# Super Flying Umbrella Build Thread (Level One?)

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##### Well-Known Member
To all you TRF old timers who remember me, I've returned from the dead oint:
Back when I was 12 (which was seriously involved in rocketry), I thought the absolute coolest rocket ever was the Sunward Flying Umbrella, it was the perfect backyard flyer and didn't look like any old boring rocket. Sadly it was pretty finicky depending on weather since it felt underpowered on a D12 so 12 year old me thought it would be a great idea to put a 29mm mount in it before a group of wise TRF'ers told me that I'd probably shred the poor thing with anything higher than a 20n average thrust due to the 1/16th inch balsa horizontal panels. Also note: Despite only getting about 40 feet on a D12, 12 year old me thought it would be a bright idea to fly it on a C6. It climbed slowly up the rail and fell over, it was depressing even by 12 year old standards.

The goal of this build was to create a proper 29mm upscale of the Sunward Flying Umbrella that will mostly fly on Hobbyline G's (I've heard the 29mm 40/120 case is more addictive than coffee) but also to be built sturdy enough to take the full range of 29mm H-I motors should I possible choose to eventually get my level 1 cert on it(It would be more for F-G Vmax and Sparkies than to fly larger things).

For those of you who have not be graced to view the beauty of the original Sunward Flying Umbrella(Built by JAL3), WARNING! 3FNC Enthusiasts may find this highly disturbing:https://i.imgur.com/woGfWQ8.jpg

The plan is to use a 38mm blue tube (Shout out to Dave for being awesome!) as a body tube, and to lengthen it to some degree, and to use 1/8th ply for the fins, I tried 1/8th basswood at first, but it made me nervous and settled on 3 ply birch (couldn't find the nice 5 ply stuff you guys are always talking about).

So the first thing I need to decide is how long to make the body tube. 11.68 inches would be a 100% faithful upscale, but even with a baby H like a H128W, that would only give me 2.75 inches of packing room for the parachute and recovery equipment. 14 inches would give me 5 inches of packing room with a H128W. 14 inches would still prevent me from throwing the largest 6 grain cases in, but the 18ish inches required looks quite silly compared to the glorious original. I could always cut off the base of the nose cone and place a plywood bulkhead inside it to create another 2-4 inches of room, but since it's only a 38mm nose cone I'd be kinda nervous with the recovery equipment getting stuck in there. What are your thoughts about how long I should make the body tube? Input is appreciated!

Attached is also a quick and dirty open rocket file, I calculated the surface area of the horizontal panels and it equaled the area of an 11.72 inch circle so I added that as a transition to the back. The Openrocket file doesn't have the structural fins in it since I just wanted a ballpark altitude calculation, and it seems about right given the reported altitude of the original flying umbrella.
View attachment Sunward Flying Umbrella Upscale 29mm.ork

EDIT: Plan is now to attempt my level one on an I200w with CRMRC on August 19!

EDIT: Added some pics of my umbrella on a G64W and G53

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#### Rex R

##### LV2
welcome back! lets see was it you that wanted to fly a roll of bathroom tissue...?
Rex

##### Well-Known Member
First order of business was to figure out the fin shape of the original flying umbrella. The cheap college student in me wanted to email Angelo and ask him for the fin dimensions, however the terrified 12 year old inside me didn't want to. So college student me rationalized it that I was being honorable in supporting one of our fine rocketry vendors.

So that's how I ended up buying a $33 kit for the sole purpose for tracing the fins onto the plywood(to then upscale). On a totally unrelated note, I have an opened but otherwise complete Sunward Flying Umbrella kit if someone is interested :eyeroll: From everything I read on TRF, I should be able to cut 1/8th plywood using a hobby knife and small repeated strokes...small repeated strokes... small repeated strokes... Nope. It seems I've retained the same hand and wrist strength as when I was 12. About half a million small repeated strokes and 45 minutes later, I hadn't even managed to cut out the entire fin yet. I was a broken man. I broke down a bought a$20 dremel tool. Sadly I couldn't find any wood cutting bits for it since the local hardware store guy said they stopped making them since people kept cutting themselves, So I ended up spending 6 hours cutting out the horizontal panels using an abrasive cutting bit. They are kinda even, and I can sand them to be even since I cut them larger than I wanted just to be safe.

