"Stubby" rocket

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georgegassaway

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For awhile, I have been wanting to make up a low power, large diameter, short rocket to use for demo flights. Something more eye-catching than say a Baby Bertha, but can still fly on cheap engines, to low altitudes when necessary due to small school fields and such.

And, something sort of simple so if it landed on a roof or up a tree, it would not be much of a loss.

Last Friday night ,I finally threw one together. Using some Estes BT-101 tubing, and one of several vac-formed "Apollo BPC" cones left over from my Little Joe-II models.

It was made short since I wanted it to be short, and, I could cut three of them out of one of the 24.7" BT-101 tubes I have.

Made the centering rings out of 1/32" plywood. Gave it a 24mm mount, but for demo uses it can fly on as little of a B6-2 to about 80-90 feet up.

Test flew it at the BRB June launch last Saturday. The first flight, on a C6-3, did not go well. The model curved over on boost and ejected shortly before it hit the ground. Landed hard, breaking a fin off, but that was easy to fix. I was puzzled about why it veered so much. I took a liftoff photo, so I actually did not see the powered part of the flight, only shortly before ejection. Club members said it gradually turned, but I did not understand it, it was not windy. But it did end up going downwind, which unstable rockets tend to do. So, I figured it might have been marginally stable.

I did not have a big lump of clay around to add as noseweight, as I would have liked. So, I just CA'ed a burned out engine casing into the nose cone. Flew it on a B6-2, and it flew dead straight up, ejection right at apogee, about 90 feet up, but the chute "fell" inside of the hollow nose cone, so it did not come out.

OK, Take Three. Added some paper towel inside of the nose cone to fill it. So the chute could not fall inside of the nose cone. Later on I may glue in a plastic disk or friction fit a piece of blue foam to serve the same purpose, especially if I build another of these. Flew it on a C6-3, straight up, chute deployed fine, and a really good flight.

The name of the model? Well, I think I will call it "Stubby".

Yeah, it’ll get some paint, now that it is proven. But it will not be anything fancy since, again, it will be running a high risk of loss at demos.

BTW - link to the rest of the pics from the BRB launch:

https://birminghamrocketboys.com/BRBGallery/main.php?g2_itemId=129046

- George Gassaway

IMG_6085.jpg

Stubby-IMG_6088.jpg

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I like it!
Put a wrap on it and make a Little Joe Gooney...
No, I didn’t want this to look scale-ish, once I chose to go with the huge alpha-ish fins. This is supposed to be more of an “iconic” short rocket.

I have already painted it red, as seen below.

OK, so the paint is electrons in Photoshop for now. But I do think I will just paint it all red, like a cartoonish “fireworks” rocket.

Gooney-wise, I am not really into those. However, I have also been thinking of using some old NCR Shuttle 4.6” tubing (Matt Steele sent me two boxes of leftover NCR shuttle tubes), and a leftover shuttle ET nose for a somewhat larger short rocket, though probably not as stubby as this one. If the fins were swept Delta, with four of them. Well, depending on proportions, it could end up looking like a gooney-ish Big Daddy, except over 50% larger in diameter. Or, with three fins, a gooney-ish Alpha.

But the design part really is in making large diameter short rockets, that are LIGHT so they do not need wa$ted amounts of money on over-powered engines to fly them. The 4.6” tubing is reasonably thin-walled and light, not HPR-style tubing. And the ET noses, well, without a shoulder, the vac-formed nose weighs 26 grams [edit - for a vac-formed nose I made. The NCR ET nose was balsa made by BMS, and pretty heavy]. So, the resulting model could fly on as little as a C, though it might be better with a C11 than a C6. I expect it would usually sport fly on a D12, but if I do build this I’d probably give it a 29mm mount so it could have a wide range of engine power.

- George Gassaway

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ShortStubby-4.6models.jpg
 
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How about one of these:
090618-mlas-bullet-02.jpg
 
How about one of these:
Do not EVEN get me started on that thing which is an abort rocket test vehicle that is NOT going to actually test the abort rocket system.

Sigh.....

For that crack Fred, you deserve for a dozen models of that thing to show up at your launches, every month. Have fun RSO-ing them until you do a classic ban on it.

- George Gassaway
 
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Do not EVEN get me started on that thing which is an abort rocket test vehicle that is NOT going to actually test the abort rocket system.

Sigh.....

For that crack Fred, you deserve for a dozen models of that thing to show up at your launches, every month. Have fun RSO-ing them until you do a classic ban on it.

- George Gassaway

Your reaction to it seems to be the same as mine: Fear of ever seeing a model of one and fear of what it will do if it was ever allowed to fly at a populated launch. Launching it on a dry lakebed in isolation would reduce the risk to only those involved in the button pushing.

Yikes.
 
Your reaction to it seems to be the same as mine:
Well, unlike some, I do not think that it looks very good. Breaks the rule of “if it looks good, it should fly good”. Never mind the stability issues.

But really, mine is based on frustration over the whole program that is so often said to be “replacing” the shuttle, and the problems it keeps running into.

So here is this truly bizarre abort rocket system idea, four solids mounted to the cone of the capsule. So THAT is the part that just begs to be test-flown. So, let’s see a Pad Abort test firing of four unguided solids and see if the capsule can “keep the pointy end up”. But nope, that is not what they are testing at all here, those housings for the 4 abort solids are empty shells (or inert dummies anyway).

Meanwhile the real Pad Abort test flight of the real abort system that was scheduled for 2008 still has not happened. And Aries-1-X is going to fly with a 5-segment SRB that only has 4 real segments plus a dummy segment. So that won’t really be testing a 5 segment SRB, and won’t properly test out the damping system that is robbing the Aries of the capability to send 6 crew members up in Orion, recently downgraded to 4 crew (damping system = thousands of pounds of dead weight mounted on shock absorbers). And of course everything else in Aries 1X is a dummy so it will not be testing the abort system or recovery system either.

I said don’t get me started....

- George Gassaway
 
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Pretty cool...almost like something out of a cartoon.
Yep, that was part of the idea too. By painting it red, it would help make it look more like something that might be seen in a cartoon, comic strip, or 4th of July artwork.

Regarding the name “Stubby” for this bird:
Chad would be proud. :)
Chad Ring did give a thumbs-up to my naming it that.

- George
 

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