Leviathing Build for Lvl 1 cert

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Nick Hutton

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
50
Location
QLD, Australia
A few weeks back I posted in the yard sale for an Estes Leviathon kit that I planned to upspec for a Lvl 1 cert, having read a number of threads where others had done similar things. One of the replies directed me to a forum member Big_Red_Daddy who was selling clone kits.

In the space of a few hrs, I struck up a txt conversation with Toby and upon discovering that postage to my part of the world was a killer, but became bearable with larger shipments, he set about compiling me a dream pack of upspec build parts and assorted kits and pieces he had spare.

Over the next few months I will not only have my Leviathon kit built - complete with parts suitable for HPR, but a Mega Der Red Max clone, a NCR Big Brute clone, an Estes Executioner, a LOC High Tec suitable for a Lvl 2 build plus multiple laser cut fin packs for other PS II kits I have acquired in some random desire to collect them all.

As a fairly new convert to Rocketry, I’m hoping to glean some tips and tricks from the community to help make my Cert build and flight successful 1st go.
IMG_0235.jpg
 
Last edited:

Nick Hutton

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
50
Location
QLD, Australia
Having been on vacation for a week starting the day after my box arrived, I was keen to get cracking today. Kids went to horse riding camp for a week this morning, so my afternoon was relatively free for rocket assembly.

The kit is pretty comprehensive and includes a fin jig and plywood fins laser cut

IMG_1308.jpg


A couple of things are new to me. I haven’t used plywood on any of my LPR or my one MPR builds so far. Also rail buttons are included and I plan to mount both Launch lugs and buttons to give me options. I’m still not sure the best/easiest way to mount the buttons, but multiple threads on the forum this afternoon, I think screwing into the lower CR will be the way forward for the lower button.
 

Nick Hutton

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
50
Location
QLD, Australia
First up I’ve assembled the motor mount. Having read the official instructions and looked at a few build pics, I decided to line up the motor tube so that it sat flush with the bottom of the fin can with the PSII 29mm retainer on.

What I didn’t think about until after I glued the top two centring rings on, was that it would lift the motor tube up relative to the fin can tube and this would impact on the room available for the coupler. As a result the coupler won’t be exactly even in its spacing between the two tubes, but should still have plenty of purchase in the bottom tube.

Because I’m aiming to fly it on H and maybe I motors, I’m going to do internal fillets. Thus I left the bottom CR off and assembled the motor mount with just the top two rings

IMG_1309.jpg


The kit also comes with Kevlar shock cord to tie into the top CR.

IMG_1314.jpg
 

Nick Hutton

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
50
Location
QLD, Australia
After sanding the leading edges on the fins and dry fitting them using the included jig, I sanded the root edges to achieve a close fit of the exposed edges to the fin can.

I’m planning to complete the whole build using Titebond III, after a discussion with Toby and reading multiple threads. I have been using epoxy for most of my builds so far which is overkill for what they are and the lack of mixing is certainly appealing.

Fitting the fins to the can is certainly the easiest I have experienced to achieve perfect alignment. I’ve tried to concentrate on getting a close fit on the forward root edges to ensure minimal chance of shearing a fin.

IMG_1315.jpg


IMG_1317.jpg
 

jd2cylman

Still not Carl... ;-)
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
4,428
Reaction score
422
Measure twice or three and put the screw for the top rail button into the center of the top centering ring. I use #6 or #8 x 3/4" fine thread drywall screws. The flat head recesses into the button (my buttons are beveled just for this). Pre drill the holes with a pilot drill just under the diameter of the screw shank.
 

Mr Rocket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
469
Reaction score
20
Measure twice or three and put the screw for the top rail button into the center of the top centering ring. I use #6 or #8 x 3/4" fine thread drywall screws. The flat head recesses into the button (my buttons are beveled just for this). Pre drill the holes with a pilot drill just under the diameter of the screw shank.
+1 I usually glue a scrap piece of plywood to the centering ring on the side where the buttons will go so I have a little bigger target.
 

jd2cylman

Still not Carl... ;-)
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
4,428
Reaction score
422
+1 I usually glue a scrap piece of plywood to the centering ring on the side where the buttons will go so I have a little bigger target.
True, I forgot the Leviathan doesn't have 1/4" thick centering rings.
 

