Composite Engines Launch--Part Deux With Nike Smoke

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tfrielin

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Last March I posted here my first experience launching with composite engines and an Estes Nike Smoke.

Short version: It was windy in March and I used used an Aerotech F26-6FJ. The Nike shuttlecocked into the wind, not gaining much altitude and was screaming back to earth when the ejection charge fired. At that point the nosecone/parachute separated and landed in a low tree branch. Rocket body landed in the top of a big ole oak tree where I gave it up for lost.
Got a good look at the nosecone and saw it was gashed. I assumed it must have contacted a fin on ejection, causing the damage. Couldn't be sure because I didn't think I'd get the rocket body back.

Well, the rocket body was blown out of the tree by that same wind and was recovered the day after we left and this weekend I was back at the launch site for the first time. My examination of the body confirmed my initial surmise---the yellow fin was nicked and the root of the fin showed cracks in the paint and glue fillet, indicating it experienced the trauma of colliding with the nosecone. So, mystery solved.

Act Two: In the meantime, I built the second Nike Smoke I had in the closet and got two Estes F50-4T engines and proceeded to try again to launch with composite engines. This time, I took the advice offered here (thanks, guys!) and got a five foot long quarter inch launch rod and was ready to launch again.

First launch: Man, I was blown away with the acceleration of that Nike Smoke on an F50--a real bat out of hell. But it flew straight up and with no wind, I got it back with room to spare. Repeated that with my second F50-4T and that went well too. Then I launched with remaining F-26-6FJ and got a good flight on that one too, but it went into the tree line and I lost it.

From this I concluded: Launching the Estes Nike Smoke on F-26 engines is not an underpowered engine as I thought before---the lack of wind and the extra length of the launch rod worked to get it on a good straight up trajectory. So that was good news--I preferred the slower acceleration of the F26 over the zoom of the F50. And I kind of was getting to like the thick bad-ass black smoke of the FJ.

So, now with the loss of another Nike Smoke, all I need is a Nike Smoke (3 inch diameter) nose cone to get the original one back to flight status. Any leads on doing that will be appreciated. And conclusion #2: I'm really getting hooked on these composite engines.

The End.
 

Banzai88

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You need a bigger field. Look up clubs in your area.
 

viciouspeanut

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Congrats on the successful flights, but sorry about losing the second one. You might want to look at getting a 29/40-120 case and running the F40 motors, a nice mid range that has slower liftoff than the F50 blues, plus nice white smoke.
 

Banzai88

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No doubt. But I'm not much of a joiner.
At some point, to stay legal, if you're going to build rockets that keep getting larger/heavier or higher or higher power motors, you're going to need a certification and a legal waiver for a defined field. That's where the power of the club comes into play. The unquantifiable is the money and time you'll save harnessing the knowledge, guidance, and lessons learned from the 'old timers'. I know that I've saved hundreds in what would have been lost rockets and motor cases had I followed what I thought I knew instead of having joined my local club, and then ventured out to other local clubs.

If none of the above applies, disregard.
 

tfrielin

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"At some point, to stay legal, if you're going to build rockets that keep getting larger/heavier or higher or higher power motors..."

No, not at my age.

"If none of the above applies, disregard."

See above.
 

tfrielin

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Congrats on the successful flights, but sorry about losing the second one. You might want to look at getting a 29/40-120 case and running the F40 motors, a nice mid range that has slower liftoff than the F50 blues, plus nice white smoke.
Thanks---I'll get a couple of F40s for the remaining Nike.
 

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