Rest in Pieces - post the rockets you once loved that died tragically

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Did you build another one?


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alexzogh

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Thought it would be good to start a thread dedicated to those rockets that had an untimely death. I've been going through my garage preparing for Midwest Power and keep finding remnants of old builds and long-forgotten projects.

for example, my most recent death in the family... my beloved 1/38th scale Saturn V

4F90CA28-7B61-496D-A5A9-0B9EB5B89B5E-1783-000002DC648CA40A.jpeg


Launched on the 50th anniversary - beautiful launch.

saturn 6 (1).jpg


Unfortunately, I packed my beautiful rocketman flag parachute too tight, and it never caught wind.
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saturn 9 (1).jpg


That little drogue streamer was no match for the Saturn V's weight.
ground2.jpg


After removing the electronics and motor casing, it went straight to the dump.

RIP Polecat Saturn V....
 

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mpitfield

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You should change the title of the thread to "rest in pieces"
 

mbeels

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So are you going to build another one?
 

alexzogh

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So are you going to build another one?
Well, can't build another Polecat, as they are RIP too :> I've been slowly collecting cad drawings to possibly build another one with 3d printed parts. If I do, it will be 11.5" diameter instead of 10.
 

prfesser

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I ended my first rocket life at 17, when the Vega I had so lovingly constructed and even painted (back then most of my rockets flew naked) went up on a new B motor, the kind that had clay instead of a paper ejection charge retainer. Either someone left out the charge, or a bit too much clay was used. She lawn darted, tearing the tube much of the way back. I screamed.

I won't tell you about the accelerometer I trashed ($200 in 1997 dollars), then bought another and trashed it on its first flight.
 

dhbarr

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You know how they say not to overdrill your delay? RIP Mustang, my first BAR midpower kit.
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mccordmw

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I've never had any die in front of me. I've had a few that ran away, never to be found again. I need closure!
 

mpitfield

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My L1 bird, 3" PML Bull Pupp.

CroppedBullPuppy.jpg
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I flew it often on an I600 with electronic apogee and motor eject backup. The medium delay on this load is 10 seconds, but the flight is just under 13. I am not sure what happened, but I always seemed to fly it with the long delay, but on the last launch @ somewhere around 150ish feet persecond (can't recall the exact velocity), the motor ejected, and I ended up zippering the frame down to the aft CR.

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The nosecone, with main, cable cutter, altimeter and tracker came down and was recovered half a mile away, the zippered body was recovered about four days later, as shown above, with the undamaged motor hardware. The rocket was repaired; I just need to strip off the 4lbs of paint on the fincan, do some bodywork and re-paint.
 

Funkworks

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I lost a Rocketarium Little John in the woods last year so wherever it is, it soaked up a inches of rain.
Oh, that D motor was legal in that park, and that D motor was one of the rocket's recommended ones.
BUT putting THAT D motor in THAT small rocket in THAT small park, all together?
Too much.
MIA so the only pic I got is:

RK-LJOHN-L.jpg
 

neil_w

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My Odd'l Cyclone completely shredded on its first flight, a victim of too-soft balsa:


Chris graciously sent me a replacement, and it was just as much fun to build the second time. Cyclone 2 has had many successful flights, always fun.
 

John Taylor

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I launched a 28 year old Estes Maxi Force on three F44's.
Only one lit and with the 8 second delay it was coming in hot. The nosecone and laundry ejected about 100 feet above ground zippering the tube and breaking off a fin. It will be repaired.
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Arsenal78

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Lost my Public Enemy Honest John a few weeks ago on an L2 attempt. Flew on a J435 and the motor failed to ignite the ejection. It was scary coming down because we didn’t know where it was coming down. All we heard was the sound of a bomb being dropped. Pulled the motor out at home and the DMS casing had a large rip in the side. Trying to find the parts to rebuild it. Sent Aerotech an email bout it but they didn’t have any interest.
 

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rharshberger

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So we are posting "All Dead...or MOSTLY Dead"....
The Rabid Weasel (Blue Tube 2.0 Weasel MD clone) Before...
Rabid Weasel1.jpg

After....
I59WN Cato 7.jpg I59WN Cato 8.jpg I59WN Cato 12.jpg I59WN Cato 25.jpg I59WN Cato 26.jpg I59WN Cato 27.jpg I59WN Cato 28.jpg I59WN Cato 29.jpg

Eventually the fincan will be rebuilt, I59WN Cato at 30' altitude.
 
