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Estes Cosmos Mariner

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JAL3

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One of my earliest attempts to build a rocket was the Estes Cosmos Mariner. I believe it was the first of the "Skill Level 2" kits I attempted. That was right about the time I first learned of Elmer's Fill n' Finish. At the time, I wished I had never heard of the stuff. The reasons for that are the same as for the rocket STILL not being completed.

I went out and found some. The idea seemed to make sense. I was going to give it a try on the Mariner. Unfortunately, I had not yet read enough and I applied it right out of the container. I remember it being VERY thick. I troweled it on and used an ice cream stick to force it into the grain. I then let it dry for a few days. When I go back to it, the stuff hard hardened up pretty stiff. The rocket seemed heavy. I had only put on half a container but it seemed to weigh more than the full container had.

That's when the sanding started and never seemed to finish.:(

I got tired of it after a few weeks. Always I would put in some time sanding and always I would have a mess, a slightly lighter rocket and a very irate wife. That was also before I acquired a sanding block. I just kept taking new sheets of sandpaper and grinding down some more.

As I was doing so, I built some other rockets and read some things about the Mariner. It had a reputation of not performing very well. It had stopped being fun several packages of #220 sandpaper previously. Eventually, it got put away in a box and, about a year later, my wife banished my rockets from the house.

I dug out the old Mariner today for the first time in almost 2 years. It certainly looked better than I remembered but the filler was still on VERY thick in some places. Thankfully, though, I had already worked through the 3/8" accumulations. I also had a sanding block and a desire to work out some frustration. Then, I might even consider re-gluing a vertical stabilizer that had come off.

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JAL3

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Two hours later, I was very glad my wife had banished me and my rockets from the house as she has very strict ideals on the vocabulary appropriate to the clergy and can identify offending words even when I use languages with which she is not familiar.

Thankfully, I had gotten rid of most of the mess. I had progressed to the point where it was "good enough for me". That's all I ask of any rocket.

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JAL3

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I almost decided that I had enough to the Mariner today but decided that I would just consider the sanding as finish work and I wanted to get the "construction" back to where it was. With that in mind, I poked some hole in the wing and the popped vertical stabilizer and put it back on with a double glue joint of yellow glue.

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AKPilot

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If you get it to glide properly, Barry Tunick wants to hear from you. ;)

Seriously, I've got one and am hoping to not repeat what others have done, and hope that I can actually have it last a few flights, if not for a few years. It's an awesome looking BG, if I can get it to work properly.
 

JAL3

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If you get it to glide properly, Barry Tunick wants to hear from you. ;)

Seriously, I've got one and am hoping to not repeat what others have done, and hope that I can actually have it last a few flights, if not for a few years. It's an awesome looking BG, if I can get it to work properly.
I've heard lots of bad things and that's filling me with trepidation.

The fact that I'm 0-7-1 with gliders so far just raises the anxiety factor.

At least, whether it works or not, it has now freed up a perfectly good box for the cat to hide in.
 

cwbullet

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I have this kit and mean to build it soon. Nice thread. I hope I can
 

DAllen

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I had one. I hated it. If I didn't know any better I would've thought that it were possessed with a hoard of demons. That thing was cursed the minute I opened the bag.

The build was a nightmare and flying it was worse. I managed to get it to glide well ONCE. And when it landed on it's "good" flight the nose got all chipped up because the plastic is rather brittle.

I think what cured me of ever flying it again was this particularly beautiful flight it had one fall day at a nice large field near a playground. I was about 150 yards away from the playground. Should be plenty far away for a boost glider that allegedly only goes 250' on a D12 - right? Wrong.

3..2..1..Launch...It goes up...arcs over...starts flying parallel to the ground STILL UNDER POWER...I begin wonder if my NAR insurance is going to cover this...Ejection pops, actually more like a KABOOM and the glider banks a hard right and promptly nose dived into the ground only 20 feet away from the playground. Yes, there were kids playing there with a parent nearby. I went over and apologized profusely for scaring anyone. Everyone was cool with it and I picked up the pieces.

