Estes Tazz "blow up" - anybody else have this problem and is it worth buying another?

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jimboshop99

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Hey everyone,

I bought an Estes Tazz a month ago, completed it and noticed that the engine mount fit pretty snugly in the tube, so I tried to sand it to a little looser fit in the body tube, because I was concerned it might not eject like it was supposed to. The first two flights were great, the rocket tube and nosecone spiraled down and the engine mount came out with the streamer. On the third flight, the engine and mount didn't eject and the ejection charge instead blew off one of the "wings" of the rocket. So I glued the wing back on, tried sanding the engine mount a little more, and attempted flight #4. This time BOTH wings blew off, the engine mount still didn't eject. and the body tube was "crumpled" and burned around the slots where the wings attached. It was a pretty spectacular fail, wished I had recorded it on video. Oh well. :)

Has anyone else built this kit and if so, did you need to really sand down the rings on the motor mount to get it loose enough in the body tube? It was a fun build, and I might buy another, but I first want to hear what experiences other people have had.

Thanks,
Jim
 

Antares JS

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I haven't built it yet but I just ordered one... Do you still have the destroyed rocket? My first thought is that there might have been ejection charge residue in the body tube that was causing the motor mount to stick.
 

kuririn

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I haven't built mine as well, it's in the build pile.
Pure speculation, based on your description: There was leakage somewhere along the wing slots.
That would explain both the failure of the pop pod to eject and your wings coming off.
(i.e. the pressure was vented at the leak and the leak(s) were amplified with each succeeding flight).
 
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jimboshop99

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Thanks folks. Both strong possibilities. I just checked the destroyed body tube and the engine mount. There was a SIGNIFICANT amount of residue at the end of the mount, and some also in the body tube. As far as the leakage - I didn't put glue fillets on the wings when I first built it, since the instructions didn't mention it, which was weird, since many of the other rockets I've built have fillets per the instructions. Fillets might have prevented leakage, maybe? I reattached the wing after the first failure with Gorilla glue (instead of white glue), which expands when dry, but I think the pressure was just too great in the body tube. Oh well. I MIGHT buy another one and try again and this time sand the mount rings well AND maybe clear out the body tube between launches. It's a fun "different" rocket.
 

BABAR

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Contact Estes, they may just send you a new one!
 

Antares JS

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Thanks folks. Both strong possibilities. I just checked the destroyed body tube and the engine mount. There was a SIGNIFICANT amount of residue at the end of the mount, and some also in the body tube. As far as the leakage - I didn't put glue fillets on the wings when I first built it, since the instructions didn't mention it, which was weird, since many of the other rockets I've built have fillets per the instructions. Fillets might have prevented leakage, maybe? I reattached the wing after the first failure with Gorilla glue (instead of white glue), which expands when dry, but I think the pressure was just too great in the body tube. Oh well. I MIGHT buy another one and try again and this time sand the mount rings well AND maybe clear out the body tube between launches. It's a fun "different" rocket.
I didn't know before that the Tazz has a slotted body tube. I now think Kuririn's suggestion seems more likely.

It's also worth mentioning that even if the instructions don't specifically say to, you should always fillet fins. It's best practice for strength of your fin/tube joint, and yes, it will make sure slots on slotted body tubes are completely filled in and sealed.
 

neil_w

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As far as the leakage - I didn't put glue fillets on the wings when I first built it, since the instructions didn't mention it, which was weird, since many of the other rockets I've built have fillets per the instructions. Fillets might have prevented leakage, maybe? I reattached the wing after the first failure with Gorilla glue (instead of white glue), which expands when dry, but I think the pressure was just too great in the body tube.
Absolutely apply fillets, 100%. If the instructions don't mention it then it is an oversight. I don't tend to think "leakage" per se was in issue, but the fillets would certainly have helped hold the fin onto the body, in addition to sealing things off.

There may have been other issues here, but for sure apply those fillets. White glue is fine.

[ninja'd by Antares JS]
 
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GlenP

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Because of the residue build up after each launch with a rear-eject model, you may need to clean out the inside of the tube or sand off the centering rings before the next launch to make sure you don't have too tight friction fit. You don't need as much friction as a nose cone would, because drag separation during coast is not going to be an issue, you just need it tight enough to support its own weight so it does not fall out on the rod, and maybe if you use a support on the rod it could even be loose enough that it could fall out under its own weight. Once the engine produces thrust it does not matter how loose it is. You also may have some friction due to the rotor stops. Maybe add a little pencil graphite to those contact surfaces to make sure the rear-eject pod is not getting hung up on those at all and can slide out from them freely too.
 

125cc

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Im about to build one of these so have taken notes from the above. Thanks everyone.
 

shreadvector

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Thanks folks. Both strong possibilities. I just checked the destroyed body tube and the engine mount. There was a SIGNIFICANT amount of residue at the end of the mount, and some also in the body tube. As far as the leakage - I didn't put glue fillets on the wings when I first built it, since the instructions didn't mention it, which was weird, since many of the other rockets I've built have fillets per the instructions. Fillets might have prevented leakage, maybe? I reattached the wing after the first failure with Gorilla glue (instead of white glue), which expands when dry, but I think the pressure was just too great in the body tube. Oh well. I MIGHT buy another one and try again and this time sand the mount rings well AND maybe clear out the body tube between launches. It's a fun "different" rocket.
Residue is one issue BUT use of Gorilla glue is a serious mistake.

