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Clear body tubes

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wwattles

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Has anyone ever built a rocket with a completely clear body tube? I've seen clear sections out there for payloads, but would it stand up to ejection charges? My idea is to have something where the entire tube is clear, all the way back to the motor mount. That way, you could see the chute, the wadding, the shock cord inside the tube, and you could see the ejection charge blow when it goes!

WW
 

flying_silverad

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Not only would you see the ejection charge but I bet you would see the effects of the heat on the plastic. :D
 

Micromeister

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Guys heres another place where a small amount of forethought makes a world of difference.
I've been flying an Estes Phantom for years as a demonstriction model. it works just fine... how you ask... by sliding a slightly smaller clear mailing tube inside the Clear BT-50 tube provided. Immediately after the flight this tube is removed, and cleaned with a paper towel and fantastic, if the inside tube is scored or damaged it is replaced if not it's used again, I think the tube currently in the model has 4 or 5 flights on it.
i've also seen much larger models made of Clear mailing tubes in the 2.6" dia size that show little or not damage after flights. without the inside albative tube.
 

Karl

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Micro you amaze me ! How did you do the clear nc?
-Karl
 

powderburner

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Karl, the NC on the Phantom kit was made as a clear plastic piece. These kits were never intended to fly (I think Estes put warnings in those kits telling you not to try it) but I have seen several people fly them. I have been trying to figure out how to do a clear NC but the best I can manage is to adapt a clear plastic Easter egg----doesn't look as good as that Phantom NC though.

Micromister's liner system is the right idea for protecting the inside of the BT against flame/heat damage. Another idea is to use paper to line the inside, and then change that out between flights. Basically, line the insides with anything that will fit, to keep the BT from getting burned and discolored.
 

Elbmod

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Couldn't you adapt the labyrinth cooling mesh idea from the aerotech models.

This would also give you an opportunity to see how well it works!

As for the clear nose cone - here's a challenge for sandman I think! LOL
 

Micromeister

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Originally posted by powderburner
Karl, the NC on the Phantom kit was made as a clear plastic piece. These kits were never intended to fly (I think Estes put warnings in those kits telling you not to try it) but I have seen several people fly them. I have been trying to figure out how to do a clear NC but the best I can manage is to adapt a clear plastic Easter egg----doesn't look as good as that Phantom NC though.

Karl:
Powderburner is correct, my demo Phantom is a stock Estes kit which I have replaced the provided clear mylar body tube with a BT-50 size Polyethylene mailng tube and slide in clear liner. by extending the length of the phantom to about the size of the old Liberty model I can get 3 full squares of wadding into the model which protects the chute and nose from the heat, while the inner tube liner pervents the heat and soot form messing up the body tube. the fin unit is getting a little yellow tinged with age. may need to fabricate a replacement if I can't find another Phantom in one of the hobby shops;)


Powderburner:
Have you looked a vacuum forming your own? I've been playing with a small inexpensive machine and one of the wifes old toaster ovens for a little while.. They are designed much like the large 6' x 8' acrylic molding machines We use at the job, but much smaller, Similar to the one George Gassaway featured in Sport rocketry some years back. Fairly nice recults on cones. I am attempting to duplicate the phantom profile in clear PETG (Vivac) .020" clear. Had to put the project on hold, while dealing with so other "matters" I been putting off, but now must handle:(
Check out these little jewel vacuum forming machines @ www.warmplastic.com
May be just what your looking for:)

Hope this helps
 

powderburner

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Micromister, if you ever get those NCs working, I will sign up to buy a few.
I have never had much luck with vacuform, even when those toys were available in the store. I got the plastic too hot and it would tear open (or get real thin), or something always seemed to go wrong. I think those vacuform systems are 99 percent 'art' and little or no 'science'
 
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