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Chester's Cheeto Chaser #3 Build

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RocketFeller

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I'm new to the Rocketry Forum, so I thought I would start with what I'm working on right now.

I haven't built a new HPR since last summer, so after attending Fillible's Folly (Oregon Rocketry's fall launch in Sheridan) I decide to build something new.

A little history on the name; the original Chester's Cheeto Chaser is a NCR Interceptor-G with a small plastic Chester attached to the outside of the body tube. CCC#2 is a scratch-built rocket. It is made with 3.9" Quantum tubing and 3/32" G10 fins with a rubber Chester residing in the nosecone.

Chester's Cheeto Chaser #3 is another scratch-build, this time built with 2.5" phenolic and .125" G10 fin material.

I will post this in a few installments as I have dial-up which limits what I can post at one time.

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RocketFeller

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I started by laying out the fins and cutting them out with a jig-saw. I clamped them together and sanded them even on a bench sander.

After that I started cutting centering rings. I used 3/16" and 1/4" birch ply.

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RocketFeller

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After I had the rings cut out I started putting together the motor mount assembly. There isn't much room in the 2.5"x1.5" tailcone, so I had to grind down the t-nuts (for motor retention) on 2 sides to fit them in the dead space between the tailcone and the 29mm motor tube.

Once the motor mount was done I tacked the fins in place with CA and then added the internal fillets with milled fiberglass-reinforced epoxy.

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RocketFeller

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After adding some fiberglass cloth reinforcement across the fin roots I started slotting the body tube.

I like to build the motor mount/fin assembly completely and then slot the body tube all the way down and slide it over the assembly. I used electrical tape stretched over the rear of the body tube to hold everything tight while the epoxy set.

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RocketFeller

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I added eight small fins to the main part of the body tube just for looks and then started on the "Cockpit" section of the rocket.

I first laid out the cockpit opening with a ship's curve. Chester is sitting in an acceleration chair this time, in CCC#2 Chester suffered from some whiplash due to takeoff forces.

I dry-fit everything together just to get an idea of the finished rocket. :D

I got it about halfway painted today, I'll post up more photos as the build finishes up.

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RocketFeller

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Made some progress - filled the spirals with glazing compound and finished the primer yesterday.

Today I finished the fore and aft bulkheads. Both have 1/4" forged eye-bolts and stainless t-nuts. The aft closure has 4 holes for ejection gasses. The aluminum piece is the motor retention ring.

Chester is firmly attached to his acceleration chair - two screws in the back and his legs are glued with CA.

I almost finished painting, but ran out of paint before I got the nose section done, I think it needs a third coat. The paint is Testors model paint, "Roadstar Orange" and "Aluma Yellow". Both are pearl finishes and look really cool in the sun.

After the paint has cured for a few days I can finally put it all together, can't wait!

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RocketFeller

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I've just about finished the project, just need to add an upper rail button and another layer or two of CA around the canopy. The finished rocket weighs 3 pounds, 4 ounces without recovery or motor. It is 54.5" long by 2.6" in diameter. The motor mount is 29mm x 15" long.

I sure don't want to wait until spring to fly it, I sure hope the weather is decent in Brothers this October!


The first couple photos show the motor retention with an AT 29/240 case in place.

Chester got a couple screws in his back and a healthy dose of CA to make sure he would stay put during thrust and ejection forces.

The "Roadstar Orange" pearl finish turned out really nice. My finishes are far from flawless, but I like them shiny!

I need to get out my better camera on a sunny day to get a really good picture of the finished rocket, but this gives the general idea.

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redsox15

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where did you get the motor retention system you used...looks cool:cool:
 

RocketFeller

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where did you get the motor retention system you used...looks cool:cool:
Thanks, I actually made it from scratch.

I built a couple of t-nuts into the motor mount just ahead of the rear centering ring. The retaining ring I cut out of an aluminum bracket i had lying around. Using a drill press and a hole saw I first cut the outside diameter, and then cut the inside while holding the ring with a pair of channel-locks. Then I drilled eight 1/8" holes spaced around the ring.

I have been doing similar motor retainers on all my high and mid-power rockets, basically because I'm too cheap to pay for a real motor retention system - this one probably cost under $1.00 for the #6 t-nuts and SS bolts. :D
 

Jeff

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I like that small boattail section - how did you make it?
 

RocketFeller

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I like that small boattail section - how did you make it?
The boattail is a PML urethane boattail/reducer. I like them a lot, I've used them on a couple of 4" rockets before and I like the "finished" look it gives.

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FatBoy

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Wow!!! That is OUTSTANDING!! Where did you get (or how did you make) the canopy?
 

RocketFeller

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Wow!!! That is OUTSTANDING!! Where did you get (or how did you make) the canopy?
Thanks a lot, I like to do things a little different!

The canopies are all R/C airplane parts that I picked up at the Hobby store. I trimmed them down quite a bit to fit. For CCC#2 (orange w/ black spots) and this latest rocket I cut out the opening and fitted the canopy from underneath. For my next Chester rocket I found this cool P-51 canopy that will surface mount perfectly on a 4" airframe tube.

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powderburner

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RocketFeller,

That is a really neat idea for a rocket, and very well executed too! The paint job is a perfect finishing touch!

WHERE did you find a little plastic Chester?!?? Are they available in slightly smaller sizes? Do you have any extras left over?
 

RocketFeller

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RocketFeller,

That is a really neat idea for a rocket, and very well executed too! The paint job is a perfect finishing touch!