Next on the list is to cut the vertical structural fins.​

##### Well-Known Member
welcome back! lets see was it you that wanted to fly a roll of bathroom tissue...?
Rex
Actually Yes I totally remember that! I don't remember if I actually did it (hopefully not for safety reasons), but actually I think a toilet paper roll might have enough base drag to be stable...

##### Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
I liked to fly the umbrella on the F 12-3 motors. Went up nice and slow with all the Black Jack smokiness.

#### neil_w

##### Marginally Stable
TRF Supporter
I look at that thing and can't help thinking that perforating that wood with an array of small drilled holes would reduce the drag to give it some more height, but still leave it with plenty of base drag. It always seemed to me that among high-drag models, that one went a bit overboard.

Anyway, looks cool. I look forward to flight videos on an H.

#### fyrwrxz

##### latest photo
Welcome back-SD-been a while! Striaght smoke and good chutes for your latest project. Post pics! Yes, teh hobbyline case is addictive-I have half a dozen and a footlocker full of reloads for them. I've got them labeled 'FiG Newtons'-get it?? (sorry)

##### Well-Known Member
First up was the 4 primary structural fins, the template was traced over the plywood in pencil, and was painstakingly cut with an abrasive dremel attachment, creating enough smoke to fill a poorly ventilated garage :eyeroll:

Next up were the secondary structural fins, with the same process being applied as before. Slightly less smoke due to the smaller size. :wink:

Both sets of fins were sanded until all of them were as uniform as I could be bothered to make them. At this time I realized that my horizontal panel fins that I had cut earlier were consistently too large, so I had to amputate some of them.

I also got a nice family picture where the fins met the body tube (which I still need help deciding length on) that they are about to be bonded to for life regardless of their personal feelings about the matter :eyepop:

And yes you are thinking what I am thinking. That is A LOT of wood for such a small rocket, and yes I am looking forward to sanding and filling all of those fins. :surprised:

Here is a picture of all the fins with a 12 inch long 29mm motor mount tube for comparison

##### Well-Known Member
First order of business was cutting the 24" blue tube down to size, I ended up choosing 14 inches because 12 was too short and 16 was way too much and even numbers are just vastly superior. I wrapped a piece of paper around the blue tube where I wanted to make a cut before amputating with a dremel and sanding until even.

The primary fins were tacked on using the Estes fin alignment jig and then the secondary fins followed thereafter.

The horizontal panels were shoved in between the primary and secondary fins

Fillets were then added with epoxy clay using the back of my hobby knife, painstakingly over the course of a couple hours all 32 fillets were finished.

Here is a picture with the mostly completed body with the nose cone:

Next up is to install the motor mount and recovery stuff and the snazzy conformal 1/4 inch launch lugs... And then there will be sanding. Lots and lots of sanding. My apologies if I block out the sun. :dark:​

##### Well-Known Member
I look at that thing and can't help thinking that perforating that wood with an array of small drilled holes would reduce the drag to give it some more height, but still leave it with plenty of base drag. It always seemed to me that among high-drag models, that one went a bit overboard.

Anyway, looks cool. I look forward to flight videos on an H.
I mean I think what makes the design so awesome is that it is so over the top draggy. I think there is some poetic beauty about being able to shove a full G into a 38mm rocket and have it struggle to reach 200ft and to shove a full H and have it bearly reach 250ft, but then again I'm weird like that.

Welcome back-SD-been a while! Striaght smoke and good chutes for your latest project. Post pics! Yes, teh hobbyline case is addictive-I have half a dozen and a footlocker full of reloads for them. I've got them labeled 'FiG Newtons'-get it?? (sorry)
That pun is bad and you should feel bad. (That would be a nice name for a rocket... :grin: ). I saw the prices on hobbyline motors on Wildman and may have gone overboard...

