Jefferson Starship (rocket plane)

techrat

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I'm in the middle of a scratch build I'm currently calling "Jefferson Starship". I started out wanting to build a hybrid "BSG Viper/Cylon/Chiggy Von Richtofen" type craft, and then it sort of took on a life of it's own. It was supposed to look like an alien craft, and then I realized I liked the long tube, "passenger aircraft" look that it was taking. So I re-imaged it as a space-going tri-engined machine that had been purchased by a rock-group to travel from planet to planet as their tour-bus.

It's a BT-55 body tube shortened by an inch, and using 'E" motor mount tubes as the tri-engine section that are glued on to be parallel with the engine hook on the actual 18mm motor mount in the BT-55, so this can stand on it's tail like all my other rockets. The rest of it is literally scrap balsa (the wings are leftovers from a Big Bertha kit). Pretty simple and should fly well once I get this thing painted.
 

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lakeroadster

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It's first missions are "Blows Against the Empire"? And Kids, I'm 69 and NOT referring to 'Star Wars'. Ask Your folks about the Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship rock group!!!!!!!!!!

Or instead of your folks, maybe go ask Alice, I think she'll know.
 

techrat

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And since this thread got revived, here's a photo of this thing painted, or, sort of painted. If it survives even a year, I may do a more elaborate paint job, but for now it's just fine.
 

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techrat

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And then you can put some booster motors in those pods and launch it with 4 motors! ;-)
Sure, for when I decide I never want to see that rocket again. 1C6 + 3 D12, on a rocket weighing less than 100 grams. Lesseeeee..... I think that will reach orbit, assuming the fins don't just simply shred.
 

Sandy H.

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Did you opt for papering the fins? Looks like a nice build and agree that papering or other grain augmentation would help with longevity.

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my buddy was telling me about a really thin CA glue that's just like water that model builders use for r/c planes, forgot the name of it, but really strengthens balsa.
 

lakeroadster

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my buddy was telling me about a really thin CA glue that's just like water that model builders use for r/c planes, forgot the name of it, but really strengthens balsa.
I have a bottle of that from Bob Smith Industries. It is like water. Apogee also sells it, but it's repackaged with their label.

For model rocketry.... CA soaked balsa isn't a good alternative for fins. Soaking single ply balsa almost assures a warped fin because you can't stack weight on it or clamp it while it's drying. CA sticks to everything (well, almost).

I can see where it might be a good option for r/c planes as the structures used there are typically restrained from movement, such as wing ribs, spars, etc.


007.JPG
 

jqavins

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@techrat, any updates?

I have a bottle of that from Bob Smith Industries. It is like water. Apogee also sells it, but it's repackaged with their label.
Lots and lots of places sell that with custom labels. Practically every other LHS sells the line of BSI CA glues with their own names on the labels. The labels are otherwise the same, so I think BSI must package it that way.
 

techrat

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If I recall correctly, I did experiment with strengthening the fins by thinning epoxy with some alcohol, and then painting it on with a brush. Too much alcohol and the epoxy never dries, and then when it does days later, no extra strength. Not enough alcohol, and when you're trying to brush it on, the fibers that make up the paint brush just tear off the brush, but, it does add some strength. So far, this rocket has flown once on a C6-5, nice and straight, no issues. I can't take it this Sunday to CENJARS to fly again, because I have too many rockets now with zero flights, so those get priority, but November's launch should have some room for a few 2nd and 3rd flights for various other birds.

I have 30 rockets, and can only fly about 7 or 8 per month. And I keep building more.
 

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lakeroadster

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There are penetrating epoxies meant to, um, penetrate wood to harden and strengthen it. So no thinning, no weakening. Here an example, and there are others.

Looking at this from an end game perspective, once you're done slathering that heavy epoxy into the lightweight balsa, does it weigh more than a lite ply construction or basswood?
 

techrat

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This was supposed to be a throw-away rocket made out of bits and pieces I had laying around, but now you're all making me think I should upscale this and build it right this time, make it a 1.6" diameter, 3-foot tall rocket for a 29mm F or G motor.
 

jqavins

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Looking at this from an end game perspective, once you're done slathering that heavy epoxy into the lightweight balsa, does it weigh more than a lite ply construction or basswood?
Well, that's a fair question, but a light coat of epoxy made for the purpose still sounds like a better idea than...
I did experiment with strengthening the fins by thinning epoxy with some alcohol, and then painting it on with a brush. Too much alcohol and the epoxy never dries, and then when it does days later, no extra strength. Not enough alcohol, and when you're trying to brush it on, the fibers that make up the paint brush just tear off the brush...
Maybe light ply is a better idea yet.
 

lakeroadster

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This was supposed to be a throw-away rocket made out of bits and pieces I had laying around, but now you're all making me think I should upscale this and build it right this time, make it a 1.6" diameter, 3-foot tall rocket for a 29mm F or G motor.
Do it... sounds like a great idea.
 
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