Estes V2 Modifications

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Rocket2Russia

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Hey all fellow model rocket scientists. I am about embark on my second Estes V2 build but this time make it a bit more robust by swapping out some items. My shopping list is as follows:

Aerotech 24mm RMS kit, Estes Pro Series II 24mm retainer and shock cord. 18" nylon parachute. I don't have any money now so buying these items will have to wait. I do have quite a few Estes Minimaxs in the event that someone would like to trade.

I have done some research on this fine web site and learned a bit about my project but searching for just "V2" is impossible. I would like to fly my new V2 on E and F motors.

Since I am a BAR let me ask you if this sounds like a good plan or not. What other modification would you make? I don't have the tools needed to make plywood centering rings so that's out of the question.
After returning to the American work force sometime in February I plan on buying one of the Loc Precision V2s.

Thanks to all who keep posting and thus keeping us entertained and informed.

Here is my first V2.

Estes V2 by Petworth Traction Co., on Flickr
 
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dhbarr

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I don't think you want that retainer on this bird, unless you modify it a bit. The ridges will stick out into the wind.
 

dhbarr

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Or maybe none at all, I'm not a V2 guy ( yet ) .
 

BEC

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Perhaps. It's about the same weight, so either one will have about the same affect on the CG (always something to watch out for, or so I have read, with V2s).
 

sl98

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I don't think you want that retainer on this bird, unless you modify it a bit. The ridges will stick out into the wind.
I put the Estes 24mm retainer on my Estes V2 and if fits fine. You just need to extend motor tube. If the ridges bother you they can be sanded off. An AT E18 is a 1500'+ flight. Also flys great on the 18mm AT reloads with 4 sec delay in the 600' range.

I also added 24" of 1/8 kevlar and epoxied to motor mount tube.

Haven't tried a F (and don't intend to).
 

Lowpuller

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I was gonna fly mine the other day but it was too windy.......

ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1485924830.676056.jpg

😀😀😀😀
 

Trident

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Rocket2Russia,
The Estes V-2 I built last year carries the same paint scheme as yours. I chose to cut the fins down to scale-size. It involved just taking about 1/2" off the outer edge. I also went with mini rail buttons. I have flown this from a 900 mm MakerBeam rail (laying on table in picture). It flew very well from rail, with these modifications. I did add about 1 oz. of weight to nose cone to ensure stability.

IMG_0151.jpg
 
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My Gypsy

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I went to 1/4" launch lugs, added 2.4 ounces to the nose and made a Kevlar harness. The 18" chute is right on. I get flawless flights on AT F24-7 motors consistently to 1360-1400'.
 

Howie

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Timely thread, as I'm going to start on my third Estes V-2 in the near future. My first one spent a winter up in a tree and the cardboard parts and fins were warped. The second one soared into the heavens on an Aerotech F35-8 reload, and I wasn't able to find where it came down after a lengthy search.

The airframe of this kit is more then strong enough to handle flight loads of any motor that fits. Landing impact was the only damage mine got, which is common for rockets with fins that extend below the body tube. For the fins I papered them to provide some stiffness, and I also dislike sanding sealer. To harden them against landing stresses I used thin CA glue along the bottom and outer edges. Mine both got hairline cracks along the bottom 1/4" inch of the fin / tail cone joint. To solve this on the next V-2, I plan to drill the fin and tail cone and place a dowel rod through both.

The recovery system is where your money is best spent on upgrades. I used a kevlar cord tied around the motor mount tube with a loop that reached just short of the top of the body tube. Tied to that was a braided 1/4" elastic cord. I also soaked some CA into the top edge of the body tube for some zipper / impact resistance. I consider any rocket worthy of a nylon chute or streamer - I used a 15 or 18" chute depending on the weight and landing surface.

I used the stock motor retention and plan to do the same again, as I fly both BP and AP motors. When I fly with RMS cases, I tie a twist tie around the hook to keep the case from being kicked out on ejection. The screw on retainers from Estes and others are nice, but the small opening at the back of the tail cone doesn't leave room to grip them unless the motor mount tube is extended.

With a Jolly Logic Altimeter on board, I've achieved the following altitudes: 200' on a C11-3, 500' on a D12-5, 1000' on an E9/12-6, 1400' on an E18-7, 1600' on an F24-7, and 1900' on a F35-8. I like to build light so I get good results on small motors and have no permanent weight in the nose cone. For motors shorter motors the altimeter gives enough nose weight for stable flights. For the largest BP / AP motors I used a temporary nose weight: old style wooden pencils inserted through the hole at the nose cone base, and secured with a couple strips of duct tape across that hole.

