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 19, 2019 #61

    Wallace

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    (3).jpg Staging in a bad direction...
     
  2. May 19, 2019 #62

    Wallace

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    Soooo, Tom it's apparently a functional system, had plenty of speed off the rail. Let's see some launch pics
     
  3. May 19, 2019 #63

    Tom Zachman

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    Wallace-Very cool! You proved it can be done! Could not fly my build yet. You set the standard. Many thanks for sharing!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  4. May 19, 2019 #64

    Wallace

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    Tom; Once again, I apologize for stepping on your thread, but with best intentions. Now get out and fly that crazy thing...
     
  5. May 19, 2019 #65

    Tom Zachman

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    Wallace-

    No worries. Throughly enjoyed your comments and suggestions. Again excellent work.

    Very best flights in the future.

    Tom Z
     
  6. May 19, 2019 #66

    Wallace

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    Forgot to mention the winds were fairly calm at about 6 mph. The obvious speed off the rail seemed to be enough to handle a bit more. Everything I saw launched turned into said wind and headed northeast so that didn't concern me. You having planned c's in your outboards as opposed to the d's I flew will be a factor (14ish Ns vs 24ish? peak) but I'm 99 percent certain It'll work.
     
  7. May 20, 2019 #67

    BABAR

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    Again at risk of sounding like a grumpy old rocketeer (something I am currently hoping to achieve!) I still recommend using the lowest reasonable sustainer motor for initial flight. I can't speak for electronic staging because I only do BP to BP staging. Since there is no lockout to prevent off vertical or even inverted sustainer ignition,IMO wisest course is to go small for SUSTAINER on first flight to prove the model works. For boosters priority is making sure there is enough "oomph" to get up to speed at the end of the rod or rail.

    If there is any significant gap (say more than an inch) I like large throated nozzles, like A for 18 mm and D For 24 mm. Assuming the booster did its job and got the whole assembly successfully and stably off the pad, the sustainer is already up to speed and if built right stable WITHOUT the sustainer motor even igniting (it has to be as it has no rail or guide to give support when its motor kicks in.) Very reasonable and easy to build adapter to down size 29mm to 24 or 24mm to 18.
     
  8. May 20, 2019 #68

    Wallace

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    Adapters add weight, may as well go with heavier motor?
     
  9. May 20, 2019 #69

    jqavins

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    Joseph Avins

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    An adapter can be built with very little weight. Adapter + motor probably weighs less than the larger motor.
     
  10. May 20, 2019 #70

    Wallace

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    I'll grant you that since the initial mass from a D to a C motor is roughly 19g. That and a C has a bit more punch off the pad. But, when it comes to sustainer motor things are a bit different since the whole mess is already moving?
     
  11. May 20, 2019 #71

    beeblebrox

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    8 C6-0, 12 D11-9, 20 D20-0, 20 E5-0, 3 Cinerocs

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    Samsung Galaxy Note8
    1. Connect your mobile phone and computer. Connect the data cable to the socket and to your computer's USB port.
    2. Select setting for USB connection. Press ALLOW.
    3. Transfer files. Start a file manager on your computer. Go to the required folder in the file system of your computer or mobile phone.
    You could also share the video or photos via Bluetooth to your PC or MAC, I do it all the time.
     
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  12. May 20, 2019 #72

    beeblebrox

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    8 C6-0, 12 D11-9, 20 D20-0, 20 E5-0, 3 Cinerocs

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    My somewhat busted Ascender, the bad luck rocket, 1st flight with E16-4, failed to eject...hence the brown tube from eRockets to replace the unavailable tube and nose from estes. Tube fits over the Estes tube if you peel the outer layer off the Estes tube where you glue it. Second flight was the crash due to the Estes motors not having enough thrust... F15-0 - F15-6 that time the tube did not get totally destroyed, the balsa nose was badly damaged. I then stuffed it in figuring on shredding the rocket with a G146...It flew nearly out of site, held up fine, but lost nose cone (did not attach it, did not care...) Next step to add extra motor tubes to the booster like you did, I think I will use three, using a side pod for ignition of the upper stage with a piece of 1' per second Visco fuse. And a composite motor in the booster center...

    ascender.jpg
     
  13. May 20, 2019 #73

    jqavins

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    Yes. The whole point here is to have enough acceleration to reach stable speed before reaching the top of the launch guide.
    • If the C motor both weighs less and has higher peak thrust, then the speed off the launch guide will be greater.
    After it's cleared the guide it should still be accelerating. By the time the three booster motors burn out, you'll be going plenty fast enough to remain stable. So, the peak thrust in the sustainer is not critical. Of course you'd like a fully loaded sustainer thrust to weight ratio that's greater than one, though even without it, decelerating at this point, it'll still be stable.
    • So yeah, if you want to, you can goose the booster hard then go with an A or B motor in the sustainer to improve the chance of recovery (as opposed to a swamp landing).
    I read somewhere some years back that while you can light a BP motor with visco, it will probably underperform. The fuse lights it slowly so it takes some time to come up to full pressure, and by the time it does a noticeable portion of the propellant is gone. The article had test data to back the statements up.

