I *finally* got around to building this one

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Fore Check

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I don't know why, but I've kinda been putting off building this rocket. Mostly due to a lack of good, protected storage space for it.

Oh, what the heck. I've been building it in my head for too long. :cool:

So, I pulled the necessary parts out of the bin to complete the mods that I wanted and gave it a go.

The peel-and-stick striping didn't turn out as perfectly as I'd hoped, but it still turned out really nice!
 

Fore Check

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Here's a view of the "business end." The major mod I made was to go with a 3 x "E" engine cluster. The centering rings are 3/16" basswood, and the aft ring is coated in epoxy to protect it a bit.
 

Fore Check

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Here's a view of the forward ends of the stuffer section. You can see the forward centering ring and the double loop of kevlar for the shock cord anchor (most of the kevlar and the 75" x 3/8" flat elastic shock cord is stuffed down in one of the stuffer tubes in this pic.) The other mod was to combine the two lower airframe tubes and the 3 individual motor mount tubes so that each tube (the airframe and the stuffers) would be one tube apeice.
 

Fore Check

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Here's one last pic with my Blue Bird Zero and my upscaled Polaris next to it to show scale. It *is* a big rocket.

I put it together on RockSim the way that I have it constructed, and the predicted altitude with 3 x E9-8's is about 1850'. Sounds better than the 200' or so on the D12-3 on a stock Optima to me!
 

Stones

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Three real nice looking birds FC!
 

pdooley

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I second that! Really nice work.
I always like seeing a new creation from FC:)
 

Dr. Don

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Hey! Nice job Mr. FC!
That triple pack should really ZZZZZZip!!!!!!!
How big is your field?
Dr Don
 

OKTurbo

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Awesome rocket Fore Check.

I'm almost ashamed to say that I didn't even know Estes made that one. It's one of my new favorites....definately on the "must build" list now.

I had to go to JimZ's site and check out the plans.

Too many rockets...not enough time/$$

John
 

n3tjm

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I love the Optima! (and The Shadow). Great flyer on E11's. That bird will rock on 3 D motors :)
 

powderburner

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Originally posted by Fore Check
The peel-and-stick striping didn't turn out as perfectly as I'd hoped, but it still turned out really nice!
From what I could see, it looks like you did an excellent job of painting and striping. That thing ALMOST looks too good to launch!
 

Micromeister

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ForeCheck
A great lookking bird! I wish I had decided to put a 3 D/E cluster in my Optima. but at the time I went with the single D12.
Man what a mistake!!! live and learn;)

You guys might get a kick out of seeing Mr. dumb-O here's first D12-5!!! Optima launch attempt.. Then the rebuild flight and my final solution to the power augmentation problem for an already built Way under powered model.
Forecheck I'm sure with 3 D12 or E9's you'll enjoy your very nice looking model as much as I have mine ...Well .After alrteation anyway:D

Heres the BAD launch!
 

Micromeister

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Heres her second flight on a D12-3...No canting, Straight up only
Ahhh a better flight! But still....
 

Micromeister

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Not that's what I'm Talk'in ABOUT. BP Clusters forever!!!
4 D12-5's Really does the tirck:D:D Still flying today!
 

Fore Check

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Originally posted by Dr. Don
Hey! Nice job Mr. FC!
That triple pack should really ZZZZZZip!!!!!!!
How big is your field?
Dr Don
How big's my flying field? The park I fly at is about 8 soccer fields (full size); two rows of four fields side by side. I successfully launched and recovered my Skybolt clone on an E9-8 there. The Skybolt got *at least* 2200' and came down with a bit of excess drift due to the 18" nylon chute I used.

The good news is that with the mounts I have, I could fly it on the E9-8's to the RockSim predicted altitude of 1850', or scale it all the way back to a trio of C11-3's or C11-5's (that should put it under 1000' for sure)

Originally posted by powderburner
From what I could see, it looks like you did an excellent job of painting and striping. That thing ALMOST looks too good to launch!
Thanks - it *does* look nice. I could take some close-ups of the blemishes, but.... I'd rather y'all keep the opinion that it's pristine. ;)

One thing I did notice is that the silver mylar stripes have a pretty good amount of stretch in them - this was most evident on the body wraps just below the black section.

As far as the paint, it was easy. To make it easier, I didn't glue the top (black) part to the lower (white) part until the rocket was otherwise totally complete. That made the seam between the two colors perfectly flush (because it's at a body tube joint) and eliminated the need for masking.

I'm still hoping to make it down for the NSL launch next month. Assuming that I do, I'm planning on bringing the Optima down for it's maiden flight on E9's - you can have a closer look then if you make it too!

Originally posted by Micromister
ForeCheck
A great lookking bird! I wish I had decided to put a 3 D/E cluster in my Optima. but at the time I went with the single D12.
Man what a mistake!!! live and learn

You guys might get a kick out of seeing Mr. dumb-O here's first D12-5!!! Optima launch attempt.. Then the rebuild fligtht and my final solution to the power augmentation porblem for an already built model
Forecheck I'm sure with 3 D12 or E9's you'll enjoy this very nice looking model as I have....After alrteation

Heres the BAD launch!
OUCH!!!!

