Modified Estes two stage F 15 powered Ascender with Apogee C6-0 strap-on pods

Discussion in 'Mid Power Rocketry (MPR)' started by Tom Zachman, May 4, 2019.

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  1. May 4, 2019 #1

    Tom Zachman

    Tom Zachman

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    Sims reasonably well but the build as load configured is way below optimum rail exit velocity. Looking for a calm day but may try if ground winds are under the 7 mph range. Carrying a U838 vertically mounted camera, Jolly Logic chute release and Altimeter 2. Any bets on success. Advised RSO this was a heads up launch attempt. Has anyone had experience with this setup?

    upload_2019-5-4_11-33-30.png
     
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  2. May 4, 2019 #2

    jeffjblack

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    Love to see it fly!
     
  3. May 4, 2019 #3

    Tom Zachman

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    Thanks Jeff! Hope it works! First attempt for me with a complex cluster ignition design. Have purchased a four motor ignition harness. We will see.
     
  4. May 4, 2019 #4

    BDB

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    This looks awesome! I love the design.

    What is the velocity off the rod? I have seen two examples of the 29 mm Estes booster motors not having enough thrust to give a straight flight—one on a Mammoth with the PSII booster (F15-0–>F15-8), the other on a scratch built BT60 rocket (E16-0–>D12-7). Both were on calm days but they both flew horizontally about 50’ off the ground. I hope the C6-0’s give enough kick to keep it straight.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  5. May 5, 2019 #5

    Tom Zachman

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    Thanks for the post! You hit the nail right on the head for sure with this configuration. I am probably looking at about 25 feet/sec off the rail. (Yes that's very low and necessitates at a minimum a calm launch environment.)

    The idea was to beef up the Estes Ascender Pro with booster stack with the strap on motor pods to get 12 more Newtons with an acceptable increase in overall weight and drag. I too am curious to see if it works and will document the flight with video and Jolly Logic digital instrumentation if the vehicle is recovered without incident.

    Wish me luck and fair skies!
     
  6. May 5, 2019 #6

    Wallace

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    Yup, about 6 weeks ago. With the exception of a clustered booster that carried a pair of E-16s. Didn't work so well since the F-15 0 spit the nozzle just after it cleared the rail. I am confident it will work though, plan on revisiting it sometime this summer. 20190406_031625.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  7. May 5, 2019 #7

    Wallace

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    Then this happened.. .jpg
     
  8. May 5, 2019 #8

    Wallace

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    Followed by the sustainer f-15 6 burning through the now empty F-15 0 case...The booster never separated. (3).jpg
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  9. May 5, 2019 #9

    Tom Zachman

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    Nice looking build! Good luck on your next attempt! Thanks for your reply.
     
  10. May 5, 2019 #10

    Tom Zachman

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    Bummer! Did you recover the build and resolve the issue with a subsequent flight?
     
  11. May 5, 2019 #11

    Wallace

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    After I dug it out I was surprised to see the plastic forcing cone virtually intact after taking 3.5 seconds of F15 burn time from an inch or so distance. GetAttachmentThumbnail (5).jpg The booster itself is in almost perfect shape since the empty case protected the motor mount tube.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  12. May 5, 2019 #12

    Wallace

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    The sustainer did not fare as well. I'm gonna rebuild and try again. Now I feel it's my duty to prove it can work;)
     
  13. May 5, 2019 #13

    Tom Zachman

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    Wallace-

    Hang in there! Let me know if the Rocket Gods smile on you the next time. Good luck and clear skies!
     
  14. May 5, 2019 #14

    Wallace

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    The booster pods were a last minute deal just so I could fly "something" since all of my electronics/batteries were non functional at that time. Built the Ascender a LONG time ago and never launched it because there's no combination of bp motors that'd safely lift the stack (it had a tracker, alt. and battery in the n.c. so it was heavy). Night before the launch I found a chunk of 29mm tube and glued 'em on with the intention of stuffing a pair of D-12s in there. Discovered a forgotten "extra" E16, which gave me a pair so in they went. Open Rocket said 48 fps off the rail so it should have been fine.
     
  15. May 5, 2019 #15

    Wallace

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    Actually not that bad for having power augered in. The swamp was very forgivingly soft that day.:) 20190504_194715.jpg
     
  16. May 5, 2019 #16

    Wallace

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    How do you plan on lighting 3 motors? I had a stash of Q2G2s and as usual, they just worked.
     
  17. May 5, 2019 #17

    Tom Zachman

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    Wallace-

    The E16s strap on motor pods with your core motor should have more than enough Newtons to do the "heavy lifting" and 48 f/s off the pad is excellent. Would have been a very nice test bed for you avionics.

    As to your query I plan to use a commercial four motor wiring harness with Estes Sonic igniters coupled to a standard club 12 V launch controller. If it doesn't ignite no lift- off no foul!

    PS. The photos were highly instructive on the forgiveness of soft ground! Also as a side note the strap on motor pods I will be using will eject from the core after burnout.
     
  18. May 5, 2019 #18

    Wallace

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    Very cool. I suspect you're gonna have a successful flight. Please post flight report/video if possible. Gotta love clusters and staging. Even better when mixed. Btw, I've not had good luck with Sonics. Is there some way you can either come up with something better or at least augment them? There was an article not long ago in Sport Rocketry about dipping in fabric adhesive and black powder?
     
