L1 build with path for possible L2 and beyond

T-Rex

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@chipotle mg : There are 3 things to consider when planning your L1.

1) As others have said, KEEP IT SIMPLE. The video you posted is a perfect example of what happens when you violate that thought. (That was most definitely not a simple rocket or flight) My L1 was on a Madcow 4" cardboard Little John using an H238T motor. 1500 ft, in sight the entire time, motor eject. Simple. I have flown it several times on different motors. The last time I wrecked it. It has been rebuilt, and will fly again. There is no requirement for altimeters or DD until L3. (With exception of common sense. Probably need DD, and maybe a tracker above 3000ft or so, but that is up to you)

2) FLY WHAT YOU LIKE. If you like scale (missles, Saturn V, etc) then build them. If you like sport models (Punisher, etc), do it. Maybe you enjoy SciFi, then maybe build something futuristic. If you do that, there won't be any "obsolete" rockets because you will continue to fly them as long as you stay in the hobby. If you like the Punisher, get one. There is no reason you can't fly it for L1 & L2 If that is what you want to do.

3) IT IS NOT A RACE. Take your time fly those LP rockets and a few MP rockets. Work on your building skills a little. Make sure this is a hobby you will want to stay active in. Besides, for anything WM, you might want to wait for Black Friday (Well, Black Saturday actually) He has a GREAT sale.
There is no reason you can't continue to fly those LP rockets you have. They are considerably cheaper to get in the air than the smallest MPR or HPR. I live on 3 acres that borders a 3 acre field, and occasionally fly 13mm birds in my back yard. They are a lot cheaper when you lose one to a tree or a lake too.

As an old guy I have many rockets (and kits still to be assembled) from back in the day because I like them. Yes I'm running out of room. But I am making more room. Mrs will be missed (maybe not)
 

chipotle mg

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An update for all the nice comments I received: I know I will make mistakes and learn more as I go, but I have already learned a lot and I am thankful to have this community. Hats off to you!

So you know I did get the Punisher 3" kit from wildman today and of course I couldn't resist that fancy aluminum aerotech tailcone to go with it. haha It will be the first fiberglass kit I make. It is 54mm, but I have also ordered a 38mm to 54mm adapater as considered ; so as long as it is intact I can fly a variety of motors with it.

Partly to your suggestions and my realization that I need more experience, I am also going to be building a 29mm apogee aspire for altitude and fun (knowing it will most likely be a one time flight in the F or G range) and a Big Red Der Max 29mm kit which I am considering using as a back up for a level 1 flight with an H motor if the Punisher 3" fails. I got the Max kit on sale thanks to another thread on TRF.

SO yes These kits aren't cheap and will all the memberships, gas to drive to launch sites, building materials , altimeters, trackers, motors, shipping, building supplies I am probably in about 1,000 bucks so far. It is has been , interesting, fun and worth it though! I hung out with some pretty cool people and watched them launching today and did some low power stuff as well. I am impressed what a fun and challenging hobby that can be what you make of it.

attached some images of the wildman kit and bits and pieces for the future. Maybe I will start another thread for this build.
 

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crossfire

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An update for all the nice comments I received: I know I will make mistakes and learn more as I go, but I have already learned a lot and I am thankful to have this community. Hats off to you!

So you know I did get the Punisher 3" kit from wildman today and of course I couldn't resist that fancy aluminum aerotech tailcone to go with it. haha It will be the first fiberglass kit I make. It is 54mm, but I have also ordered a 38mm to 54mm adapater as considered ; so as long as it is intact I can fly a variety of motors with it.

Partly to your suggestions and my realization that I need more experience, I am also going to be building a 29mm apogee aspire for altitude and fun (knowing it will most likely be a one time flight in the F or G range) and a Big Red Der Max 29mm kit which I am considering using as a back up for a level 1 flight with an H motor if the Punisher 3" fails. I got the Max kit on sale thanks to another thread on TRF.

SO yes These kits aren't cheap and will all the memberships, gas to drive to launch sites, building materials , altimeters, trackers, motors, shipping, building supplies I am probably in about 1,000 bucks so far. It is has been , interesting, fun and worth it though! I hung out with some pretty cool people and watched them launching today and did some low power stuff as well. I am impressed what a fun and challenging hobby that can be what you make of it.

attached some images of the wildman kit and bits and pieces for the future. Maybe I will start another thread for this build.
This is a great hobby to be in. It doesn't matter if you fly low, mid, or HP 99.9% of flyers a friendly and very helpful. You will meet flyers from far and near who will
Be friends for life.
 

chipotle mg

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Here is an update a couple months later for you:


My main rocket: 3" punisher is comming along nicely but still has a ways to go. The tailcone and 38mm adapter have really complicated things for me and I want to get a 54mm spent/used dms motor case to try in when I epoxy in the motor retainer so I get it exactly where it should be. The problem is that since I am not certified yet I cannot legally buy a 54mm motor. A catch 22 situation. In a twist of fate; my brother in law is interested in making some electronics for the av bay as a redundant altimiter. He has some background in robot making and I am super excited that he will contribute. Whatever he does will be great as it is now a team/family effort and that is more important to me now than a succesful flight! I will have to put a puase on this project to give him time to contribute but I will keep you posted.