    If you can get your hands on some, a hotter burning fuse might be a good idea. Or maybe a gob of good, hot pyrogen on the end of the fuse. But I'm shooting in the dark here; nothing in this paragraph was in the article.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  14. May 20, 2019 #74

    Wallace

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    Ok,argeed. We hit the booster hard then the sustainer can be basically whatever will maintain thrust with not adding too much mass..
     
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  15. May 20, 2019 #75

    Wallace

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    It seems to work well, at least in moderate winds, with the combination(s) I've flown.
     
  16. May 20, 2019 #76

    BABAR

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    It's great that you are pushing the envelope, but I find some things in your post disquieting.

    "I then stuffed it in figuring on shredding the rocket"---- Sure, rockets may shred from time to time, but those should be exceptions, not the EXPECTED outcome.

    "Lost the nose cone (did not attach it, did not care...)"----- With the exception of featherweight rockets, recovery wadding and low power motor casings (and some on this forum have heartburn even with those!), you shouldn't have any part of your rocket separate either intentionally or due to complete lack of due diligence to free fall onto you the launcher of the rocket or the spectators or cars or buildings below. Again, SOMETIMES things happen, but they should never be intentional or due to deliberate carelessness.

    I don't have experience at all with lighting motors with fuses. As you know, it is against safety code to light your motors on the PAD with fuses. Maybe someone else can chime in with any rules on airstarts and upper stages with fuses. Just makes me really uncomfortable----- what if you get a really SLOW sputtering fuse, doesn't light the motor until the rocket segment hits the ground (bad---- land shark and fire hazard--imagine chute hanging up rocket in a dry tree and THEN your outboard engine lights!) OR the delay allows the rocket to perform a St. Louis Arch, motor ignites with rocket aimed downward, now you have not a BALLISTIC recovery (bad enough) but a rocket, stable, accelerating under power, heading for the ground (pointy end first), with no control over direction (even if you launched downwind, rocket might suddenly become stable under power and head for the RSO. He or she is NOT going to be happy.) Since this can happen quickly, and since rocket may be coming down under power, there isn't even time to give spectators a "Heads up" (in fact, in that scenario the best warning would be "DUCK!")

    Don't get me wrong, I LOVE staging rockets. But for all of us to continue to be relatively free to practice this hobby, everybody needs to launch with an expectation that it will be a safe flight, not just a "I hope this works, but no biggie if it shreds or the nose falls off." That's the kind of attitude that gets rocketry banned from parks, etc.
     
  17. May 22, 2019 #77

    Wallace

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    Last time I lit a rocket motor with a visco fuse was about 48 years ago. Broke arse kids w/no money for a launch system. We'd just stick a rod in the ground and light the fuse with a match. I seem to remember about a 50 percent success rate..
     
  18. May 23, 2019 #78

    Tom Zachman

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    Yup!! Here is my story not unlike thousands of born again rocketeers :

    Ode to the Fear and Glory of Model Rocketry

    This post is pure opinion and story telling so take it with a grain of salt.

    Circa 1961-1962 the age of Sputnik and “A-OK” was in full bloom. As a young teenager the feats of Goddard and Von Braun filled my head with hope and promise that rockets were indeed in my future. So, the first step in that quest I reasoned was to build one. After disastrous attempts to engineer rocket motors for what charitability were flying pipe bombs (we did dig kid sized WWI class trenches to survive the expected shrapnel) a new venture for young rocketeers emerged. An Estes catalogue came to the rescue. After a few mailing cycles cardboard tubes, balsa sheets and nose cones were everywhere in the house, and those little black powder rocket motors were a wonder.

    Within days the adjoining farmers spotted scores of model rocket smoke arc skyward, but that was just the beginning. Soon experimentation ruled the day. Before CAD-CAM simulations, the Internet, and Tripoli Association Inc. local boys worked on exciting rocket designs that sprung from their imagination. Sometimes we did a “swing” test sometimes not. The “space movie look” was king. Hey if the model looks like a cross between a V-2 and a Viking missile, it will fly right? Well sometimes no. Cardboard and balsa wood became permanent a part of the rich farm soil. Three stage rockets (if they worked) flew so high and drifted so far the chance of recovery was statistically between zero and none.

    Model rocket safety was spotty at best. As we began to buy larger motors, the failure rate of motors and airframes increased. I am sure it had nothing to do with transporting the black powder motors and builds in the basket of a bicycle right next to the 22-rifle ammunition for miles over county roads. If an Estes wire igniter would not “light the candle” the solution was quick and simple stick a fuse up the motor and run (Yes open pyrotechnic fuses were sold by model rocket motor vendors). Heck fear was fun and laughter at model rocket failures filled the air.