  19. May 7, 2019 #19

    Tom Zachman

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    Thanks for the advice! Will switch to standard Estes F class igniters. BTW did not launch this weekend due to less than calm winds. If and when the wind gods cooperate and the cluster ignites successfully I will let you know how the flight went.
     
  20. May 7, 2019 #20

    Wallace

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    What is your total weight w/motors? Launch rail/rod length? Maybe take a look at Quest Q jet C's, They have a bit more punch but the curve is slightly slower to come up to said. Check the rail length in Open Rocket and make sure it reflects actual, I know I have a tendency to overlook it because it's not displayed by default. And definitely pay close attention to ignition whatever route you choose, it can make or break Ya.
     
  21. May 7, 2019 #21

    BDB

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    I agree that sonics can be a little problematic, but the same can be said of standard Estes igniters. In my opinion, the best bet for BP ignition is an e-match. If you can find one that fits in the nozzle of the C-motors, it should be guaranteed cluster ignition.
     
  22. May 9, 2019 #22

    Tom Zachman

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    Thanks! Also looking at dipping a Estes igniter in pyrogen as an option. Never done that but am considering this idea as a quick solution to insuring a clean ignition of all three BP motors.
     
  23. May 9, 2019 #23

    jqavins

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    I haven't tried the Sonics yet, as I have a large supply of Solars. But someone needs to come out with a good quality Q2G2 clone. I've seen plenty of Solars smoke out without lighting the motor, and never once seen a Q2G2 do that.

    People talk about adding pyrogen to the Sonics, but I've taken to doing the same to my Solars, which have pyrogen. I don't know if it's not enough, not hot enough, or what, but when I add my own they sure work better.

    As for the Ascender, have you thought about reducing the weight by using a D or E motor in the sustainer? Or maybe not flying the camera?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  24. May 9, 2019 #24

    BDB

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    Check out the BP Rocket Starters by MJG. I have some and they seem similar to Q2G2s.

    https://electricmatch.com/rocketry

    I just noticed the “Red Hot” started on the MJG website. I’d be interested to learn more about them too.
     
  25. May 10, 2019 #25

    jqavins

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    Dang! Sweet.
     
  26. May 10, 2019 #26

    Wallace

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    I know the Q-Jets come with First Fire Micros, they might be an option also?
     
  27. May 10, 2019 #27

    jqavins

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    Back on the subject of launch speed, and speaking of Q-Jets, I've heard advice against mixing BP and composite in a cluster, but if you think you can get away with it then C12s or D16s in the pods should push you off that rod nice-n'-quick.

    (I do wish the new forum software had a table function. I'll do my best.)

    Motor: C6; 10 N @ 0.15 s; Peak thrust @ 0.2 s; Peak thrust: 14 N
    Motor: C12; 10 N @ 0.05 s; Peak thrust @ 0.05 s; Peak thrust: 10 N
    Motor: D16; 10 N @ 0.04 s; Peak thrust @ 0.06 s; Peak thrust: 13.5 N

    All values are approximate, eyeballed from the graphs. The 10 N time is an arbitrary choice to measure buildup. Even though the C6 looks like it will have better early ecceleration, the C12 will have better very early acceleration. And the D16 way better, as its peak thrust is nearly the same as the C6's, but comes in 1/3 the time. So I think the C12 should do better off the rod than the C6. The D16 will make it scream.
     
  28. May 10, 2019 #28

    BABAR

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    Drop the impulse in your sustainer main motor for next flight. Maybe even adapt down to a 24 mm D12-5. You will get all the excitement of staging, a little less mass in the tail which will help your stability (I see you are already overstable, but the lower mass will also get you off the rail a bit quicker), and a lower max altitude which should give you a shorter recovery walk. If all goes well on that flight, consider going back to your F motor for next run.

    IMO first flights for stagers should be to prove successful complete flight profile, not go for maximum altitude,

    Was thinking about Q Jet Ds on the outboards, but doesn’t look like they have a 0 delay. And they mass more than the Estes C6-0. They would still work and give you more “oomph” off the pad, but they are going to hang on board your sustainer longer after propellant burn out (more drag, less altitude, not necessarily a BAD thing for first flight. Lot of smoke, which is good!) problem is they will separate at a much higher altitude than a Zero delay outboard motor. Your main booster should separate pretty low, so that won’t be too hard to track, but the outboards may be a bit hard to find/recover if they are riding on D12-4s.

    You will need a lot of eyes on the flight to track all 4 parts.

    Hope you get 4 straight trails!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  29. May 10, 2019 #29

    jqavins

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    Good points about the mass and delay on the D16. It's the same with the C12, save for a 2 gram mass difference.

    I missed the link for the C12. The altitude at pod separation would be alleviated by using the C12s; same burn time and delay as the D16, but the whole flight would be lower so the pods will separate lower. Speed off the rail isn't as good (better than C6s) and some flyers always want more altitude. Trade-offs. It's all about trade-offs.

    Hmm, now I want to build one with electronics for booster pod separation. Drop them at 0.8-1 s for the Q-Jets (which have a 0.8 s burn). If the fall takes long enough, their own 4 s delay could good for deploying a streamer, and if not then just add streamer deployment to the separation mechanism. Maybe put fins on the pods so they keep going up after they separate; then the 4 s delay will surely be good. RockSim, here I come.
     
  30. May 10, 2019 #30

    BDB

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    Now you're talking...I've been wanting to do this for a while too.
     

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