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Rockets made only from flat materials

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FROB

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Hi folks,
I was thinking about this yesterday,
I remembered a rocket i saw once made from a triangular FedEX mailing tube with a 3-sided nose 'pyramid'.
I was daydreaming about what other interesting rocket designs i could dream up with the restriction that the only tube or non-flat component allowed be the motor mount.
Such a rocket could be very simple and inexpensive to make, as you could just print or laminate the plan onto some card stock, balsa, thin plywood, etc, (depending on scale and personal preference), cut along the outlines, glue and you're essentially done.

Besides the "FedEX rocket" is anyone aware of any others that fit the description? I'm very curious to see how much this idea has already been explored by others already.

I have in mind a couple of cool rocket concepts i might try to create at some point, they're definitely going on (my already too long) to-do list.

I think it might make a great theme for a contest, and some very interesting creations would certainly result. Wat do you think?
 

RoyAtl

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there was a commercial line of model rockets made of laser-cut and laser-etched basswood a few years ago. Stellar Dimensions was their name. I think it was four rockets, a couple of 18mm and a couple of 13mm rockets.

I have one of them. never flown. They weren't very popular, but I did see them in Hobby Lobby many years ago when that chain sold all the major rocket lines.

The biggest problem I had with them was the neoprene rubber shock cord. It was way too short (something like 8-10"). I should've immediately replaced it. If I ever decide to fly it, I'll probably cut it and add a length of elastic or something in between, but there's not that much room to stow a parachute anyway.

The fins had to be canted about 8 degrees or so to make it spin, as the flat surfaces tended to cause the rocket to have a non-neutral angle of attack.
 

troj

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I've seen the FedEx rockets fly on up to a J or K motor, with no problem.

Now, it's not quite the same as leaving it flat, but I have photos of an M-powered rocket that is built from nothing but corrugated cardboard. He cut large rings and supports, then wrapped corrugated coardboard around it, to get the tube shape.

It's an amazing thing to see, and it was this guy's L3 project.

-Kevin
 

CharlaineC

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i'll post some photos of my caution upscale. she is d powered and is all balsa with a paper skin. and i'm thinking about a foamcore up scale as well for another style.
 

gpoehlein

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Don't forget Art Applewhite's Six - a hexagon cross-sectioned mmx rocket.
 

FROB

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Thanks all!
Charlaine, i look forward to seeing those pics- thanks!

The idea i have in my head is to try something in a shape reminiscent of the Vatsaas brother's beautiful "Commander Kip Quasar's Galactic Zephyr"
seen here: http://www.vatsaas.org/rtv/arsenal/bradrocs/zephyr/zephyr.aspx

My interpretation of the fuselage might use 3, 5 or 6 sides cut in 1/16 birch ply to make "gores" that are curved in (2-d curve) at the tip and tail to give a bi-ogive-like shape, if you can picture it. i see fins mounted in the more traditional "thu the wall" way & glued to the MMT, at the corners of the fuselage.
i'm thinking 'J' power capable, probably 38mm MMT, but made light enough to fly on a higher-thrust H. maybe 4-6' long and 6-10" at the widest.
An interesting 'twist' could be just that - if i had access to a decent CAD package, i might like to draw the 'gores' such that when assembled the fuselage would have a spiral twist to it, kinda like DNA. I thin the "twisty" version might be more practical to execute in foam core though, using some kind of jig to coordinate advancing a hot-wire cutter with the rotation of the foam blank.
Thoughts?

I think maybe i'll try some small scale experiments in the evening with some card stock jut to see how this might work...:)
 

Mark Wise

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If you're looking to start with flat surfaces, a sheet of paper is a good start!

At last Saturday's (24 January) NARHAMS sport launch, my son Michael launched a MicroMaxx rocket with an origami airframe. John McCoy, the Micromeister, had seen some of his origami work at a previous launch, and he suggested that Michael try to build an origami-roc.

He got the design (similar to an origami water bomb, he tells me) from a library book, and we used a 6mm stuffer tube as an engine mount.

It flew pretty well, actually. There was some burning at ejection (we'll make a plug for the forward end of the stuffer tube next time), but it boosted nicely. There were no curved surfaces.

It's entirely his project, with Dad along only for the occasional sanity check on what's practical. He's thinking about the next step now.

Mark
 

MarkII

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Also, check out the Nebula. :D

Art Applewhite Rockets has a number of kits in its catalog that are constructed from flat materials such as cardstock or foamcore; see his kits here. He also has plans for a six-sided 3FNC-style rocket (with a six-sided nose cone!) called, of all things, the Six, in the FREE STUFF! section of his website.

Also, many boost glider designs over the years have been built either mostly or entirely out of flat stock.

Mark \\.
 

