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Found Myself In A Dream Scenario... Suggestions?

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KenKirtlandIV

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I am a newbie to both the Rocketry Hobby and this forum so forgive me if this is the wrong section.

Although I am very new to the hobby (haven't even had my first flight, but the kit is on the way) I have decent building and modelling skills. I am an Industrial Design Student and I am constantly making high quality models for class projects. Due to this, I have free, virtually unlimited access to 3D Printers, Vacuum Forming, Laser Cutters and an array of other basic shop equipment. So it would seem I am in a place where I can make essentially anything that comes to mind, not to mention I have an unlimited supply of various sized cardboard tubes from the mail and printing rooms.

I want my 2nd or 3rd flight to be a scratch built scale model of a real rocket. Do any of you seasoned hobbyist have suggestions for a scale rocket that hasn't been done before? Currently, I am considering doing a Falcon 9 because it is my favorite rocket and there don't seem to be many big scale model Falcon 9's out there. Another option I'm considering is the updated SpaceX BFR that Elon just announced. But I am afraid either of these rockets might be a little too cliche. What do you think?
 

dhbarr

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There's also the Blue Origin rockets in that general neighborhood.
 

KenKirtlandIV

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True, the New Glenn would definitely be a unique piece to have. Any historic rockets that haven't gotten the love they deserve?
 

aerostadt

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If you build a Falcon 9 or a New Glenn, you probably will need to incorporate clear plastic fins.
 

Gary Byrum

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I think you ought to build whatever you like. Never mind whether or not it's been done a 1000 times. YOU never did it, and if you like it, you should. Kudos on going scratch btw. Welcome to the world of rocketry and all of the know-it-alls that come with it. But honestly, there are a great many good minds here and it's a fabulous resource. Pictures......we love to see pictures!!!
 

LithosphereRocketry

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I am a newbie to both the Rocketry Hobby and this forum so forgive me if this is the wrong section.

Although I am very new to the hobby (haven't even had my first flight, but the kit is on the way) I have decent building and modelling skills. I am an Industrial Design Student and I am constantly making high quality models for class projects. Due to this, I have free, virtually unlimited access to 3D Printers, Vacuum Forming, Laser Cutters and an array of other basic shop equipment. So it would seem I am in a place where I can make essentially anything that comes to mind, not to mention I have an unlimited supply of various sized cardboard tubes from the mail and printing rooms.

I want my 2nd or 3rd flight to be a scratch built scale model of a real rocket. Do any of you seasoned hobbyist have suggestions for a scale rocket that hasn't been done before? Currently, I am considering doing a Falcon 9 because it is my favorite rocket and there don't seem to be many big scale model Falcon 9's out there. Another option I'm considering is the updated SpaceX BFR that Elon just announced. But I am afraid either of these rockets might be a little too cliche. What do you think?
Have any experience clustering? A Dragon LES would be a cool build... 8xD12 leaps to mind. You could even recover the fin skirt part separately like the real thing...

OK, now I want to build one... I'm not that confident about getting 8 motors lit at exactly the same time, though- plus, 8xD12 is WAY over my per-flight budget... 8xA3T would be a bit more reasonable.
[video=youtube;1_FXVjf46T8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_FXVjf46T8[/video]
 

KenKirtlandIV

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I can get some thin clear acrylic, but I've been messing around in Open Rocket and have actually been able to get the Center of Pressure behind the Center of Mass on a scale Falcon 9 with 2 stage F Motors. I do not know how well that transfers to real life however.
 

KenKirtlandIV

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Thanks! I will definitely have a build thread (and probably plenty more questions) on whatever I decide to build.
 

KenKirtlandIV

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Have any experience clustering? A Dragon LES would be a cool build... 8xD12 leaps to mind. You could even recover the fin skirt part separately like the real thing...

OK, now I want to build one... I'm not that confident about getting 8 motors lit at exactly the same time, though- plus, 8xD12 is WAY over my per-flight budget... 8xA3T would be a bit more reasonable.
[video=youtube;1_FXVjf46T8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_FXVjf46T8[/video]
This would be very awesome! Probably after a more simple build.
 

LithosphereRocketry

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This would be very awesome! Probably after a more simple build.
Yeah, clustering isn't exactly the easiest beginner project... I just saw that you said you were somewhat inexperienced- the Dragon LES would be a pretty ambitious first scratchbuild!