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Initiator001

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My late 1990s vintage North Coast Rocketry By Estes (NCRBE) Big Brute kit had seen many flights on NCRBE F62-4 Dark Star motors. Every flight had been darn near perfect.
I had some AeroTech G75 Metalstorm motors and thought this model would make an ideal rocket for the G75.

The motor didn't fit. The aft molded thrust ring on the motor would not fit in the kit's bayonet mount motor retainer.
Of course, I discovered this while on the field prepping the model for flight.

A year later I was attending NSL 2017 in New Mexico.
The Big Brute was with me and I had 'the motor' to fly it with.

An AeroTech G142-6.
Oh, yeah.

Now, Gary Rosenfield did caution me that the G142 was more like a super 'F' motor as the impulse barely put it into the 'G' motor category.
Plus, the -6 delay was a little long for a 'F' motor.

I decided to fly the motor/kit combo anyway.

The boost off the pad was unreal. The F62 motors would get the model going confidently but the G142 was something else.
It boosted like lightning off the pad.
The flight up was straight and true.
The delay time WAS a little long for the model.
Too long.
The model was heading down when the ejection charge should have fired.
The model continued to plummet towards the ground, picking up speed.

SMACK!

The destruction of the model was pretty complete. Even the case on my Jolly Logic Chute Release had popped apart.
Upon examination the ejection charge had fired.
I could only surmise that the aerodynamic forces on the nose cone were greater than the ejection charge could overcome.
I recovered the few remaining useful pieces and tossed the rest in the trash.

I vowed to have a new Big Brute for NARAM-60 the next year.
Out of my collection came another Big Brute kit to build.
This time I replaced the kit bayonet motor retainer with one of the new Estes threaded motor retainers.
At NARAM-60 the model had a successful flight on another D62-4 Dark Star motor.

Live and learn (And listen to that Gary guy next time ;)).

NSL BB 004 Wreckage.jpg
 

georgegassaway

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Have had a lot of crashes thru the years. Fortunately not many that were devastating.

As Ben Roberto said years ago:

"If you're gonna fly, you're gonna crash."

But that's why we fly models, instead of building display models.

Here's some pics of a 5 foot wingspan R/C Rocket Glider I built to use F10 and G12 motors in 1993 or so. The fiberglass tailboom turned out to be too weak. Parts laid out after the crash.



Photo right after the crash, before pulling the nose section out of the dirt.

At liftoff, the model began to pitch down, so I gave some up elevator. But I kept pitching down. I gave more up elevator. No good. It did a half-loop (pitch down) into the ground. The boom had been so flexible that even full up elevator was not enough the boom flexed "down" that much. IIRC all the radio gear was destroyed, the only thing salvageable was the 32mm reload casing (well, maybe the stabilizer and rudder, I forgot if I reused those when I built a second model with a graphite boom). The wing was built up out of balsa, with 1/16" sheeting. The crash smashed the leading edge area of a lot of the wing, so it was useless for anything.

This crash did prove valuable in realizing that in going for a lightweight tailboom, fiberglass was too flimsy, so I went to graphite tailbooms after that, for just about all of my future models using tailbooms. And even then, to be sure they were stiff enough. There were a couple of models where even the graphite boom was a bit "bendy", so I glued some graphite strips on top and bottom.
 
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jadebox

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I wrapped the parachute and shock cord around the motor tube instead of following the instructions when prepping my NCR X-Wing for flight. The result is graphically illustrated above. The photo was taken after I recovered the parts from the hole the rocket had left in the ground.

Later, I built another of the NCR X-Wings that I successfully (more or less) flew about a dozen times.
 

jadebox

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Somebody" :oops: cut the top snap-ring groove a little too deep....forward closure failure on a "P".
I can't put the blame on anyone else, but I had the nozzle's snap-ring fail which resulted in ....


Skip to about the three-minute mark (3:00) or when you start to see flames.

As shown in the video, we did rebuild ... stronger, bigger, (probably not) faster .....
 

NAR29996

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My L1 bird, 3" PML Bull Pupp.

View attachment 397238 View attachment 397237

View attachment 397239View attachment 397240

I flew it often on an I600 with electronic apogee and motor eject backup. The medium delay on this load is 10 seconds, but the flight is just under 13. I am not sure what happened, but I always seemed to fly it with the long delay, but on the last launch @ somewhere around 150ish feet persecond (can't recall the exact velocity), the motor ejected, and I ended up zippering the frame down to the aft CR.

View attachment 397241

View attachment 397242

The nosecone, with main, cable cutter, altimeter and tracker came down and was recovered half a mile away, the zippered body was recovered about four days later, as shown above, with the undamaged motor hardware. The rocket was repaired; I just need to strip off the 4lbs of paint on the fincan, do some bodywork and re-paint.
Did you repair or replace the damaged tube? I presume that it's Quantum tube. If you repaired it, how did you do it? PML told me not to repair QT.

