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ChrisRoss84

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Hello Everyone,

I am Christopher Ross and I MSgt in the USAF 2W1 career field. I ran across this forum doing some research thru google, and decided to join. I have been flying low powered beginner rockets for quite sometime now off and on, and I think I am ready for mid-power. I just ordered the Aerotech Initiator and I am looking for any helpful advice with the build before it gets here. My wife is battling breast cancer, and I would love to paint it pink, and paint a few cancer ribbons on it. Also what are some good tools to have around while building?
 

dhbarr

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Welcome! Aerotech has pretty decent instructions, medium-thick CA.

Pink rockets for cancer fighters are a fine tradition, best wishes to you both.

Don't go crazy on tools, the stuff you've been using for low power will be fine at mid.
 

ChrisRoss84

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Welcome! Aerotech has pretty decent instructions, medium-thick CA.

Pink rockets for cancer fighters are a fine tradition, best wishes to you both.

Don't go crazy on tools, the stuff you've been using for low power will be fine at mid.
Thanks for the quick reply
 

Tonimus

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Welcome, sir. As the previous response stated, your existing low-power tools will be fine. The only thing I added to my arsenal was 5 minute epoxy. I really enjoy the mid power stuff and there's a ton of motor options. Many can be shipped without a hazmat fee.
 

Bat-mite

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Hi, and welcome. Very sorry to hear about your wife. I will pray for her complete remission. And thank you for your service to our great nation.

If you start out with epoxy, the most important thing to note is that epoxy bonds best when you first sand the areas to be joined. Rough it up to get a good mechanical bond (think "dovetail joint").
 

samb

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Welcome to the party Chris. Here are a few things to consider based on my experience with an Aerotech Barracuda, which has a similar internal structure and was designed by the same guy (TRFs own Initiator001).

I built mine stock using the recommended adhesive, medium viscosity CA. Has held up well going on 7 years, 10+ flights.

I inserted an engine casing into the motor tube before pushing the fins into the fin lock slots. It's a tight fit and some pressure is needed but once seated and glued the fins aren't going anywhere.

After inserting the motor on flight day I put a wire twist-tie around the motor hook and the end of the motor casing for a little extra retention insurance.


Moving up the impulse ladder typically means using a 12volt launch controller for reliable ignition, a 1/4 inch launch rod, and a bigger recovery area:


launch site dims.jpg


Here is a copy of the Initiator kit instructions and a link to some additional resources on rocketreviews.com. Good luck !

https://www.aerotech-rocketry.com/c...ctions/Kit_Instructions/initiator_in_8-04.pdf

https://www.rocketreviews.com/initiator---aerotech-89011-1989-.html





BTW Pink is a great high visibility color as well. :)
 

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mccordmw

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Welcome!

First, thank you very much for your service. Second, my best wishes for your wife.

On to the rockets...

Don't sweat the build process on the Initiator (or most MPRs, for that matter). They build the same as their smaller, low power cousins. I've used the same super glues and wood glues as when building LPR. The forces in MPR aren't so extreme that epoxy is needed. Wood glue is stronger than the paper tube materials that it's bonding.

The only real differences are in the sizes of the builds and the fin materials. MPR rockets generally use plywood instead of balsa or basswood found in LPR. I find plywood easier to work with since it doesn't dent or break as easily.

Your Initiator uses plastic fins and centering rings, so a good, thicker CA glue will be best. They cure slower than thin CAs, so you'll have time to position your centering rings just right. Those Fin-Lock rings make aligning your fins a breeze.
 

KennB

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Welcome to the forum, Sergeant.

I've known many family members and friends with breast cancer; I hope all goes well for your wife. Many members of this forum have made pink breast cancer awareness rockets so you'll be in good company.

I can't add anything to the advice you've gotten on building your Initiator or other MPR kits but I would encourage you to not put the low power rockets in your rear view mirror. Beyond the basic three-fins-and-a-nose-cone (3FNC) there are lots of kits that can test your modeling skills or provide interesting designs.

