Mini engine CATOs?

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msjohnso

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I do not think there has ever been a formal rocket motor recall. I think there have been some voluntary motor exchanges, but nobody wants to ship bad motors back to the manufacturer, or back up the retail supply chain. Probably the most notorious was the Estes D13, especially the November 1970 vintage.
Oddly, back when the Estes D was released, I never had a failure with a D13...didn't fly a lot of them, no more than a half-dozen or so. On the other hand, one of the first D12's I flew suffered a massive blow-through at about 30 feet. Oddly, in a moment of offbeat humor, I had ended the 5-second countdown with "Detonate" instead of "Launch" (I know, BP in that size doesn't really detonate, but what did I know? I was 17).
 
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Though it may not be in an oval if the motor is either much older or much newer than Alan's example:

Upper motor from 1977 (date is November 20, 1977)
Lower motor is from 2018 (July 17, 2018)
My motor stash must date from 2018 forward, the date isn't enclosed in an oval.
Does the date always include an alpha character? I don't understand the nomenclature, in this case what month would "B" represent?

motor009.jpg
 

BEC

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I believe (but do not know for sure) that the letter in post-1999 date codes is probably an indicator of which machine of the several motor-making machines in Penrose was used to make the motor. It is not part of the date per se.

If that is correct your motor is one made on June 18th, 2018, on machine "B".

In the date codes from 1974-1999 the letter in the middle (like my first example in the post above) is a year indicator.
 

tjkopena

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That's a pretty cool photo though.


Also a very striking jolt seeing your scenic launch site, @kuririn, after having just spent time the afternoon before at my somewhat trash-strewn highway-side urban soccer field launch site...
 
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Affirmative.
This one went POW like a gunshot instead of FWOOMP.
So it exploded instantaneously.
Anyway MESS report was filed.
I'm only using A10s in oddrocs now.
Great that they allow flights there (I'm assuming Sundays or weekends only)?
Sorry to hear about your CATO, glad it wasn't fatal. Not fun when it happens. Had my first 2 weeks ago, B-6 blew apart my glider's front end. Couldn't find the casing to file a MESS report, but I probably added to the likelihood of a failure by using a motor that's been sitting in my field box for 4 or 5 years, through super hot and humid summers and freezing winters.
 
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We usually launch on Saturdays once a month at WCC. The RSO is a faculty member there.
Really nice and interesting guy.
And very knowledgeable. I believe he is the Tripoli prefect for our region.
 
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We usually launch on Saturdays once a month at WCC. The RSO is a faculty member there.
Really nice and interesting guy.
And very knowledgeable. I believe he is the Tripoli prefect for our region.
That's really cool. The prefect for our Tripoli East section was also a faculty member and active researcher. They make the best club presidents, very organized and responsible.
 
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Joekeyo

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Cato or no Cato ? You decide

A10-0 booster/A10-3 sustainer Twin Factor

Hard to say. The first stage stayed in the launch position but burned through and lit the second stage. The first stage didn't appear to CATO. The 2nd stage fin ring was recovered but was separated from the body tube. Not enough glue? Upper stage BT, NC and engine were lost in the grass somewhere.

Since it wasn't obvious that this was a Cato, DNF MESS.
 

Banzai88

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Cato or no Cato ? You decide

A10-0 booster/A10-3 sustainer Twin Factor

Hard to say. The first stage stayed in the launch position but burned through and lit the second stage. The first stage didn't appear to CATO. The 2nd stage fin ring was recovered but was separated from the body tube. Not enough glue? Upper stage BT, NC and engine were lost in the grass somewhere.

Since it wasn't obvious that this was a Cato, DNF MESS.
MESS reports are for any type of non-standard burn, not just Cato events.
 
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Cato or no Cato ? You decide

A10-0 booster/A10-3 sustainer Twin Factor

Hard to say. The first stage stayed in the launch position but burned through and lit the second stage. The first stage didn't appear to CATO. The 2nd stage fin ring was recovered but was separated from the body tube. Not enough glue? Upper stage BT, NC and engine were lost in the grass somewhere.

Since it wasn't obvious that this was a Cato, DNF MESS.
Sounds like a CATO to me. The first stage stayed on the pad meaning no thrust through the nozzle. The second stage ignited when the first stage motor propellant shot through the front end. This ignited the second stage and probably damaged it.
 

sriegel

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Had an A10-3T (code J170918) let go this past Saturday. Motors have been stored indoors. Blew the nozzle clean out of the motor.
 

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lakeroadster

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Sandy H.

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Here's another A10-3T cato , this time in a mini–Honest John.

This one posted by Stephen Burt on the FB Estes Model Rockets page. Amazing how much flame and fireballs these little motor spews all over.

The photo makes me pause and consider the wisdom of the local fire ban to include the launch of model rockets.


View attachment 519007


Wow, the video looks like nothing happened at all. The pic tells a totally different story.

I'm assuming that was a screen grab from the video. If the next frame showed no bright stuff, I'd tend toward thinking it was a lesser fire risk than the pic shows, but if that lasts for 2-3 frames, YIKES!!!!

Sandy.
 

rharshberger

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Wonder how many have gone unreported?
Don't think the general public knows about the MESS report.
Unreported and how many were produced, numbers we don't know. My guess is that the number is statistically extemely low for CATO's. As I posted in the Facebook post that John shared, as member of the TCR board I can look at what total number of flight we had, last two years we have had over 3000 flights at our events, and maybe two A10 catos (I only rember two), which is pretty minimal risk.
 

Woody's Workshop

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Does anyone have a batch number, manufacture date or any other means of determining a specific range of motors that are prone to CATO?
I purchased quite a large lot (for me that is) of Mini's at the end of 2020 that were on sale. It could explain why they were on sale?
What amazes me is I've flown for over 50 years and have never had a CATO. The odds are obviously against me right now. So with that in mind...
Perhaps I should build that 12 pack of Vikings for $30 I picked up to hand out to kids in the complex that help me recover rockets...
So they use Mini's instead of the A,B & C's and just burn up all those Mini's I have so I don't destroy anything I take any amount of time on that fly's on Mini's. Like the 3 Mini Comanche 3's I spent a day looking for, and paying dearly for. Or my Mini Brute Beta, or any number of other non-replaceable kits. Or at least can't replace without great cost.
Any help identifying a bad batch/date group will be greatly appreciated.
I'm old and poor and have too many hobby's, yet I can't bring myself to give up flying. I refuse to stop burning what little money I can afford to!
 
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