Build thread: fantasy scale Virgin Orbit LauncherX

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neil_w

Brain and brain, what is brain!?!
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Hmm, you enjoy building but are frustrated at not flying what you've built. This is very dangerous; this is the sort of situation that leads to taking up second hobbies. First it'll be just one innocent airplane, and before you know it you're mainlining trains.
I grew up with trains... still like them but no interest in starting that up. I've been on and off very tempted to try a stick-and-tissue rubber-powered plane... spent a good bit of time gazing at the Easy-Built Ritz. Concluded that I'm going to have equal difficulties finding an opportunity to fly it, and even worse problems with storage. But all that balsa work really does call out to me.
 

jqavins

Gone beardless since then
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I did some of that sort when I was a pre-teen. They're fun. And it served me well when I build a frame and skin rocket. It's be easier to fly than rockets, because you can do it at a park alone and don't need a bunch of equipment. Probably harder to store.
 

mbeels

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But all that balsa work really does call out to me.
Me as well. I think stick and tissue rubber models are easier to find place to fly, compared to rockets. I fly balsa planes in fields much smaller than I'd ever consider launching a rocket in. Trim for lazy circles, and Bob's Your Uncle (@BABAR )

spent a good bit of time gazing at the Easy-Built Ritz.
That looks like a good one! I also built the Herr Engineering Ryan ST, which was really fun to put together. It's also a nicely made laser cut kit. Depending on what you want to do, there are free plans available where all you need is some some 1/16" and a bit of sheet balsa. (such as one of my favorites)
 

neil_w

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Is there dope involved in the construction at all? Easy-Built says you just mist the tissue with water to shrink it. Need for dope would put the kibosh on this in a hurry.
 

mbeels

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Is there dope involved in the construction at all? Easy-Built says you just mist the tissue with water to shrink it. Need for dope would put the kibosh on this in a hurry.
There are many good alternatives to applying tissue that don't require dope. My last one I did it with white glue. You could use the same process on any tissue covered balsa model. There are probably videos or other instructions out there. Essentially:

1) Apply thin layer of white glue around the perimeter of the open frame you're covering
2) Spread out tissue, gently pull tight to remove major wrinkles, let dry.
3) Mist with water to get a bit of shrinking. (this may not even be necessary) For a wing, glue top and bottom tissue first, and then shrink both at the same time.
4) For covering solid balsa or compound curves, you can lightly paint on white glue thinned with water, it lets the tissue flex and wrap around curves.
 

Bruiser

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Came out great like all your other builds!

-Bob
 

mooffle

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Somehow I missed this entire build thread as it happened...
Nice work!
 

neil_w

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LauncherX flew yesterday on a C11-5. As I had been doing all day, I reefed the chute, which was a plastic chute because I had run out of nylon, and plastic chutes have never given me any trouble. After a brief but perfectly straight ascent, possibly because of the reefing but also possibly just bad luck, the nose cone tangled in the shroud lines and prevented the chute from opening properly. The rocket chose as its landing pad the center of the roof of the only car within 50'. It landed squarely on its back, which resulted in no damage to the car and only slight cosmetic damage to the rocket which I might or might not bother to fix.

Next order from any vendor will include more nylon chutes. It may or may not have prevented this mishap but I prefer the nylon anyway.

As with the other rockets I flew yesterday, this was a good flyer and deserves some bigger motors when circumstances allow in the future.

Before pic:
1630282035316.png

Damage, which you can barely see in the thumbnail but is easy to see if you click to enlarge:
972A505E-CABC-46C7-9EE5-24470E17BEDF_1_105_c.jpeg
And finally, the obligatory but barely useful launch video:
 

Bill S

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That's a shame the rocket got scuffed up on its first flight. :( Otherwise, looking good.
 

neil_w

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Annoying but damage is not bad, and it's the only minor damage out of five maidens, I can't really complain.
 

Nytrunner

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Glad you got out to fly again! You had good success that day, and some great rockets got air time
 
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