Just my :2: about more ways to go in this hobby other than bigger and pricier.
 

CPUTommy

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Welcome !!

Check out the Mid power forums, Lots of great builds and info there. The rocket you reference is a great flyer and is a real durable one at that.

Ive personally learned alot from other peoples build threads, even the high power builders do things that can be incorporated in your own building style.

I wish the best for your family and especially your wife. My mom has had NHL for the past 17 years, and is headed back to treatment for the 4th time on Monday.

If your building low power stuff, the medium stuff should be really a piece of cake for ya.. but ask questions !!

Best of luck.!!
 

MikeyDSlagle

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Contact Mark Hayes at Stickershock23.com. He doesn't post here anymore, but he is pretty much the go-to man for decals, stickers, and graphics. Tell him what you want and he will help you out.

Thank you for your service. My dad was a tech Sgt and his dad retired from the USAF - he was there pretty much from the beginning right after WWII. Good luck to you and your wife in the battle ahead.

Welcome to the forum and mid power. Go ahead grab you a Wildman sport series or similar size fiberglass kit and get your hands dirty with fiberglass and epoxy. Good times ahead.

Mikey D
 

ChrisRoss84

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Contact Mark Hayes at Stickershock23.com. He doesn't post here anymore, but he is pretty much the go-to man for decals, stickers, and graphics. Tell him what you want and he will help you out.

Thank you for your service. My dad was a tech Sgt and his dad retired from the USAF - he was there pretty much from the beginning right after WWII. Good luck to you and your wife in the battle ahead.

Welcome to the forum and mid power. Go ahead grab you a Wildman sport series or similar size fiberglass kit and get your hands dirty with fiberglass and epoxy. Good times ahead.

Mikey D
one of these days I will get my hands dirty
 

Scott_650

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Welcome ! You found a great resource - I'm a Born Again Rocketeer (BAR) from the early 70s and I've learned so much! Thoughts and prayers for your wife - I have 2 sisters-in-law who've beat breast cancer.
Two fantastic resources for building techniques are Chris Michielssen at ModelRocketBuilding.blogspot.com and Daniel Petrie at the Rocketn00b.blogspot.com. Also, check out the Rocketry Show podcast at Rocketryshow.com. Good luck and have fun!
 

1tree

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So, nobody has mentioned the one area I would recommend you consider departing from the instructions. Specifically, I would NOT use the engine hook, or block. I would instead go with a retainer ring such as me from Estes.

There have been many reports of the mesh they provide for ejection clogging up as well. If you leave out the hook, you can later hook the coil stuff and pull t out for cleaning. Or... leave that out and simply use dog barf (home insulation) instead.
 

dhbarr

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I think the AT's all come with aluminum screw retainers now. My Mustang certainly did.
 

dhbarr

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For anybody who still has the motor hook, at my last launch I saw someone with a small aluminum bushing grub-screwed onto the hook, knurled for gripping.

That plus the nozzle tie struck me as a pretty solid set of trivial upgrades.
 

Initiator001

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Build the Initiator per the instructions and you will have a fine flying rocket that will last many years.

They do get beat up but you can still fly them. :wink:
 

Maxter

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Welcome! Think about adding Rail Buttons to your build. Just put them on the opposite side of the "straw" and you are set up for any launch.
 

OverTheTop

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Welcome to the forum Chris. Plenty to do and and lots to learn and explore in MPR.

The only tool I can think of that you might benefit from is a Dremel multitool, or similar. You would not regret purchasing one IMHO. 1001 uses around the house, not just MPR!
 

Mr Rocket

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Build the Initiator per the instructions and you will have a fine flying rocket that will last many years.

