"It's a great flier"

neil_w

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Random Friday observation: In many, many threads about some particular kit, someone is bound to succumb to the temptation to say "It's a great flier". I have been guilty of this myself. It's funny because in a pretty large percentage of those cases the rocket in question is a 3FNC or 4FNC. Shouldn't we expect pretty much *any* 3/4FNC to be a good flier?

Now if someone says "It's a great flier" in a thread about something like the Cosmos Mariner or the Outlander, then *that* would be newsworthy.
 

mikec

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Shouldn't we expect pretty much *any* 3/4FNC to be a good flier?
I've certainly had simple rockets that for whatever reason never flew very straight. Not sure I would blame the design. I'm sure some are better/more forgiving of construction than others, mostly as a function of fin size and balance.

At the end of the day sometimes it's hard to say anything new about nominal rocket flights. I used to amuse myself reading the launch reports in the rocketry magazines, which were basically all "it went up and came back down again" with small variations :)
 

fyrwrxz

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I would pay more attention if it was, oh, say...a hockey stick or a toaster or Nash Metropolitan....but that's just me...(a snowmobile has already been done, sorry to remind everyone, Jim!)
 

Scott_650

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3/4FNC doesn't fly so nice when your QJet nozzle crumbles on one side!
Now there’s a true statement! I have a couple QJets set aside for disposal due to that issue!

I get what the OP is saying but I do have more than a few simple 3/4FNC rockets that just seem to always fly well - straight up, with little to no spin or weathercocking, with the standard delay deploying the chute/streamer at the exact right time - so it’s easy to give them a little love in a forum or FB post 😍
 

manixFan

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I have flown a lot of minimum diameter 3FNC rockets. One thing that I've experienced is 'coning', where the rocket seemingly rotates around the tip of its nose cone. The exhaust trail is unmistakable. From what I understand, it's a form of roll-coupled instability, and seems to be more prevalent with long 3 finned rockets vs. 4. I even found a NASA study that said the best way to reduce coning was to add more fins. But the point is I have had a number of MD rockets that are basically 3FNC designs that have not flown as well as I've liked. Coning at best reduces altitude, and at worst, can cause a shred.

So my next batch of simple MD rockets will be 4FNC. Hopefully the tradeoff will be worth the effort.


Tony

Here's an example article that describes coning (Inertial roll coupling), it has some really great info on what causes it and how to help prevent it:

 
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DigBaddy

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The rocket I have with 9 fins flies the straightest; so based on that, if you want to call something a good flier and keep it that way, add more fins. Proven to work. It's science!
 

TigerHawk

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3/4FNC doesn't fly so nice when your QJet nozzle crumbles on one side!
Yep, Q-Jet D16-4 in my Estes 1:200 RTF Saturn V launch did a loop and slammed to the ground. Looked at the motor and nozzle blew out on the side. Did the FlightSketch 24mm conversion and it flies great on a D12-5 BP motor.
 

dr wogz

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Define "It's a great flyer"..

Do you mean:
  • It just went up & down?
  • The flight with a particular motor was superb? (That it went up, eject at or slightly just after apogee, with good height? on G64-7)
  • That it landed right? no damage or ..
  • No spin on the ascent?
  • No weather cocking, despite a 19mph wind?
  • it routinely beats the same rocket built by a club-mate?


Similarly like:
  • How good a beer tastes after a long day on the lake / hiking adventure / work out / winning an "argument" with the wife..
  • How good the steak tastes.. off the BBQ, while camping, cooked at a friend's house (who is a Michelin 3 start chef) or that you were petting the cow 3 days ago
  • How good the wine is at a tasting at the winery..
 

boomtube-mk2

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Great flier to me, means in part, that half its flight wasn't nearly parallel to the ground and that those kinds of flights are repeatable.

F.R.O.G. flights don't appeal to me.
 

dr wogz

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I remember a somewhat heated debate between some readers & the publishers of RCM & MAN

The argument was that the magazine reviews of kits were becoming predictable, and always ending with "A great flyer with little input needed from the builder / flyer". MAN was worse for this, as their article usually was preceded by or followed by a full page ad for the kit. A few started to call foul, as there was never anything wrong, regardless of teh kit, type, manuf, etc..