    Within a few years the model rocket craze lost it’s luster but was never fully forgotten. Fast forward to the present as a desire was born in my seventy-second trip around the sun to return to an old hobby. A trip to the nearest hobby store netted the biggest Estes kit and motor I could find. A cursory glance at the instructions and purchase of what looked like really cool glue was all I thought I needed. My mindset was “been there done that” while glossing over the words “epoxy” in the instructions and later notes surfaced about “launch only in calm wind conditions”. In a brief afternoon the model was done and an old launch pad from grandchildren rocket days was resurrected.

    In the process of looking for a launch site I began to review the National Association of Rockery (NAR) website. The effect was stunning. Oh my gosh was I out of step with current model rocket technologies and techniques. The more I read and digested information about modern model rocket safety procedures and methods the more I was convinced that simply buying kits and motors either retail or online would not work for me. The obvious solution was to find experienced and organized model rocketeers and commence the learning process in a more human yet structured way. The jury of practicality and reality combined with the fear of failure had spoken. My first build would never fly and was ultimately trashed. Lesson Number One-Safety First and Build Strong Second learned the expensive way.

    The NAR website and magazine was invaluable. Books about model rocket building and safety were devoured. Soon linking up with experienced and dedicated rocketeers of the Wright Stuff Rocketeers Section 703 and WVSOAR NAR 564 clubs bore fruit. The advice was crisp and clear “start slow and grow”. I began to have a healthy respect for the very real “fear of failure” in Mid- Power and High-Power class rockets. New words with specific model rocket meanings entered my vocabulary- “CATO”, “Ballistic”, “Zipper”, “FAA Waiver”, and “RSO”. It was like drinking from a fire hose. My builds improved as the knowledge base widened. I marveled at the creativity of my mentors. From seven engine clusters to flying rocket creatures like the “Air-Shark” the club builds were amazing. The NAR sanctioned rocket club approach paid handsome dividends. The mantra was crystal clear learn and build with the best. In a relatively short order successful L1 and L2 flights and certification attempts were achieved with solid support from club members enriching the model rocketry experience. For those that shared their time and experience I am truly grateful.

    While the ultimate destination of High-Powered Rocketry may be a model rocket touching the edge of space the greater journey of model rocketry in all of its aspects begins here on earth. The circle is now complete for that boy of fourteen. Yes, rocketry is in my future as perhaps even L3 certification looms on the horizon. I have begun to form a youth rocket building class at our local library to provide an introduction to model rocketry with no or little cost to the children. Sooner than I imagined the true glory of model rocketry shines bright and clear in a morning sky.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  19. May 23, 2019 #79

    Wallace

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    Well said Tom.
     
  20. Jun 3, 2019 #80

    Wallace

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    Well....
     
  21. Jun 3, 2019 #81

    Wallace

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    Please entertain us with success (or learned failure) stories Tom. You've had to have flown something by now.
     
  22. Jun 12, 2019 #82

    Tom Zachman

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    Sorry for the really long delay in replying. Gone to Estesland (Colorado) for a few weeks hauling a camper. Did stop by Apogee Components to view the store and was treated royaly by the receptionist Theresa. She gave some great advice on visiting Pike’s Peak. Spoke to the owner Tim Van Milligan for a brief moment and shared a greeting with Pluto the dog. Nice lobby area with many of Tim’s builds. The model finishing quality was by and large very excellent. Many of the builds showed their flight “ribbons” which I very much liked. Yup if it flies they will come.

    Stopped by the Air Force Academy to relive a few memories from my Air Force ROTC days of yore. Always get a few goose bumps when visiting any of the service academies.

    As to my flight goofs (which are many but not yet legend) so far no CATOs, no lost boys, no lawn darts, no core samples, no High Power Rocketry attempt failures, and only one botched partial deployment (the tall grass and a light Mid Power build was a blessing). That said I have yet to acquire a Low Explosive Users Permit from ATF (hopefully the application will go in next month) so I have not lived the “Only Fly What You Test” matra of NASA when dealing with staged gun powder dual deployment pyrotechnics. We will see what the summer will bring.

    Will be attending Balls 28 in September to learn from the Tripoli best in the L3 arena. My L3 kit has already been procured and the Tripoli TAP committee assembled. Just waiting on the LEUP permit filing and some good flight days during the next few months. Eager to try an L3 attempt in 2019.

    As a side note looking to fly the Estes C strap on with F core and booster build when the winds are REALLY calm and the rocket gods are smiling so I am way far behind your achievements in that arena.

    Keep in touch with your flights.

    Tom Z
     

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