They do get beat up but you can still fly them. :wink:
+1

I find it best to build your first one stock. Per the directions. You will still have plenty of motor choices for it, and can either make upgrades after you have some experience under your belt, or have a great excuse to build a new rocket with those features.:wink: My first MP was an Aerotech Arreaux. I built it stock, but later added rail buttons by tapping the flat surface of the molded plastic launch lugs. I am currently working on a small avionics bay for it to allow it to fly with dual deploy.

That is the great thing about the larger rockets. At least for me, they seem to be easier to make modifications.

Best of luck to you, and prayers for your wife.
 

RickGr4

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Welcome to the forum and thank you for your service.

I too am just moving to MPR and I agree with the advice you have received so far. The Aerotech should be a great start (that will be my next MPR rocket) and I agree with the comments about five minute epoxy. I am a BAR and I have been back building rockets for about 1 1/2 years now. I just started using two part epoxy in critical locations. I can't believe I waited this long.

As a former cancer survivor (no issues for 30 years) I can't think of a better way to honor you wife's fight than to paint the rocket pink and fly it as high as you can. Good luck with her fight...
 

My Gypsy

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+1 for Stickershock23.com. Here is my Initiator from 1995 that I recently refinished for my son with some of Mark's work.

IMG_1934.jpg

Thanks for your service. Prayers and best wishes for you and your wife.
 

Initiator001

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Epoxy is not needed for AeroTech kits.

Just use Medium CA as noted in the instructions.
 

loopy

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No special tools for building it, just be patient. And make sure the fins really lock into the rings. They are SUPER tight.

A must have for the mid power flyer is the 29/40-120 RMS case. I love flying mid power, and this casing is a gift from the heavens...
 

TALON

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Welcome to the madness Chris! Thank you for your service & prayers for a complete recovery & remission for your wife. And thank your wife for being a service member wife. They do NOT get enough recognition!

I am a BAR (2012) & got into MPR 3 1/2 years ago. Great advice from every one, however let me add my 2 cents.

1: If the kit comes with a screw in retainer, I would use JBL Weld epoxy to glue the retainer to the Motor Mount. This
area will be exposed to extreme heat, & JB Weld can handle the heat.

2: Look into getting the Jolly Logic Chute Release. It is an inexpensive dual deploy device. My 1st launch of my Estes
Ventris on a G64 resulted in a 1/3 mile hike. 3 launches with the JLCR & the average recovery walk is 125 yards.

3: Except for the JB Weld for the Retainer/Motor Mount, you do not need anything stronger than CA glue & Wood Glue.
I would recommend Tite Bond II for wood glue.

Have fun, enjoy & post pictures and launch reports.

PS: I also recommend getting a Dreamel Tool, or similar.
 

ChrisRoss84

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Hello everyone. I know its been a minute, but I have been traveling going TDY with my job. I have finally had the chance to relax and put my Initiator together. Here is the first pic of it painted Pearl Magenta, I just got my decals from stickershock23 and will be applying them soon.

IMG_0014.jpg


Sent from my iPad using Rocketry Forum
 

Zeus-cat

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I suggest you look for a local club. Visit the NAR.org website and look for clubs by state. It appears there are 3 clubs in south Florida. I don't know if Tripoli has any clubs in Florida, but you could try them too. Joining a club was/is the best rocketry decision I ever made.

I love the idea of a pink rocket with ribbons. A cool idea to support your wife.
 

qquake2k

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I suggest you look for a local club. Visit the NAR.org website and look for clubs by state. It appears there are 3 clubs in south Florida. I don't know if Tripoli has any clubs in Florida, but you could try them too. Joining a club was/is the best rocketry decision I ever made.

I love the idea of a pink rocket with ribbons. A cool idea to support your wife.
I totally agree about joining a club!
 

qquake2k

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One of the girls at work is a breast cancer survivor. I built this in her honor a few years ago. I sewed two parachutes together hoping they would look like a bra.

IMGP5653.JPG


IMGP5666.JPG


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