# Estes Vapor

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#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
The zipper is easily repairable, and precautions can be taken for future flights.
I'm concerned about the tube damage. Doesn't look like crushing or impact damage, more like internal pressure. Looks like something caused the tube to split along the spirals.
Also easily fixed with a tube segment and couplers but it would be worthwhile to find the likely cause to prevent recurrence.

#### Eric Nantel - DiaLFonZo

##### Well-Known Member
Sorry for the zipper... Awesome paint job..!

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#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
We thought that cracks at the spiral was because it had began to kink when it hit the ground.

Would the ejection charge going off while it was still at a high speed cause over pressure? This rocket weather cocked so bad that it was travelling horizontally while under power. It had arced over that much. I wrote how the shroud lines ripped right out off the chute and then there was also the zipper.

-Bob

#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
Don't know. Maybe overly energetic ejection charge?
Where is the baffle located relative to the spiral damage?

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
I'm gonna have to search "zipper repair" to see what that entails. Haven't done that before.

I'll try to get a pick of the spiral damage when I return to work Thursday.

=Bob

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
Went HL the other day and found a donor kit. The rebuild has been started. This time I'll stick with a 24mm mount and I am using very light ply for the ttw fins. One fin weighs .25 ounce, barely more than balsa and less than basswood. Also, the fins have been slightly enlarged as well by basically adding .25 inch to the leading edge... I haven't actually removed the material away from the ttw areas in this picture.

-Bob

#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
Forgive me if you"ve covered this before, but tell us more about your spiral filling technique. Looks like you've masked around the spirals and brushed on CWF?

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
You nailed it. The seams were very tight on this tube and I bet a few coats of primer would have filled them but I opted for thinned cwf. I did tape off the seams with blue tape, painted on very thinned cwf and peeled the tape once the cwf had started to dry. I almost waited a little too long and I had a little flaking when I pulled the tape. It all worked out good though and sanding was a breeze. I am working on mounting the fins now but I have one that is slightly warped that is now slightly wetted and slightly weighted. Weighting for it to dry

-Bob

TRF Supporter

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
Vapor 2.0, the Shorty.

-Bob

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
Kuririn, you asked about the baffle position relative to the spiral damage so I took this pic. There are two areas that you can see the spiral damage. The most aft one, and the worse one, is 9 inches from the rear. The motor mount is 4 inches long so I don't know that it factored in. The second spiral damage is around the 15.5 mark and is just before the baffle. I performed a "blow test" and there was no obstruction noticed. My weak, 58 year old lungs felt no restriction.

-Bob

#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
Just my guess, but I'd say there was an over-pressurization for whatever reason.
Could be a random over energetic ejection charge, too tight nose cone, or a restrictive baffle.
Did you do the blow test before or after the damage?

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
After the damage, right after I took the picture. I'm thinking it must have been because the rocket was still moving to fast and maybe an "over achiever" ejection charge

Once it's all back together I'll launch it again with another engine out of the same package. Hopefully I'll get a nice straight flight with a regular deployment and we'll see what happens.

I bought a Mean Machine to use for parts. It was 5 buck more than another Vapor and I figured that would be a bargain for two more body tubes and couplers. I did have the body tubes but only one extra coupler. There is a plastic twist-connecter piece that will allow you to take the rocket apart at the mid-point. Also the two couplers that came with it are only 1.5 inches long. That was quite a surprise... Now I am deciding if I should use something Estes deems appropriate or if I should use a longer coupler. If I decide to go with a longer coupler, I'll have to make it.

-Bob

#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
A couple of suggestions, if I may.
After you assemble the rebuilt rocket do either a live launch or static test before spending the time on filler, primer, paint and decals. Hopefully it doesn't repeat.
Use a long angle tool with the short couplers to ensure the tubes line up straight. I have a 36" long 3/4" X 1/2" tool from Home Depot. After gluing the coupler tape or rubber band the tubes to the tool, midseam at the center.

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
The time came for the removal of the damaged parts. First I cut off the aft portion of the rocket. I cut it behind the baffle and left a shoulder so I could use a coupler to graft on the new aft section. I used a 30 inch long piece of aluminum angle to make sure the rocket would be nice a straight once the glue dried.

I salvaged the old launch lugs and glued them to the new tube.

Then I moved my attention to the front. After carefully measuring to make sure the rocket would be the same length I removed most of the zipper. The area I was left with to repair was about 1.2 inch long. I used some epoxy and taped it together while the glue dried.

It's mostly paint work left. I do still need to dig out another parachute from my stash and glue on the 24mm retainer. My goal is to have it done by year's end so I can start on my next scale build.

