SpaceX Starship with Super Heavy Booster

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hermanjc

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It's not going to have 29 engines (I settled for up to 3), but I am going to attempt a belly flop followed by flip to land for the Starship. The idea is to have the entire Starship act as the nosecone that gets pushed off at apogee and initially the parachute will be suspended from the nose and the tail to initiate a horizontal recovery (aka the belly flop maneuver). The tail cord will actually be connected to a wind up timer such that after up to 20 seconds it will release and result in a flip to a nose only attached parachute just before touchdown. I might be crazy, but I like a challenge. I rolled my own 3" diameter tubes, and at scale the entire thing will stand ~40".
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mach7

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Very ambitious, Yes you are a bit mad, and I LOVE the idea!

Did you print the nosecone yourself? It looks great!
Are you planning on balsa tail fins?
I'm assuming that none of the StarShip fins will pivot?

The BFR booster will recover conventionally?
What is your plan for fins on the BFR?
 

hermanjc

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Very ambitious, Yes you are a bit mad, and I LOVE the idea!

Did you print the nosecone yourself? It looks great!
Are you planning on balsa tail fins?
I'm assuming that none of the StarShip fins will pivot?

The BFR booster will recover conventionally?
What is your plan for fins on the BFR?
Nosecone is a custom make/print, and correct that the Starship fins are fixed (no pivoting). BFR/Super Heavy Booster will recover on its own chute. I will be adding polycarbonate fins for stability.

More progress tonight:
Aft fins added to the Starship using a 3D printed guide slot and glueing in balsa fins.
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Starship aft closure printed, and includes a pocket for the wind up timer.
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Starship completed:
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Motor pod, rail buttons and parachute baffle all glued into the BFR:
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All together:
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Work for another night: add fins to BFR, add timer mechanism to Starship aft closure, other embellishments, make chutes and paint.
 

Bravo52

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It's not going to have 29 engines (I settled for up to 3), but I am going to attempt a belly flop followed by flip to land for the Starship. The idea is to have the entire Starship act as the nosecone that gets pushed off at apogee and initially the parachute will be suspended from the nose and the tail to initiate a horizontal recovery (aka the belly flop maneuver). The tail cord will actually be connected to a wind up timer such that after up to 20 seconds it will release and result in a flip to a nose only attached parachute just before touchdown. I might be crazy, but I like a challenge. I rolled my own 3" diameter tubes, and at scale the entire thing will stand ~40".
That is an awesome plan! Looking forward to seeing this in action. Ummm...I may have to "use" (read as "steal" ;) ) this in building a smaller version.
 

hermanjc

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I printed a few more detail pieces such as the interstage wrap and some grid fins, and after that I really liked the look of the aft fins on the Starship with the printed aligner and balsa fins, so I redesigned and printed an updated nose cone to match. Here is a picture of the nosecone iterations:
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Here is the full stack ready for painting. I have .060" polycarbonate fins cutout for the tail end to gain stability (per my Rocksim model) which I will attach after paint.
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And now a video testing the mechanism to go from Belly Flop to Flip. What could go wrong? (spoiler: it took me 8 attempts to get this video):


Next post should have some nice paint on there.
 

Huxter

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Oooooh, Aaaaaaa!!! :clapping: 👍

I bet that paint shows everything! Looks great tho!
 

hermanjc

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Paint is done and polycarbonate fins are attached. Still need to make chutes, finalize Rocksim model and do some swing tests. Might also work on some more details (weld seems, heat tile lines, etc). Took a glamour shot with my scale fleet... And it fits right in (scales are all 105:1 to 120:1 range)
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hermanjc

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Starship Super Heavy had a successful maiden flight!!! Not sure if that means I can claim the title of first to fly this configuration 😆

The flip to land even worked, although the belly flop was more of a nose dive (apparently a tiny piece of painters tape used to keep the line in place while I stacked the vehicle was too strong to tear off initially).

This flight was completed with 1xD12-3 and 2xB6-4s. Next time I'll swap the Bs for C6-3s and put in an altimeter. My estimate is this flew about 200'-250' (based on Rocksim model).

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hermanjc

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Starship had another successful flight, this time with a perfect execution of Flop then Flip moments before landing. I was hoping for closer to 400ft but either one of the motors was delayed or the rocket hung up on the launch rail so the altimeter recorded around 200ft. I also wanted to capture some good video but the onboard camera (from an Estes Astrocam) had apparently timed out before I hit the start record button, and my DSLR which I planned to use for close up video had a dead battery, so all I have is cell phone video and some screen shots. Still a good flight and excellent recovery.
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Huxter

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That was pretty cool flight video! You can see the booster and the person trying to catch it in the video! :cool:👍
 

cls

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that is so cool! thanks for posting. very inspirational.
 

Sandy H.

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Nice. I say you tweet the video to Elon and tell him the child's name that caught the booster chute. Maybe he'll rename the catch tower!!!

Cool rocket, cool flights and cool thread.

Sandy.
 

hermanjc

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A few frame grabs of note:
Here you can see significant deflection in the PC bridge between two of the fins (added for increased stability). Certainly seems to follow the motto "bend, don't break"
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At ejection you can see first the 3D printed case for my FlightSketch Mini followed by the pin getting pulled to start the timer
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The moment before the tail cord is released to execute the flip
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Booster makes a few appearances on the way down
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And finally booster capture caught on Starship camera
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