Fun with classic motors

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Well-Known Member
Apr 29, 2012
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A few years ago I happened to have the chance to buy a few oldies but goodies, and one day I was at hobby lobby with a 40% coupon, and some cash burning a hole in my pocket. I thought about the variety of motors I had at home and thought to myself... "What kind of trouble can I get in today?"

Realized that I had some old Aerotech G55's and G110's sitting in the basement, and spotted the Mini Fat Boy on the rack. $7 later, I had a kit in hand and a sinister smile on my face.

Found some stuff in the basement to rig up a 24mm motor mount, a yard of kevlar, and a few scraps of 2oz glass later, I had myself a Mini Fat Boy with a 24mm motor mount. Recovery was going to be an issue, though. I decided upon a reflective mylar streamer from Apogee Rockets. Next was what do I launch it from? Found some 1/4" launch lugs on. A few specks of 5min epoxy later and I was set. Then she sat on the shelf for a while. One day I was gluing up some Aeropack retainers on, and had some left over JBWeld, so I slapped the fillets on for good time's sake.

Finally got around to flying it this past weekend. Talk about wicked awesome. First, there was a mini heart attack -- I was able to source an e-match just small enough to be inserted in the motor... Onto a 3/16" rod she went (didn't want to chance a 1/4" rod being misaligned so why not?) She lit, but chuffed. Said chuff was powerful enough to propel the rocket thirty inches up a 36" launch rod. She went back down and didn't sit but for a fraction of a second before she took off like a scalded cat. Apogee was easily visible, and thanks to the reflective streamer I was able to visually track her all the way down and recover her.

Minor damage -- a fin separated from the airframe by means of paper tube separation. I'll either fix that or pick up a new kit and do it up right. Pretty sure I peeled teh glassine off, but she still separated. Maybe I'll use 1/32" or 1/16" G-10 fins next time. The streamer didn't fully deploy since the heat of the casing was enough to adhere the closest layers of the streamer to the motor. Next time I'll try and insulate the motor with some Estes sheet wadding before wrapping the streamer around the motor.

All in all, a fun, hilarious launch, and I sure can't wait to do it again with either another G55W or G110T.