Estes PSII builder kit highest altitude

Discussion in 'Mid Power Rocketry (MPR)' started by Mr G, Jun 24, 2015.

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  1. Jun 24, 2015 #1

    Mr G

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    Curious to know what an Estes PSII builder kit could handle, I launched a Partizon the other weekend to over 4,300 feet on a 29mm Aerotech I200 composite reload motor.

    So, who has launched a Nike Smoke, MDRM, Argent, Leviathan, Ventris or Partizon to great heights? What's your personal best? What motor did you send it up on?
    IMG_4226.jpg
     
  2. Jun 24, 2015 #2

    rharshberger

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    Don't forget the PSII Scion.
     
  3. Jun 24, 2015 #3

    ThirstyBarbarian

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    For PSII builder kits built stock, with stock 29mm motor mounts, and not glassed, I bet that Partizon flight on I200 is just about as high as you can go.

    Motors don't get much bigger in 29mm. It looks like some of the CTI 6-grain XL loads are about 10% bigger, but that's about it.

    The MDRM isn't going to win any altitude contests. I'm thinking the 3" Leviathan and Nike Smoke are going to lose out to the Partizon due to drag. The Partizon is a few ounces heavier than the Ventris and the Argent, so maybe the Ventris and Argent have an advantage. The Patizon is 2.5" the entire length, while the Argent and Ventris have sections that are 2". I don't know enough about how the transitions affect the drag to say with any certainty which of those three would be best for altitude, but I'm guessing the Ventris, my "gut sim" of the drag characterisics of the three.

    So does anyone have a Ventris and CTI 6-grain XL case they'd like to lose? That's my bet for the high altitude record for PSII builder kits.
     
  4. Jun 24, 2015 #4

    K'Tesh

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    I'd think that the Ventris would be the winner... It looks like it has the smallest surface area of the lot.
     
  5. Jun 24, 2015 #5

    Rex R

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    I'm told that 'grimracer' has flown all of the ps2 builder birds on an I200 at least once. one could look up his posts for more detailed info.
    Rex
     
  6. Jun 24, 2015 #6

    Salvage-1

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    Personally, PSII Nike Smoke, 2,150ft on a CTi H410. It may not have reached space, but it went up FAST!
     
  7. Jun 24, 2015 #7

    KenECoyote

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    You and ThirstyBarbarian may be right according to the Estes site claimed "can soar upwards of..." altitudes: Leviathan=1500'; Ventris=2000'; Partizon=1800; Argent=1700. :)
     
  8. Jun 25, 2015 #8

    Agatheron

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    I know you did say builder kits, but of the E2X PS2 kits, the Prowler is a paltry 9 oz according to the kit box. Mine weighs about 10 or so.

    If built without the thrust ring in the tube, it could probably go pretty high. Mine is limited to the length of the Estes Black Powder motors.

    For a builder kit, I'd vote Ventris. :)
     
  9. Jun 25, 2015 #9

    BEC

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    Hmmmm...... there is no motor block in my Ventris, though the baffle I added might prevent me using a 6XL case. But I do have another.

    I've also a couple of Argents in the bag. It'd be cool to do a mile with one of these kits.
     
  10. Jun 25, 2015 #10

    rharshberger

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    As light as they are compared to other L1 kits, a long burn motor would definitely get some good altitude.
     
  11. Jun 25, 2015 #11

    BEC

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    Yeah, Rich - that was what I was thinking. There's a five grain Mellow (234H54) which burns for 4.4 seconds. Hmmmmmm......

    True, it has 2/3 the total impulse of the I200 the OP used, but it also spreads that out over a much longer period, which is the way to go for altitude.

    I'll have to do some sims and see what I get.
     
  12. Jun 25, 2015 #12

    nute

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    I did 3500 with my estes Argent on an I200. It's built fairly heavy and has DD, so it's not winning any altitude competitions. But, it's pretty good in my book! It also did 600 mph on that flight, not bad for thin wall cardboard!

    Nate
     
  13. Jun 25, 2015 #13

    rharshberger

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    There's also a neat little Dual Deploy conversion for the Argent's coupler that someone posted recently, I bet an Eggtimer Quark or a Stratologger CF would be perfect with it.
     
  14. Jun 25, 2015 #14

    cruzsergio

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    I've gone 1397ft on my Leviathan with a G75 metalstorm, that's the highest I've gone recorded that is,
    I even lost the cone and chute with altimeter, I found everything a week later.
     
  15. Jun 25, 2015 #15

    ThirstyBarbarian

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    I have a Ventris in the bag. I would not want to risk my motor hardware, but there is a single-use DMS I205 (motor costs more than the rocket!) If you just went with motor deploy at apogee, how would you ever find it again? Most of my flights have been under 2,000 feet and with larger rockets, so I do not have experience tracking rockets this high, and my vision is not the best. I think this would go out of sight for me, maybe even with binoculars. But if I end up going out to Black Rock for AeroNaut, this might be something I would be willing to try on the wide-open playa. Any suggestions on how to find it again?
     
  16. Jun 25, 2015 #16

    Bat-mite

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    I plan to soar my Leviathan once I get the NC correctly outfitted for an altimeter/cable-cutter.
     
  17. Jun 25, 2015 #17

    Leo

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    Did my Level 1 with an Estes Nike Smoke on a CTI H-163 reaching an altitude of +2440 feet.

