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
297
Reaction score
145
Location
MN
Since you mentioned Up Aerospace... the SL-10 rocket, how much of it is reusable? Do you use parachute recovery?
 

MadRocketer

Determined to do it differently
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
98
Reaction score
86
What does this painting depict?
My book declares it is a depiction of a ‘photon rocket’ published in Technology for the Youth 1957. Using photons to launch artificial satellites into space based on research led by Dr. Eugen Sänger, Research Institute of Jet Propulsion Physics in Stuttgart.
 

Tim51

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
1,084
Reaction score
323
Location
London, United Kingdom
I have always wondered how the “blast shield” or whatever the nuclear bomb explosions push against, in an Orion type propulsion system, could withstand the force exerted on it.
There's a very good book 'Project Orion' by George Dyson, son of Freeman Dyson, that discusses this and many other technical aspects of the ship, as well as some of the wider contexts. The bombs were to be detonated such that the epicentre of the blast was some distance from the actual pusher plate - an 'airburst' rather than a surface burst. It's some years since I read it, but iirc some designs called for the pusher plate to be coated and recoated with an ablative oil between detonations.
 

Grant_Edwards

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
183
Reaction score
156
Location
Minneapolis
Sort of belies the typical interpretation of "just a flash in the pan."
The phrase "just a flash in the pan" refers to the malfunction when setting off the black powder in the pan does not ignite what it's supposed to, and instead of the the large explosion you wanted, all you get is the flash from the BP in the pan.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top