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Fast and visible and powerful rocket

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William Carter

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Hello. I recently build the Peregrine rocket (https://www.apogeerockets.com/Rocket-Kits/Skill-Level-3-Model-Rocket-Kits/Peregrine) and flew it with a G motor. It was very slow (it turns out it was underpowered) and I'm going to try to get high power certification this weekend and then move onto to duel deployment.

However, I want to build another one rocket that's very fast, sleek, and leaves some kind of smoke trail. Are there any suggestions for what to build and where to buy it from? Thanks!
 

Sooner Boomer

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The smoke trail is dependant on engine chemistry. I'm going to stop with that and let others explain. What kind of glue is best to get maximum smoke?
 

Antares JS

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If you're using Aerotech, you want white lightning propellant. The motor designation will end in W.

Edit:
>Fast
>Visible

Pick one. Unless the rocket is very large.
 

Nytrunner

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Agreed on the White Lightning motors.
J and FJ (Blackjack/Blackmax (sometimes called fastjack by folks) are slower burning propellants, but the have a deep black smoke during the burn

It was very slow (it turns out it was underpowered) and I'm going to try to get high power certification this weekend and then move onto to duel deployment.
Do you know of thurstcurve.org or the Openrocket software? You can simulate your flights to ensure you have a properly strong motor for your rocket and avoid mishaps like underpowered or unstable flights
 

William Carter

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Thanks (I use Open Rocket but I didn't think to enter the rocket because the curves are finned and I wasn't designing it from scratch like I did with other low power rockets.)

Also Antares JS said 'Unless the rocket is very large. '. If the rocket is 5 feet 4 inches is that okay?
 

Nytrunner

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Also Antares JS said 'Unless the rocket is very large. '. If the rocket is 5 feet 4 inches is that okay?
It's a tricky statement, and probably needs some definition of what you mean by fast (how fast?, 200 mph? M1? M2?) or visible (visible flame? Visible by smoke? Visible as a sillouette in the sky?)

The fast burning propellants (high thrust) usually leave very little smoke (bright clean flames). White Lightning being an exception as its decently high thrust, but also has big smoke
That being said, once it burns out the only smoke is the little bit from the delay/tracking grain which isn't much.

A 4" diameter rocket is relatively visible (Unless you paint it sky colored) on most subsonic flights. You can go pretty fast while being able to visibly track a 4" rocket.
That being said, If you launch it with a real hard hitting motor, it can disappear in a blink of an eye.

My recommendation: Simulate. If you get off the rail comfortably fast (+50 ft/s) and stay sub-sonic, you should have a nice fast flight that is trackable by eye.
 

Nytrunner

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Are there any rockets you know of than go faster than Mach 1?
Too many to list. Fiberglass or carbon fiber rockets, regular cardboard rockets with appropriate reinforcement, etc....

It really just depends on if the rocket can withstand a motor strong enough to accelerate it past transonic.
Often the body tube will not be much larger than the motor (54mm mount in a 2.6" rocket) or the body tube will be just big enough to fit the motor (called minimum-diamter. No through the wall fins on those)
 

Zeus-cat

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There are plenty of rockets that exceed Mach 1. The transonic region is a tricky place, so be careful. In the last year I have seen 2 rockets obliterated by hitting Mach 1. The first was ripped apart as it passed through Mach 1 and that rocket was made of cardboard and plywood.

The second rocket was destroyed as the user picked a motor that kept the rocket right a Mach 1 for too long. He mistakenly thought that just exceeding Mach 1 would expose the rocket to less stress than a faster flight. You actually want to punch through Mach 1 quickly so the rocket is right at Mach 1 for a very short period of time. The aerodynamic stresses damaged the body tube and the rocket did not survive.
 

William Carter

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Thanks! Are there any kits that go past Mach 1 or would I have to to design my own?
 

FMarvinS

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There are many kits that go faster than Mach 1, it is really dependent on your build techniques and your motor choices. For example, I flew a relatively short stubby rockets at Mach 1.5 without problems. Since it appears you may be new to HPR, I'd suggest a sturdy fiberglass rocket initially such as Wildman's Punisher 3 inch or any of his 2.6 inch rockets (with a 54 mm motor tube), which with some experience can be launched on J motors with an L1 cert and L motors on a cert 2. Building such a versatile fiberglass rocket will introduce you to new build techniques and factors of rocket stability, larger motors, rocket tracking and recovery issues. Once you acquire the relevant certification, speed and smoke will come naturally.

Good Luck,
Fred, L2
ICBM, S.C.
KG4YGP
 

William Carter

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Ok thanks! I appreciate the help. (Also I accidently added the message to multi quote. I don't know what it does how to undo it.)
 

