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Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2003
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Over the past 5 months or so, I had built some rockets that I forgot to post on TRF, so I guess I will do that now. When I first joined NAR, I got the Guidebook of Rocketry magazine (or something like that) from them. On the cover was a picture of an upscale Maxi Citation Patriot. I didn’t know it was that rocket at the time. I loved the rocket on the cover, so I set out to make my own that looked similar. I ordered the parts from PML. It is 3” in diameter and about 49” long. I made my own version of the fins and cut them out of 1/8” craft plywood. The rocket has a 29mm MMT and uses a baffle system to eliminate wadding. It uses ½” rods. I primed and sanded the rocket many times until it was very smooth. I used Plastikote paint for the rocket. This is very high quality paint, but I wish I knew that it took longer than overnight to dry. I finished painting it the day before the launch and it turned out that the paint wasn’t dry and the white on the rocket has dirt in it from hands and the nosecone had little imprints on it from where I wrapped a towel around it. I bought some gold tape stuff for the stripe, but I wasn’t able to put it on straight without wrinkles, so I took it off along with some paint. Oops! Oh well, I was able to fix a lot of the mistakes and it doesn’t look as bad as it sounds. It weighs about 2½ lbs. ready to fly. I put a G38-7 in it for its first flight and a PML 48inch chute. Deployment was soon after apogee and the parachute didn’t come out. The rocket came to the ground in a flat spin. No damage though. The cause of the chute not deploying was because where I attached the chute to the shock cord, when the shock cord was fully extended with the shroud lines extended, the parachute was still in the rocket. I moved the parachute down a few inches, loaded the rocket with a G64-7 (my first reload flight) and gave it another try. Picture perfect flight with apogee around 1300’ and came down fairly slow. Unfortunately, the rocket landed on a barbed wire fence and it put a couple of scrapes on the rocket. I now have attached a mirror clip for motor retention instead of using bolts and washers.
My next rocket, is another scratch build, that is 2” in diameter, and is a little over 3’ tall. It uses the Quantum tubing and fiberglass fins. It weighs about 1 1/2lbs. ready to fly. It has a 29mm MMT and uses a baffle system to eliminate need for wadding. When I built the rocket, I cut 6” off the 36” tube to make the rocket a little shorter. I will now use that extra 6” for an altimeter bay and or a camera bay for my pencam. For this rocket’s first flight, I loaded it with a G38-7 and an Aerotech 30” chute attached to the shock cord and a Top Flight Recovery 15” chute attached to the booster incase of separation. You can never be too careful. Flight was picture perfect with a very long descent. The rocket drifted about 1000’ away in ~5MPH winds. The 30” chute with the 15” chute was a little too much. I will now use and Aerotech 22” chute instead of the 30” chute.
The next rocket is the LOC Precision 4inch V-2 prototype. This kit was given to me by Chuck Andrus, along with a bunch of other rocket stuff. I made a few modifications to the rocket. First, I filled the tail cone with expandable foam (which added an extra pound to the rear of the rocket, and I wish I didn’t do that now, but it now is REALLY strong!) I put an eyebolt in the forward CR to attach the shock cord to instead of what was supplied (a little piece of thread that was suppose to be glued somehow to the CR, but it didn’t look like it would hold anything). I replaced the shock cord with ½” tubular nylon. I replaced the chute with a PML 48” chute. I used snap links to attach the shock cord to the rocket. And I added about a ½ lb. of lead shot to the nosecone to try to keep the rocket stable. I may need to add another ½ lb. later on. The rocket weighs about 3 ½ lbs. without motor and paint. If I have to add another ½ lb. to keep the rocket stable, its final weight will be about 4 ½ lbs RTF. This rocket has a 29mm MMT (which now I wish I put in a 38mm) that can use baby H motors. I will probably fly it on a H128W or a H165R for its first flight. This rocket is expected to have low altitude flights (~800’ to ~1000’).
One of the rockets I got for Christmas was the Missile Works Black Brant III. It uses PML parts, but is made by Missile Works. The rocket has a 1.5” diameter airframe with a 29mm MMT. It uses piston ejection and Kevlar shock cord. It will use a PML 24” chute. This rocket also had fiberglass fins and a solid urethane conical nosecone. I will fly this rocket on an F motor for it’s first flight.
nice work man, for the V2, fill the nose with expanding foam as well, this will compensate for what you put in the tail and it will hold the noseweight in