If you want to do a scale model, I'd look at a sounding rocket of some kind. I have a 3:11 Arcas and a 1:4 IQSY Tomahawk, both of which are very model rocket-y. My Arcas is actually the Boosted Arcas stack, which used two Arcas motors (I think). There are quite a few different Arcas'es. Mine's gap staged, so another trickier project, but the Arcas itself would be fun to model.

A Falcon 9 would probably be doable. If I had to choose... Make yourself a conventional sounding rocket and a Falcon 9. Never hurts to have more rockets :wink:
 

neil_w

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I can get some thin clear acrylic, but I've been messing around in Open Rocket and have actually been able to get the Center of Pressure behind the Center of Mass on a scale Falcon 9 with 2 stage F Motors. I do not know how well that transfers to real life however.
Sounds unlikely. Can you post that file?
 

Nytrunner

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I can get some thin clear acrylic, but I've been messing around in Open Rocket and have actually been able to get the Center of Pressure behind the Center of Mass on a scale Falcon 9 with 2 stage F Motors. I do not know how well that transfers to real life however.
Interesting. Do post the Openrocket file if you're willing.

Did you do it by putting the second stage motor up where the actual F9 2nd stage is? For the model world, that will require some creative gap staging, or some electronics.
 

KenKirtlandIV

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Interesting. Do post the Openrocket file if you're willing.

Did you do it by putting the second stage motor up where the actual F9 2nd stage is? For the model world, that will require some creative gap staging, or some electronics.
I just posted the file in a reply to someone else, but yes I did do it that way so it might not work.
 

Nytrunner

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Your file from last night opened as a single stage. Have you tried modeling it in a staged configuration so that separation occurs?

Either way, this will be very tricky to fly in any stable manner. You barely have half a caliber or 4% L/D separation between your CP and CG. Although that reducing transition may be kicking your CP forward a tad in OR. The second stage looks like it will be unstable as well.
 

afadeev

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Your file from last night opened as a single stage. Have you tried modeling it in a staged configuration so that separation occurs?

Either way, this will be very tricky to fly in any stable manner. You barely have half a caliber or 4% L/D separation between your CP and CG. Although that reducing transition may be kicking your CP forward a tad in OR. The second stage looks like it will be unstable as well.
+1.
Especial for someone who has NEVER built and launched a rocket before. Any rocket!!
:facepalm:


Although I am very new to the hobby (haven't even had my first flight, but the kit is on the way)[...] I am considering doing a Falcon 9 because it is my favorite rocket and there don't seem to be many big scale model Falcon 9's out there. Another option I'm considering is the updated SpaceX BFR that Elon just announced. But I am afraid either of these rockets might be a little too cliche. What do you think?

I think there is very low probability of success for your project, as outlined.
If you've never built a rocket following detailed instructions, the probability of you figuring it all out on a scratch build is not very high.

If this project will be graded as part of your school work, please step back and reassess.

If you are doing it just for fun, and don't really need to finish the project in any finite time frame, they sure, why not.
What you've modeled so far is an unstable, complex, multi-stage rocket, with transitions.
I would still start building it as a stable 1-stage model, then covert to 2-stager after you got some flying experience.
It will not be a true scale built, since you don't have active guidance that Falcon 9 has. So you will need larger, and possibly swept-back aft fins. Perhaps, something like this"
https://www.apogeerockets.com/Rocket_Kits/Skill_Level_5_Kits/Mercury_Atlas_Friendship_7


Good luck either way,
a
 
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neil_w

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Ditto to Nytrunner's and afadeev's comments. This rocket will not fly as currently designed. (Well, at least it will not fly *straight*). In general, although it is often possible to pull the CG forward of the CP with enough nose weight, a rocket will still not fly stably without sufficient fin area or some other form of stabilization.
 
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LithosphereRocketry

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Ditto to Nytrunner's and afadeev's comments. This rocket will not fly as currently designed. (Well, at least it will not fly *straight*). In general, although it is often possible to pull the CG forward of the CG with enough nose weight, a rocket will still not fly stably without sufficient fin area or some other form of stabilization.
Well, you very rarely end up with the CG ahead of itself... Maybe when it forgets a step.:lol:

Bad joke, I know.

Aaaaanyway...

Seriously, throw on some acrylic fins. You'll want them. Also, the F9 is hard to stage because the break is so far up- upper stage ignition isn't exactly trivial...

What motors are you looking at? For most BP motors 2-stage sounding rockets can be gap staged... I have my aforementioned Arcas and a 1" WAC Corporal that work like that. Neither is a great first project though.

Most of all, have fun!
 
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