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Solar Sailer 3

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DJ Delorie

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I had a Solar Sailer (the original, not the SS2) when I was a kid. 20 years later, flew it with my son's scout pack, and core sampled (rubber bands don't age well). So I decided to make another one, but of course, they're out of production. Using the remains of the old one, I upscaled it 66% to a 24mm D12 engine. Specs: D12-3, 5'7" tall, 8.2 oz unloaded. Sim'd out at 270 ft on D12, 575 on E9. TTW back fins (including through-mounts on the front of those dowels) since those broke off pretty easily on the original. BTs are BT55 and BT60.

I can post a rocksim and my design notes if anyone is interested.
 

Fore Check

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Very nice! I have the stuff to put together my 1.66 Solar Sailer II. I will use a BT52HW for the smaller tube, and build it with a removable 24mm motor mount (the BT52 is a 29mm mount tube.)

I can't wait to build it. Then I'll try it on a 29mm long-burn Apogee motor if the Estes E9-6 doesn't do the trick. ;)
 

DJ Delorie

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I have PDFs for the fins, BT60 wraps, and decals if you want them too. The BT55 wraps won't help, but they're pretty easy to do without.
 

Fore Check

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Astronboy (Fred w/Excelsior Rocketry) made me an *excellent* set of decals. I've got the plan sheets and stuff. I just need to find the time to put it together.......


Again, excellent job on yours! I hope mine turns out as nice.
 

DJ Delorie

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Finally, launch day happened. Perfect weather - overcast, dry, calm. Launched on D12-3 and E9-4 motors. Perfect recovery. Sweeeet!

(yeah, there's about six inches of fire coming out the tail :)
 

Fore Check

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SWEET!

How would you rate the altitude predictions you posted above? Did you get more or less than the sims?

I seem to think that the sims will be conservative.....


Great looking rocket, *excellent* launch pic!
 

DJ Delorie

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Well, I measured the weight and CG manually after construction and updated rocksim, which lowered the altitudes a little (a bit heavy, I guess). But it seemed to go as high as predicted. OTOH, I'm lousy at guessing measurements in that range :p

The Rickter Recker was sim'd at 1700 ft, one of the guys there guessed 2000. It was a speck at apogee, which I never expected a 7'8" rocket to be :)

The pic was taken by one of the other guys there. My daughter got some movies, but I haven't figured out how to get them off the tape and into the computer yet.
 

Fore Check

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1700' on a RR?

:eek:

I wouldn't have imagined.

Now you've got me scared to launch *my* 3 x E9 cluster rockets......
 

DJ Delorie

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Yeah, RR on 3x E9-4 turns into a speck at apogee. 1700 might be conservative.

The SS3 on an E9 only goes to about 900 feet. I wonder if a 3x cluster SS3 would be excessive? ;-)

Do a 3x D12 for your first launch.
 

teflonrocketry1

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Originally posted by DJ Delorie
I can post a rocksim and my design notes if anyone is interested.
Please post the rocksim file and design notes!

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055
 

DJ Delorie

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Rocksim file; PDF of fins, decals, templates; and design notes (with old Flis prices).

The notes are a little cryptic, but they're mostly just measurements as I figured out the scale of it all. Best to just ask if you can't figure them out.

The only change I'd make is to not include the engine block, so that you could put an F or G motor in it. Also, slide a tube coupler inside the BT55 for the engine mount to thrust against.

Or heck, leave it as a 29mm mount :)
 

teflonrocketry1

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Looks great! Thanks for posting the details about the clone.

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055
 

BlueNinja

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If it can fit E9s, then you could try an F21 in there- I think it is the same size as the E9.
 

DJ Delorie

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Yeah, it will fit, but if the engine block weren't there it would sit snug against the tail like the aerotech engines are supposed to. I was hoping to fly it on an F10 but nobody had them :-(

I also couldn't find an F21W with the right delay. I think we'll all be a lot happier when Aerotech catches up.

Even the Es stick out a little over an inch, since the clip and EB are for Ds.
 

DJ Delorie

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Finally got a pack of F21W-4's and launched at CMASS today. Unfortunately, the delay was shorter than 4 sec and too powerful for the length of shock cord I used, so the nosecone got shot off the front of the rocket never to be seen again, and half the shroud lines got ripped out. It should be OK with a little repair work (a few ribs got cracked).

