Estes 1/200 Scale RTF Saturn V

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by JumpJet, Jan 10, 2019.

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  1. Jun 14, 2019 #211

    RocketT.Coyote

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    Finally removed mine from the package earlier this week. The forward section wasn't joined to the coupler. Fixed with epoxy. Have yet to fly and we're in for a wet weekend here.
     
  2. Jun 14, 2019 #212

    kuririn

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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  3. Jun 16, 2019 #213

    BEC

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    We had three of these at our monthly club launch today. Mine did its fourth flight on a Q-Jet C12-4....and was a quite nominal flight. Another was flown on an Aerotech D10-3. It quickly jogged to one side a bit right off the rod and then went very quickly quite high (and on a straight trajectory). That one apparently shed a fin on boost. One fin was missing on landing and it wasn't near the landing site.

    The third one flew on an Estes C6-3 and it was a just about perfect flight. A tiny little wiggle shortly after coming off the rod, then straight on up, deployment at the right time and a landing almost back on the pads. So I don't (yet) know what all the fuss is about.
     
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  4. Jun 21, 2019 #214

    Initiator001

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  5. Jun 21, 2019 #215

    afadeev

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    That's exactly what I just did (pic below), fits perfectly over the exposed end of the 24mm MMT tube.
    Works perfectly with D12-sized (2.75") Estes BP and AT single-use E15/E30 motors.

    Clipboard01.jpg

    E9 and E12 Estes BP, and other longer motors, will NOT fit, as-is.

    My primary goal was to make things work for the 24mm AT RMS casing, and a few additional adjustments had to be made. The 24mm length of RMS casing is roughly 2.75", but it also has a 5/8" long 18mm diameter extension housing the delay charge.
    To make room for it, I had to widen the diameter of the centering ring hole in the rocket itself. That worked, and 24mm RMS casing now fits. Alas, the centering ring of the FlightSketch kit was no longer usable for the purpose of centering the FWD end of the MMT. Thus I centered the MMT with a casing in place, and CA-ed the FWD end of it in place semi-permanently. Then CA-ed the Estes plastic screw-on retainer.

    To make things work for longer motors, one could widen the forward end of rocket's centering ring all the way to 24mm, and tape thrust rings to all motors. I am not going there yet, until I find or build my own .rkt model, and confirm that 1:200 SatV's can fly stable on longer burn motors.

    The end result is that my new 24mm MMT configuration is no longer easily removable, or interchangeable with stock 18mm MMT. That is perfectly fine with me, since I have a second 1:200 SaturnV with stock 18mm MMT configuration.

    MMT swapping capability would have had a short lifespan anyway, since the thrust plate is held in place by 4 tiny screws that were (a). starting to strip after a few removal cycles; (b). are screwed into the plastic areas of the rocket that were starting to disintegrate.

    Other minor maintenance items were the decorative fins. 1 of the 4 had was coming loose after a half dozen flights, and I had CA-ed it, and the other three, in place. Also took the time to CA the nose-cone forward section, based on <RocketT.Coyote> and <kuririn> feedback.

    Next club launch day, she will rip on D12, followed by E28, and F39.
    :D


    Russ,
    I noticed that you had included two packs of 8g ballast clay, and recommend stuffing it around the top of the body tube. Did you model the 1:200 SatV in OpenRocket, or just eye balled the need for extra nose weight?

    a
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  6. Jun 21, 2019 #216

    jahall4

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    Wow! thx for posting Bob!

    Yep, that's almost exactly what happened to us. That's why John Boren asked me about the fin can. So this begs the question...if experienced L0, L2, and L3 flyers can view the prepping of the rocket twice and not observe the problem, what chance does a 1st time flyer have. However, if the rocket followed Estes's own guidelines for the C6 vs rocket mass I suspect the large fins on the rocket would have overcome the stability problem enough that it would not have looped and struck the ground. We all have see HPR with broken nozzles manage to stay pointed up. So if a misalignment so slight, that it cannot be readily observed, can cause it to become unstable then IMO that is proof the rocket is underpowered on a C6.

