Estes A10-3T - 2 CATOs Batch# B180619

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by beantownJPL, Aug 24, 2019.

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  1. Aug 24, 2019 #1

    beantownJPL

    beantownJPL

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    I went to a club launch today (CMASS launch in Acton), and it was a real CATO-fest today. Not sure what's up with that ... really moderate weather conditions.

    Personally, I had two A10-3T motors CATO - one model destroyed (Semroc Gyroc - RIP), the other model survived. The first CATO blew out both ends of the motor and a pretty spectacular fireball into the air (that's the one that destroyed the Gyroc), the second CATO blew out the nozzle and made everyone go "oooh!".

    I filed MESS reports on both, and have contacted Estes as well. Batch# B180619

    If you have any A10-3T motors from this batch, you may consider not flying them in anything you care about going "BOOM" on the pad!
     

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  2. Aug 24, 2019 #2

    kuririn

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    Do you know how old they were, and how they were stored? I'm thinking temperature cycling may have contributed to the CATOs since the 13 mm motors do not have a reputation for CATOing.
     
  3. Aug 24, 2019 #3

    beantownJPL

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    I had purchased them within the last few weeks from a local (and reputable) retailer, and store them in "controlled" conditions. I have a nice toolbox with partitions that I keep my motors in. They are stored in my (dry) basement - never exceeds about 80F.

    I was also surprised. I have flown at least hundreds of Estes motors from A-E, never had a CATO before, let alone two on the same day. I had many other flights on other Estes motors today (total of 240 flights for the club today!) - I personally had at least a dozen launches.

    Today's conditions were partly cloudy, high in the mid 70's ~65-70% Relative humidity.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  4. Aug 25, 2019 #4

    BEC

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    With that date code they were only a couple of months old - June 18, 2019. Wow!

    I had an A10-0T CATO the other day, but it was MUCH older - 6 A 6 or June 6, 1996.
     
  5. Aug 25, 2019 #5

    beantownJPL

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    Yeah ... it happens I guess. They probably turn out millions of motors. Some go boom.

    SOMETHING about today's conditions were weird. There were AT LEAST 7 definite CATOs out of 240 launches at today's launch (2 of my own).

    I did have a launch on an E12-4 that was "questionable". The ejection charge seemed a little "energetic" and tore out the motor hook. I have a video and the motor landed practically at my feet. Was it an anomaly? Maybe. I didn't think much about it at the time (and I no longer have the casing for lot #), but I started thinking about it after I got home.

    You'd have to call this a "perfect" day. Moderate winds, temps in the 70's, comfortable humidity.

    Here's the video:
     

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