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Black Powder Altitude Records?

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Bruce

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Does anyone know what the highest altitude reached on black powder only motors is?

What might be a good combination of BP motors to attempt a high flight? Do you think perhaps an F15-0 to a C6-0 with a C6-7 for the sustainer / third stage would be good? It's too bad the FSI F100 and F7 motors are not still in production, as it makes it harder if you use only Estes motors.

Would using a cluster in the first stage be of any benefit?

There could also be the challenge of finding the rocket after a high flight. Are there tracking transmitters that might fit in a BT-20?

Any thoughts?
 

neil_w

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I think it's probably hard to guess at the optimal configuration. Would suggest experimenting with models in OR or Rocksim and getting an idea for what works best.

Yes, finding that rocket will be a challenge. :)
 

prfesser

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Tripoli used to have a BP motor record. I think it was a single-motor category, and I suspect (don't recall) that it was one of Rocketflite's H-220 motors.

I suppose they retired it because there weren't any big BP motors anymore.

Best -- Terry
 

dhbarr

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Just a quick pass suggests F15, E9, C5 could be about a mile up -- but yeah, at these sizes and heights you only need to put a tracker in the ones you want to get back :-D

EDUT: This is not me recommending throwaways, this is a reminder that almost nobody's eyes are good enough to resolve an 18mm * 20cm object from a mile away.
 
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Rocketjunkie

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I've flown 4 stage rack rockets with Estes F15's in each stage. Didn't put an altimeter in them, could use a Firefly or similar to see how high it goes. Sims indicate around 3000 feet. An optimized design should get a lot more. Just keep it as light as possible. Here's a build of a 3 F15 rack rocket https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/rack-rocket-build.59577/
 

n27sb

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I think I could probably crack a mile with a 2 stage BP and get the first stage back. That would include a GPS tracker and electronic deploy.
I originally looked at this prior to my 2 stage F flight with composite fuel and electronic airstart.
I got a little more altitude but tripled the complexity.

And yes, you need to get the parts back and be able to re-fly.
 

ksaves2

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We sponsored a BP altitude contest years ago at LDRS. The highest flight was about 10k with three stages of Silver Streak H motors.

M
Holee guacamole! I wasn’t around back in the day of the “H” BP motors and wonder if they were more susceptible to CATO’s if they weren’t stored carefully to avoid thermal cycling or rough handling that could crack the grain? Prfesser? Kurt
 

heada

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38mm and 54mm BP motors are standard items in the fireworks hobby(not called 38mm or 54mm, they're called 3 pound and 6 pound). Homemade, hand-rammed, 1-time use. It'd be interesting to see how those would do in the rocketry hobby.
 

prfesser

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Holee guacamole! I wasn’t around back in the day of the “H” BP motors and wonder if they were more susceptible to CATO’s if they weren’t stored carefully to avoid thermal cycling or rough handling that could crack the grain? Prfesser? Kurt
There were more than a few CATOs of those F/G/H BP motors. At the first launch I attended, the LCO said "If you haven't seen an F Silver Streak, this will be spectacular". He was right. BOOM! :)

38mm and 54mm BP motors are standard items in the fireworks hobby(not called 38mm or 54mm, they're called 3 pound and 6 pound). Homemade, hand-rammed, 1-time use. It'd be interesting to see how those would do in the rocketry hobby.
The paper casings for 3 pound motors are usually 1.5" od, 1" id, about 10" long, so maybe a G motor. 6 pound are 1.5" id, 2" od, about 15" long, which would probably be a full H, maybe a baby I. I've heard of some guys making large BP motors using fiberglass casings, but I've never seen one.

Large coreburning BP motors have a progressive burn that's not terribly suitable for high-power rocketry. David Sleeter's Amateur Rocket Motor Construction describes an I-100 motor: 1 1/8: id, 15" of modified BP; initial thrust about 12 lb, maximum 40 lb at about 2.5 seconds, dropping to 12 lb again at 3 seconds, burn time 3.4 seconds. It would need a lightweight rocket, maybe 2.5 lb. I'd love to see that sort of thing fly, though!

Best -- Terry
 

ksaves2

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There were more than a few CATOs of those F/G/H BP motors. At the first launch I attended, the LCO said "If you haven't seen an F Silver Streak, this will be spectacular". He was right. BOOM! :)



The paper casings for 3 pound motors are usually 1.5" od, 1" id, about 10" long, so maybe a G motor. 6 pound are 1.5" id, 2" od, about 15" long, which would probably be a full H, maybe a baby I. I've heard of some guys making large BP motors using fiberglass casings, but I've never seen one.

Large coreburning BP motors have a progressive burn that's not terribly suitable for high-power rocketry. David Sleeter's Amateur Rocket Motor Construction describes an I-100 motor: 1 1/8: id, 15" of modified BP; initial thrust about 12 lb, maximum 40 lb at about 2.5 seconds, dropping to 12 lb again at 3 seconds, burn time 3.4 seconds. It would need a lightweight rocket, maybe 2.5 lb. I'd love to see that sort of thing fly, though!

Best -- Terry
Thanks for the replyTerry! That is absolutely great! Kurt
 

Rocketjunkie

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The Rocketflite motors worked well. After a few years if not stored in climate controlled conditions, they became bombs. We learned to light them at the bottom, then they worked usually. Here's a 5 stage rack rocket using G160's :)
The back of the rocket got so hot it blew off sometime during the 4th motor burn.
 