YodaMcFly

Finally!
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
316
Reaction score
30
Location
Southwest Virginia
It's been said before, but it bears repeating, in case some advanced algorithm is monitoring the Intertubes.

Estes should definitely bring back the PS2 Builder kits. Fortunately, when they went OOP, I bought three examples of the Partizon; I've only built one so far, but it's become my "old reliable".

The next one is going to have full DD.
 

Nick Hutton

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
50
Location
QLD, Australia
Agreed. I’ve built a PSII Smoke and this is my 2nd “PSII” build. I’ve also been hovering up the build kits and have managed to get a Partizan, a Ventris, a Super Big Bertha, a Star Orbiter and a MDRM which is being upspecced to 38mm. Still looking for the rest.....
 

YodaMcFly

Finally!
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
316
Reaction score
30
Location
Southwest Virginia
I built the Partizon almost entirely per the instructions, with a couple of exceptions:
  • I used 5-minute epoxy throughout
  • Rather than doing the Estes-standard, "rubber-band and a teabag, blow the nose off" recovery, I built it with the nose fixed to the upper ("payload") BT, and made a bulkhead to fit in the coupler, to have it break in the middle, a la "more traditional" HP kits

I regularly fly it on 3-grain CTI "H" motors; it's what I did my L1 on (link to the onboard video in my sig), and it's generally my "workhorse" rocket.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Feb 11, 2013
Messages
8,214
Reaction score
702
It looks like Toby set you up nicely. I love the upgraded parts and the fact he included fin alignment jigs!
 

bill_s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Messages
913
Reaction score
6
I’m planning to complete the whole build using Titebond III, after a discussion with Toby and reading multiple threads. I have been using epoxy for most of my builds so far which is overkill for what they are and the lack of mixing is certainly appealing.
Couplers will stick with Tightbond almost every time. White glue or epoxy only if you don't want to end up with a pile of trash.
 

Nick Hutton

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
50
Location
QLD, Australia
Update on build. Thanks for advice from everyone. I’ve done internal fillets on both the motor mount tube and the inside of the airframe with titebond

IMG_1318.jpg


I’ve done external fillets with titebond thick. It seems to shrink a bit when it dries, so I did two runs.

IMG_1324.jpg


IMG_1319.jpg


I’m still new to rail buttons and have taken the advice of the forum and glued some extra wood to the centring rings to drill into.

IMG_1326.jpg


IMG_1327.jpg


Lastly, I’ve installed the lower half of the coupler. I took previously read advice and used epoxy for that part. Went without a hitch and gave a nice even fillet at the interface with the upper CR.

Also, despite it not being designed to look pretty, I’ve filled the spirals with wood putty. Not sure I have the best stuff available, but can’t seem to find Elmer’s or anything similar in these parts.

IMG_1323.jpg
 

Nick Hutton

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
64
Reaction score
50
Location
QLD, Australia
Back at work and busy this week, so limited to evening rocketry. I’ve epoxied the top body tube to the coupler. The tubes aren’t a perfect match, so I’ve had to do a fair bit of sanding to minimise the interface line. I then filled it with wood putty along with a small crease near the top.

IMG_1330.jpg


IMG_1336.jpg


I’ve also painted the fins with two coats of sanding sealer and after 24 hrs sanded them back to a nice smooth finish with 320 grit.

IMG_1335.jpg


I’m basically ready to prime, which won’t happen till Thursday due to work.

Still hoping for a cert launch on Sunday and I’ve settled on an H115 DM motor. However, I’ve fine tuned my sim on OR and discovered it’s a bit lighter than I expected and is going to go a bit higher than I planned - 670m (2200 ft). No issues with field as it’s a 5000 ft ceiling, but I’m a bit worried about the drift. The kit comes with a 24” ripstop nylon chute and given its a light rocket (700g incl motor) it could go a fair way.

