# Estes E12-0 booster blows out her guts.... :(

### Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

#### [POW]Eagle159

##### Well-Known Member
Well the title and YouTube video says it all. I went flying the first time in like a year and my favorite scratch built rocket bites the bullet.

I was using 2x A10-3 and 1x E12-0 as the boosting stage. They all light perfect but around 2 feet up the rod, Boom.... flames on both ends. Somehow the top stage didn't light off of the fireball that came out of the top and it lawn darted from 30 feet.

This was my own design that has flown with D12-0 and a pair of A10's before perfectly. There is some damage but nothing terrible more pics later.

I hate it when that happens. I always have my doubts when using E12-4's. My last flight of my German A4b with an E12-4 worked fine. I am thinking of doing it again with the same motor, but there are always those same lingering doubts.

Do you have a lot number?

Last edited:

#### [POW]Eagle159

##### Well-Known Member
Not sure why all pics were rotated 90 degrees but here are some pics. The blow out of the booster engine pushed the stuffer tube up like 1/2 inch while breaking through my glue joints. That should not be too hard to fix. The upper stage got a rip in the cardboard from the nose cone pushing through. In the end of the video you can see the upper stage lawn dart straight down.

#### [POW]Eagle159

##### Well-Known Member
A few more of the damage and what not. The upper stage engine and stuffer tube also become dislodged due to the blow out which is seen in the second pic while the 4th pic is my attempts of pulling the stuck engine out I pulled the whole tube with it. The upper engine did not light even though a lot of charred pieces and soot on the nozzle. Makes me mad because it would have continued fine if it would have lit too, well maybe the loose mount would have been bad if the engine lit... The 2 parachutes where toast after the fire ball. There was nothing left of the one.

#### jimn

##### Well-Known Member
Bummer. I had a D12-0 Cato on ignition. Somehow the top stage lit and had a normal flight while the booster was fine.

I added the your E12-0 to my bad 24 mm motor list. Actually, I already had A 08 18 11 on the list, but I did not call out if it was an E12-0 or E12-4.

The current list is here:

C11
A 11 08 10
A 06 28 11

E9
09-04-12
06-28-11
06-14-01 A
A 06 28 11 1
A 01 12 16
A 09 15 14
A 1-12-16

E12
A 08-18-11
A 08 18 11 (E12-0)
A 11 15 11 (E12-0 & others?)
A 04 02 12 (E12-8 & others?)
05-15-12

That is really a nice scratch 2-stage rocket. I tend to think that the E12 tends to fill a motor rocket niche that modeler likes. This is why we continue to take the gamble and use them.

#### modeltrains

##### Well-Known Member
Situation fits with quote used for my signature, &#8220;There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good.&#8221; &#8212; Tom Mueller, SpaceX propulsion chief, Air and Space magazine article, January 2012

#### Bat-mite

##### Rocketeer in MD
Situation fits with quote used for my signature, &#8220;There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good.&#8221; &#8212; Tom Mueller, SpaceX propulsion chief, Air and Space magazine article, January 2012
True. I can live with a destroyed rocket if I was the one that goofed up. Didn't assemble my motor correctly, didn't wire my electronics correctly, didn't retain my motor correctly, didn't continuity-test my e-matches, didn't choose the right motor, etc.

But when a particular manufacturer's product continues to destroy rockets even when you've done everything right, that just stinks. I simply will never use another Estes E9 or E12. Not worth the risk.

#### rstaff3

##### Oddroc-eteer
I added the your E12-0 to my bad 24 mm motor list. Actually, I already had A 08 18 11 on the list, but I did not call out if it was an E12-0 or E12-4.

The current list is here:

C11
A 11 08 10
A 06 28 11

E9
09-04-12
06-28-11
06-14-01 A
A 06 28 11 1
A 01 12 16
A 09 15 14
A 1-12-16

E12
A 08-18-11
A 08 18 11 (E12-0)
A 11 15 11 (E12-0 & others?)
A 04 02 12 (E12-8 & others?)
05-15-12

That is really a nice scratch 2-stage rocket. I tend to think that the E12 tends to fill a motor rocket niche that modeler likes. This is why we continue to take the gamble and use them.
This should be a separate thread and the mods should sticky it.

##### Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
I was flying with a guy last weekend and he had an old Dark Energy converted to 24 mm. It had already crashed and been rebuilt a few times so it became his "Bad Pack E9" tester. From this bad date pack one motor had already blown. He put the second in the Dark Energy and KABOOM! The damage was field reparable so he stuck in the last one from the pack - CRAZY. 5-4-3-2-1-START! KABOOM. Three for three in that pack! Great fun and lots of fireballs.

#### Charles_McG

##### Ciderwright
I was flying with a guy last weekend and he had an old Dark Energy converted to 24 mm. It had already crashed and been rebuilt a few times so it became his "Bad Pack E9" tester. From this bad date pack one motor had already blown. He put the second in the Dark Energy and KABOOM! The damage was field reparable so he stuck in the last one from the pack - CRAZY. 5-4-3-2-1-START! KABOOM. Three for three in that pack! Great fun and lots of fireballs.
I'm saving mine to put in an upscale Estes NASA Pegasus - with mounts in the outboard tube. I want to airstart them so it looks like the Pegasus is firing torpedos.

##### Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
I'm saving mine to put in an upscale Estes NASA Pegasus - with mounts in the outboard tube. I want to airstart them so it looks like the Pegasus is firing torpedos.
Cool. Bad date code E9's used for pyrotechnic effects!

#### Charles_McG

##### Ciderwright
Indeed. E12s in my case, but I don't think the thrust or delay matters - just the production lot. One of the reported C11 lots overlaps with Es.

To me, the odd thing is lack of Ds reported geboomen.

#### BDB

##### Absent Minded Professor
[POW]Eagle159;1713025 said:
...Somehow the top stage didn't light off of the fireball that came out of the top....
I had something like this happen a couple months ago with a C11-0, but the CATO actually lit the sustainer which had an otherwise uneventful launch. It was weird, but nothing was damaged, so I didn't think to fill out a MESS report. I just figured it was a freak occurrence. I hadn't heard of this happening with C11's or with boosters before until this thread.

#### K'Tesh

##### OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
I had a trio of D12-0's CATO back in the 90's, long before I was on the internet, and found out about MESS reports.

I had a couple of packs of motors that I had purchased at the same time. However, I didn't know about batch numbers, so they all looked the same to me. Three of them worked fine... However...

The first of the bad batch exploded on the pad. It managed to ignite the sustainer (Estes Magnum Payloader), but the force of the detonation knocked the sustainer's motor mount loose, and it pushed its way up inside the body tube at an angle. The resulting flight is reminiscent of a ship launched Tomahawk missile, where the rocket is flying nose up, but at an angle. However, it didn't gain much altitude and crashed into the field before the ejection charge fired.

The 2nd was a Warp II that blew on the pad. We were launching on a school's baseball diamond due to the winds and the shape of the field. The force of the shock wave visibly flexed the glass windows of the house just on the other side of the fence. Turned out that there was a wedding party going on, and a number of highly annoyed guests came out to yell at the "kids" blowing up fireworks so close to their house. When they saw me on my butt, and the shredded remains of the rocket laying around they got curious and watched me clean up the mess, and launch the remaining rockets.

Realizing that I had a bad batch of motors, but not knowing how to identify which was bad from good, I used a scratch built rocket to launch the remaining motor. Sure enough it blew, and the shredded remains of the rocket fluttered down like confetti around us. We were laughing our A3\$ off, when we started looking for the remains. Just as I asked "Where's the nosecone?", I hear this whistle and dull thump close behind me. I turn, and told my friend... "Well, here's the parachute." (still wadded up, about 6' behind us) and went to pick it up. Problem is, it was pinned to the soft damp ground of the soccer field by the nosecone (full of clay). I managed to get the nosecone out of the ground scratched up, but otherwise intact. Apparently when this one detonated, it fired the nosecone like a bullet, straight up. We got lucky that nobody got hurt, or anything got damaged.

From then on, I always make a mark on the motors indicating which pack it came out of, just in case it happens again.

