SpaceX Falcon 9 build

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by Klatuso, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. Jun 17, 2018 #1

    Klatuso

    Klatuso

    Klatuso

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    I think we are living in just the beginning of a special time in suborbital and beyond private rockets. So, in my quest for more information I visited the SpaceX website and found that they have a products page for consumers. Dang! More opportunities to spend money. In my excessive enthusiasm I bought their polo shirt hoping it might have a large logo on the back. Nope. But I sprang for it anyway. It is smooth and light. A nice black polo with small but visible white embroidery "SPACEX" over my heart (I would've prefered a pocket but that isn't cool anymore) and a swoop on the end of the X. OK. Well made, and I definitely recommend getting the next larger size up or you will have a rather slim shirt. As a man in his 50's I prefer something...a bit more roomy. It has actual embroidery and not some decals or other cheap stuff. Soft and thin and comfortable.

    Anyway, back to to the actual reason I started this thread, I bought their rocket kit. A scale model of their faclon 9 and when I received this it was like no other rocket kit. First it came in a box. Second, the entire body tube (2 parts) was already detailed and ready and more stout than anything I have built before (and I have built MPR rockets less thick). Full body decal pre-applied. Plastic molded nose cone, transition and tail cone. Premolded and ready to go (after struggling with paper transitions and tail cones this was a relief). Clear plastic fins for stability (obviously this does not have onboard guidance control). But there was enough left over for to say, "Yea, I built this!" and smile. I need to apply wood filler to the wraps on the short section between the nose cone and the transition to the main body tube. Prime sand prime and sand...you know the drill. That whole upper section is without decals. So I already have in mind what I will do to customize it. It is a small "tabula rasa."

    In a fit of excitement I also ordered the upgrade components from boyceaerospacehobbies.com which includes a far more detailed leg section (only a padded sticker on the original kit) and hyper-sonic grid fins which are only a flat image on the decal of the stock kit.

    The kit recommends D and E motors (includes a spacer for D engines) with an engine hook. Still debating whether I will install that or go for a cleaner friction fit.

    One negative: the launch lug (if you can call it that, is a small plastic ring at the base of the fat forward faring), a single plastic loop on the base of the forward faring. That is at the top of the rocket. Well, I am not about to go out and buy some 3/16th inch (or less, didn't bother to check) 6 foot steel rod. That is taller than I am for crying out loud. So I will replace that (as I do with all my rockets for D engines) with a generously long 1/4 inch launch lug. I use that for all my larger and heavier LPR rockets.It will destroy the "scale" aspect but so what? Am I in some kind of contest? I already cheated with a kit pre-prepped with decals.

    I want to show pictures but I am still trying to understand how to post those. I either show a clickable link to the picture or some over-sized picture in the post. If anyone has figured out how to post those nice small pics and clicking on them they expand; if you can explain this to me send me a PM so this doesn't become a tutorial on how to post pictures.

    So far, I am happy and cannot wait to receive my upgrade from
    http://boyceaerospacehobbies.com.
     
  2. Jun 18, 2018 #2

    Nytrunner

    Nytrunner

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    An eager yet inexperienced college student (now graduated and wiser) has, in the past, successfully launched the F9 on a stock length estes rod with no issues using the D12.
     
  3. Jun 19, 2018 #3

    Klatuso

    Klatuso

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    Here's the parts. You can get a good sense of the pre-applied decals. It is an easy build. Motor mount, coupler, etc. I will show the pictures of the Boyce upgrades which are 3d printed legs and guidance fans.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/R5VBjbhBJTmwMVLfA

    20180618_065129.jpg
     
  4. Jun 19, 2018 #4

    OverTheTop

    OverTheTop

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    You might want to consider not gluing the two sections of airframe into a solid piece. I did this earlier in the year so I could more easily transport it (shorter) from Australia to the USA for a local fight when I was sent to Florida in January. Just glue the coupler into one of them and when you need to fly a wrap of clear tape can hold everything together.

    Here is another thread on the F9 kit: https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/spacex-falcon-9-and-fairing-flying-model-rocket-kit.140728/

    You can probably pick up some graphics for the various flights here: http://axmpaperspacescalemodels.com/index.php/falcon-9/
     
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  5. Jun 19, 2018 #5

    Klatuso

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    Oops. Too late. I'm also using epoxy. It looks like the launch lugs incorporated into the plastic parts are 3/16th inch. I want to modify this to launch on my 1/4 in. rod. Any suggestions. I might attempt to slice off just the ring and epoxy the larger lug onto the mount for it.
     
  6. Jun 20, 2018 #6

    Klatuso

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    This is either a great mistake and this Falcon 9 will end up on the mantle, or a nifty mod. Here we go!

    20180620_061413.jpg

    Now a little cutting:

    20180620_062301.jpg

    Now build up a base for the 1/4 inch lug on the base (piece on the left) and attach another on the fairing.
     
  7. Jun 20, 2018 #7

    Klatuso

    Klatuso

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    I just visited that axm papers space scale models website. All I can say is wow!
     
  8. Jun 21, 2018 #8

    Klatuso

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    Built up a base with some FixIt epoxy clay on the lower lug and fixed the upper lug on the fairing section and everything lined up well:

    20180620_152131.jpg

    Finished product, a bit rough but should be fine:

    20180620_201302.jpg 20180620_201153.jpg
     
  9. Jun 22, 2018 #9

    Klatuso

    Klatuso

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    Home stretch. The Boyce upgrades came today. Never worked with 3D printed parts before. There is a substructure that needs to be cleaned out. The instructions called for sanding and painting white but I decided to leave it rough and paint it metallic.

    20180621_140706.jpg 20180621_155759.jpg 20180621_155809.jpg 20180621_160203.jpg

    All in all I am pleased with the rocket. It looks impressive. I am disappointed with my building skills. I tend to rush things and then have to fix mistakes. Over painting, touching it before the paint dries, stupid things.

    But with each rocket I get a bit better at the craft.
     
  10. Jun 23, 2018 #10

    snrkl

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    I used to do this also. The key, I’ve found is to have several builds on the go at once, so instead of fussing on one to see if you can start the next step, you’ve got plenty to do with others!!!
     
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  11. Jun 24, 2018 #11

    Klatuso

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    One more thing before I finish this Falcon 9 build thread concerning the boyceaerospacehobbies.com upgrades (and btw, they have 3D printed rocket kits also that look very tempting but my wallet is empty. Welcome back to model rocketry...sorry about your wallet). The leg section on the back of the rocket was a bit of a problem, perhaps because of my mod into a 1/4 inch lug and the fact that my glue job was rushed because I was too excited to finish this rocket and failed to fully glue it down properly. Boyce called for CA glue, in my over enthusiasm I used an exelerator and could not get it fully flush before the glue set.

    20180621_150739.jpg

    So...I had to shave that particular leg to fit. I do not know if that would be a problem with the stock lugs. Probably not.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  12. Jun 24, 2018 #12

    NJRick

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    I think she turned out great! You did a great job building her! Well Done!
     
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  13. Jul 10, 2018 #13

    Klatuso

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  14. Jul 16, 2018 at 3:29 AM #14

    Ccolvin968

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    Nicely done!

    I love mine, and flew it without any of the Boyce additions.
    Flew it twice on the Estes Pro Series E30-4T motors. It did great!
    934 ft, 227mph, chute release at 400ft from deploy at apogee.
    I built mine to be able to withstand that sort of flight though.
    Fillets for the fins, internal reinforcement of the fins, etc.

    You'll love flying it though. I was concerned about the fins but no issues yet!
     

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