The publisher's defense what they were good kits, built well, and flew fine.. after the initial issues were resolved & before the article was published So, an article could be re-written [with praise] after a skilled / qualified builder gave their initial review of the kit.. And ultimately, how could a magazine expect to keep a supporting player if they continually bashed their offerings. It soon became evident that $$ pays for the articles, and that they aren't as truthful as they once were.. FLYRC came on the scene quickly, and vanished just as fast. It was joked that it was just an ad-filled monthly catalog; little to no valuable offerings.. hence it's demise.


MAN: Model Airplane News
RCM: Radio Controlled Models - died out in the early 2000's - no one builds anything anymore..
 

dr wogz

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I think I'll keep "It's a great flier" in mind for a future rocket name.

Now perhaps we should debate whether it should be "flier" or "flyer".
I think it also depends on the country you're in..

flavor vs flavour (and other words ending with 'or / our')
nite vs night vs knight
tyre vs tire
lite vs light
aluminium vs aluminum
z vs z (pronounced 'zee' vs 'zed')
lieutenant vs lieutenant (pronounced 'lef-tenant' vs 'lew-tenant')
football vs football (pronounced 'soccer' vs 'NFL / CFL')


But I'm dyslexic, living in a province where it is the law to speak French.. :D
 

boatgeek

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I think it’s a fair description. There are some rockets in my fleet that can be depended on for a straight flight every time. Others sometimes weathercock or fly a little squirrely. They’re all good rockets and none of them are dangerous, but some of them are favorites.

Related question: can a spool or similar high drag oddroc be described as being a great flyer?
 

mbeels

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I remember a somewhat heated debate between some readers & the publishers of RCM & MAN

The argument was that the magazine reviews of kits were becoming predictable, and always ending with "A great flyer with little input needed from the builder / flyer". MAN was worse for this, as their article usually was preceded by or followed by a full page ad for the kit. A few started to call foul, as there was never anything wrong, regardless of teh kit, type, manuf, etc..

The publisher's defense what they were good kits, built well, and flew fine.. after the initial issues were resolved & before the article was published So, an article could be re-written [with praise] after a skilled / qualified builder gave their initial review of the kit.. And ultimately, how could a magazine expect to keep a supporting player if they continually bashed their offerings. It soon became evident that $$ pays for the articles, and that they aren't as truthful as they once were.. FLYRC came on the scene quickly, and vanished just as fast. It was joked that it was just an ad-filled monthly catalog; little to no valuable offerings.. hence it's demise.


MAN: Model Airplane News
RCM: Radio Controlled Models - died out in the early 2000's - no one builds anything anymore..

I remember that, and I recall that the editor of R/C Report stated that he wanted to be the opposite of an ad-filled magazine with nothing but praise for the advertisers. I did like his magazine, he didn't mind publishing honest critiques. His magazine grew from a B&W tabloid printed on newspaper, to a legitimate magazine with a glossy cover in color.

I also really liked RCM, there was a period of time when I subscribed to: Model Aviation, Model Airplane News, R/C Report, Flying Models, and R/C Modeler. I kept them all until I moved out of my parents house.

Random Friday observation: In many, many threads about some particular kit, someone is bound to succumb to the temptation to say "It's a great flier". I have been guilty of this myself. It's funny because in a pretty large percentage of those cases the rocket in question is a 3FNC or 4FNC. Shouldn't we expect pretty much *any* 3/4FNC to be a good flier?

Now if someone says "It's a great flier" in a thread about something like the Cosmos Mariner or the Outlander, then *that* would be newsworthy.

Heh, that's true, and I've said it myself. I have had 3FNC rockets that were occasionally squirrely, and odd-rocs that surprisingly were "great flyers". Thinking about it, I probably used the statement when I just plain had fun launching the rocket, or had some sentimental connection to it.

I even found a NASA study that said the best way to reduce coning was to add more fins. But the point is I have had a number of MD rockets that are basically 3FNC designs that have not flown as well as I've liked. Coning at best reduces altitude, and at worst, can cause a shred.

I came across something similar. If I recall correctly, most sounding rockets use 4-fins for those reasons, it reduces dispersion of the expected trajectory, and reduces coning. So if adding a 4th fin adds a tiny bit of drag, but avoids coning (which adds a lot of drag), then you're better off.
 

dr wogz

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Thank you @mbeels , RC Report was the one I was trying to remember, as to being the [last] honest one!!

