New Quest Falcon

dpower

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I was at the local HobbyTown USA, and saw the new Quest LPR kits hanging on pegs. While they're nothing exciting, I wanted to see what's been changed, and have something to fly the new D22/E26 motors in, so grabbed a Falcon kit. The instructions have been updated to reflect the 24mm motor mount, the 18/24mm adapter, and the new graphics. What wasn't updated is the illustration for building the MMT, as it clearly shows an 18mm tube, and the older style Quest engine hooks. No matter, the build process is the same.

Laying out the parts, the only differences I see from the 18mm Falcon (it was lost last year, so I'm doing this from memory), is the 24mm MMT, new decals, and adapter. The engine hook is stiffer than I recall from previous generation Quest kits, but I haven't built one in a long time, so that may have been improved previously. The fin can is, unfortunately, yellow, so the rocket requires painting to look like the cover art.
 

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dpower

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I forgot to take a pic of the assembled 24mm mount, but it went together quickly with white glue (I use Weld-Bond). It has stout centering rings with a shiny orange surface, so I sanded those down a bit so the white glue could soak in better. The instructions say to put masking tape around the engine hook before installing the CRs, but don't state where, so when putting on the rear CR, I was lucky that the tape didn't interfere (it was close). I'd suggest measuring the 1/2" + CR width, and making sure the masking tape is installed above this.

The MMT is then glued into the BT, sticking out 1/4". I followed this, but really, I think it would look better if flush with the aft BT.

A length of Kevlar and elastic cord are included. As can be seen in this photo, when combined, they really aren't long enough IMHO, so I'll add additional Kevlar to the end. I like to around 3 BT lengths of cord exposed.
 

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dpower

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While I probably won't fly this on 18mm motors, I built the adapter anyway. The instructions state "The 18mm Q-Jet Motor Adapte is assembled the same way as the 24mm motor mount, without the yellow Kevlar cord attached.". This is problematic. If built this way, it wouldn't rest against the 24mm motor block, or the aft of the 24mm engine hook.

I installed the CRs as shown, so it'll fit snugly as a 24 x 70mm motor. This required cutting a slot for the aft CR. I can see that I'll need a 3rd CR to keep it centered in the 24mm mount.
 

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dpower

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The fin can was a very snug fit over the BT - the instructions state to use plastic cement if it's too lose, or a wrap of masking tape. They don't state what to do if it's tight. I certainly didn't want to friction fit the fin can, and didn't want it seizing with plastic cemet or CA, so used a thin layer of 15m epoxy, since it doesn't seize. And yes, it looks upside-down, but that's how the instructions show it.

The fin can is a bit ugly, it has large mold marks at the root fin edges - not sure what to do about those, but it seems like they'll interfere with decal placement, so I may need to sand them down.
 

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dpower

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Last assembly tidbit is to assemble the parachute. While it has the same pattern as older Quest chutes, it's made from a thinner, more flexible material, similar to Estes chutes. This is an improvement, the old ones were very stiff. The instructions are printed on the chute, I assembled the shroud lines to reduce tangling, I think I learned this froma Chris Michaelson, though I can't find a reference.

It's a 15" chute, but I expect this to go high on D22 and E26 motors, so will probably cut a good sized spill hole.

From start to finish, this took about an hour to build. This is going to be just a fun flyer, so finishing will be simple, just white Rustoleum, no primer.
 

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dpower

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I find it interesting that the kits are branded Quest ("Quest by Aerotech"), yet the Q-Jet motors are not ("Q-Jet by Aerotech"), no mention of Quest.
 

dpower

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Also included in the kit is a green "Launch Procedures" sheet. This is very recent, as it shows the use of Q-Pics, which I haven't yet seen in the wild. This is a nice comprehensive sheet, addressing likely issues with the use of Q-Jets and their initiators, such as:
  • "Be careful not to damage the black-coated initiator..."
  • "The initiator may need to be wiggled around slightly to enter the slot/core..."
  • "Continue to carefully insert the initiator into the slot/core of the propellant grain until it stops and the initiator tip makes contact with the delay element..."
  • "Do not apply pressure on the initiator after it has contacted the delay element..."
I found this to be funny:

  • "CAUTION: The use of FirstFire Micro Initiators in rocket motor clusters is NOT RECOMMENDED".