Adrian A

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Because of the peculiar prototyping policy at the place where I get my PCBs, I wind up with a lot of junk circuit boards. I've been tempted to make a rectangular prismatic rocket out of them. It would have 4 L-shaped sides, with the bottom of each L forming the fin. Maybe a pyramidal nosecone. Or maybe a flat rectangular one.

Oh, and if you make it minimum "diameter" you don't even need a centering ring!
 

KDRaven

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I made a 1" square by 18" long rocket once out of cardstock and it flew great. called it squair pants sponge rocket.
I also made a 4" by 36" rocket with a 29mm motor tube out of the crafters foamboard (the type that has paper on both sides) and it did ok but I always seamed to have problems of one sort or another with it. one flight I flew it on a G55 with a parisite glider on it and the wing of the glider came off and then it a fin which made it fly bad and crash and the last flight was with a A-T relaod G71-4R and the 4 sec delay turned out to be a 1 sec and well now I have to rebuild it agin. I think I'll just star over.
 

MarkII

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I'm not trying to be a smart-alec, FROB, but here is a rocket that meets the requirements you outlined just about perfectly.

Mark \\.

 

Gillard

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i am being a smart alec ....... isn't that a tube at the front of the hawk.
 

adrian

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The motor mount, you mean? ;)

The only non-tubular part is really the nose cone. You could replace that with a home-made cone rolled from paper, which is what I did for Thunderbunny.

The other obvious candidate is pyramids. My Pyramid of Dimensional Uncertainty was not only made mostly from flat balsa; it won't pack into a reasonable bag looking like that, so it has model aircraft hinges inside and folds almost flat for transport. The motor mount section, which is small enough to fit into a reasonable bag, clips into place and holds the Pyramid rigid for flight.
 

marcs

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How about a foamboard octagon :

http://www.rocketrytoday.com/octagon.html

This one does have a plywood centering ring, but you can leave that out. I've build a number of these and a hexagon, using the same construction method.

Nothing but flat parts, other than the motor mount tube.

Marc
 

Bazookadale

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Many, many years ago at a Pittcon a guy had a flying scale model of the Washington Monument. Don't recall what he used for fins, probably clear plastic. Now that you've jogged my memory I have a new winter project.:)
 

MarkII

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i am being a smart alec ....... isn't that a tube at the front of the hawk.
Well, FROB's rules did provide an exception for the motor tube. My point was that rocket-boosted gliders have always been constructed either mostly or entirely out of flat stock (the overwhelming majority of them, anyway), and they have been around for how long now? ;)

In nearly all of Art Applewhite's 13mm versions of his designs, not even the motor tube is round, either, nor is it in his 18mm Turbo Delta Saucer or in his plans for the 29mm Priority Stealth! :cool:

Mark \\.
 
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MarkII

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I have built this one a couple of times, so I know that it consists of all flat surfaces. :D

Mark \\.

 

FROB

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Also, would this rocket meet the criteria?
Mark \\.
Not quite, since the airframe sections didn't start off as flat material-
But its extremely cool nonetheless,
and looks like it could be made from flat stock pretty easily without changing the look by much.
Too bad its OOP, i wouldn't mind getting one.
Thanks for sharing!
 

burkefj

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flat foam:), you can even steer it where you want to:)(rc)

interceptorparts.jpg
 

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FROB

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flat foam:), you can even steer it where you want to:)(rc)
Very cool!
I'll bet that has pretty low drag too, being all "2D" with not much frontal area.
Whats the highest its been and /or biggest motor ever attempted?
 

burkefj

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Yes, it's pretty fast, and slow:) I just did the maiden with the pusher to confirm the CG so I haven't flown this one on a rocket motor yet, but normally for these I use the E-6RC reload from aerotech, keep in mind this is 44" long, but only weighs 9 ounces ready to fly with motor.

My X-15 and bomarc are a little heavier at 11 and 12 ounces, but fly great on that motor, they will get pretty small if you just point it straight up, so I normally do some split-esses during the 8 second burn. I'll attach a couple of others, a Jayhawk, bomarc, and on the building board an A4B, all flat cruciform construction...

If you want to see a video of the bomarc, there is some intro from a military documentary, and then the rocket flight, then some flying on electric.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epsCz1gt4Gs


Frank



Very cool!
I'll bet that has pretty low drag too, being all "2D" with not much frontal area.
Whats the highest its been and /or biggest motor ever attempted?
jayhawksmall.jpg


a4bsmall.jpg


bomarcsmall.jpg


bomarcplansmall.jpg
 

CharlaineC

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hear is my caution upscale. all balsa. the two centering rings for the moter tube are made of foam core and the motor tube is a bt55 i salvaged. she flies on d/e motors.

caution sice comp.jpg
 
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