I know you have told me in general that I need to keep it simple (stoopid (stupid)) for the L1 cert and I am well aware that if the goal is to pass the cert I would be best to follow that advice but I am trying to listen and take my own path at the same time. Eventually I will get there and at this point I think I am doing just fine having fun and inching my way to L1.

When my brother in law finishes his home built altimiter and I get the motor retainer cemented. I will probably try an I140 with *single deploy for the L1 on this punisher. I have an rrc2+ for apogee which would also be the main as it would be single deploy for the first flight. It sims to about 2000 feet on the I140 so it should be doable. I will also have the motor eject as a back up a few seconds after apogee just incase the main doesn't pop. The nose cone will be firmly attached (tape, screws, even shock cord) for the L1 flight. IF all goes well I will reasses , reconfigure and set it up for duel deploy. Then start working towards L2, but lets not get ahead of ourselves...

In case it doesn't go well for the punisher on the L1 /maiden flight..

I finished the aspire and der red max builds.. I will try the aspire on an F27-8 motor which I have, but I am waiting for a nice weather day and some time to get to the field to try it out. The big der red max has skinned fins and some epoxy in the motor tube and extra weight in the nose cone. It is my L1 cert back up in case my 3" punisher fails me. I plan to use a H115 DM motor in the big der red max right after I give the punisher 3" it's L1 attempt. So there, 2 shots to get L1. If that fails, who knows? The building process has been fun and I have learned a lot and drank a lot of beer and am still learning and having fun.
 

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Steve Shannon

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If you go to a launch you should be able to pickup a used DMS motor, or you could borrow an aft closure for either an AT or CTI motor. I don’t really even think you need it, to be honest, because the design of Aeropack retainers already includes the standard thickness of an AT or CTI thrust ring recessed into the body. Just screw the cap on and JB-weld it in place.
 

David Schwantz

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I have saved used DMS motors over the years so that i have at least one in each dia. I use them to align the retainer as I glue it in place. They can also be used for lots of other neeeds. ie, mold for makingggg your own MMTs, backers for drilling in min dia rockets, balancing rockets.
 

chipotle mg

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Another update: I got the L1 cert!! on 3" punisher which is now nicknamed "cloud" by my nieces. It was an amazing day and fortunately the parachute came out and it landed safely. According to plan I am reassessing and considering options from where to go from here. I have another rocket in the drawing board stage that would be a 38mm minimum diameter for fun H and I and experience and a back up level 2 attempt J motor. I still want to use the 3" punisher cloud rocket for my first level 2 attempt, but it would be nice to have another rocket to fly as a back up. I never got around to launching the big der red max as there was not enough time and the cloud rocket succeeded on the first attempt. I am still loving this hobby if you will call it that. Lots of amazing people in the local club. One of them gave me a used 54mm dms motor so I could finish the build. Thank you to that guy and everyone on here who commented.
 

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Andrew Brown

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Congrats on your L1 cert. It usually just feeds the addiction. Regarding 38 mm min diameter, they really are a hoot for the adrenaline junkies, but be ready to drop some more money on trackers, etc. Anything min dia in that range will be out of site in no time.
 

Handeman

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Congrats on the L1! :clapping:👍🚀

Did you do your cert on the I140?

I would suggest you fly that rocket and your others on H & I motors and try a I284W or I600R before jumping into L2. That will give you a good feel for the range of power available in L1. When get to that I284 or I600, you will be near what a baby J will do in your rocket.

Once you've done that, you can make an informed decision on whether you want to try a L2 with those rockets or build a bigger, heavier, 54mm MMT rocket for your L2 attempt. You can still adapt down and use a 38mm baby J for the cert flight, but then you'll have a rocket you fly big Js, Ks, and baby Ls in.

BTW, a 4 lbs. 38mm minimum diameter rocket should get to about 6,900 ft. with a I600 motor from sea level, about 100 ft. more than a J350W would get per ThurstCurve sims. If you keep it down to 3 lbs. and use a J350W or J420R, you should get over 8,300 ft.