But it was worth it! Oh boy was this a sweet launch.
 

Fore Check

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I launched my 1.66 Solar Sailer II on an E9-6, and it was *perfect.* I have a pair of F21-7W that I'll use next time.

Awesome launch pic!
 

DJ Delorie

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Time for some updates. The Solar Sailer fleet continues to grow; the 13mm one is ready for flight and the 3x24 one is in paint. Here's the 13mm one on the stand, shown with a spent D12 for scale.
 

DJ Delorie

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A closeup of the decals. They were printed on my (gloat) brand new HP Color Laserjet 2550n, on stock paper, and glued on with 3M Type 77 spray adhesive.
 

DJ Delorie

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This will give you a better idea of the scale. The larger diameter is a BT-5, the smaller diameter is a BT-3 (3/8"). The dowels are all 1/8".
 

DJ Delorie

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Meanwhile, the 3x24 cluster version is being painted. Here it is with the red being put on over the white. Next I have to mask off all the black bits and paint those. This one is a BT-70/BT-60 combo, about 8'9" tall. The 13mm is about 22" tall.

I think I'll eventually build two more - a replacement for the original 18mm one that cored, and one with a 29mm engine mount (BT-60/BT-52H, about 5'6") when I get to that point in my engines ;-)

Oh, and maybe a MicroMaxx one :)
 

DJ Delorie

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Here it is with the masks on. I used a combination of painter's tape and plastic striping tape (the kind they use to paint flames on motorcycles). The computer printed out templates on card stock for me to cut out and "trace" with the x-acto to cut the patterns into the tape.
 

DJ Delorie

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Here's a closeup of the rib mask. I used both 1/4" and 1/8" tape (it's like vinyl). It took FOUR HOURS to mask and tape for the black, plus half an hour to paper the rest of the rocket.
 

DJ Delorie

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Ok, back from the black paint. I'm using only Krylon Fusion for this model. It flashes off fast, dries to the touch (and thus can be recoated) in 15 minutes, but I've got 24 hours before I have to stop and let it really dry. I did the whole rocket today to keep it inside the 24 hour window.

The black got one light "starter" coat, and three regular coats.
 

DJ Delorie

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Looking good! As usual, I got a little bit of paint bleed under the painter's tape. I was planning on doing a coat of white just before the black to prevent that, but I used up the white doing the base coat :p
 

DJ Delorie

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Done! I still need to do the recovery parts, each half will get a 7 foot shock cord and a 24" chute. I brought the rocket upstairs to see how it looked because my cellar doesn't have high enough ceilings. Found out that my kitchen doesn't either! The 9 foot ceiling was a few inches too short, so I set it up in a spot where we had a raised ceiling.

The 13mm version is shown for scale.

The only thing the 3x24 doesn't have is the red stripe and ship ID that goes on the "top" main fin. If I have time, I'll add that next weekend.

Final weights: 13mm is 0.7 oz, 3x24mm is 23.2 oz (1.5 lb)
 

DJ Delorie

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Got this idea from something I saw on a web site. I cut three form-fitting launch lug mounts to give it extra strength while it's waiting its turn on the launch rod. It's designed for a 6 foot 1/4" rod. I originally planned on putting rail buttons on it, but (1) I have no rails, and (2) the rail wouldn't fit between the rib and the fin anyway.
 

DJ Delorie

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Unless the tree gods decide to be merciful, I regretfully end the story of the Solar Sailer 3. It went over the treeline today at the end of what was, otherwise, a perfect swan song for this bird.

The SS3 had been flown on F21W-4's before, but they ejected sooner than modelled. I put an F21W-6 in it this time, with a 24" chute and a longer shock cord. I figured it would weathercock into the wind like it usually does, so I set the launch rod straight up.

The rocket went straight up. I mean, pretty much perfectly. At apogee it was right above us. The chute came out at apogee pretty much perfectly. And it floated off, not to be seen again.

I did get a pretty much ideal launch picture, though. Aside from the loss of the rocket, everything else went perfectly :p
 

DJ Delorie

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Not to confuse people... The Solar Sailer 324 (the 8'8" one) launched perfectly on D12's,
and recovered nearby. The 13 mm one (22") went well also. I might build a 29mm SS for the transition into reloads. It was the single 24mm one (5'6") that was lost.
 
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