If anyone EVER shows up at one of my club launches with one of these and I happen to be LSO/RSO I am going to make them put it on the away cell and call for a heads-up flight. I am not exaggerating. If you really really want to fly this do it alone in an extremely large field free of flammable undergrowth.

I am not joking.

-DAllen
 

JAL3

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I had one. I hated it. If I didn't know any better I would've thought that it were possessed with a hoard of demons. That thing was cursed the minute I opened the bag.

The build was a nightmare and flying it was worse. I managed to get it to glide well ONCE. And when it landed on it's "good" flight the nose got all chipped up because the plastic is rather brittle.

I think what cured me of ever flying it again was this particularly beautiful flight it had one fall day at a nice large field near a playground. I was about 150 yards away from the playground. Should be plenty far away for a boost glider that allegedly only goes 250' on a D12 - right? Wrong.

3..2..1..Launch...It goes up...arcs over...starts flying parallel to the ground STILL UNDER POWER...I begin wonder if my NAR insurance is going to cover this...Ejection pops, actually more like a KABOOM and the glider banks a hard right and promptly nose dived into the ground only 20 feet away from the playground. Yes, there were kids playing there with a parent nearby. I went over and apologized profusely for scaring anyone. Everyone was cool with it and I picked up the pieces.

If anyone EVER shows up at one of my club launches with one of these and I happen to be LSO/RSO I am going to make them put it on the away cell and call for a heads-up flight. I am not exaggerating. If you really really want to fly this do it alone in an extremely large field free of flammable undergrowth.

I am not joking.

-DAllen

This is the kind of testimony I was talking about at the beginning of the thread.

I want to finish it and give it a try but will probably not fly it till I get a chance to do so with the Amateur Rocketeers of Texas. That's generally pretty isolated.

If all else fails, I can do the exorcisms myself.
 

Handeman

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I only saw one of these ever fly. It made two flights that day. The first had people diving into the ground as it power looped off the pad and headed right at the RSO at about four feet off the ground. Fortunately it continued it's loop and cleared the tent.

Later, it was setup for a second flight and turned 90º on the pad from the first launch so if it looped again, it would be parallel to the flight line, or that was the thinking. On its second flight was adeptly named "The RSO Hunter". It must have been trimmed a little better because it made a much larger loop this time. It ended up buzzing between the two lines of parked cars parallel to the flight line at about 10 feet high and 60+ mph.

I agree with DAllen, if you're going to fly this, do it in a large empty field and make sure you're a long way away when you push the button.
 

JAL3

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I only saw one of these ever fly. It made two flights that day. The first had people diving into the ground as it power looped off the pad and headed right at the RSO at about four feet off the ground. Fortunately it continued it's loop and cleared the tent.

Later, it was setup for a second flight and turned 90º on the pad from the first launch so if it looped again, it would be parallel to the flight line, or that was the thinking. On its second flight was adeptly named "The RSO Hunter". It must have been trimmed a little better because it made a much larger loop this time. It ended up buzzing between the two lines of parked cars parallel to the flight line at about 10 feet high and 60+ mph.

I agree with DAllen, if you're going to fly this, do it in a large empty field and make sure you're a long way away when you push the button.

This almost sounds like a "normal" day when one of our regular members shows up. Always a real cardio workout when he's around.

Seriously, though, I will take precautions and make sure its a heads up. I might even dig out the old Kevlar helmet.
 

DAllen

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I know what you might be thinking and what people who are reading this are thinking, "Aww, c'om on. It can't be that bad can it?"

YES

IT

IS

That said, I am not saying don't fly it at all. In fact, if I were in your shoes JAL3 I'd be itching to put a motor in it especially after spending so much time building the dumb thing. However, if you do insist on flying it please promise us you'll be extra careful.

-DAllen
 

JAL3

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I know what you might be thinking and what people who are reading this are thinking, "Aww, c'om on. It can't be that bad can it?"

YES

IT

IS

That said, I am not saying don't fly it at all. In fact, if I were in your shoes JAL3 I'd be itching to put a motor in it especially after spending so much time building the dumb thing. However, if you do insist on flying it please promise us you'll be extra careful.

-DAllen

I get what you're saying and I believe you. You also summed up my sentiments exactly.

Oh. And I will be careful.
 

