My Richter Recker -- the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

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Bat-mite

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My first ever cluster flight -- a Fliskits Richter Recker on three Estes E9-6s. What could go wrong?

The GOOD
My homemade cluster whip worked perfectly.
All three motors lit.
I did everything right.

The BAD
One of the E9-6 motors catoed.
The rocket separated under thrust just as it left the pad.

The UGLY
The booster suffered crinkling right above the fins.
The top of the booster zippered when it separated under thrust.

That is the second Estes E9 cato I've had in three years. And I don't fly very many of them. I will be filing a MESS report and contacting Estes.
 

Kruegon

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Pictures or it didn't happen?

😜
 

MaxQ

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My first ever cluster flight -- a Fliskits Richter Recker on three Estes E9-6s. What could go wrong?

The GOOD
My homemade cluster whip worked perfectly.
All three motors lit.
I did everything right.

The BAD
One of the E9-6 motors catoed.
The rocket separated under thrust just as it left the pad.

The UGLY
The booster suffered crinkling right above the fins.
The top of the booster zippered when it separated under thrust.

That is the second Estes E9 cato I've had in three years. And I don't fly very many of them. I will be filing a MESS report and contacting Estes.
Bummer.
repairable?

My only problem with this rocket is keeping it straight on the rod until it launches.
Lot of surface area.
 

rstaff3

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Had the wind problem on the Mean Machine too. Rail buttons solved that one too :)
 

Flash

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I've had two E9-6's blow the entire end (clay nozzle) out with one not leaving the pad and the other just clearing the rod. These engines came out of the same pack and we're always stored in doors at room temperature. They were stored with 100+ A, B & C motors which were used on the same day with no issues. Lost a big daddy rocket because of this, even have a live picture of the failure.

Haven't gotten with Estes yet.
 
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Kruegon

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I've only had 3 Estes motors ever that had issues. Two had super fast burn through, but they did have some years on them. The other was a brand new A3-4T that got way too hot. The tube got hot, crinkled and folded over to 90°. That's it.
 

rstaff3

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I have only had one E9 failure, and I have flown a lot of them. I've had 4 E12's blow, however.

The weirdest one for me was the F15 that literally had twice the nozzle clay. Too bad only the first half had a core :) Well, not really too bad since Estes sent me a new pack. Plus all it cost me was an hour of repeated ignition attempts before I gave up.
 

ksaves2

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Had the wind problem on the Mean Machine too. Rail buttons solved that one too :)
Mean Machine can warp with age. The Richter Reckor is not so bad.... Rich, you're right about rails but that ain't gonna help with motor a CATO.:wink: Kurt
 

rharshberger

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Mean Machine can warp with age. The Richter Reckor is not so bad.... Rich, you're right about rails but that ain't gonna help with motor a CATO.:wink: Kurt
Just lost my Mean Machine to a shock cord failure this weekend, it didn't live long enough to warp.

Still got to see some E-9 CATOs too, just not in my rockets. It amazes me that people still want to fly them with the propensity E-9s have for failure.

Eventually a modded Richter Recker will be added to my collection.
 

rstaff3

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Mean Machine can warp with age. The Richter Reckor is not so bad.... Rich, you're right about rails but that ain't gonna help with motor a CATO.:wink: Kurt
I had one for a long time and never noticed any warp. But the larger diameter of the RR may make it less likely.
 

Bat-mite

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Thanks, Mike and Erin, for the picture. Yeah, it was flown off a 1010 rail with Wildman's glue-on, 3D-printed rail guides. Everything about this launch was done correctly, including getting all three motors lit at the same time.

That's why the E9 cato is so frustrating. I accept losing a rocket when I've done something stupid, impulsive, or careless. But when a $3 motor kills a $50 rocket with lots of time in it, GRRRRR!!!

I filed my MESS and e-mailed Estes. Haven't heard back yet. I may send them this picture if they need any documentation.

Since this was my first (and only) cluster, I don't know whether to say it was successful or not. I mean, everything I did was successful, but, of course, it blew up. :facepalm:

The worst part is that Ted Chernok looked at me right before launch and asked, "Are you really gonna fly that on Estes E9s?" And I said that the odds of anything bad happening were pretty low.
 

rstaff3

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Just out of curiosity, what igniter set up did you use? What igniter and did you use the provided plastic plug. I do have a theory that if you use the plug with anything but the stock igniter, it is a little snug. I suspect that on my one E9 cato and the last E12 one too. Doesn't seem like a snug plug should cause a cato, but then I wouldn't think they should cato than much anyway.
 

Bat-mite

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Thanks for the input, Dick. I used Estes sonic igniters with the black plugs that come with with the motors. I can't possibly imagine that the plug has enough friction to force the burn to go upwards, but who knows?
 

rstaff3

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Thanks for the input. I would expect using all stock ignition parts should rule out what I was thinking.
 

Bat-mite

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Thanks for the input. I would expect using all stock ignition parts should rule out what I was thinking.
Stock with the exception of sonic instead of solar igniters. But again, two of the three lit perfectly with that config.

See you in July?
 

rstaff3

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Well, maybe your experience still support my weak theory. I forgot what each type igniter is called. :(

I may be able to make July. Between the weather and family issues, I'm wondering if I'll even get out this year at all :( That's too bad since my Sea Monster can't fly anywhere else.
 
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Daddyisabar

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Well, maybe your experience still support my weak theory. I forgot what each type igniter is called. :(

I may be able to make July. Between the weather and family issues, I'm wondering if I'll even get out this year at all :( That's too bad since my Sea Monster can't fly anywhere else.
Light 11 with NO CATOs! Yes, it can be done! Sea Monsters RULE! The Sea Monster must fly!
 

Daddyisabar

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It is a hard knocks life when an E9 CATOs in you cluster rocket, blowing igniters out of the core while the other side lights. Only two E9's lit! This ain't gonna be pretty. Repaired, it has flown again.

Argent crash 6.jpgArgent crash 5.jpgArgent crash 4.jpgArgent crash 3.jpgArgent crash 2.jpgArgent crash 1.jpg
 

CORZERO

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Any progress on your Rectum Wrecker? Too far gone or will you repair it? Always interested to see restoration threads.
 

Flash

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I have thought of something that I haven't noticed mention anywhere and that is the proper igniter retainer plug. I saw a E9-6 Cato, blowing the clay nozzle totally out the bottom of the motor, the guy had used the wrong retainer, he used a white plug, the same one used for "D" engines and not the black one that comes with the "E" motors which is smaller.

It would be interesting to see how these motors perform with just using tissue or tape to hold the igniter in place and not use any plastic plug at all.

I have had three E9's Cato on me at our field day school launch destroying two Big Daddy rockets. These three motors where from the same pack. All the other motors which where storage with these E motors, some being older, over 100 A-D motors worked just fine. And yes, I did use the correct plug myself.
 
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