With a 12v system, they cluster just fine - I've clustered up to 7 Q-Jets.

I really wish the 9v controller would be updated - even though these instructions state to use a fresh 9v Lithium battery, it won't hold up to a day of launches, and those are costly batteries. A controller using 9v worth of C cells (or even AA), or some sort of 12v system would be much more reliable.
 

Back_at_it

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Interesting. I have a few of the originals and they are great rockets. The only issues I've had with them was the soft paper the motor tube was made from. If they fixed that it should be a nice rocket.
 

dpower

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Interesting. I have a few of the originals and they are great rockets. The only issues I've had with them was the soft paper the motor tube was made from. If they fixed that it should be a nice rocket.
The 24mm motor tube is higher quality, the 18mm motor tube for the adapter is still the soft yellow cardboard. The motor tube is shorter than I'd like, and on the tight side for the 24 x 70mm Q-Jets.
 

dpower

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I sprayed with a couple coats of Rustoleum gloss white, now the long wait to apply decals. While the label says fully dry in 24 hours, I think I'll wait the full 48 hour recoat time. No hurry, I can't fly anytime soon. This is a really plain looking rocket - not normally my thing. If it weren't for the cool new decals, I would've passed.
 

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dpower

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The Rustoleum gloss white enamel is sufficiently dry after 2+ days, so I applied the decals. They're some sort of vinyl, though less flexible than Stickershock vinyl. They're one big sheet, so must be individuall cut out - a little work, but the material cuts easy with a scissors. The base vinyl material is sort of a translucent off-white, so really can only be applied over white paint. I thought maybe the whites would clas a little, but it looks fine once on the rocket. There are sufficient decals to look like the header card, plus a bunch extra - I used the "Q-Jet" decal on the fin can, and the "QUEST" decal on the BT opposite the large falcon decal. I think that's enough - I'll save the flags, Enerjet, and Aerotech decals for something else. Oh, and I dipped the decals in warm water with a couple drops of soap, to allow repositioning. This worked ok, but the stiffness of the decal material made it difficult to get the water out for good adhesion. Without this, though, the decals are quite sticky, and would probably pull the paint off if they weren't placed perfectly the first time.

It's ready to fly, first flight will be on a D22-7W if wind is light, or D22-4W if winds are higher. Rocksim estimates 1400' altitude, so I'll probably use a chute release, unless it's a very calm day.
 

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boomtube-mk2

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The fin can was a very snug fit over the BT - the instructions state to use plastic cement if it's too lose, or a wrap of masking tape.
Is the body tube made of paper?
If so then "Plastic Cement" is not going to do much for holding that fin can on it.
Testors model "cement/glue" is a solvent specifically formulated for a polystyrene plastics. It melts the surface of the part/s which then de-melt forming hopefully a single part.
Testors is not going to melt a paper tube and it certainly isn't going to melt masking tape and that's assuming the fin can is made from a plastic that Testors can even affect, there's about a bazillion types of "Plastic" that it won't.

Bottom line, use epoxy to glue those different materials together.
As for the fin can being too tight, all you can do is sand the inside surface down to a suitable ID.
 

crossfire

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The fin can was a very snug fit over the BT - the instructions state to use plastic cement if it's too lose, or a wrap of masking tape. They don't state what to do if it's tight. I certainly didn't want to friction fit the fin can, and didn't want it seizing with plastic cemet or CA, so used a thin layer of 15m epoxy, since it doesn't seize. And yes, it looks upside-down, but that's how the instructions show it.

The fin can is a bit ugly, it has large mold marks at the root fin edges - not sure what to do about those, but it seems like they'll interfere with decal placement, so I may need to sand them down.
You could just peel a layer of paper off tube to get a better fin can fit.
 

dpower

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I flew the falcon on a D22-7 last weekend, and attached an AstroCam for kicks. The AstroCam was mounted well ahead of the CG, which was apparently a mistake - it must have thrown off the CP so much that it went unstable. It was undamaged, other than the chute, which was easily repaired on the field. Second flight was sans-AstroCam, on an E26-7. Flight was perfect, and really high! Great fun. I'll try again with the AstroCam, mounted lower on the tube, perhaps right at the CG.
 
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