Space Shuttle (scratch build)

hermanjc

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Fin aligned and epoxied to the boom. I will give them a coat of high temp black spray paint... I'm skeptical how well the ones closer to the SRBs will fair.
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GlenP

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After the first launch, just cover up the scorched areas on the fins with some Al dryer duct tape for the next launch?
 

hermanjc

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Move that up a bit, put the tape on a BEFORE the launch.
After the first launch, just cover up the scorched areas on the fins with some Al dryer duct tape for the next launch?
Took both of your advice, now just need to get a can of high heat black and this shuttle should be ready to fly.
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BABAR

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Took both of your advice, now just need to get a can of high heat black and this shuttle should be ready to fly.
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Okay, regarding high heat paint, I think your plan is right on. People talk about using high heat paint to “protect” a surface. I’m not sure it really does that. I think high heat paint protects ITSELF, regular paint would burn or flake off.

but I don’t know (and doubt) that hight heat paint does much to protect what’s UNDERNEATH it. I wouldbe happy to be wrong, I bring this up because I am working on two stage mod of Estes Indicator, which has a plastic transition and probable split fins. The sustainer nozzle is going to briefly jet the forward end of the booster. I’m am thinking your plan might protect the fins and the plastic.
 

hermanjc

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Finally completed a swing test tonight. The full assembly was very stable. Hoping to have a maiden flight tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
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hermanjc

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Are the decals on the SRBs one large piece? if so you are a master at putting them on. I have lots of trouble putting on large sheets that wrap around the tubes.
I split the decals into many pieces 😁 a single wrap was definitely outside of my capability
 

hermanjc

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The space shuttle Atlantis had a successful maiden flight yesterday. All three motors lit successfully (B6-0s in the SRBs and a D12-3 in the ET). SRB separation was flawless at around 33ft (the JL Alt 2 logged that as the ejection alt), and the orbiter separated at ET motor burnout (I'm guessing drag separation) somewhere around 100ft. The entire vehicle pitched over almost like the real thing, due to a combination of SRB moment and orbiter drag. The ET logged a max altitude of 186ft. Unfortunately my SLR was only able to capture the moment right after ignition, but in the picture it's interesting to see the tail boom deflecting significantly just from the motor exhaust. The ET and orbiter delay parachutes both functioned beautifully. We did get a rough video from a distance, but hard to see all the events. Everything was recovered and will be ready to fly again!
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hermanjc

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I also took a look at the tail boom fin condition considering they were in the line of fire for the SRBs. @GlenP and @BABAR I'm happy to report that aside from some exhaust residue the combination of aluminum tape and high temp black spray paint held up great!
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hermanjc

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The Space Shuttle Atlantis suffered an inflight anomally during yesterdays launch. Thankfully all those on board the Orbiter Vehicle were able to glide return safely to the landing runway, and SRBs were recovered in tact down range. The External Tank was destroyed on impact, however, and will require rebuilding.

According to the JL Altimeter2 on board, the vehicle achieved about 60ft of altitude. The only difference between this flight and the previous were use of C6-0s in the SRBs instead of B6-0s. The added off center thrust and resulting velocity induced drag of the orbiter vehicle forced the whole shuttle to pitch over quite a bit more than the maiden flight. I plan to salvage what I can of the ET. If this does fly again, I will need to add some pitch correction to the tail boom fins.

Ready for flight:
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Clean ignition and liftoff:
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The pitch over (second picture is zoomed in):
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Impact and Landing Site (ET smoldering to the left, Shuttle safe on the runway to the Right):
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ET Puzzle Pieces:
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Antares JS

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The Space Shuttle Atlantis suffered an inflight anomally during yesterdays launch. Thankfully all those on board the Orbiter Vehicle were able to glide return safely to the landing runway, and SRBs were recovered in tact down range. The External Tank was destroyed on impact, however, and will require rebuilding.