    I say "almost exactly" because our first flight was nominal, but slow. It is likely that the first motor was properly seated or at least aligned, but the ejection charge deformed forward motor tube resulting in a large enough misalignment on the second flight that it looped. If Estes has implemented a typical one piece 18mm tube in the design we would not be talking about it now :( All it would have required would have been a slightly large hole in the fore and aft centring rings.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  7. Jun 21, 2019 #217

    gtg738w

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    Looks nice @afadeev! - I'd also like to try some of the 24mm AT motors. Too many projects on my list for now...

    I balanced by loading the stock model up ready to fly with a C6-3 & marking the CG. After the conversion, I added clay until the CG returned to the original measurement. Given how it performs in the wind, it does look over stable. I think someone posted an open rocket file somewhere up in the thread. I have not tried to compare stats yet.

    Russ
     
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  8. Jul 6, 2019 #218

    OC-Patrick

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    Launched ours today on a C6-3, perfect flight, estimate about 150-200 feet high and ejection slightly past apogee. Would not hesitate to fly again on a C6-3.
     
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  9. Jul 6, 2019 #219

    jahall4

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    Curious if you used/followed the motor insertion instruction addendum?
     
  10. Jul 6, 2019 #220

    Scott_650

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    What was the wind speed at launch?
     
  11. Jul 6, 2019 #221

    OC-Patrick

    OC-Patrick

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    Did not know there was an addendum.
     
  12. Jul 6, 2019 #222

    OC-Patrick

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    Almost no wind, say less than 5 mph.
     
  13. Jul 6, 2019 #223

    OC-Patrick

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    I just read the addendum from the link. We double checked the motor install and recovery, since it was a demonstration for my son's summer class. No issues with the flight.
     
  14. Jul 6, 2019 #224

    jahall4

    jahall4

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    We didn't have an issue with the first one either.
     
  15. Jul 6, 2019 #225

    BEC

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    Have flown mine twice more - once on a C6-3 and once on a C12-4. Both flights were as they should have been. The model now has seven flights on it. Five of those have been on Q-Jets. There has been no heat deformation of the upper motor mount ring.
     
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  16. Jul 6, 2019 #226

    jahall4

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    Apparently if the motor case gets seated as it needs to be deformation is not a problem, but before the addendum no way to tell w/o inspecting the fit with the aft bulkhead removed. Which is why it became necessary to explain what was required in the addendum. But, the addendum only explains the problem in the context of misalignment when in fact the motor can be aligned just not seated resulting in a good first flight, but not a follow up flight because now the forward bulkhead/motor tube is deformed. Again if Estes had used a typical motor tube in their design this would have been a non-issue :(
     
  17. Jul 6, 2019 #227

    BEC

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    If the motor is not seated, then the motor retainer won't be on all the way and the fins will be loose - whether or not the motor is properly aligned. There is no way to screw the retainer all the way down without the motor either being properly seated or physically shortened.

    Perhaps the inexperienced flyers you're so worried about will be more attentive to installing the motor than "experienced L0, L1, L2 and L3 flyers" apparently have been since they won't already think they know what they are doing....
     
  18. Jul 6, 2019 #228

    jahall4

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    Nope, not true the aft bulkhead being made of plastic will flex or bow towards the retainer. That's why Estes added the illustration in the addendum about it rocking, which is distinctly different than loose. It was not loose on either flight. Again if Estes had used a typical motor tube in their design this would have been a non-issue even for us ignorant "experienced L0, L1, L2 and L3 flyers".
     
  19. Jul 6, 2019 #229

    BEC

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    Well, if the aft bulkhead in your model will actually flex far enough to allow you to do that then it's cracked. Have you actually tried to do this? You have also refused to post a picture of your "distorted" upper motor mount ring. Is it really distorted? If so, show us. I've posted several pictures of the insides of the one of these I've been flying.