Whatever path you decide to walk, have fun!
 

chipotle mg

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Congrats on the L1! :clapping:👍🚀

Did you do your cert on the I140?

I would suggest you fly that rocket and your others on H & I motors and try a I284W or I600R before jumping into L2. That will give you a good feel for the range of power available in L1. When get to that I284 or I600, you will be near what a baby J will do in your rocket.

Once you've done that, you can make an informed decision on whether you want to try a L2 with those rockets or build a bigger, heavier, 54mm MMT rocket for your L2 attempt. You can still adapt down and use a 38mm baby J for the cert flight, but then you'll have a rocket you fly big Js, Ks, and baby Ls in.

BTW, a 4 lbs. 38mm minimum diameter rocket should get to about 6,900 ft. with a I600 motor from sea level, about 100 ft. more than a J350W would get per ThurstCurve sims. If you keep it down to 3 lbs. and use a J350W or J420R, you should get over 8,300 ft.

Whatever path you decide to walk, have fun!
Thank you! Yes I did use the I140 for the level 1 cert. It was a low arching flight to 1020feet and turning into the wind. It might have been a bit over stable and weathercocked on a 10-12 mph wind day.

I am pretty much going to fly some other rockets in the low , mid and level one range for now. I do have trackers and I used one on the cert flight and will use them when needed.

For now I will add a few inches of airframe so I can dual deploy the cert rocket, but I am going to wait to fly it until I attempt level 2 because I am scared it will explode or get caught in a tree or go ballistic etc.

I have made a log of my flights with each rocket and motor, date, location, altitude (if recorded). It might be a fun side goal to fly a motor in each diameter and class as well. So in a roundabout way I am following much of the advice. It definitely has been fun so far. Next launch I will try a 29mm G and a 29mm H. I can’t wait
 

techrat

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I don't see why so many are in such a rush to get into the LDRS club.... "where the cool guys are". It's like the folks who get their motorcycle license, and the next day, buy the biggest, loudest, baddest bike they can buy, and then crash it not long after leaving the dealership. DUDE. SLOW DOWN. You've got to walk before you can run.

Any rocket light enough to get you L1 cert might be too light for an L2 Cert. In which case, even with dual deploy or a Jolly Logic Chute Release, you might still be chasing your L2 rocket for miles and miles. And if you didn't overbuild that L1 rocket for the L2 flight, that higher impulse motor might rip your fins off.

As for the whole money issue and "obsolete rockets".... wow. You're not ready -- you're going to be burning money (literally) in motors that will dwarf the cost of the rocket. And those rockets are never "obsolete" if you fly them. 18mm and 24mm motors are just as fun, and in fact, I'll say more fun than the big boy toys. And I say this because I lose rockets. And losing a $20 rocket is a lot less painful than losing a $2000 rocket. So there's less pressure and more enjoyment with the smaller stuff.

I'm not trying to be hard on the original poster, I'm just laying out the facts as I see them. And I've only been back in this hobby for 6 months. And while I too, would like to have my L1 Cert, I'm planning that for 2024 or 2025. Not next week. I want to take my time and get plenty of experience before I start working with 38mm and above.
 

chipotle mg

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I don't see why so many are in such a rush to get into the LDRS club.... "where the cool guys are". It's like the folks who get their motorcycle license, and the next day, buy the biggest, loudest, baddest bike they can buy, and then crash it not long after leaving the dealership. DUDE. SLOW DOWN. You've got to walk before you can run.

Any rocket light enough to get you L1 cert might be too light for an L2 Cert. In which case, even with dual deploy or a Jolly Logic Chute Release, you might still be chasing your L2 rocket for miles and miles. And if you didn't overbuild that L1 rocket for the L2 flight, that higher impulse motor might rip your fins off.

As for the whole money issue and "obsolete rockets".... wow. You're not ready -- you're going to be burning money (literally) in motors that will dwarf the cost of the rocket. And those rockets are never "obsolete" if you fly them. 18mm and 24mm motors are just as fun, and in fact, I'll say more fun than the big boy toys. And I say this because I lose rockets. And losing a $20 rocket is a lot less painful than losing a $2000 rocket. So there's less pressure and more enjoyment with the smaller stuff.

I'm not trying to be hard on the original poster, I'm just laying out the facts as I see them. And I've only been back in this hobby for 6 months. And while I too, would like to have my L1 Cert, I'm planning that for 2024 or 2025. Not next week. I want to take my time and get plenty of experience before I start working with 38mm and above.
Hey, welcome back to the hobby! Not too hard at all. Enjoy the journey at your pace.
 
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