# Ultimate QCC Explorer L3 build Indiana

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#### Nick@JET

##### Well-Known Member
What started it all for me as a BAR was building my favorite rocket - an Estes QCC Explorer, flew on an E9-4 opened my eyes to an unknown hobby and TRF, MPR and HPR.

So I wanted to build an upscale that my son saw while we were at LDRS 34 (JJSR ) had an upscale scratch build QCC. Then MAC Performance came out with a Vought VTS-6 that I built which is what looks to have been the inspiration that John Boren may have used to create the QCC Explorer (maybe Jumpin Jet will chime in this as this is just my assumption).

As I've been planning my L3, really wanted to honor how it started for me. In all honesty, I am really the assembly guy and several other craftsman came together to really create this for me. So between Tim Lehr at Wildman, Nat Kinsey at Upscale and Mike from MAC Performance this is starting to take shape - thank you all!

Base rocket - 6" Ultimate Darkstar with extra 6" of payload - 360% upscale for a QCC
Fins - Nat Kinsey G10
Air Intakes - Mac Performance Canvas Phenolic made at my request by Nat with the blessing of Mike
Recovery - One bad hawk custom made by Teddy
TAPS; Gus Peipenburg and Eric Cayemburg
Planned motor pending final weight and waiver: AT M1939 or N2000W
Planned flight: when its done but hoping for Midwest power or maybe 3oaks this fall.

Documenting build thread for my taps, thanks for watching and advice, this may take awhile. Thanks to GRIFFIN for some great advice on NC and separation charges & recovery harness as he has many Ultimate darkstar successful flights.

With the Faux intakes going to try to make them whistle in 2 of them 180 degrees apart, then maybe something special in the other two if time permits.

CURRENT FLIGHT LOG - updated 9-21-17
MWP - Nov. 2016 - L3 M1939W - 6940'
Airfest Sept 2017 - CTI O-3400 - 15,839' 987 mph (87lbs)

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#### PokerJones

##### Well-Known Member
That looks like an awesome L3 project Nick, best of luck. I'll be following this one

#### K'Tesh

##### OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
I'll be watching this one too. op:

#### Cl(VII)

##### Chris Bender, Lab Rat
Yeah buddy!!!!!!!!

#### Nick@JET

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks for the OR file K'Tesh, been very helpful

#### Nick@JET

##### Well-Known Member
When it is finished it will look like its smaller 4" brother

The only issue at this point will be the air defuser out the bottom end. Going to try and have this printed but may wind up left off due to the heat of the motor.

#### neil_w

##### Working on 20K
TRF Supporter
Still can't get over how nice that 4"er came out. This L3 monster should be spectacular.

#### bob jablonski

##### Well-Known Member
Looking forward to watching the beast fly Nick

#### dixontj93060

##### Well-Known Member
When it is finished it will look like its smaller 4" brother

View attachment 298039

The only issue at this point will be the air defuser out the bottom end. Going to try and have this printed but may wind up left off due to the heat of the motor.
Wow! Beautiful!

#### Cl(VII)

##### Chris Bender, Lab Rat
I think it says a lot about Mike from MAC that he was cool with having parts (upscale of his intakes, or modified?) made from his signature material through his own supply chain. I don't know what financial arrangement you all have (and it's none of my business), but it speaks to the benefit of being upfront with reasonable people.

The 4" came out great also. This will be a beauty when it is done.

#### JJSR

##### Well-Known Member
Very KOOL Nick! you beat me to it LOL
I've been wanting to upscale it again, but that darn thing "WORK" (and I mean that as a dirty four letter word) keeps getting in the way of my rocketry building.

Best of luck with your build

I'm hoping you'll be going to LDRS at MDRA next year, so I get a chance to see her fly.

#### Nick@JET

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks everyone!

Yes Mike at MAC Performance has been awesome, again a testament to the hobby that other want you to win too.

JJSR started it, sorry to take your thunder.

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#### neil_w

##### Working on 20K
TRF Supporter
Joe's upscale QCC is very very nice as well. That's just a neat model to upscale... or even build at normal scale. OK, it's just a neat model, period.

#### rfjustin

##### Well-Known Member
Nick,

Looking forward to the build!

#### ECayemberg

##### Well-Known Member
Wow; sweet. Checking in; can't wait to see this one develop Nick!!! This is going to be sweet, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the motor choice(s)....nothing beats big White Lightning!

-Eric-

#### Wingarcher

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
This will be a great rocket! I sure hope the parts all work out, this is quite a complex design with many non-obvious issues that have to be attended to. Happy that UpscaleCNC has been able to be a part of designs like this!