BABAR

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Don’t expect to hear a sonic boom.
 

Bowman

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Thanks! Are there any kits that go past Mach 1 or would I have to to design my own?
Whether you buy or design; Beware of fin-flutter, long span and thin materials are the enemy. And ensure a snug (not tight) fit of air frame sections to ensure the rocket stays "in column". One joint is better than two here so the most basic design without a "payload bay" is probably best.
JMO
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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For your cert flight, what are you going to use? If you go back to the Apogee page and roll down to where you see “Rec Motors”, and click that link, you will see Apogee’s recommended motors for that rocket. I think an Aerotech H100 would probably be a good one. It’s single-use, so no hardware required, and it will probably stay under 2,000 feet, so you should get it back just fine.

The questions you are asking about speed have almost as much to do with your motor choices as they do with the rocket itself. Learn a bit about total impulse and thrust and about the different propellant types’ flame colors and smoke characteristics. There are definitely motors that will give your perigrine a flight you will love, especially if you get into dual deployment or use a Chute Release for easy dual deploy so you can fly a bit higher. Some of the really fast motors will go pretty high if they have more than a very short burn. If speed and altitude are your thing, then for future rockets, you will probably want skinnier fiberglass rockets. But before you go crazy, you might want to experiment with different motors in your Perigrine.

Good luck on your cert flight!
 

William Carter

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Thanks for the advice! For the first flight I used a G76G-10 (Mojave Green) and it went 300 feet below where it was supposed to go and nearly lost a fin on impact.
I'm going to try to get a H100 motor after I get the High Power Certification. I'm very new to this all but I'll learn as I go.
 

dr wogz

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as I've said a few times:

it's not a race.
Know what the numbers mean.

in your case, the 2nd statement is more to where you need to pay attention. L1 is about getting into higher thrust motors. Knowing what the numbers (and letters) mean will help you answer some of your questions. what is the difference between an H97 & an H242? Why would an H550 be too much motor for some rockets? Why would an H97 be a bad choice? Should I use the H550 or H97 in my 3" Estes Leviathan? What about in my Mega Der Red Max? What about in my 2.1" dia Darkstar (all fiberglass)?

it's not the rocket that decided if it goes MACH (but it does play a part). Motors, that's the amount of push you have, how much push, and for how long. Some motors have a short burn, and offer a lot of force; a 'punchy' motor.. Other have a longer burn, with a softer force over a longer time..
 

Nytrunner

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If you go back to the Apogee page and roll down to where you see “Rec Motors”, and click that link, you will see Apogee’s recommended motors for that rocket.
This has an important caveat: That table of motor recommendatiosn assumed your finished rocket has similar weight/balance as Apogee's specs.

If your rocket is lighter, it could go higher, if its heavier, it could go lower. If your balance CG is further forward, you may weathercock more, if your CG is further back, you may be unstable.

As Wogz said, you must know what the motor numbers mean, you must now how heavy your finished rocket is and where it balances, and you should learn how to calculate or simulate the rocket's predicted performance.
 

jqavins

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A lot of good advice so far, to which I have little (but yes, a little) to add. For one thing, several people have told you to learn what the letters and numbers mean, and the importance of your weight and balance. I won't assume that you don't already know these things. If, however, the others are right that you don't, then I strongly recommend staying in the low or mid power realm for a while longer while you learn. The mistakes are cheaper and less potentially dangerous. Getting HPR certification is not about (grunt-grunt-grunt) More Power. It's about proving you know the ropes, so you can handle more power. (Well, more impulse.)

It really just depends on if the rocket can withstand a motor strong enough to accelerate it past transonic.
And, point of information, trans-sonic lasts from about 0.8 or 0.9 mach to about 1.1 or 1.2. You want to get over mach 1.2 (or at least over 1.1) as quickly as you can. Open Rocket can help you with that.

[Some rockets] can be launched on J motors with an L1...
Correction: L1 allows H and I morots; J requires L2.

I'm going to try to get a H100 motor after I get the High Power Certification.
Assuming the H100 gives you the performance you need (others suggested it but I haven't checked) why not use it for your certification? The cert flight must be on an L1 motor, i.e. an H or I motor, which you're allowed to buy specially for the purpose.

And finally, on the subject of visibility: for visibility on the way down or in tall grass, a brightly colored, multi-colored parachute helps. A metallic finish, like aluminized mylar, can also help, especially on a sunny day. Probably that's not the visibility you were talking about, but what the heck.

(Does all that still count as "a little"?)
 
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