#### RickGr4

##### Well-Known Member
Not to disagree with an experienced and veteran forum member but I have used quite a few C11-0, C11-3 and C11-5 over the past 16 months and I don't recall a single issue. However a couple months ago I launched a Blue Ninja with a D12-5 and there was no ejection delay. I was lucky the rocket was not damaged.

I added the your E12-0 to my bad 24 mm motor list. Actually, I already had A 08 18 11 on the list, but I did not call out if it was an E12-0 or E12-4.

The current list is here:

C11
A 11 08 10
A 06 28 11

E9
09-04-12
06-28-11
06-14-01 A
A 06 28 11 1
A 01 12 16
A 09 15 14
A 1-12-16

E12
A 08-18-11
A 08 18 11 (E12-0)
A 11 15 11 (E12-0 & others?)
A 04 02 12 (E12-8 & others?)
05-15-12

That is really a nice scratch 2-stage rocket. I tend to think that the E12 tends to fill a motor rocket niche that modeler likes. This is why we continue to take the gamble and use them.

#### rstaff3

##### Oddroc-eteer
I fly a lit of C11's too and have never had or seen first hand an issue. I can not say if I had those lots. It would be useful IMO if people who report them, on the MESS (if possible) and here, also say where they were bought. I also flew TONS of E9s, over the first several years that they existed, and only had one issue. On that one, I used an off label igniter retainer so I chalked it up to user error.

I too have flown C11's in the past with no problem. I tend to think that 24 mm C11's and D12's are pretty good. I added those C11 lot numbers to the list because someome reported that they had problems with them.

#### mccordmw

##### Well-Known Member
I'm terrified to fly anything on Estes E motors. I've witnessed a half dozen CATOs at small launches, and all of them are Estes Es.

#### rstaff3

##### Oddroc-eteer
I'm terrified to fly anything on Estes E motors. I've witnessed a half dozen CATOs at small launches, and all of them are Estes Es.
I too have had and seen E9 issues, but personally find the E12's to be worse. Since I went years with no problems and now that has changed. Makes me wonder what is different. Slightly different propellant components? Machine tolerances have degraded? Supply chain differences? During the early years, almost all of mine came from Hobbylinc. My problems seem to have popped up with Hobby Lobby arriving in my area.

#### RickGr4

##### Well-Known Member
I realize it was only one flight but yesterday I launched one of my Falcon 9's using an E9 and it was a glorious flight. FYI for those who have a Falcon 9, I think this rocket begs for more power than D. In regards to reliability of E engines, I guess I will need to see the issues for myself.

I'm terrified to fly anything on Estes E motors. I've witnessed a half dozen CATOs at small launches, and all of them are Estes Es.

#### Bat-mite

##### Rocketeer in MD
I realize it was only one flight but yesterday I launched one of my Falcon 9's using an E9 and it was a glorious flight. FYI for those who have a Falcon 9, I think this rocket begs for more power than D. In regards to reliability of E engines, I guess I will need to see the issues for myself.
You are far more likely to get a good flight out of an Estes E than a cato; you are far more likely to get a cato out of an Estes E than an A, B, C, D, or F. Make sense?

#### RickGr4

##### Well-Known Member
I completely agree. However as we all know, batches vary. I will tread carefully.

You are far more likely to get a good flight out of an Estes E than a cato; you are far more likely to get a cato out of an Estes E than an A, B, C, D, or F. Make sense?

#### RickGr4

##### Well-Known Member
I said that I needed to see it for myself and unfortunately it did not take very long. Yesterday, I took rockets to our local Tripoli launch and I had an E9 CATO on the launch pad. I attempted to launch my Falcon 9 with an E9 (A 01 12 16) and it appears the clay cap on the top of the motor gave way at ignition. Somehow the rocket survived needing nothing more than a new shock cord.

I should add that I did another flight with an E9 from the same package that went just fine. Also, I did three flights with E12's that went well.

#### Tinker

##### Well-Known Member
I stopped at Apogee yesterday and was going to buy some E12-0's but all the dates on them were for 05-15-12, which is one of the reported bad dates. Does anyone know where to get a pack of E12's with a different date code? How confident are the date codes? (Like do there have to be multiple reports before a date gets added to the list?)

Tinker