WHERE did you find a little plastic Chester?!?? Are they available in slightly smaller sizes? Do you have any extras left over?
Thanks!

The Chester Cheetah "bendable" (rubber with a wire skeleton) was a Subway Kids' Meal prize back in 2001, I found mine at the Goodwill around that time. I am pretty sure they only made one size. I think motorcycle Chester was also a Kids' Meal prize, but I don't really know.

I have a couple other bendable toys for pilots when I run out of Chesters, they are both a bit smaller. In think Wallace will make an excellent pilot, I just wish I could find Gromit!

I wish I had more Chesters - I only have one left - but you can find just about anything on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/2001-Chester-Ch...m5ad3ca39c0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14#ht_500wt_956

http://cgi.ebay.com/WALLACE-GROMIT-...0?hash=item33562eb2dd&_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116
 

RocketFeller

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I bought some custom decals from Mark at StickerShock (great service!) and they arrived in the mail today. They were actually easier to apply than I expected.

I think they turned out really nice, now I just need to clear-coat it. I plan on using Rustoleum Crystal Clear.

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SteelyEyed

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RF, just thought I would let you know that I met Chester in person. He was not very articulate, but a nice guy (at least I think he was a guy). I was in a grocery store in Lima, Peru (I spent a couple of days in Lima on my way to Machu Picchu this Spring) and there he was, in the fur. I took a picture of Chester and a friend of mine, see below. Had I known he was an astronaut I would have asked him for his autograph...

 
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RocketFeller

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RF, just thought I would let you know that I met Chester in person. He was not very articulate, but a nice guy (at least I think he was a guy). I was in a grocery store in Lima, Peru (I spent a couple of days in Lima on my way to Machu Picchu this Spring) and there he was, in the fur. I took a picture of Chester and friend of mine, see below. Had I known he was an astronaut I would have asked him for his autograph...

Nice!

I was in Peru for a couple weeks back in 1996. I was going to study in Ecuador and it was cheaper to fly to Lima and then buy a ticket to Quito than to book a flight from Portland to Quito. Machu Picchu was really cool, but I had a few interesting flights in Peru. There was one where I boarded an old Russian prop plane through a ramp in the tail and sat in bus seats bolted to a plywood floor. That was a real eardrum buster!
 

SteelyEyed

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Nice!

I was in Peru for a couple weeks back in 1996. I was going to study in Ecuador and it was cheaper to fly to Lima and then buy a ticket to Quito than to book a flight from Portland to Quito. Machu Picchu was really cool, but I had a few interesting flights in Peru. There was one where I boarded an old Russian prop plane through a ramp in the tail and sat in bus seats bolted to a plywood floor. That was a real eardrum buster!
____________________________________

Ya international travel will often make you appreciate the good ol' USA. I've had some interesting flights on Russian aircraft as well...

Hope Chester has a great flight. Lookin' forward to seeing the flight photos. Good luck.

Bret
 

FatBoy

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That really turned out SWEET!!! You should be very proud of yourself! And it is such an inspiration to those of us who are inspirationless. We better see that one entered in some Best Rocket competitions here on TRF.
 

RocketFeller

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That really turned out SWEET!!! You should be very proud of yourself! And it is such an inspiration to those of us who are inspirationless. We better see that one entered in some Best Rocket competitions here on TRF.
Wow... Thanks!

I would love to see more piloted, canopied rockets. So, if you are inspired, build one!

As far as entering it in a competition, that would be fun, but I have a feeling Chester's Cheeto Chaser III may not be everybody's cup-o-tea, if you know what I mean. If you are into mach-busting high-performance rockets this project might seem a bit silly... ;)
 

Pantherjon

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Doesn't seem a bit silly to me at all! Rocket looks awesome! And those decals from Stickershock REALLY make it look great! And , yeah, you inspired me to grab a Chester off of Ebay, and will soon have a cat piloted rocket of my own!:p

Just gotta figger out which rocket to put him in..so many choices!:rolleyes::roll:
 

RocketFeller

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Doesn't seem a bit silly to me at all! Rocket looks awesome! And those decals from Stickershock REALLY make it look great! And , yeah, you inspired me to grab a Chester off of Ebay, and will soon have a cat piloted rocket of my own!:p

Just gotta figger out which rocket to put him in..so many choices!:rolleyes::roll:
Awesome, I can't wait to see the build thread!

Before long there could be Chester-piloted rockets all over the country - Next, THE WORLD! :y:
 

FatBoy

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As far as entering it in a competition, that would be fun, but I have a feeling Chester's Cheeto Chaser III may not be everybody's cup-o-tea, if you know what I mean. If you are into mach-busting high-performance rockets this project might seem a bit silly... ;)
Not at all. I would encourage you to enter it in one of the monthly contests. Just find one that has a theme that fits. You have my vote!
 

RocketFeller

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He went up on an AT H238T. The medium delay was just right with seperation a hair past apogee. The 'chute hung up just long enough to make me sweat. He landed a couple hundred yards from the pad for an easy retrieval.

It was a beautiful day at the Brothers launch site, I'll post some photos tomorrow when I get home.
 

RocketFeller

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First shot is on the rail. Always have to take one last photo just in case.

Chester seems confident despite the very real possibility that his first flight could be his last...

It turns out I did get a shot of the take-off, but it wasn't a great one.

You can just see the rocket coming down, but you can really see what a beautiful site Brothers is.

A safe landing in the sagebrush.

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