    "Ignorant" is your choice of words, not mine. I said (indirectly) "inattentive" which is exactly what I meant.

    I am also finished with this thread. As far as I'm concerned the model is fine as designed. It looks good, it flies reasonably on the recommended motor and better on something with a little more thrust. I am sure that anyone who takes reasonable care preparing it for flight and uses an appropriate motor will have good results.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  20. Jul 6, 2019 #230

    jahall4

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    Bernard, Don't know why you are taking this so personally. Are you connected with Estes somehow?

    It's clearly a finicky design that is too heavy for the recommended motor by Estes own standards and last time I checked weighs even more that the website states. Now that Estes has acknowledge the issue via an addendum, I feel comfortable talking more about it. Estes has sent us a warranty replacement so I may shoot a video explaining the issue and how to mitigate. I say may because The replacement kit included the addendum (supplement) so any further instruction, video etc... less needed.
     
  21. Jul 6, 2019 #231

    Eljay

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    It's hard to take somebody seriously who's making arguments like "Are you connected with Estes somehow?"

    I think you're basically making valid points and then blowing them up to five times worse than they actually are. I find it hard to blame Bernard for wanting to back away from a nonsensical argument and get on with his life.
     
  22. Jul 6, 2019 #232

    BEC

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    Thanks, Eljay.

    My "connection" is simply that I consider several folks who work at Estes Industries or who have worked there as friends and I am bristling at the repeated implication that one of them, in particular, somehow screwed up the design of this model when it is clearly (to me, at least) a case of operator-keyboard misalignment and a stubborn unwillingness to admit as much.

    Now - where is your deformed forward motor mount ring? Did you at least send a picture to the fellow whose work you are impugning repeatedly if you are afraid to post it here?

    I hope I really am finished with this now. If one puts the motor in correctly (and in the case of an Estes motor, just tightening the retainer will push it home if it stops short) the model works fine.

    I have a yard to mow and models to build.....mowing the yard will give me a chance to take out some frustrations on some dandelions.

    I'll leave with a liftoff shot of the most recent flight of my model on a C6-3. Looks straight to me.

    Image by Jim Wilkerson.
    Amelias Aero Club July 3 2019-5125.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  23. Jul 6, 2019 #233

    BABAR

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    I think maybe we can take this as a win for Estes and the Rocketry forum. Estes came out with a cool rocket. Yeah, by Estes own engine chart it is a bit underpowered, but it apparently flies okay with the engine mounted properly. Some marginal flights or worse were reported on the forum, looks like murphy’s Law, if there is a way to mess it up, people will find it. Problem with getting engine properly seated recognized, Estes acknowledges it, hopefully message gets out to everybody by July 20, and there will be lots of great flights on the anniversary.

    Reference Estes Engine chart which for C6-3 engine lists Max. Lift Wt. as 4 oz / 113 Grams
    Quote from this chart currently on Estes web site:
    “• Do not fly a rocket/engine combination whose lift-off weight exceeds the recommended maximum lift-off weight.”
    https://estesrockets.com/wp-content/uploads/Educator/Estes_Engine_Chart.pdf

    Reference Estes Saturn 5
    Quote
    “Estimated Weight. 5 oz. (141.7 g)”
    https://estesrockets.com/product/002160-saturn-v-1200th-scale-ready-to-fly/
     
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  24. Jul 6, 2019 #234

    Eljay

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    It's definitely underpowered and it's definitely good that people know that. Don't fly it if conditions aren't perfect or go with a Q Jet or similar. There's less margin than I'd like. That being said if it's not windy it actually flies just fine on a C6.
     
  25. Jul 6, 2019 #235

    BEC

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    That point I will concede....it IS over the recommended maximum liftoff weight for C6-3 so breezy day flying (at least with a normal 3 foot or so 1/8 inch launch rod) would not be the best idea.