##### Well-Known Member
So this might have just showed up in the mail today and has spurred me to update this build thread...

It smells like there is an I200W in this rocket's future for my level one certification flight... :y:

##### Well-Known Member
So time to get this build thread updated. First things first. There was a LOT of flight testing done two weekends ago. 9 flights to be exact. They basically came down to me buying -7 second delay motors and realizing you could only drill an even number of seconds off, so the first few flights (3 lawn darts, but to be fair the videos showed that one of them was over 6 seconds) were 5 second delays and I ended up running to the hardware store where I found washers that allowed me to drill in one second intervals. Once I was able to drill down to 4 seconds with my 1 second washer, the next 6 flights all had successful deployments (one was about 15 feet off the ground though). I found from the couple flights that deployed at apogee that the G76G's and the G64W's gave about 9 seconds of decent time from apogee and the G53FJ consistently gave around 7 seconds.

Using a couple parachute calculators I was able to figure out that my rocket descends at somewhere between 21.2-24.16 ft/s

This means with the G76G and G64W the rocket was getting between 190-217 ft and with the G53FJ it was only getting somewhere between 148 -169ft. That means my quick and dirty open rocket simulation is off by around 10% which makes sense since it doesn't include the drag of the vertical structural fins. This also means I should be expecting around 350-360ft for my level one attempt on an I200W.

Here are some nice pictures I took while flight testing:

##### Well-Known Member
After those 9 test flights I decided it was time for my rocket to stop being naked.

So on went the primer, and I decided the horizontal fins would be painted differently than the horizontal ones. So tape. Lots and lots of painters masking tape.

I decided to go with a lime green and black paint scheme, since I saw it on a fruity chute and thought it looked slick.

And around this point I realized that my flying umbrella was calling to me begging me to shove the largest non haz mat 29mm motor I could into it since it was so oppressed by drag (after all I basically created something that can fly in my backyard comfortably on G motors). It is at this point I considered ripping out the 29mm motor mount and making it a 38mm mount with the express purpose of flying only Loki (since no haz mat through full I motors) when I got to HPR. Sadly I was able to control these urges (aided partially by the fact the web store for Loki is closed for now) and the motor mount was left unharmed.

Sadly the nose cone was not so lucky as I amputated the base so that the recovery equipment would fit into it. (Remember when I was deciding between a 14 inch body tube and a 16 inch one?, I settled for 14 inches since it was a more authentic upscale but this left me exactly not enough room to fit the recovery gear should I choose to put an I200W in)

At this point I got bored waiting for the paint to dry on the horizontal fins and body tube so that I could mask them for the vertical fin paint job so I decided to kill time by flying the rocket. After all the new recovery configuration needed to be tested. And yes, this was a terrible idea especially since the paint didn't cure yet.

The video was nice though:

Sadly this meant the paint got messed up so I decided I would repaint the body tube so I sanded it all off. Note the nose cone sitting extended since its drying right now and I was too lazy to take them apart before painting.

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
h399! i243! ( looks good )

#### BDB

##### Absent Minded Professor
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##### Well-Known Member
Am I the only person who hoped this build would resemble The Flying Hockey Stick? It was my favorite book as a kid.

Also, the cover would make for an interesting rocket, I think it could be done with a pair of pusher motors at the base of the umbrella in front of the fan.
h399! i243! ( looks good )
Two syllables for you. HAZ-MAT :sigh: Thanks for the encouragement!

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#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
Two sylybles for you. HAZ-MAT :sigh: Thanks for the encouragement!
Missed that part, boo.

#### BDB

##### Absent Minded Professor

Also, the cover would make for an interesting rocket, I think it could be done with a pair of pusher motors at the base of the umbrella in front of the fan.

Two syllables for you. HAZ-MAT :sigh: Thanks for the encouragement!
It's a great book about a boy who builds a flying machine out of stuff in his house. He borrows extension cords from his entire neighborhood to power it. He has several adventures before he ends up flying to a remote island, where he has to turn around and go home because he reached the end of his extension cord. Like I said, it was my favorite book as a kid. I had to look for a while to find a copy for my kids.