BABAR

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I've flown 4 stage rack rockets with Estes F15's in each stage. Didn't put an altimeter in them, could use a Firefly or similar to see how high it goes. Sims indicate around 3000 feet. An optimized design should get a lot more. Just keep it as light as possible. Here's a build of a 3 F15 rack rocket https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/rack-rocket-build.59577/
Nice! And TRFers get on my case when I talk about rockets dropping 18 mm and 24 mm cardboard motor casings, LOL.
 

Joekeyo

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Designed to carry an Altimeter 2, probably wont break any"C" impulse records, but it could get close.
20200909_143710.jpg
 

GlenP

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Instead of a traditional cluster, you could try parallel staging the first stage with strap on boosters.
 

High Desert Rocketry

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Tripoli used to have a BP motor record. I think it was a single-motor category, and I suspect (don't recall) that it was one of Rocketflite's H-220 motors.

I suppose they retired it because there weren't any big BP motors anymore.

Best -- Terry
Sounds like it's time for 'sugar' propellant altitude records...
 

Matthew Ota

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In 1977 David Dorrycott set an F class world record with a three stage model rocket that used FSI motors. It was 1.2 kilometers.
 

Bruce

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3,937 feet, not bad...

Could this be equaled with the current Estes motors?
 

Joekeyo

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I've flown 4 stage rack rockets with Estes F15's in each stage. Didn't put an altimeter in them, could use a Firefly or similar to see how high it goes. Sims indicate around 3000 feet. An optimized design should get a lot more. Just keep it as light as possible. Here's a build of a 3 F15 rack rocket https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/rack-rocket-build.59577/
That was great video. The staging was obvious. It was amazing that the recovery was so close to the launch area. What are the dimensions of the sustainer?
 

Bruce

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Agreed. Great flight! We look forward to seeing an optimized design flown with an altimeter. 4,000 feet maybe?
 

MClark

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I just did a simulation (RASAero2) for a minimum diameter two stage using Estes F15"s one in each stage.
Used real world fins size, not optimized in any way.
Just over 6800 feet
This would be a simple project using direct staging.

With three F15 in a larger booster it's over 9500'.
As far as I can tell they are the largest certified BP motors in production.

M
 

MClark

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38mm and 54mm BP motors are standard items in the fireworks hobby(not called 38mm or 54mm, they're called 3 pound and 6 pound). Homemade, hand-rammed, 1-time use. It'd be interesting to see how those would do in the rocketry hobby.

Non certified research Black Powder motors are prohibited by TRA and NAR
For a record it must be flown under the safety code.

FAR might let you launch, and keep your own records.
 

Bruce

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I just did a simulation (RASAero2) for a minimum diameter two stage using Estes F15"s one in each stage.
Used real world fins size, not optimized in any way.
Just over 6800 feet
This would be a simple project using direct staging.

With three F15 in a larger booster it's over 9500'.
As far as I can tell they are the largest certified BP motors in production.

M
A 2 stage F15 powered rocket sounds good and 6,800 feet would be great! I'd like to see someone build this.

The 3 stage sounds good too, but it would be bad if it tilted off to the side and went 9500' horizontally...
 

GalantVR41062

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I have flown some Estes black powder motors, some in sub minimum diameter and direct staging. A flying c6-7 goes about 1400-1500'.

I have flown the Estes Comanche 3 twice on a D12 - c6 - C6-7 configuration. I lost the first but had a straight flight and recovered all 3 parts at my first high power launch. Based on visual I think 2000-2200' is a good estimation on apogee. I now have electronics that can both fit and allow for dual deploy with back up apogee event in the case of a failure to stage.

I have flown the F15, its a heavy tame motor. I am planning on a slight upscale minimum diameter c3ish project and a direct stage F15-F15 project.

I believe the MD F15 to F15 project could go 3500-4000'.

My c3 idea is a F15 booster direct stage to a E12 staged to a E12-8. I have achieved 1875' on a non optimized bt60 E12 to E12 project a few years ago.

So the F15 to MD E12 to E12 project I feel could do a mile if I recall correctly my flights and simulations building up to this.

~John
 
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Rocketjunkie

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Here's some pics of the construction of a 3 stage F powered version. Upper body and nose cone Apogee lightweight parts. You can see it's a very draggy design. With fall away boosters you should get much better performance. No finish, most parts left square. Just built them for the :cool: factor:) Also, Hobby Lobby carried them and with 40% off coupons :)
Rack 3F 01a.JPGRack 3F 02a.JPGRack 3F 03a.JPGRack 3F 04a.JPGRack 3F 05a.JPGRack 3F 06a.JPGRack 3F 07a.JPGRack 3F 08a.JPGRack 3F 09a.JPGRack 3F 10a.JPG
 

Rocketjunkie

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That was great video. The staging was obvious. It was amazing that the recovery was so close to the launch area. What are the dimensions of the sustainer?
The sustainer is 1/2 of an Apogee 29mm tube and 29 mm nose cone. Rails and supports are basswood, fins balsa. Again, no finish, just raw wood. You notice the entire rocket is one piece. The rack is also part of the sustainer. Spent booster motors get kicked out of the rack and free fall. (Acceptable per safety code - NOT per contest code.)
 
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