The LOC V2's are great kits: I got my L2 on the 5.56" R2 / Arrow stretched version.

Hope this feedback from myself and others is helpful. Good luck with your build!
 

Rocket2Russia

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Rocket2Russia,
The Estes V-2 I built last year carries the same paint scheme as yours. I chose to cut the fins down to scale-size. It involved just taking about 1/2" off the outer edge. I also went with mini rail buttons. I have flown this from a 900 mm MakerBeam rail (laying on table in picture). It flew very well from rail, with these modifications. I did add about 1 oz. of weight to nose cone to ensure stability.

View attachment 310723
Lee, that's a real sweet paint job. I think I will try my hand at the camo for my next kit. What type of weight did you use? My first Estes V2 I just used the clay that came with the kit. I will also look into scaling down the fins as you did as I like the scale look.
 

Rocket2Russia

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I used the stock motor retention and plan to do the same again, as I fly both BP and AP motors. When I fly with RMS cases, I tie a twist tie around the hook to keep the case from being kicked out on ejection. The screw on retainers from Estes and others are nice, but the small opening at the back of the tail cone doesn't leave room to grip them unless the motor mount tube is extended.



Hope this feedback from myself and others is helpful. Good luck with your build!
I was thinking of using just the Aerotech RMS cases with this not that I know how to use them or how they work but one has to learn somehow. When you think of it can you provide a photo of your twist tie around the engine hook? Will the Estes E and F motors work with this? Maybe I'll look into a RMS system at a later date. Thanks to all who have chimed in.
Another photos of my first V2:

V201 by Petworth Traction Co., on Flickr
 

EXPjawa

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One thing you might consider is remaking the fins out of basswood. I suggest that because both of the two I build had brittle balsa; I had one break in my hand while sanding it, another break when I was pulling paint masking off. It got frustrating, since by then the fins were attached, filleted in and sanded. The balsa was a lot harder than normal, but it broke easily. I did one in the test scheme shown above by others and one in an alternate White Sands yellow/black scheme (different than shown on the face card). The yellow one is the one I fly, the black/white/olive one blends into the farm field too easily.

 

Rocket2Russia

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I would think that cutting out the fins out of anything other than balsa would be difficult with ordinary hand tools. Would papering the fins help? That's something I can do with an xacto knife. I do have a Dremel but I will admit I am not all that experienced in using it yet. Is there a V2 page on this forum? I've dug a little and couldn't find one. Rick, both of your V2 models look great. Thanks for shooting and sharing.
 
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rharshberger

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I would think that cutting out the fins out of anything other than balsa would be difficult with ordinary hand tools. Would papering the fins help? That's something I can do with an xacto knife. I do have a Dremel but I will admit I am not all that experienced in using it yet. Is there a V2 page on this forum? I've dug a little and couldn't find one. Rick, both of your V2 models look great. Thanks for shooting and sharing.
Papering the fins will help, and basswood isn't much harder than balsa to cut.
 

EXPjawa

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Papering gives some strength, but if the underlying wood is brittle, that wood will still be problematic. In fact, on the yellow one above, I papered (on the rocket) after the initial repair, and then did the other one retroactively since it was only in primer at the time. But I've still had breaks in the field that stronger wood would've prevented. Basswood isn't bad to cut, just make sure that you have a sharp blade in your hobby knife. Granted, a band saw or jig saw would be easier, but I've cut a lot of bass fins out by hand without trouble. Its the plywoods that are tough to razor knife out...

There is a gallery thread for the V-2. Its not your fault you couldn't find it; the search tool here is horrible. However, the V-2 is such a wildly popular scale subject that it couldn't be excluded. There are a lot of V-2 kits out there...
https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?15563-SCALE-V2-Gallery&highlight=v2+gallery
 
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Rocket2Russia

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I just found a sheet of 3/32 basswood I have lying around. I bought it about a year ago when I decided that I would attempt to scratch build structures for my model trolley layout. Will that be too thin? I was planning using an Aerotech RMS casing with this rocket. Should I forgo the engine hook and motor stop one installs in the motor mount?
 

rharshberger

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I just found a sheet of 3/32 basswood I have lying around. I bought it about a year ago when I decided that I would attempt to scratch build structures for my model trolley layout. Will that be too thin? I was planning using an Aerotech RMS casing with this rocket. Should I forgo the engine hook and motor stop one installs in the motor mount?
Leaving out the motor hook and the motor block will allow the use of the CTI reloads as well, of course extra nose weight will be needed. As for the thickness of the basswood personally 1/8" would be better IMO.
 