Kalmbach publishing does put out a few good magazines, but they are not cheap up here!! The only one I read is Model Railroader, as it isn't all advertising, and actually shows real people with real builds! (And I love trains & trainsets!)
 

Sandy H.

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Another aspect could be the weight/drag/flight profile matches available delay times very well (i.e. the chute pops right at apogee/0 mph). That would really only apply to motors with fixed delays as electronics often take care of all that pretty well. Some rockets tend to just end up right between available delays. . .

Sandy.
 

Antares JS

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Some rockets tend to just end up right between available delays. . .

Me: Okay, I can drill this delay down to 5 seconds or 8 seconds according to the instructions. Let's see what the ideal delay is.

RockSim: 6.5 seconds.

Me: 😑

(Yes, this is a true story.)
 

Daddyisabar

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Different expectations result in different standards. It is all a matter of class, just like it was on the Titanic.

You have first class which is high power 3-4FNC flying perfectly straight and in the most efficient manner. No energy loss do to spin in the lower atmosphere. The pinnacle rocket science where recovery is so precise and gentle as to cause no damage while landing in the designated area. The flight will have been completely predictable from the simulation. Man rated and we will beat the Ruskies too the moon. Only the finest in materials and launch location. Catered party aftwards at the club. Characterized by the discrete charm of the Bourgeois. Top Men set the standard and the launch makes national news.

Second class, or Petty Bourgeois, would be family flyers with kits from trusted and approved manufacturers. Not striving too far from 3-4FNC, they go straight up, deploy at apogee and can land with in sight for a pleasant recovery walk. Some spin and arc are ok, as are slight variations in ejection before or after apogee. After successful flights everyone goes out for Pizza and makes it home well before bedtime. Cute, cuddly and happy, all according to nationally recognized standards. The photos are to be found in Mom's scrapbook.

Then we have steerage. Very low standards. Up, down with no grievous bodily injury is considered a success. A wretched hive of scum and villainy, you must be cautious. Here you will find abominations that stray significantly from the norm, even into the realm of oddity. Chatacterized by silly Proletariat giggling and pushing the envelope. Look out for terms like pyrotechnic, mindsim, motor pods, oddroc or "here, hold my beer!" Usually ends up at the local pub for even more beer and then hanging on to someone's door until you eventually fall off. Reports to be found at the local police station.

Yes, these are the good flier class standards told you by Caledon Hockley as he sets out on his glorious journey abroad. Bon voyage! :)
 

dr wogz

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Me: Okay, I can drill this delay down to 5 seconds or 8 seconds according to the instructions. Let's see what the ideal delay is.

RockSim: 6.5 seconds.

Me: 😑

(Yes, this is a true story.)

assuming you can adjust the delay! hard to do on little BP motors engines! :D


and yes, I've been there too.. optimal delay in between available choices..
 

Zeta

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Random Friday observation: In many, many threads about some particular kit, someone is bound to succumb to the temptation to say "It's a great flier". I have been guilty of this myself. It's funny because in a pretty large percentage of those cases the rocket in question is a 3FNC or 4FNC. Shouldn't we expect pretty much *any* 3/4FNC to be a good flier?

Now if someone says "It's a great flier" in a thread about something like the Cosmos Mariner or the Outlander, then *that* would be newsworthy.

Ya....it's a great flier!" (i seen it, I didn't build it, David Schwantz did) (it really does fly well ! )

1642192683944.png
 
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Rob Campbell

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Thank you @mbeels , RC Report was the one I was trying to remember, as to being the [last] honest one!!

Kalmbach publishing does put out a few good magazines, but they are not cheap up here!! The only one I read is Model Railroader, as it isn't all advertising, and actually shows real people with real builds! (And I love trains & trainsets!)
RC Report was great. I loved their unfiltered, "tell it like it is" product reviews. It was sad to see them go.
 

Daddyisabar

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I think it’s a fair description. There are some rockets in my fleet that can be depended on for a straight flight every time. Others sometimes weathercock or fly a little squirrely. They’re all good rockets and none of them are dangerous, but some of them are favorites.

Related question: can a spool or similar high drag oddroc be described as being a great flyer?
My inner RSO says NEVER to anything considered Funny Looking. My outer oddroc flier is down at the pub nine to the dozen telling tall tales.
 
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