Reading your reviews/quips on your personal experiences with the Optima really sealed it for me to go with the 3 x E cluster, particularly the bit of going with the outboard cluster power.
 

Habu

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FC,
very nice.
I have an Optima clone on my work bench and had mostly decided to go with 29mm. The 3 - E cluster sounds good.
What turned you toward 3 X 24mm?
Just wondering...
 

Fore Check

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Originally posted by Habu
FC,
very nice.
I have an Optima clone on my work bench and had mostly decided to go with 29mm. The 3 - E cluster sounds good.
What turned you toward 3 X 24mm?
Just wondering...
Well, I'm not an MPR or HPR guy. So to give it more power, a 24mm BP cluster was the way to go. I went with 3 because it's a 3-finned (at least radially) rocket. Makes the end product appear cleaner.
 

Habu

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I like more power (R, R, R) and the clean look.
Did you buy premade centering rings or did you cut your own?
You may have changed my mind...;)
 

Fore Check

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Originally posted by Habu
I like more power (R, R, R) and the clean look.
Did you buy premade centering rings or did you cut your own?
You may have changed my mind...;)
I had the rings made by Balsa Machining, right before several folks (including Thrustline and Balsa Machining) started carrying a 3x24mm cluster mount for the BT80 made of lite ply as an "in stock" item.

If all your ordering is the centering rings, check out Thrustline's eBay store (he'll cut you a deal on shipping, I believe.) If your planning on ordering from BMS anyway (thus spending the $6 shipping anyway) they're just a hair cheaper per ring.
 

Fore Check

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I actually have another bit of work to do on the Optima to finish it - the gloss coat. However, I'm a little worried about the silver mylar stripes and that vinyl sparkly orange one too.

I have a few scraps of both (actually a few strips of silver, a few scraps of the other) and will test it out on a scrap tube first.

Has anyone else clearcoated the stock striping? How'd it turn out? I'm afraid that no matter what, it will "dull" that ultra shiny silver mylar.
 

Bob Stephenson

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Originally posted by Fore Check
... the predicted altitude with 3 x E9-8's is about 1850'...
1850' ? 3 x E9-8's ?

You must have a great launch / recovery area ! Make sure you post photos - we can't fly due to drought down here and I'm living vicariously through other people's launch photos :D

Cheers

(Evil) Bob
 

Karl

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Mmmmmmmmmmmm Optima :p :p :p :p
-Karl
 

Steve

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Wow... I'd seen the Optima for sale on Ebay, and thought it might be fun - yours is certainly a fine example. Can't wait to see launch pics! By the way - it's long oop, isn't it? Do you mind if I ask how you acquired yours?

Again - very nice job!

S..
 

Fore Check

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Originally posted by Bushrat
Wow... I'd seen the Optima for sale on Ebay, and thought it might be fun - yours is certainly a fine example. Can't wait to see launch pics! By the way - it's long oop, isn't it? Do you mind if I ask how you acquired yours?

Again - very nice job!

S..
I got mine on eBay for $30 plus shipping. Yes it's OOP - the kit list on YORS shows it as having been produced from 1990 - 1994. It comes in a nicely packaged box that is 11.5" wide x 14.5" tall x 3.5" deep. The one I got was in PERFECT condition - unmarked shrinkwrap, no dents, caving, creases, nothing. As if it just rolled off of the assembly line. It was almost a shame to open it.....

Anyway, after I *did* open it, I then went about bashing it a bit - I used one of the 14.25" BT80's for my DerV3. I used the other one for the top half of my upscale Polaris. I used the BT50's for other things too. The rings are in my parts box now (although I'll probably never use them) and so are most of the tube couplers and the stock parachute. I also replaced the launch lugs with 1/4" lugs and ditched the stock shock cord.

The lower (white) body tube and the stuffer tubes in my completed model and the centering rings are all from BMS.
 

Habu

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Fore Check,
Did you get to fly her? :)
 

Fore Check

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Well, no - and this is a sad story.

To make it short - my kids smashed a fin and snapped off another on the way to NSL - before it ever flew. I've got it put back together, but it's not nearly as nice anymore. I could have strangled them..... :mad:
 

kelltym88

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Forecheck, Awesome!!. I love the Polaris upscale. Please give me all the details on that one. I also have an Optima that I have been itching to build, but I want to make it 29mm. All I need are some centering rings and I'm ready to go. Well someday...

Sorry to hear about your Optima, remember let the kids play with ones that are already broken:D :D
 

Stymye

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both rockets are very nice Forecheck!

I love the bt-70-80 size stuff anyway,,I especially like the design of the optima ..and I have the parts ..thanks for the inspiration!
 
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