As you noted it expands, but a more accurate description is that it foams up massively as it cures. Any that entered the tube through to slots will foul the tube.

did you use any on the motor mount? That could swell the centering rings making them fit WAY too tight.

instructions probably should have a clear “go/no-go” fit check. If too tight, peel the center in rings.
 

jimboshop99

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I used white glue only on the original build, no gorilla glue until I needed to repair it. I'm thinking about buying an Apogee kit for my next "non-parachute" recovery model, maybe the Texas Twister or the Gyroc Chaser. The Tazz was fun, I enjoyed seeing it spin down on those first two flights. BUT...there's nothing like a good 'ol parachute recovery. So far, out of the few rockets I've built and flown in the past few weeks, the Crossfire is my favorite. :)
 

rklapp

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I’ve shot mine about 7 times. I think I used the wrong engine in the 2nd launch causing the side to blow out. Glue, tape, and paint patched it up. It runs best on a C6-3 and is excellent in the wind. I wouldn’t mind a 29mm version.

2C7922F4-F935-4611-BD2D-F68A0BDE6165.jpeg


You can see a piece fly off at 1:42.
 

GlenP

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You can see a piece fly off at 1:42.
The fins should be straight and held in place by the tabs on the engine mount when on the pad at launch. It spins after the engine ejects for recovery, not for boost/coast phases of flight. Kind of like the trimming stabilizer on the Astron Skydart boost glider, the flap is straight during launch, then trimmed for glide after rear-eject.

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.06.23 PM.png
 
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SCooke123

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Yep your Tazz would fly much better if you had the fins set properly before launch. It would most likely gain a little more altitude as well. I'm surprised it didn't sustain more damage on it's flights. Lucky it survived 7 flights!!!
 

rklapp

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Honestly I forgot about that. I ran out of rubber bands and ordered more. They don’t last very long. It’s kinda cool watching it spin on the way up.

 

rklapp

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The rocket has been a dependable workhorse over the months. The inside stickers have come off when I straightened out the fins. I tried to CA but too fragile so cut them off. I will replace with different stickers.

5094EF58-7A48-4446-96D2-8A4C6237B65D.jpeg
 

jimboshop99

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Great video rk!!! Did you have to really sand down the engine mount rings so it fit snug but not TOO snug in the body tube? Funny how you had a B6-4 on the flight with the wing failure flight. That was the same engine I used on my "wing failure" flight. I also found that the stickers that create the wing hinges didn't stick well in some cases so I replaced it with clear packing tape during the build, worked well
 

rklapp

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Yes with all the tape I’ve used, I might just repaint the whole thing.

The engine block has the typical ring mounts so strange that it had to be sanded. There’s the possibility of peeling off a cardboard layer from the mounts but might be too loose then.

I look forward to seeing your video.
 

rcode

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I flown mine twice. first with a B6-4, the ejection charge fired too late (about 10 feet from ground). Second flight used a C6-3 which flew great.
 

GlenP

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Would probably be a good flier on the “new” C5 engines.
 

rklapp

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Just ordered the C5 from Estes. Free shipping to Hawaii...

I thought the rubber bands I bought from Amazon were too small but actually work great when I tried them out.
 

125cc

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Mine is built and ready to paint, laid low with flu this week (not CV19) so work has stalled!
 

Centauri

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The rocket has been a dependable workhorse over the months. The inside stickers have come off when I straightened out the fins. I tried to CA but too fragile so cut them off. I will replace with different stickers.

View attachment 420772
The stickers are horrible. What did you use to replace them?
 

BEC

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I don't know what Ron did, but used Scotch Multi-Task clear tape on mine....I have some electric RC airplanes on which I've used that tape for control surface hinges that are well over 10 years old and they are still going strong.
 

rklapp

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Probably used shipping tape or something. Afterwards, I used a C6 and it flew away on an adventure. Replaced it with a Gyroc clone. I didn't bother putting the tabs on the MM to hold the fins. Maybe I will someday...

 

BEC

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On a regular Gyroc the tabs go on the flaps. Getting them in the right spot to hold the flaps straight with the motor installed is a bit of an art....
 

BABAR

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On a regular Gyroc the tabs go on the flaps. Getting them in the right spot to hold the flaps straight with the motor installed is a bit of an art....
Something that may make that easier is to take off the rubber bands, put them around your fingers so you don’t forget them.

put the motor mount in with the tabs in place over the fins.

NOW replace the rubber bands!
 

RobertH3

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Looked like a nice build - I "wish" the big E would remember when their instructions were like having a chat with the designer and included nice tips like fillets, glue-priming tube and root edges, and (Centuri) papering fins. Each kit you built seemed to add to and improve your skills. I find the "no-word" instructions good for fin-papering and measurements..... not much else.

Cheers / Robert
 

BABAR

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Looked like a nice build - I "wish" the big E would remember when their instructions were like having a chat with the designer and included nice tips like fillets, glue-priming tube and root edges, and (Centuri) papering fins. Each kit you built seemed to add to and improve your skills. I find the "no-word" instructions good for fin-papering and measurements..... not much else.

Cheers / Robert
It is one step below phonics (which should be spelled with an F, but I digress. )
 
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