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Maple seed recovery?

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Senior Space Cadet

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When I was a kid, sometime in the Cretaceous, I got a toy that worked like a maple tree seed. A single blade with a weighted end with a hook. You had a rubber band on a stick that you used to launch it.
You would shoot it straight up and it would auto gyro on the way down.
I'm wondering if you could make a rocket like that? Single fin on a balsa rod, with a rocket motor attached at one end. It would shoot up, then auto gyro on the way down.
Have any of you done that?
 

Handeman

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The Estes Tornado #2004 used maple seed recovery for the upper have and tumble recover for the lower part.
This was also added to the Estes #1449 Super Shot Starter Set as the Twister in the Beta series.
Here's a rocksim file available https://www.rocketreviews.com/estes-twister-8232.html

This was the first kit I built as a BAR back in 2002. My son had come home from school with an Estes Wizard rocket he had flown in school and wanted to fly again. I bought a starter set to get the launch pad and controller. It came with a Almost Ready to Fly (ARF) rocket and the tornado kit but it was called the Twister in the starter set. I still have that rocket in the basement. Haven't flown it in years. Might have to get it back out.
 
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Senior Space Cadet

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All these rockets look fun, but miss the mark. I'm thinking of a rocket with a single fin and the motor at the front (tractor motor). On the way down the single fin would rotate around the mass of the motor, like a single helicopter blade. Maybe not even possible, since the motor might need to be aimed at the fin.
I found an article about maple seed physics. I'll see if I can find it again.
 

Antares JS

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You cannot make a rocket with one fin.

I have a feeling this isn't completely clear to you, so let me explain. The kits cited separate a section of the bottom on ejection that carries away a couple of the fins with it, while the main part is left with a single fin to do a maple-seed style rotation like you are talking about.
 

Senior Space Cadet

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You cannot make a rocket with one fin.

I have a feeling this isn't completely clear to you, so let me explain. The kits cited separate a section of the bottom on ejection that carries away a couple of the fins with it, while the main part is left with a single fin to do a maple-seed style rotation like you are talking about.
Sorry, I didn't see any like that. I'll look back over the posts when I get back from my hike.
I'm thinking it might be possible to have a single stage that works like I'm talking about.
This toy is what makes me think it might be possible.
 

Rktman

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I'm thinking it might be possible to have a single stage that works like I'm talking about.
This toy is what makes me think it might be possible.
That toy has its mass centered directly in line with and above the part that provides stability (the trailing "feather" part). Obviously you can't do that with a rocket motor in terms of placement. Offsetting the motor enough to prevent it from immediately burning off that single fin would also cause stability issues.
 

mooffle

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A similar rocket to what you are asking about would be a monocopter. They spin on the way up as well as down but consist of a large wing with an offset motor.
Rocket review
 

lakeroadster

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When I was a kid, sometime in the Cretaceous, I got a toy that worked like a maple tree seed. A single blade with a weighted end with a hook. You had a rubber band on a stick that you used to launch it.
You would shoot it straight up and it would auto gyro on the way down.
I'm wondering if you could make a rocket like that? Single fin on a balsa rod, with a rocket motor attached at one end. It would shoot up, then auto gyro on the way down.
Have any of you done that?
I thought you were going to use green maple tree seeds instead of wadding... which would be genius.
______________________________________________________________________

You cannot make a rocket with one fin.
Sounds like a challenge...

How about 1 fin that spirals around the body tube?
 

mooffle

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Thinking about this more, could it be done with something like a pair of outward canted motors?
I've never done anything like this but it is an intriguing idea.
 

Funkworks

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A monocopter is a basically a rocket-powered maple seed, but personally, I'd rather not be in the neighbourhood when one of them launches.

 

kuririn

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I was thinking about building an Art Applewhite monocopter.
Parts are popsicle sticks, index cards and some nylon cord.
Then maybe a small girondola.
 

jrap330

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When I was a kid, sometime in the Cretaceous, I got a toy that worked like a maple tree seed. A single blade with a weighted end with a hook. You had a rubber band on a stick that you used to launch it.
You would shoot it straight up and it would auto gyro on the way down.
I'm wondering if you could make a rocket like that? Single fin on a balsa rod, with a rocket motor attached at one end. It would shoot up, then auto gyro on the way down.
Have any of you done that?
Still can buy the rubber band gyro-copter.....harbor freight sells it and 20 years ago Toys R Us
 

jrap330

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Still can buy the rubber band gyro-copter.....harbor freight sells it and 20 years ago Toys R Us
Also Estes had the Heli-Cat and Sky Winder (E2X) kits that deploy 4 blades connected to rubber bands. Heli-Cat was just nose cone recovered that way (my 1st BAR kit) and Side Winder, blades pop out of the aft end. Both kits are out-of-production. But you can buy your gryo copter...at Harbor Freight. It is the toy you remember...it is 2 blades.
 

heada

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ok, then its finless? And since its at the top of the rocket, is it still base drag?

Are monocopters single fin or dual fin? My view is that they're single fin and stable during powered flight and then unstable and flutter/maple-seed recovery but I can understand a view of them being dual fin since the MMT is almost never 100% to one side of the blade.
 

Funkworks

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I suppose a ring fin, held by a few thin sticks, would qualify to make a 1-fin rocket.


1 flat fin and a MMT.
I would have that pizza jigsawed into the shape of a fin, install the MMT at the balance point, and have someone else launch it.

Also, how about 2 body tubes, held together by one “fin” (wing)? Add a few rings as needed (unless they qualify as fins).

Anyway, yeah. Semantics.
 

BABAR

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I shall revise my statement to "You cannot build a rocket with one flat fin."
You can easily BUILD a rocket with one flat fin.
You can also launch it, although I wouldn’t recommend it, and certainly not at a club sanctioned launch. The result would be entertaining but the peak altitude will not be much above that of the launch site.
So far no one has come up with a model that will FLY well with a single flat fin.

To my knowledge the only commercially available single fin rocket was Odd’L Rockets Corkscrew


Which was a ring fin attached at a single point to the body tube. Looks like it is no longer sold, at least I can’t find it on the website



Maybe @jadebox or @hcmbanjo can correct me if I am wrong.

I know of three linear two fin models that fly well (to me that means a net straight trajectory, decent altitude, and safe recovery)

IMO the coolest was the Flying Guitar by @Flyfalcons


The “trick” on that one was that the fins were REALLY thick.

I believe Tim van Milligan had some plans for models that intentionally twisted (spun around log axis) in flight


I seem to recall someone on this forum recently built and flew one of this sort but I am sorry I can’t find the post.

I built one with two flat fins that flew fine, although semantically you could argue it was one non-flat fin

 

aerostadt

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Also, there is gas dynamic stabilization, which uses only one motor and no fins, but this really get off the original topic.

 
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