Nike Smoke---The (Soggy) Saga Continues

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tfrielin

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Well, my Nike Smoke saga continues.

As I related earlier, my second Nike Smoke went into the trees and was lost. Or so I thought (again).

It was intact, descending on parachute with nose cone all attached when it went into the trees after its second flight. I gave it up for lost (as I did for the first one) especially as that night it rained a hurricane and it got a drenching in whatever tree it was in.

Well, again to my surprise, my brother-in-law found it on the ground a couple of days later, sans nose cone and shock cord. How it got down and how the shock cord came away I can't even guess. But there it was.

Upon examination, the body looked pretty good, despite the really serious Florida thunderstorm drenching it endured. The back end---the engine mount--feels really heavy as it obviously has absorbed a lot of water and when I stand it on end, water still pours out of it.

Yet, overall, it looks structurally solid.

So, my plan is to heat dry it out in my garage--it gets Florida hot out there--for a few days to see if that will bake the moisture out of the engine mount area. Also the engine is welded in there at the moment, so once it dries out, I hope to be able to remove it without destroying the body tube.

So, I want to ask---does anyone have experience re-launching a rain-drenched rocket like this? I'm a little concerned that the rear body tube will be weakened by the rain soaking and it will collapse on liftoff.

Should I just scrap it? Or maybe try adding balsa struts to the rear to increase its structural integrity?

Thanks for any advice.

P.S. As for Nike Smoke number one, I did order a nose cone from Apogee and it fits fine. Also got a couple of F-42--- engines and hope to launch it on those--halfway between those F-26s and the F-50 that made it really take off.
 

Wallace

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I not so fortunately have experience with "unintentional water landings",3 total to date. The best scenario would allow pulling the motor casing immediately. Usually that is not realistic, as in your case. Once they take water they pretty much weld themselves in. Cut/peel/pry/pull everything apart, let it dry and hope for the best. In my experience sometimes they come back, sometimes no...Makes fiberglass look like a less expensive alternative all things considered.
 

tfrielin

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I not so fortunately have experience with "unintentional water landings",3 total to date. The best scenario would allow pulling the motor casing immediately. Usually that is not realistic, as in your case. Once they take water they pretty much weld themselves in. Cut/peel/pry/pull everything apart, let it dry and hope for the best. In my experience sometimes they come back, sometimes no...Makes fiberglass look like a less expensive alternative all things considered.
Yeah, over a week had passed before I got to the rocket again after its tree top soaking the night it landed there. So, the engine is stuck in there and I'm going to let it bake dry in the garage for a few more days before I try to pull it out.

Normally, here in Florida, I'd get nice 100 F temperatures in the garage, but we've got nothing but cloudy weather here now, so it's not getting as hot as I'd like for this bake.


At any rate, if I can remove it without destroying the body tube in the process, I'll see if the structure looks strong enough to risk a re-flight. At this point, it looks doubtful.
 

Wallace

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I have one that has been wet for weeks. It simply refuses to dry out.
 

tfrielin

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I have one that has been wet for weeks. It simply refuses to dry out.
From the looks (and feel--mushy) of mine, I suspect reusing it will become moot when I try to extract the engine---my guess is it will shred the rear body tube as it's pretty well welded in there.
 
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