Sorry for the hijack. Now back to mourning.
 

75Grandville

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Trey, my LOC Precision TriStar Before and after shots. Never did figure out the root cause, but the parachute never deployed, and it came in ballistic. The only things that survived were the fins. It's almost rebuilt...

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mikeyd

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I Have had to rebuild my Kloudbuster a number of Times, Still original fins, and motor mount though, and still flying. You can see it on the cover of the 2020 Nadine Calendar, showing the Kloudbuster drag race. http://photosbynadine.com/calendar.htm
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AHansom

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My Night flyer lawn darted after I taped a battery pack and extra lights to the rocket and bound up the coupler. The red booster is still inside the payload section. The NightBow kept working for two days until I got home and cut the rocket open.
 

jd2cylman

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Since Eric Cayemberg is calling me the Goblin killer, here's some pics of said dead Goblin. A cold day, and a grumpy chute release...

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Griffin had the swell idea to turn the fin unit into a Wocket wanna be... Anyone wanna help me make the cover?
 

skydog

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My first L1 cert attempt using a LOC 5.5" V-2... No ejection. It hit so hard on Arizona hard soil that the (borrowed!) Aerotech casing was found about 30 feet away - fortunately undamaged.
Post mortem inducted delay charge never burned, possibly from grease on the surface. Lesson learned: Never touch delay grain with oily hands!
Yes, I rebuilt the exact same kit, and it's still flying.
My V2 NSL 2010 (Medium).jpg
 

Buddy Michaelson

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Thought it would be good to start a thread dedicated to those rockets that had an untimely death. I've been going through my garage preparing for Midwest Power and keep finding remnants of old builds and long-forgotten projects.

for example, my most recent death in the family... my beloved 1/38th scale Saturn V

View attachment 397208

Launched on the 50th anniversary - beautiful launch.

View attachment 397212

Unfortunately, I packed my beautiful rocketman flag parachute too tight, and it never caught wind.
View attachment 397209

View attachment 397211

That little drogue streamer was no match for the Saturn V's weight.
View attachment 397213

After removing the electronics and motor casing, it went straight to the dump.

RIP Polecat Saturn V....
Sorry to hear about your loss, what size parachute was that? Beautiful rocket and parachute though!
 

alexzogh

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This one was a classic.

Large V2 on a Loki M3000. I had a lot of new, untested electronics in the rocket, including a hand-built altimeter. Spent so much time messing with the electronics, I don't think I prepped the rocket properly. Either I didn't put the snap ring in properly, or I didn't notice it was fatigued. Either way, it failed and I should have caught it. The rocket crapped it's grains out all over the field and started a fire. For the record, I've started a LOT of fires.... maybe I'll post a few more :)

IMAG0619.jpg


Sorry for the shaky video - handheld with a very long lens.

 

alexzogh

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Another rocket launch, another fire.....

This one was a classic. I was working on a long-burn formula I could scale up, and this one showed a lot of promise. I did two static tests, and the propellant characterization was exactly what I was looking for. After static testing, I then test the motors for the first time usually in saucers so I don't have to walk very far, and don't have to worry about losing electronics, shock chords, or parachutes if something goes wrong. Well... this one went terribly wrong ;)

74918_3_DSC00342.jpg


For the record, I think the propellant was fine, but the ignitor fell down the motor after I set it up. That's the story I'm sticking to at least..... Anyway, the saucer never made it off the pad. Caught the rocket on fire, caught the pad on fire, burned down the pad and caught the field on fire...

Another shaky video for your viewing pleasure....

 

alexzogh

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Ok, the final fire of the evening....

This was a year later. A version of the same propellant that caused the previous fire, but I had successfully scaled it up to 75mm and it was working great on the test stand. I built a new saucer with a parachute over the summer and was ready for a real test.

The good news is it lit properly and looked great going up.



The bad news is either my altimeter failed, or (more likely) the motor caught the bottom of the saucer on fire and it never had an event.... came down burning
DSC_0514.jpg


and, of course.... started a field fire....

DSC_0519.jpg


There was nothing recoverable. Motor case burned through and the entire saucer was brunt to a crisp.

DSC_0529.jpg



Needless to say, this isn't a formula I use anymore and I've never flown a saucer since. :)
 

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rocketpunch

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My 4” loc goblin came in ballistic on its maiden flight. Ejection charge failed. [emoji22]
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