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Single Use Aerotech Motors Question

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Wm Reid

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Hi, I am starting to explore mid-power rockets with the hope of moving on to get my level 1 certification. I have a newbie question...

As I’m building my kit from North Coast Rocketry, there is no engine block or retaining hook...does one just friction fit the SU in place or does one apply epoxy to the little cardboard ring that comes with the motor and use that with the retaining ring?

A silly question, I know but, still learning.

Thanks!
 

rcktnut

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The Aerotech motors have thrust rings, no engine block needed, and you can fly on larger motors without the engine block. I did this for retaining on my NC Big Brute. The red retaining ring does not work with some of the motors.

Don't know which NC model you have or what year check MMT make sure it is a 29mm tube. You might have to replace the included MMT tube with a different one that is 29mm., the included one is less than that on some/{ all.??} No problem with the reloadable cases, but for single use ones they are Tight with a capital T.

big Brute MMT.JPG
 
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Wm Reid

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The Aerotech motors have thrust rings, no engine block needed, and you can fly on larger motors without the engine block. I did this for retaining on my NC Big Brute. The red retaining ring does not work with some of the motors.

Don't know which NC model you have or what year check MMT make sure it is a 29mm tube. You might have to replace the included MMT tube with a different one that is 29mm., the included one is less than that on some/{ all.??} No problem with the reloadable cases, but for single use ones they are Tight with a capital T.

View attachment 446209
Thanks, I see where the reloadable ones have the thrust ring...but on the single use, the econojet motors, there is no physical thrust ring built onto the unit...but it does come with a little cardboard ring that could act as such if you epoxied it on.

I know on my low powered stuff I have friction fit smaller motors before but I’m not sure how that works with the mid-powered stuff. Last night I did a test fit of a 29mm single use and it just slid through the motor mount tube...I’m just curious about the details of using single use aerotechs without an engine block.
Thanks,
Reid

(I can post a photo tonight when I get home from work)
 

neil_w

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Thanks, I see where the reloadable ones have the thrust ring...but on the single use, the econojet motors, there is no physical thrust ring built onto the unit...but it does come with a little cardboard ring that could act as such if you epoxied it on.
The single use Aerotechs I’ve flown (24 mm Es and if I recall correctly 39mm Fs) certainly have integrated thrust rings.
 

rcktnut

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Thanks, I see where the reloadable ones have the thrust ring...but on the single use, the econojet motors, there is no physical thrust ring built onto the unit...but it does come with a little cardboard ring that could act as such if you epoxied it on.

I know on my low powered stuff I have friction fit smaller motors before but I’m not sure how that works with the mid-powered stuff. Last night I did a test fit of a 29mm single use and it just slid through the motor mount tube...I’m just curious about the details of using single use aerotechs without an engine block.
Thanks,
Reid

(I can post a photo tonight when I get home from work)
Understood with the motors you are talking about. They are the older Econojets, and do not have a thrust ring. You could epoxy the ring on or just use masking tape for a thrust ring.
 

hball55

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Understood with the motors you are talking about. They are the older Econojets, and do not have a thrust ring. You could epoxy the ring on or just use masking tape for a thrust ring.
That cardboard ring that is supplied with the motor is for use with rockets that HAVE an engine block. The econojets are shorter and that ring goes in the motor mount before you insert the econojet motor. That way, you don’t need a thrust ring, IF THE ROCKET HAS A MOTOR BLOCK INSTALLED. I do not recommend glueing the ring to the motor. What I have done, is wrap some tape around the aft/nozzle end of the motor, enough so that the motor doesn’t go all the way in the rocket. Be sure not to obstruct the nozzle.
 

Arsenal78

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Is it a newer North Coast kit? The original kits (pre-2000) had a few things that wouldn't work with today's standards. On the new era kits, leave 1/4" of the motor tube sticking out from the aft centering ring so you can glue on an Aeropack retainer, you need Aeropack 29L. I know friction fit is ancient technology and a lot of old rocketeers trust it but I don't unless it's low power. All Aerotech motors these days should have a thrust ring built into them so you don't need a motor block. If the rocket is for Level 1, you cannot use a motor block because the motors are a lot longer in high power. If the rocket will fly on F and G motors as well, invest in an Aerotech 29/40-120 casing.
 

Wm Reid

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input!
 

David Schwantz

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I just went and checked, all of mine have thrust rings. Post a pic of yours.
 

rcktnut

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That cardboard ring that is supplied with the motor is for use with rockets that HAVE an engine block. The econojets are shorter and that ring goes in the motor mount before you insert the econojet motor. That way, you don’t need a thrust ring, IF THE ROCKET HAS A MOTOR BLOCK INSTALLED. I do not recommend glueing the ring to the motor. What I have done, is wrap some tape around the aft/nozzle end of the motor, enough so that the motor doesn’t go all the way in the rocket. Be sure not to obstruct the nozzle.

You are correct I call them spacers. When OP said that he had a little cardboard ring that came with the motors, thought maybe Aerotech was supplying thrust rings with them in between transition. I still have a bunch of the spacers here, some are around an inch long some around 1/2 in. long. They are/were exclusively made to fit Aerotech kits built stock for use when they manufactured the motors without the thrust rings.
 

