Black Brant II Update

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Well-Known Member
Dec 30, 2003
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Well, I finally started to paint my 235% upscale Estes Black Brant II this weekend. I could not figure out the estes painting instructions for the life of me, so I used the painting guide at cosmodrome rocketry to get the spacing correct. Its not that hard to do, just very time consuming.

The fins have a 1" long tab that goes to the motor mount, and the rest of the fin is surface mounted to the airframe/tailcone. I ended up putting a strip of 8oz glass to joint the airframe and fin, another to joint the airframe below the dip and above the tailcone, and another to joint with the tailcone. That makes three strips for each side of the fin, and with three fins, that is a total of 18 strips. I then put a layer of 1.5oz glass on the entire fincan to fill in the 8oz weave.

The nosecone, tailcone, and dip were made by Sandman, and they turned out wonderful. The tailcone looks beautiful with a layer of 1.5oz glass.

The rocket is dual deployment, using a newly bought Ozark Aerospace ARTS (bought from Loki research). It is very expensive, but is probably the most advanced flight computer on the market. I plan on using the data to increase my understanding of calculus, as well as get some cool stats: CD, Velocity, Acceleration, Max Altitude, Motor thrust and statistics. I hope I don't drop it :(

I have a 38mm mount in it, and plan on either a I195J or I453T for the first flight. What I think is cool is that I have recessed a slimline motor retainer into the tailcone so that you will not be able to see the motor when installed.

Anyway, on with the pictures. Heres my ARTS !!!
Sorry, but I had the camera set on close mode, so the images are blurry. Here is a pic of it as it is now: almost fully painted.

Oh yeah, things I still have to finish:

1. Finish electronics board
2. Put rail buttons in (it would be mighty hard to launch without, eh?)
3. Finish painting
Looks good

I am interested in the ammount of data you get back, especially since I am new to HPR and wanting to learn !

Keep the pics coming
Electronics Bay, using binding posts to rig the ejection charges:
Shock cord for rocket: black nylon is probably main, with apogee being the kevlar. Even without the shock cord and chutes, it is heaver than my fully loaded PE Honest John. looking project:D

I saw your post on rain the other day... Are you from Dodgeville? Man...that's only like 40 miles north of me. How cool is that.

Man, it has been a long time since you got back to this.

But it looks worth the wait.

Martin Vrstal:
Yeah, I live in Dodgeville. Do you go to Bong for Tripoli Wisconsin launches?

I tend to move my rockets along slowly: I try to strech out my money for as long as I can. I seem to waste less money then :)
Sol...I've been to Bong once. Meet up with Kermie there in Oct of 2002. The last launch I attended was down with the Quad Cities gang. For's about the same distance either way...2-2 1/2 hrs. It's nice to know there's other rocket nuts in the area...keep up the good work.
Got the upper sections as well as the silver circle on the fin can done today:
last but not least, a shot of the fincan

EDIT: by the way, the entire 'dip' section is not painted silver, its just the reflection off the gloss black paint :)