Estes Booster-60 and Compatible Rockets

brockrwood

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A few years ago Estes marketed a couple of optional, sold separately, boosters for certain rockets that had the screw-on type engine retainers. They were called Booster-60 for BT-60 based rockets and Booster-55 for BT-55 based rockets.

It seems that Estes no longer sells the Booster-60 and Booster-55 add-ons. That’s a shame. I thought it was a good idea.

I have an Estes “Rookie” ARTF rocket that accepts the “Booster-60” add-on.

I wonder if I could roll my own booster for this rocket. Does amyone know of what sort of gadget would fit the threads on the Rookie’s engine retainer?

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mccoy300

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I would imagine you could friction fit it by building up on the mount. Just build a bt60 fin can with centering ring that is at the end that’s close, or if enough of the end of the rocket is available, use a coupler
 

bjphoenix

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That's an interesting idea. I only have one rocket that uses the 24mm screw-on retainer, the Estes Vapor. This would make it real easy to stage but you would want to be sure that your retainer was very well glued onto the motor tube of the sustainer.
 

BEC

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Some complications here: first of all, the ”stagers” are set up for 18mm motors, but for some reason only known to John Boren (and he might not remember and/or may not have done this intentionally when designing the parts), the threads for the screw-on retainer on the ARF models (which are replaced by a stager when using the accessory booster) and the threads on the Estes 18mm screw-on motor retainers which one can use on regular BT-20 motor tubes don’t quite match.

So it won’t work with your Vapor in any case. You need to rig up a way to have something like a loose BT-60 stage coupler installed in the aft end of your Vapor (or attached to the front of the Booster-60 and fit into the aft end of the Vapor, to do this.

The Boosted Bertha uses a regular JT-60 between the booster and sustainer, but it only projects into the aft end of the sustainer about 1/4 inch. It doesn’t need to be much.

Also: the ”stagers” (two of them) come with each Booster-60 or Booster-55.

The similar PSII Booster (for use with the Majestic, Ascender and Trajector) just has a piece of projecting stage coupler at the top which inserts into the base of the sustainer.
 

DigBaddy

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Like BEC stated, gluing in some coupler will possibly work. That's the route I took to use a BT60 booster with a High Flier XL.

Looking at the booster, one might be able to remove the "funnel" from it by drilling it out from the back, retaining the motor block and then peeling off the short piece of BT from the front. This could then let the booster fit into the back of the sustainer's BT60 tube and nearly put the booster motor up against the sustainer motor.
 

BEC

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A few years ago Estes marketed a couple of optional, sold separately, boosters for certain rockets that had the screw-on type engine retainers. They were called Booster-60 for BT-60 based rockets and Booster-55 for BT-55 based rockets.

It seems that Estes no longer sells the Booster-60 and Booster-55 add-ons. That’s a shame. I thought it was a good idea.

I have an Estes “Rookie” ARTF rocket that accepts the “Booster-60” add-on.

I wonder if I could roll my own booster for this rocket. Does amyone know of what sort of gadget would fit the threads on the Rookie’s engine retainer?
If you just want a Booster-60 for your Rookie, drop me a PM. I have several on hand and will probably never use them all. I’m sure we can work something out.

BTW, they also work with C11-0s….but it helps greatly to vent them in that case so that they don’t blow off before lighting the sustainer. They fit pretty loosely.
 

Back_at_it

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The Boosters seem to have been very unpopular when they were available. I placed an order during one of Estes sales and they gave me 6 of them. 3 of the BT55 and 3 of the BT60.

I don't have any rockets that are compatible with them out if the box so I inserted a coupler into the booster and was able to use it on several rockets. As long as the rear ring on your rocket is far enough forward to allow room for the coupler to slide in then you're good to go. I've used one with my old school Big Bertha a couple of times and they work well. I'm not a huge fan of staged rockets but they can be fun if you have room to recover.
 
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brockrwood

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If you just want a Booster-60 for your Rookie, drop me a PM. I have several on hand and will probably never use them all. I’m sure we can work something out.

BTW, they also work with C11-0s….but it helps greatly to vent them in that case so that they don’t blow off before lighting the sustainer. They fit pretty loosely.
The C11-0’s fit loosely? Good to know. I fear that if I launch a two stage Rookie with a D12-0 I will never see it again!
 

brockrwood

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The Boosters seem to have been very unpopular when they were available. I placed an order during one of Estes sales and they gave me 6 of them. 3 of the BT55 and 3 of the BT60.

I don't have any rockets that are compatible with them out if the box so I inserted a coupler into the booster and was able to use it on several rockets. As long as the rear ring on your rocket is far enough forward to allow room for the coupler to slide in then you're good to go. I've used one with my old school Big Bertha a couple of times and they work well. I'm not a huge fan of staged rockets but they can be fun if you have room to recover.
I like staged rockets where the staging actually happens low enough that you can see the second stage ignite. An A8-0/A8-5 combination is good for that if the rocket is light enough for the A8-0 to get it off the pad.
 
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I flew a Booster 60 compatible flight (Firestorm) a few months ago.
The Firestorm has a solid plastic fin can, I believe the Rookie is the same. So a staging coupler glued to the booster wouldn't work.
If you're scratching a Booster 60 you can use the stock Rookie motor retainer and epoxy a short 1/2" coupler to it. Then paint the coupler to match the Rookie fin can and use it for both single and staged flights. For the booster, you can use BT-60 tubing, your choice of fins and a 24mm motor mount. A stuffer tube, perhaps BT-20 can replace the Booster 60 funnel directing booster gasses right up to the sustainer nozzle. If you are building an exact clone and you need the dimensions then feel free to PM me. Or buy one from BEC or from Cape Byron's link above.

Firestorm flight at 17:34
 
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BEC

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The C11-0’s fit loosely? Good to know. I fear that if I launch a two stage Rookie with a D12-0 I will never see it again!
No, the booster fits on the stager loosely. I find I have to carry the stack to the rod with both hands and/or simply slide the booster on after the sustainer is on the pad.

So venting the booster helps as there is a tiny bit further for the gases to go between C11 and D12 to ignite the sustainer. Here's a post in Ron's Updates thread that shows this: #452

There are four 1/4 inch holes in the Booster-60 in that picture. No more premature separation.
 
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