AstronMike

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Not that I *need* any more gliders of this type, but I have thought about doing an 'Astronized' 3x upscale of this thing. Hmm, wonder what the results of THAT would be.....:eek:;):eek:
 

Fred22

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Fellas I own a Mariner and although it will not set any records for speed or height or glide duration it looksd really cool on it's brief flight. I use a six foot rod and windless days to get nifty scifi looking glides ;) I only put on one layer of paint and sand good edges on the wings. As soon as I get ten minutes I will post pics. Sorry so many of you fellas had such a rotten exeriance with itm
Cheers
Fred
 

gpoehlein

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Y'know, one thing I thought of when I first saw the Cosmos Mariner was that it resembled the Sky Dart. I have one (I haven't started building it yet), but I keep wondering if it could be modded to launch like the Sky Dart and deploy the same way. I'll have to go back and look at the instructions again and see if it can be done. Would likely make the thing fly a LOT better.
 

shreadvector

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I think I;ve seen one or two flown sucessfully. One was Mario Anleu's (nice finish as always).

The thing to watch out for is getting the trim good for the first flight and then remembering that each flight will result in a bit more crud building up inside the nose area, so the glider will end up a bit more nose heavy with each flight. This is because of the ejection charge clay cap leaving some debris inside. This can happen on the first flight, so you may want to trim for a very slight stall. Very, very slight.
 

JAL3

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Y'know, one thing I thought of when I first saw the Cosmos Mariner was that it resembled the Sky Dart. I have one (I haven't started building it yet), but I keep wondering if it could be modded to launch like the Sky Dart and deploy the same way. I'll have to go back and look at the instructions again and see if it can be done. Would likely make the thing fly a LOT better.
I'm not familiar with the Sky Dart.
 

JAL3

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I think I;ve seen one or two flown sucessfully. One was Mario Anleu's (nice finish as always).

The thing to watch out for is getting the trim good for the first flight and then remembering that each flight will result in a bit more crud building up inside the nose area, so the glider will end up a bit more nose heavy with each flight. This is because of the ejection charge clay cap leaving some debris inside. This can happen on the first flight, so you may want to trim for a very slight stall. Very, very slight.
Wonderful. I tend to do so well with trimming gliders.

I WISH!
 

JAL3

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Thanks for the links.

I do see the similarities. Does the Sky Dart have a better reputation?
 

kjohnson

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Infinitely. The closest thing you can compare the Cosmos Mariner to would be the old faom brick Space Shuttle, or the OOP SRX model. The CM seeems to be heavier than the other two (never good) and so uses the D12 instead of the C6.

I have one that I'm working on now, and am unhappy right off the bat with the fit of the power pod into the main tube. Will need to address that before I get much further.

kj
 

chrisudy

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My CM has flown twice. I had the thing trimmed out nicely by hand tossing in the backyard. On the first flight, it had a nice straight boost, ejected the power pod and immediately stalled. Nasty flight, but luckily it landed without damage - dove straight toward the ground and pulled up right before settling down onto the high weeds...
More noseweight added, flew great hand-tossed in the backyard. Then 2nd launch... Nice straight boost, power pod ejected, and the thing dove straight into the ground. Buried itself about 4 inches into the not-so-soft dirt. Plastic top shell demolished, about the first 3 inches of balsa was crushed....

Christine sent me new shell pieces and decals, the balsa was replaced and reinforced, new shell attached, and this time, I won't paint the replacement shell until after flight #3 :D

Chris
 

delta22

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I built one and never got it to glide during repeated attempts to trim it.

The fit of the parts was very bad, and it took a lot of reworking and sanding to assemble.

In two years I have not launched it, and do not plan to ever, as I think is extremely unlikely to be stable going up or down.

I had hoped to come up with a way to modify it to make it flight worthy, but that is not going to happen.
 

JAL3

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Thanks for the feedback. I do appreciate it.

As a glutton for punishment, I'm going to try and keep trying until its destroyed or lost.

The prospects do not look very good right now for success. All of the disasters and behaviors mentioned so far seem to be par for the course for any glider I build. If the CM is that much worse than normal, I might be in for some very exciting times.
 
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