Estes E12s - and no ejection charge - anyone?

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BEC

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A local TARC team I am working with is using Estes E12-6s this year, and on Saturday (in the rain) they put up a flight that went up nicely then proceeded to arc over and streamline in. After the wreckage was retrieved we found that the clay cap over the ejection charge was intact.

Has anyone else had this issue with E12s? I know about the occasional more energetic CATOs (and have experienced two personally) - no need to go there in this thread. I'm just looking for other instances of this occurring, and if you have had this happen, did you file a MESS report and/or contact Estes?

Thanks.
 
As I said, I've had two E12 CATOs myself in the years that E12s have been available. I've also flown probably two to three dozen of them quite happily. I actually like them in several models quite well.

But what I really need here is any first-hand experience with no ejection charge events with respect to E12s as my contact with Estes today basically told me that they've not had any other reports. Consequently they are reluctant to suggest that all the others (the team has more than a dozen more from the same date code - 09 04 12) are also problematical.
 
Estes had an issue years ago with very thick end caps. The NAR safety code says that you cannot modify motors. But, for safety's sake I have habitually accidently dropped an Xacto knife on a motor and accidently scored the end cap so that I didn't have an accident during the flight. Does not change the motor's characteristics, but does ensure the cap will fragment.
Note: it does work on 2001 E9-8 motors that blow the nozzle upon ignition. Just got a replacement pack from Estes Customer Service. Very nice of them.
 
But, for safety's sake I have habitually accidently dropped an Xacto knife on a motor and accidently scored the end cap so that I didn't have an accident during the flight.
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Estes had an issue years ago with very thick end caps. The NAR safety code says that you cannot modify motors. But, for safety's sake I have habitually accidently dropped an Xacto knife on a motor and accidently scored the end cap so that I didn't have an accident during the flight. Does not change the motor's characteristics, but does ensure the cap will fragment.
Note: it does work on 2001 E9-8 motors that blow the nozzle upon ignition. Just got a replacement pack from Estes Customer Service. Very nice of them.

Brilliant hypothetical ! Hmmm... was the world a better place when paper retaining caps were standard ? (and Series II motors were readily available. :) ) Not much chance of accidentally making a plugged motor with paper. Chas, maybe you remember what prompted the change to clay caps ?


1966 estes catalog engines.jpg
 
If they can put double the nozzle material in a pack of F15s they could do the same with the front end of an E12, I reckon'.
 
About 2 or 3 years ago I had a flight of my Double Shuttle that went up fine on a pair of E12-4's. However, it came straight down without separating. It looked to me like both ejection charges did not fire, but I could not quite believe that, so I just forgot about it.
 
I had a similar experience but I believe it was an E12-4 in a scratch built rocket. The up part was great, then it arched over and did a death dive into the hard packed dirt road behind the flight line. I thought it was something I did, like packing the chute too tight but a 18" chute in a BT60 really isn't tight enough to cause that to happen.
 
I was on my Double Shuttle thread today and found that I actually documented the ejection charge failure on a post there. The ejection charge failure was on Nov. 8, 2014. Both motors fired alright, but looked like neither ejection charge worked. The lot number was 06 22 12.
 
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The motor that failed Saturday was also 2012, but 09 04.

Those of you who had the failures - did you file a MESS report and/or report them to Estes? They had no record of this sort of failure of an E12 when they were contacted this past Monday.

Both reports should be done....
 
I did report an E12 failure sometime before this failure that I reported in post #11 above and got a free kit from Estes. (I just found on the Double Shuttle thread that I had an E12 CATO in February 2013. The following month I got a free kit of my choice plus 3 free E12's from Estes.) Since then I have had more E12 failures, but have stopped reporting them. I have my bad motor list for CATO's, which continues to grow. It looks like this ejection charge failure mode is not on the list.

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 11 15 11 (E12-0 & others?)
A 04 02 12 (E12-8 & others?)
05-15-12
 
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Years ago I had a D12 with no ejection charge, the top clay cap was still completely in tact. Took photos,sent to Estes and got a free kit. So that was one of thousands of motors I have used over the years. Still do not have the courage to fly any more E9's with the 1-12-16 date code.
 
Years ago I had a D12 with no ejection charge, the top clay cap was still completely in tact. Took photos,sent to Estes and got a free kit. So that was one of thousands of motors I have used over the years. Still do not have the courage to fly any more E9's with the 1-12-16 date code.

There's been a single pack of A 1 12 16 E9-4s at my hobby lobby for months. I feel like just buying it and busting anthills so they restock....
 
There's been a single pack of A 1 12 16 E9-4s at my hobby lobby for months. I feel like just buying it and busting anthills so they restock....

Same here. My HL has them hanging out too. I think to myself that I can no longer buy my DOPE at HL, but I can still buy a pack of motors that will blow. Some one is going to buy them before restock. I feel for them!
 
I have had good success with the bad codes when I have lit them with quick match. This is not enoug hard data so I won't make any rash claims. Just an observation.
 
An update on this: Yesterday we test-flew quite a few more E12-6s with that date code 09 04 12 in my dollar store candy dish rocket (see a thread by George Gassaway elsewhere for the model itself). Both of the other two motors from the same pack as the one that prompted me to start this thread did not eject and the cap was intact after the flight. From that point we started testing motors from the other packs on hand (all from this date) - one pack was good and the TARC team got some practice flights out of that pack. Other packs had one or more failures and we noticed considerable variability in how full the motor cases appeared and a good correlation with full cases having ejection charges that worked. That poor candy dish must've flown 10 times yesterday testing this out. But it was better than crashing the TARC model again.

The TARC team finally used motors from my personal supply - made three months earlier - and made official flights, though there was enough difference in performance that their scores weren't as good as they'd achieved in practice. This may or may not be related to something else we noted that was odd about the 09 04 12 motors - the yellow nozzle plugs one is supposed to use on E12s (yes, the same one as the A8 plug) fell right out of the nozzles of some of these motors - but the black E9/C11 plug fit correctly. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......

I have two left from a three pack of E12-8s made the same date - the one that got flown yesterday (another TARC team) also needed the black nozzle plug. I believe that one ejected properly (but it had already crashed due to unrelated reasons, so I'm not sure).

I have been in touch with Estes about this today. I need to get with the TARC team leader to figure out who files the MESS reports for all the no-eject motors. I came home with two of the spent bad motors but I don't recall exactly how many there were - at least half a dozen.
 
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