    A bunch of dandelions in my yard are now decapitated. I feel better. :)
     
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  26. Jul 6, 2019 #236

    jahall4

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    Exactly! Rather arrogant of some of the posters here to think just because they did not encounter a problem that means one does not exist. If that was really the case then Estes wouldn't have a) identified the problem and b) issued the supplement. Estes knew about the problem before I spoke with John Boren because the questions he asked me aligned with the supplement. It is a design flaw that could have been easily avoided by just making the fore tube/well a little deeper. Truly making it impossible to get the retention cap on without the motor being aligned and ultimately seated. My mistake was that I too assumed what Benard has said "There is no way to screw the retainer all the way down without the motor either being properly seated or physically shortened". Unfortunately it can, there is a way.
     
  27. Jul 9, 2019 #237

    gtg738w

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    For what it's worth - of the many of these our store has sold so far, nobody has complained of poor flights. I also had a chance to ask our Estes rep about this and he indicated that the number of reports so far is small compared to total sales. Obviously, there is enough of an issue for Estes to address it but overall the model seems to be doing pretty well. I'm glad to see Estes producing a model like this and trying to get a few people hooked with all of the Anniversary press this year. In hindsight it's easy to speculate ways to improve the model, 24mm motor mount, thinner/lighter construction or even just a smaller scale to get the weight down. It's also impossible to know if any of these would have resulted in a truly "better" model with more people reached and more long-term hobbyists as a result. I'd assume that the team at Estes tried a wide range of options and went with the best given what they knew at the time. Engineers will always find a way to improve something and hopefully all of our feedback will just make for even better models in the future.
     
  28. Jul 9, 2019 #238

    Scott_650

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    Even though it’s a bit warm today the breeze pretty much died down to under 5mph after lunch so I packed up a bin of LPR rockets and headed to our friends dairy farm. Out of four total flights on my 1/200 Saturn V to date today was the best on an Estes C6-3 - a nice straight boost, a small bit of arcing over during coasting, then a perfect chute deployment. I added some thin plastic shims to the forward side of the backing plate, I just wasn’t comfortable with the way I had to crank down on the engine retainer in order to eliminate any wobble in the clear plastic fin unit. Now my CPFU is rock solid and the retainer only needs to be snugged up. The last time I flew it on a QJet C motor and that was a nice flight as well just not as aesthetically appealing due to the acceleration.

    So, to date, I’ve had one ok flight on a C6-3 - way more of a parabolic flight path than I expected (probably due to a wind gust at launch), one perfect flight on a C6-3, one bit of skywriting on a QJet due to a loose CPFU and one perfect flight on a QJet. I’m not planning on flying this rocket too many more times - at NARAM for sure with whichever motor the wind speed dictates, then I think it’s going into semi retirement with my Dr. Zooch Saturn taking it’s place as a regular flier. I can always rebuild the Dr Z rocket while the Estes RTF is a great rocket to display. Though, now that there’s no problem with availability, I might pickup another one and do the 24mm conversion...
     
  29. Jul 9, 2019 #239

    SecondRow

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    I’ve got 2 RTF Saturns, one for each of my sons. We haven’t had any issues whatsoever. Each rocket has flown 5 times, because I can’t fly one child’s rocket without the other wanting to fly his. Every flight has been on a C6-3 with little to no wind. Every flight has had a straight boost and recovery with no damage.

    I let the kids load the motors and put the retaining cap on. They haven’t had any trouble getting the fin unit on tight. Not sure why others are having trouble, but that’s my anecdotal evidence FWIW.
    N=10.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  30. Jul 10, 2019 #240

    Scott_650

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    I think we’re just seeing the results of production variations of what is, in the larger scheme of things, a collection of relatively inexpensive injection molded plastic parts. My only caveats are to launch in as still air as you can with a BP C6-3 and make sure the fin unit doesn’t wobble. Much too nice of a rocket to crash or put in a tree or on a roof top
     
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