Oh, its a great idea to launch it before I do the paint work but you know what? I don't have a launcher. I've been only launching at the monthly club launches.

-Bob

TRF Supporter
Nice work!

#### Eric Nantel - DiaLFonZo

##### Well-Known Member
Almost like new..!
You saved the tube or the artwork.? [emoji28]

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
Yep, saved the most difficult part of the paint job and the ejection baffle.

Hope to get black paint on it tomorrow.

Thanks everyone,
-Bob

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
The "Shorty" version was just a funny. But just on a whim, I modified my Vapor ork file and both the CG and CP are at 19.1 with the E12 motor.

-Bob

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
I sprayed black on the Vapor Saturday so it would have plenty of time to dry before Monday. I cut out the paint masks last night so I could spray the yellow swirls on the fins today.

I inspected the paint this morning and I just wasn't happy with how it came out. I could see some grain in the fins and there were a few "oops" on the body tube. I decided to try scuffing it up with some 600 followed by 1,000 to address the "oops" but the paint was too thin and I punched thru in spots. Now the entire back has been sanded down with the fins getting most of the attention. The ply that I used there was very light and two coats of primer did not fill the grain as well as I had thought. So here it is as it sits now waiting for black paint once again.

I guess my timeline of having it rebuilt by the end of the year is not gonna happen but that is fine. I still haven't decided what I am going to build next. It a tough choice between a PSII Trajector, PSII Nike Smoke or my own design PSII inspired (even using mostly PSII parts) Black Brant.

-Bob

#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
I still haven't decided what I am going to build next. It a tough choice between a PSII Trajector, PSII Nike Smoke or my own design PSII inspired (even using mostly PSII parts) Black Brant.
The Trajector and Nike Smoke go together like oversized E2X kits. Plastic fins and nose, no wood grain to fill. Looks good, but not much of a building challenge. My opinion, the scratch BB is more worthy of your talents.

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
Thank you for that, although... I sprayed the Vapor again and it came out worse than before. I've got crackling, fish eye, runs, etc. You name it and it has it. I think it's cursed. I'll sand once more and try again but I am starting to wonder if I should have just gone with my gut and tossed it after that first flight...

-Bob

#### Bruiser

##### Well-Known Member
Launched the rebuilt Vapor today on a E12-6. Nice flight to around 1,000 feet or so. It was a little wiggly at first but went straight up. I'm gonna have to finish up the paint now. The paint has been doing some weird stuff at the coupler where I joined the next aft tube on. Paint keeps wrinkling after three tries...

I was going to launch my Ventris for it's first flight today but I couldn't find anyone to help me with my first composite motor or how to use my new chute release. Maybe next month...

-Bob

#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
Great news. Glad you didn't toss it.

#### Eric Nantel - DiaLFonZo

##### Well-Known Member
I'm in Alabama for the week and got one from Hobby Lobby. Why there is not much info about it online? Really old model?

#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
I'm in Alabama for the week and got one from Hobby Lobby. Why there is not much info about it online? Really old model?
Just the opposite. Brand new model, Hobby Lobby exclusive, so no one else is advertising it, including Estes.
Deal made with HL to keep Estes models in their stores.

#### Scott_650

##### Well-Known Member
I'm in Alabama for the week and got one from Hobby Lobby. Why there is not much info about it online? Really old model?
Just the opposite. Brand new model, Hobby Lobby exclusive, so no one else is advertising it, including Estes.
Deal made with HL to keep Estes models in their stores.
Plus, the Vapor is not quite the “universal” sport rocket that the Star Orbiter - the rocket the Vapor is based on - is. SO has TTW fins and a 29mm motor mount but only weighs a little bit more. SO can be built to hold up over a really wide range of motors and other than the fin shape and face card graphics looks pretty much like a Vapor. Nothing wrong with the Vapor, pix of completed rockets painted like the face card are really sharp, but if you’re looking for a do it all BT-60 based sport flyer even at the list price of $25 (much less the$15-18 discounted price) it’s hard to beat the Star Orbiter. Though the \$15 Vapor comes close

#### Eric Nantel - DiaLFonZo

##### Well-Known Member
Cool - At the price it looked very fun.

In Canada we don't have much hobby store and even less carry rocket supply.

Sorry to high jack this topic...

#### o1d_dude

##### 'I battle gravity'
TRF Supporter
Just the opposite. Brand new model, Hobby Lobby exclusive, so no one else is advertising it, including Estes.
Deal made with HL to keep Estes models in their stores.
Did not know it was an exclusive kit for HL.

Maybe I’ll go back and but another one...or two.

It looks very much like a smaller version of my 2.6” Madcow Screech.