Now that you mention it, I think I'll have to figure out how to build something like this someday. Odd rocks aren't really my thing, but for this, I may have to make an exception.

#### Nytrunner

##### Pop lugs, not drugs
TRF Supporter
......, and I decided the horizontal fins would be painted differently than the horizontal ones.

This statement may be less enlightening than you intended lol.

That's a really interesting flying device you've made!

#### SoCalChris

##### Well-Known Member
Looks great, but would that be considered an oddroc? I'm not sure about NAR, but Tripoli specifically disallows oddrocs for certifications. I hope it's allowed, but you may want to be aware of this so you're not disappointed if it's not allowed.

From https://www.tripoli.org/Level1
Airframe - The rocket must be built by the flyer. The rocket shall have a display on the exterior identifying the calculated center of pressure. The rocket must be of "conventional rocket design". "Odd Rockets" including flying pyramids, saucers and flying spools will not be allowed for any certification flight. The rocket may be either a kit or scratch built. Scratch built rockets may contain commercially built components.
Best of luck to you though, that looks like it would be fun to fly.

##### Well-Known Member
Looks great, but would that be considered an oddroc? I'm not sure about NAR, but Tripoli specifically disallows oddrocs for certifications. I hope it's allowed, but you may want to be aware of this so you're not disappointed if it's not allowed.

From https://www.tripoli.org/Level1

Best of luck to you though, that looks like it would be fun to fly.
NAR is mum on this, with the main thing going against odd rocs being "active recovery".

I'll be certifying as a NAR member so this shouldn't be an issue. It's one I thought about a lot though, because I think the flying umbrella is more akin to a traditional rocket design with thicker than average tube fin than it is to a pyramid or Sauser. I guess it depends what the intent of the rule is, and to that I'm not entirely sure.

#### SoCalChris

##### Well-Known Member
Sounds good then. Make sure to take video of your cert flight so we can see it too.

##### Well-Known Member
It's a great book about a boy who builds a flying machine out of stuff in his house. He borrows extension cords from his entire neighborhood to power it. He has several adventures before he ends up flying to a remote island, where he has to turn around and go home because he reached the end of his extension cord. Like I said, it was my favorite book as a kid. I had to look for a while to find a copy for my kids.

Now that you mention it, I think I'll have to figure out how to build something like this someday. Odd rocks aren't really my thing, but for this, I may have to make an exception.
I think a design based on a forward engine puller rocket might be the basis for a successful design:

This statement may be less enlightening than you intended lol.

That's a really interesting flying device you've made!
Such are most of my statements in life...

Thanks for the complement!

##### Well-Known Member
I just wanted to take the time to complain about how much I hate masking and painting.

So I've finished painting the vertical fins. After this paint dries, I'll be all done... except I'm going to repaint the bottom horizontal panels, it turns out BlackJack motors and wet paint result in strangeness.
Sorry for the lack of finishing progress... So much time at this point is just waiting for the paint to dry... :eyeroll:

##### Well-Known Member
Just removed the masking tape from last night's paint job. There were some bleeds that I will have to go over later with a hand brush but I think overall it looks alrightish. I thought the color scheme would look more snazzy but meh I guess.

##### Well-Known Member

I just went around with a brush and fixed a couple places where the paint leaked under the tape. I'm not that happy with it and I'll settle for it being the second ugliest thing you have ever seen.

Now I gotta name it and throw a clear coat on.

##### Well-Known Member
Finally decided on a rocket name. Terminal Velocity seems pretty fitting. Got in one last flight before my level one attempt tomorrow:

I'm frantically triple checking that everything is packed for tomorrow.

:y::y::y::y::y::y::y::y:

##### Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
Just put in one of those lower thrust H motors and go low and slow.

#### neil_w

##### Marginally Stable
TRF Supporter
Good name, nice flight! Good luck with your cert.