Nat Kinsey
UpscaleCNC

#### Flyfalcons

##### Well-Known Member
Oh hell yes. What an awesome design; I'll be following this one for sure.

#### Nick@JET

##### Well-Known Member
Not much to post yet, just sanding everything for assembly. My TAP was kind enough to lend me a 98mm case for a little while, so I used a flat surface with some 220g and the case to sand the end of the motor mount tube true (have to improvise when ur in a hotel room).

Also worked on my documentation, parts list, checklists
, procedures and AV Bay schematic. Thanks to some people on TRF that post some of their paperwork, this made much quicker work to the checklists, just had to re-write to apply to this L3. I'll try and post on here soon.

as of now almost everything is ordered and nearly received except for Chutes, motor casing and motor. I plan to order hardware very soon.

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#### Nick@JET

##### Well-Known Member
Received my SC Precision thrust ring today, very nice piece. Today I measured up the motor mount and made some small jigs to hold the front centering rings in place and figure out the placing of the rings. This will be important since the SC thrust ring will transfer some of the the load to the airframe.
Unpacked all my air intakes and fins from Nat @ UpscaleCNC, he was nice enough to make a few extra pieces just in case.

Just really figuring out the order of assembly since I really don't want to slot the booster tube , instead I plan on leaving off the rear centering rings so I can do internal fillets.

Prepping front centering rings so the Y harness can pass through.

Tomorrows plan will be epoxy in the Y harness, front centering rings, plan locations for rail buttons and hopefully more

#### bob jablonski

##### Well-Known Member
AT M1939 or N Nice choice due to the CTI availibility issues. I wonder where you can score one at a reasonable price? (Yes Nick this is a hijack advertisement:wink

#### Nick@JET

##### Well-Known Member
Made two fin guides with areas for the intakes. These guides are 36" square plywood, they are huge. Thoughts of where am I going to store this rocket? Hang from ceiling likely.

Since there are no instructions this takes some pre thought on the order of assembly - TTW fins - however they go through the air intakes, so the intakes will be installed first. Everything is going together to mark and verify the order.

#### Nick@JET

##### Well-Known Member
Drilled for the key switches using a larger OD forsner bit for the switch housing then a smaller for the switch barrel so the switches fit down into the coupler

Drilled and mounted the 1515 rail buttons - using (3)10-24 T- nuts. This was a little challenging since i needed to epoxy in place on the motor mount - then be able to drill the holes, install the motor mount and temporarily mount the rail buttons while the epoxy dries, since I need to remove the motor mount

This is my first venture with West epoxy which I purchased from Wildman with pumps, silica and chopped CF - I love these pumps, so easy! So I decided to do a test with CF and silica and time it to see how long it takes to set. Mixes very thin and Took about 1 hr to set, so I will likely do my fillets with RocketPoxy.

Mixed up some chopped CF (just a pinch) with west 205 and started assembly of the UpscaleCNC/ Mac Performance air intakes.

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#### Nick@JET

##### Well-Known Member
I should explain the air intakes, what I'm wanting to do it to make the rocket whistle on 2 of the intakes and motor tubes on the other two intakes for a cold smoke emitter after motor burnout. So I drilled the forward intake bulkhead to accept a 24mm motor tube, the the middle bulk head I drilled (2) 3/8" holes and countersunk them. I epoxied those in reverse, and will then make a square opening just ahead of the front fin fillet to create the whistle noise. Not really sure if this will work but it should. Also I will balance out the intakes with the motor mount and and the whistle 180 degrees out. In the future I can always plug all 4 to eliminate any air going through the intakes.

Also sand profiled the edges of all the fins with a power sander, this is not for altitude, just for cleanliness. This is a very air draggy rocket after all.

A friend of mine owns a butcher shop, so he hooked me up with some butcher paper for fiberglassing my small QCC.

My flight plan for the L3 will be to have to Estes QCC Explorer, the 4" MAC Performance VTS-6 ( which I turned into QCC explorer and the 6" Ultimate QCC Explorer and fly all three in that order. (Hopefully I'll be flying more rockets at MWP but these will lead up to my L3 attempt).

#### Nick@JET

##### Well-Known Member
Drilled all my shear pin, river, air sampling and vent holes. Once I drilled one, I set it upright and pulled down to drill the rest, my garage ceiling is too short to assemble the rocket in.
Had a little gap in the AV and payload, but with a sanding block was able to get a pretty good match.
Also drilled my indent holes for indexing