According to the JL Altimeter2 on board, the vehicle achieved about 60ft of altitude. The only difference between this flight and the previous were use of C6-0s in the SRBs instead of B6-0s. The added off center thrust and resulting velocity induced drag of the orbiter vehicle forced the whole shuttle to pitch over quite a bit more than the maiden flight. I plan to salvage what I can of the ET. If this does fly again, I will need to add some pitch correction to the tail boom fins.

Ready for flight:
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Clean ignition and liftoff:
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The pitch over (second picture is zoomed in):
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Impact and Landing Site (ET smoldering to the left, Shuttle safe on the runway to the Right):
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ET Puzzle Pieces:
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On the bright side, a destroyed ET makes for a more accurate scale flight. :p
 

Charles_McG

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I've been considering spring or elastic tensioned elevator control for my upscale Centuri Hummingbird. I have it in my head that I should be able to attach a rubber band to that back elevator so that the deflection decreases with the force it's exerting. So that as the airspeed goes up, the elevator deflect goes down, and I get a constant corrective force. It looks like you could use something similar.

Of course, with my luck, I'm thinking about it backwards, and with increasing airspeed I want MORE deflection to offset the lift from the wings.
 

hermanjc

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I've been considering spring or elastic tensioned elevator control for my upscale Centuri Hummingbird. I have it in my head that I should be able to attach a rubber band to that back elevator so that the deflection decreases with the force it's exerting. So that as the airspeed goes up, the elevator deflect goes down, and I get a constant corrective force. It looks like you could use something similar.

Of course, with my luck, I'm thinking about it backwards, and with increasing airspeed I want MORE deflection to offset the lift from the wings.

You certainly have my gears turning @Charles_McG I will have to consider some sort of "dynamic" elevators. But I agree with you last assertation, more airspeed = need for more deflection.

For anyone that followed by Falcon Heavy Build/Crash/Rebuild, you may not know my position on spilt milk, but you do know I don't cry over wrecked rockets. The Shuttle ET is a paint job and new printed nose cone away from attempting its next flight (with some sort of pitch correction). I canabalized the mount hooks from the severed half of the ET and got them adhered to left over tube from the original build.

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mjennings

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Bummer on the crash, but awesome pics.
Would adding length to the fins opposite the shuttle offset it's drag some. Or adding a box fin side between the 2 tank side fins. Both likely a lot easier than a dynamic response solution.
 

GlenP

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alternately, there might be away to offset the thrust vector to compensate for the off-center weight (and drag) distribution,

but I cant think of anything.
 

hermanjc

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alternately, there might be away to offset the thrust vector to compensate for the off-center weight (and drag) distribution,

but I cant think of anything.
Canting the motors in the SRBs would be a solution, however given the motor size relative to the SRB body tubes and my desire for scale appearance led me down the curved trajectory path.
 

hermanjc

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I was able to fly my Space Shuttle Atlantis one final time this year, and it was a success (mostly), but here is a history of 5 attempts this year:
April - Maiden flight successful! Noticed bending on the fin boom in pictures and the rocket arced over in flight
May - 2nd flight resulted in violent pitch over and substantial damage to ET on impact
June - With a rebuilt booster and added corrective aelerons to the fins, the shuttle arced over in the opposite direction (over corrected) and boosters tangled on the fins. Soft crash landing.
August - flight attempt 4, aelerons we're significantly reduced, but there was a structural failure where the boom connected to the aft of the tank. Another soft landing with some entanglement. Fin boom was damaged beyond repair at this point.
November 20th- 5th attempt and first perfect accent. Redesigned the fin boom to be a box structure completely clear of the motors and reprinted the aft closure with new "twist to lock" design for the boom connection. The entire fight went nearly perfectly vertical, with clean booster sep and ET/OV apogee. The only hiccup was I made the OV chute delay too long and since I never tuned it to glide it nose dived into the ground.

Although it required quite a bit of rebuilding, redesigning and adjusting, and I will spend time this winter make a new gliding OV, I found this one to be quite rewarding. I love taking video and photos of my build/flights, and I've also learned this is a useful tool to diagnose what went wrong. I'm looking forward to flying this one again!
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