    This rocket can easily take more powerful motors.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Jun 25, 2015 #18

    cerving

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    Don't know about that Leo, I shredded the plastic fins on my Smoke with an H133... the same motor I got my L1 with a Leviathan. Too bad the Smoke fins aren't plywood.
     
  19. Jun 25, 2015 #19

    Leo

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    Sorry, but then you didn't build the fins well enough. It's not always a good idea to go by the instructions, if that's what you did.
    I'm very happy they are made of plastic. I really like the fins, the whole rocket for that matter.
     
  20. Jun 25, 2015 #20

    boatgeek

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    I've flown 54mm x 42" long rockets to about 2000-3000 feet on 29mm motors. There are a few keys if you're not using GPS tracking:

    Stay below the cloud layer. High thin clouds also make it hard to see the tracking smoke.
    Point at the rocket on the way up. It's amazing how much easier it makes it to find on the way down.
    Recruit a couple of younguns to help you track. 8-12 year olds are ideal for this.
    Put in a reflective streamer. You'll find it more easily and it doesn't add much weight.
    Use a brightly-colored chute that stands out from blue sky. Red, orange, and yellow are all good for this.
    Get a hand-bearing compass from your local marine supply store. Get a bearing on the rocket as it's nearing the ground.
    If possible, get to a high point to observe the rocket landing so it doesn't get lost behind a hill on the way down.
    When you're out on the field, get to a high point and scan with binoculars.

    The hand-bearing compass is invaluable. I've walked a bearing out a half mile and had my track within 30' of the rocket on several occasions.
     
  21. Jun 26, 2015 #21

    Mr G

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    1,500-1,800 feet is about the limit for single deploy that I would be comfortable with in a cardboard rocket. It's not so much seeing it but drifting on the way down. I wouldn't want a fast descent on a small chute for fear of damage on landing. And a gentler descent on a larger chute would be much more likely to end up in an area hard or impossible to recover from, even with precision launch rod angling.

    The advent of inexpensive altimeters like the new Eggtimer Quark along with a cable cutter like the one from Archetype Rocketry make dual deploy a more reasonable option for the higher flights. For my Partizon flight, the launch rod was angled into the wind to assure the descent would start fairly far upwind. More than 80% of the descent was in low-drag mode, the parachute held tight in a Kevlar blanket flopping in the breeze. At 600 feet the cable cutter fired and the chute inflated well below the higher upper level winds that would have otherwise surely taken the rocket way off into the corn.

    Of course there is the added complexity and cost of dual deploy. But now, with a few launches under the belt, it's not so intimidating. Figuring all the expenses for the components on that particular flight, it cost about five cents a foot for one launch and recovery. A stock Partizon single deploy on a G80 single use to 2,000 feet can work out to about 2.5 cents a foot if you shop around. Granted, the more dual deploy flights reusing the electronics, reload case and cable cutter would knock down the cost per dual deploy flight.

    It was a fun and educational excercise that I thought was good value for the money spent. And it's fun to read about what others are doing with their PSII kits. They seem to be quite versatile!
     
  22. Jun 26, 2015 #22

    timro

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    That Ventris payload bay is begging for a radio tracker (BRB GPS fits into 38mm tube really doesn't need that much space). If it's a clear day with blue sky in the desert, the bright red stock parachute will be visible at that altitude to sharp eyes, but the tracker will remove any worries with a lower contrast sky. I'm likely to be going out to Aeronaut and can help you track it if you're interested. Tracker adds about 60g depending on how much foam padding is used.
     
  23. Jun 26, 2015 #23

    cerving

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    Funny thing is that I have an Ascender which uses the same fins, no problems on the same motor. I actually had flown the Ascender first, so I had reason to trust the construction of the fins...
     
  24. Jun 26, 2015 #24

    Leo

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    No, the Ascender uses different fins. However, the principal of the design is the same. It's up to the builder to make sure they are built appropriately for safe high speed flights.
     
  25. Jun 26, 2015 #25

    boomtube-mk2

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    Speaki. . .Typing of which; does anybody know where I can purchase an Estes “Scion?

    None of my usual haunts appears to have them.
     
  26. Jun 26, 2015 #26

    Leo

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    From Estes: "A web exclusive, this is the only place you will this find rocket."
     
  27. Jun 26, 2015 #27

    boomtube-mk2

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    Yes; hauling a set of Double Ds to a high altitude is usually difficult due to weight and aerodynamic drag.
    Then there’s the ever present danger of a catastrophic wardrobe malfunction.
     
  28. Jun 26, 2015 #28

    rharshberger

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    Mmmmhmmm....:facepalm: (that sound you just heard was my mind crashing into the gutter)
     
  29. Apr 17, 2019 #29

    David Daniel

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    495g Ventris (no motor), on an H135W 29mm DMS, to 4177ft, with an Mobius Camera:

    IMG_1748.JPG IMG_1525.PNG IMG_1041.JPG
     

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  30. Apr 17, 2019 #30

    KenC

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    I built a highly modified Leviathan for my L1. Zipperless construction, dual deploy, stiffened with full length couplers and trimmed fins to 1.1 cal stability. It has 23 flights so far the highest was 2948' on an I-200 at the 2018 Airfest. Still has lots of flights left in the airframe. Looks great on an H165.
     

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