Rocketjunkie

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The ring that comes with the Econojet motors should fit over the motor, not inside the motor mount tube. Epoxy it on the nozzle end of the motor for a thrust ring. Back in the day, we used masking tape thrust rings even on L motors. Build your rocket with the motor tube sticking out 1/2" past the rear centering ring. Slide motor in then tape around the joint between the motor thrust ring and motor tube.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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If you have Econojet motors with cardboard rings, those are old motors. Econojet motors have had molded thrust rings for at least 6 or 7 years, probably more. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with them, but sometimes (not always) older motors can be harder to light or have other issues. If I were just starting out with midpower and flying my very first composite motors, I’d buy some fresh ones and save the older ones for when I had more experience troubleshooting. Make your first flight a little easier and straightforward.

Do you actually have the motors already, or are you going by pictures and descriptions on a vendor site? Because some vendors just never bothered to update their pictures when the molded thrust rings came out. If you buy from an active vendor, it’s very unlikely they have the old ones with the cardboard rings still in stock.
 

CoachSteve

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Friction fit (tape wrapped around the motor case until a tight fit in the motor tube) - has beed used since the beginning of rocketry and is regularly used well above D power motors.
 

Antares JS

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Friction fit (tape wrapped around the motor case until a tight fit in the motor tube) - has beed used since the beginning of rocketry and is regularly used well above D power motors.
I've seen too many expensive motor cases (not mine) get spit out in the air and lost to seriously consider friction fit a good idea. Even if it's a single use motor, littering your landowner's field with those plastic single-use cases composite motors use is not a great idea. At least an Estes motor case is biodegradable.
 

prfesser

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Friction fit (tape wrapped around the motor case until a tight fit in the motor tube) - has beed used since the beginning of rocketry and is regularly used well above D power motors.
And people like me, who don't take enough care when friction fitting an I motor, end up losing a motor case and destroying a rocket. :(

My own fault. But it taught me a lesson. I just avoid taking even the slightest chance of having a prang and a lost motor. Positive retention is essentially foolproof. I shouldn't say that; fools (like me) can be ingenious...:rolleyes::D

Best -- Terry
 

Walter Longburn

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I mostly save friction fit for minimum diameter rockets. It's a lot easier to get the motor in and back out with positive retention. So if you can easily do positive retention then I would say do positive retention.
 

hball55

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The ring that comes with the Econojet motors should fit over the motor, not inside the motor mount tube. Epoxy it on the nozzle end of the motor for a thrust ring. Back in the day, we used masking tape thrust rings even on L motors. Build your rocket with the motor tube sticking out 1/2" past the rear centering ring. Slide motor in then tape around the joint between the motor thrust ring and motor tube.
WRONG! I have many old econojets and the paper ring does not fit over the motor, I checked. They definitely are to be used as spacers in rockets that utilize an engine block, ie all the old Aerotech kits. I even have a couple of the hard plastic spacers; though, I’m not sure where I got them . . . in some of the old Aerotech kits circa 1996?
 
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afadeev

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As I’m building my kit from North Coast Rocketry, there is no engine block or retaining hook...does one just friction fit the SU in place or does one apply epoxy to the little cardboard ring that comes with the motor and use that with the retaining ring?
As others have stated, many rocket models are sold with-OUT positive motor retention assemblies, and it is up to the building to do something about it.
That is definitely the case with many NCR, LOC, and virtually all fiber-glass HP kits.
Positive motor retention, with simple thrust rings made out of masking tape, or similar (when none are present on a motor), are the easiest and the most reliable way to go.
Estes thrust rings.jpg

I just went and checked, all of mine have thrust rings. Post a pic of yours.
Understood with the motors you are talking about. They are the older Econojets, and do not have a thrust ring. You could epoxy the ring on or just use masking tape for a thrust ring.
I have very few single-use AT motors, and had surprised myself to discover that a couple of those are of the old EconoJet variety.
The one pictured below, a visibly rustic F20, does not come with a thrust ring. I will have to improvise one with a few layers of masking tape on the aft end, before flying. Similar to those pictured above on Estes motors.

Econojet F20-4.jpg

The ring that comes with the Econojet motors should fit over the motor, not inside the motor mount tube. Epoxy it on the nozzle end of the motor for a thrust ring.
The ring above is the same diameter as the motor. Thus, I presume, it's meant to be used as a spacer. Similar to those that Estes uses to make D12 motors fit in a MMT that had an engine block glued in for an E12-sized motors.
It will definitely NOT fit over the motor, nor should it be epoxied to it.
I am throwing mine away, as I never EVER use Estes-style motor blocks.
Instead, I rely on masking tape thrust rings, and positive motor retention. Way more reliable, more flexible (can fly motors of any length), cleaner, and more elegant.

CoachSteve said:
Friction fit (tape wrapped around the motor case until a tight fit in the motor tube) - has beed used since the beginning of rocketry and is regularly used well above D power motors.
And people like me, who don't take enough care when friction fitting an I motor, end up losing a motor case and destroying a rocket. :(
That's very true.
I've found, and occasionally returned (when I could find the owner) about a half dozen motors that were friction fit by other people.
I am yet to pay for a CTI motor/case, yet now have 3 in my inventory, due to the unintentional and involuntary donations by the friction fit aficionados.

If you fly in NJ/NY area and have lost a friction-fitted motor, PM me something unique about the case that you've abandoned. If I have it, I will be happy to return it to you.
Otherwise, thanks in advance to yo'all who are continuing to friction fitting your motors!

a
 
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Nytrunner

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Some AT single use motors sold in blister packs did have a 1/4"ish thick ring that fit around the motor and could be used as a thrust ring. I'm picturing a Blue Thunder motor in my mind's eye
 
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