Nantucketdink

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Definitely paper the fins. Without it a fin will break just about every time it lands.
 

EXPjawa

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Definitely paper the fins. Without it a fin will break just about every time it lands.
Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration - but it depends a lot on what you're landing on. I can probably count the number of landing breaks I've had in the last couple of years on one hand. But where I fly is all on farm field, often in knee high beans / carrots / etc. (which pose other recovery issues). But bottom line is that papering the fins does help; it essentially makes it into a lightweight plywood. But it is only paper, it isn't a guarantee, and again - if the base wood is brittle, it will only help so much...
 

Howie

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IMG_8959.jpg:IMG_8960.jpg
Mike,

Here's a couple pictures for you. The first shows a twist tie around an Estes motor hook. This is my Launch Pad Standard, but same hardware as what Estes uses. I do this anytime I use an RMS motor (and probably a good idea for single use AP motors as well).

The second shows a 24mm Estes screw in retainer along with the lower end of the V2 tail cone. The retainer is just small enough it could slip inside the opening, but you wouldn't be able to tighten / loosen it by hand unless it sticks partway out the cone. That would entail moving the motor mount rearward and all else equal, require (more) nose weight to maintain the CG / CP relationship. Something you could try ( and I may as well) is drill two holes into the end of the retainer so it can be tightened with a snap ring tool, or if the holes are big enough, needle nose pliers. Then you'd have a system that would work with both types of motors and preserve the stock motor mount location.
 

Rocket2Russia

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I am planning on getting plywood centering rings. Good idea or bad?
 

Rocket2Russia

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The centering rings that come with the kit are cardboard. Should I just use those?
 

rharshberger

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you might double them up, just cut some extras from a cereal box using the originals as patterns, or use the cardstock ones and laminate a piece of balsa to them and trim the balsa to match the cardstock lots of strength and not much additional weight.
 

Howie

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With the through the wall fins extending and attached to the motor mount tube, the fins take the forward and aft thrust of the motor. If not for the need to pressurize the airframe to eject the parachute, this kit would not need any centering rings at all. I take that back - the aft centering ring is useful to center the motor mount tube within the tail cone so the fins can be glued on. The kit paper rings are more then up to these tasks.
 

Trident

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Lee, that's a real sweet paint job. I think I will try my hand at the camo for my next kit. What type of weight did you use? My first Estes V2 I just used the clay that came with the kit. I will also look into scaling down the fins as you did as I like the scale look.
Sorry for the late reply. I used BBs, measured on a digital scale, along wIth some thinned epoxy, so it could be poured into nose cone. Be careful with using too much epoxy in a nose cone. It cures via exothermic reaction, and the heat can distort plastic. I usually stand the nose cone in a can of water while the epoxy is curing.
 

Pointy_end_up

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I just finished, and flown successfully, an Estes V2 with scale fins.
V2 ready to fly.jpgIMG_0133V2 lift off soft focus.jpg

I fretted a lot over predicting stability because it was hard finding a good reference for the CP and OpenRocket doesn't handle the rear transition very well for its CP calculation. After a thorough search, cross referencing what I could find, throwing my own math at it (yep, that's scary), the best estimate (AKA guess) I could come up with was between 35 - 37 cm from the nose. I ended up putting lead in the nose with epoxy just like Trident posted above to get the CG at 25.6 cm from the nose with a D12. It flew perfectly in a cross wind (it left the rod at an angle but didn't weather vane any further), ejection was right on time, and came back for a nice soft landing. Don't know if I have the optimal CG/CP relationship but I do know it worked with this CG. Hopefully that can help anyone else out there.

Big thanks to Mark Hayes at Stickershock for being patient with me and going the extra mile so I could get the markings to the correct scale. He really went above and beyond for me and I really appreciate it.
 

TangoJuliet

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Excellent! Is there a reference posted somewhere in the threads for the scale fins?
 

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