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Mercury Engineering - RDR 1

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JAL3

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One of my earlier MPR projects was the RDR 1 from Mercury Engineering. It was a rocket I enjoyed and then it languished for a while as I had to tend to some repairs. Finally, I got it ready again and was going to fly it at a demo for my church's Vacation Bible School. I never could get a Copperhead to ignite that day and it never went up. It finally did go up this Saturday and was worth the wait.

The original build thread is on the archive here: http://www.rocketryforumarchive.com/showthread.php?t=45582

The rocket was loaded with an F23-4J but I replaced the Copperhead with a first fire. I had to shave it a little bit to get it down the slot but wanted to make sure the candle got lit. It was then taken out to the rail and hooked into the system.

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JAL3

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When the launch button was pushed, ignition was almost instantaneous. It roared into the air on that column of thick black smoke I love to see.

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JAL3

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After the boost phase, it continued to ascend for a good deal longer than my memory told me to expect.

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JAL3

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When ejection occurred, I experienced relief of seeing the orange chute come out and deploy normally.

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JAL3

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Eventually, it came down not too far from where it had started out.

No damage.

Not much of a walk.

It was a good day for the RDR1.:)

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jorpet

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Awesome pictures and flight!

I just got my RDR I a week ago and am looking forward to building it. Also have two Hijackers, one for me and one for my son that might be done first. Of course he just left for a two week sailing camp, so won't be starting either until he gets back.

Time to work on a small rocket with my younger son.
 

JAL3

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Awesome pictures and flight!

I just got my RDR I a week ago and am looking forward to building it. Also have two Hijackers, one for me and one for my son that might be done first. Of course he just left for a two week sailing camp, so won't be starting either until he gets back.

Time to work on a small rocket with my younger son.
Thanks.

I like this one. I was dubious about the balsa fins but that has not really been a problem.

Best of luck to you and your son.
 

JAL3

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I was going to fly my RDR1 last Saturday but when I found the box, the side was stove in. Feeling sick, I opened it and found one of my fins had busted off. I guess it could have been worse.

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JAL3

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I drilled some new rivet holes in both the body tube and the root edge of the fin.

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JAL3

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Some 5 minute epoxy was then mixed and used to fix the fin back into place. Some tape held it in place for a few hours until I could get to it again.

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JAL3

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Since I was running out of time and I have rare 2nd launch window coming up this Saturday, I decided to try to re-fillet the fin with epoxy clay. I had only done this once before with limited success. The clay snakes were rolled and pressed into place. I then used my fingers moistened with ethanol to smooth out the fillets. I would say this was again, only a limited success. That stuff does not smooth too easily.

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Fishhead

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Since I was running out of time and I have rare 2nd launch window coming up this Saturday, I decided to try to re-fillet the fin with epoxy clay. I had only done this once before with limited success. The clay snakes were rolled and pressed into place. I then used my fingers moistened with ethanol to smooth out the fillets. I would say this was again, only a limited success. That stuff does not smooth too easily.
Gotta agree with you on that. I've tried it twice and both rockets wound up looking like I'd tried to do some kind of weird paper mache on them. I'll leave that to plumbers from now on.:confused2:
 

JAL3

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Gotta agree with you on that. I've tried it twice and both rockets wound up looking like I'd tried to do some kind of weird paper mache on them. I'll leave that to plumbers from now on.:confused2:
I need to do some more "practice" before I make up my mind. I was not too worried on this one because it is fairly old and a lot more beat up than the photos let on. I would not try it again on a new project unless I was a LOT more confident about the result.
 

Fishhead

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I need to do some more "practice" before I make up my mind. I was not too worried on this one because it is fairly old and a lot more beat up than the photos let on. I would not try it again on a new project unless I was a LOT more confident about the result.

I used it on a Centuri ThunderRoc clone and a BT-80 Wizard. Both great performers, but they're ugly out of the gate.
 

JAL3

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I used it on a Centuri ThunderRoc clone and a BT-80 Wizard. Both great performers, but they're ugly out of the gate.
Most of mine are ugly except when your eyes are closed.
 

JAL3

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After the epoxy had set, I sprayed the fillets down with some white spray paint. It was quick and dirty because I was trying to get things ready for a launch. I didn't event get around to removing the minimal masking until I got to the launch.

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JAL3

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After peeling of the masking, I was going to buy a Roadrunner G80 for this rocket but Art Applewhite offered to sell me an Ellis Mountain G35-10 and I jumped at the chance to check out this long burning motor. I loaded the motor and packed the chute and took it out to the rail.

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JAL3

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When the motor ignited, the rocket did not jump from the pad. Instead, It accelerated gracefully and took off straight and true.

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cwbullet

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I have an RDR 1 awaiting rebuild that suffered a similar fate. I will likely rebuild it with 3 new through the wall plywood fins.

It looks rather peaked with no fins (I removed the other 2 after the first one came off (it also cracked).

Chuck
 

JAL3

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I have an RDR 1 awaiting rebuild that suffered a similar fate. I will likely rebuild it with 3 new through the wall plywood fins.

It looks rather peaked with no fins (I removed the other 2 after the first one came off (it also cracked).

Chuck
I was kind of disapointed that it came with balsa fins although I must admit that they have survived much better than I would have thought possible. Still, there's only so much you can do to protect balsa.
 

JAL3

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True to promise, the Ellis Mountain motor did burn for a long time and the RDR1 responded well with it.

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JAL3

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Even the 10 second delay, a trifle long, was not too long and the recovery was a complete success.

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rockie

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Looking good, longburns rule :)
To bad there is so few of them in midpower.
 

JAL3

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My RDR1 had not flown in a while so I decided to give it a chance at the AARG's Hutto launch for October 2010. I prepped it with a G77-7 Redline and took it out to the pad.

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JAL3

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The takeoff was rapid and the rocket climbed quickly.

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JAL3

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It also coasted quite a ways.

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JAL3

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Eventually it arced over and started down.

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JAL3

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Ejection occurred and I was gratified to see the chute come out.

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JAL3

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The rocket started drifting down ever so slowly. I think it hopped onto every thermal it could find.

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