I’ve ordered a JLCR, but would be using it for the 1st time this weekend. I’ve decided to practise 1st with my Nike smoke on an F reload to practice the burrito wrapping technique I’ve read about. How hard is it to learn to use? Also relies on one being in stock as they were listed on backorder, but the retailer here has told me the website stock levels aren’t accurate.

Would people just fly it old school and have chute deploy at apogee or try to master new technology?
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,367
Reaction score
1,017
If you can borrow a case, the h97 is barely an H. Should end up a lot closer.
 

Steve Shannon

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
6,303
Reaction score
2,847
Location
Butte, Montana
Back at work and busy this week, so limited to evening rocketry. I’ve epoxied the top body tube to the coupler. The tubes aren’t a perfect match, so I’ve had to do a fair bit of sanding to minimise the interface line. I then filled it with wood putty along with a small crease near the top.

View attachment 388094

View attachment 388097

I’ve also painted the fins with two coats of sanding sealer and after 24 hrs sanded them back to a nice smooth finish with 320 grit.

View attachment 388096

I’m basically ready to prime, which won’t happen till Thursday due to work.

Still hoping for a cert launch on Sunday and I’ve settled on an H115 DM motor. However, I’ve fine tuned my sim on OR and discovered it’s a bit lighter than I expected and is going to go a bit higher than I planned - 670m (2200 ft). No issues with field as it’s a 5000 ft ceiling, but I’m a bit worried about the drift. The kit comes with a 24” ripstop nylon chute and given its a light rocket (700g incl motor) it could go a fair way.

I’ve ordered a JLCR, but would be using it for the 1st time this weekend. I’ve decided to practise 1st with my Nike smoke on an F reload to practice the burrito wrapping technique I’ve read about. How hard is it to learn to use? Also relies on one being in stock as they were listed on backorder, but the retailer here has told me the website stock levels aren’t accurate.

Would people just fly it old school and have chute deploy at apogee or try to master new technology?
What’s the field like? Grassy, rocky, lots of trees or power lines?
If it’s flat and clear I would watch to see how far other flights are drifting and if acceptable just fly it old school.
Then, celebrate your success by launching it again on an I with the Chute Release.
Good luck!
 

mbeels

Yes balsa
TRF Supporter
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,083
Reaction score
961
Hmm... According to thrustcurve, the H97 has an average thrust of 116 N, actually slightly higher than the calculated average of the H115 DMS. Both hit about 120 right on ignition and have nearly identical thrust curves. They look nearly indistinguishable.
 

Nytrunner

Pop lugs, not drugs
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
6,681
Reaction score
2,099
Location
Huntsville AL
Looking at the curves, the 97 is longer and flatter. Less velocity, Less drag, higher flight
 

mbeels

Yes balsa
TRF Supporter
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,083
Reaction score
961
Odd, there is quite a difference in the Thrustcurve files, the Rocksim H97 data looks like the H115, but the RASP file is quite a bit different. I'd bet the RASP file is more accurate based on the name and average thrust.

H97vsH115.png
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,367
Reaction score
1,017
Anyhoo! The h97 is the "littlest" L1 motor I know ; would be happy to be wrong and find an even gentler one.
 

Nytrunner

Pop lugs, not drugs
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
6,681
Reaction score
2,099
Location
Huntsville AL
CTI H90 in the Pro29 3 grain case.
164 N-s and only over 125N thrust for the first 1/8 of a second. A G80 is more oomphy a motor.
 

Big_Red_Daddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
153
Reaction score
31
Nice to see your build thread. Keep up the good work. Any feedback on my kit is appreciated.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Feb 11, 2013
Messages
8,214
Reaction score
702
Another CTI Pro29 3-grain motor that is very low thrust and low impulse is the H54. It has a long 3-second burn.
 

Joe Rocket 97

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
154
Reaction score
24
Nice build, I have one of Toby's kits, he does a nice job putting them together for us
 

Latest posts

Top