X-15 Build

Discussion in 'Scratch Built' started by John_461, Feb 6, 2019.

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  1. Feb 6, 2019 #1

    John_461

    John_461

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    I was watching some random documentary about the X-15 project and thought it would be a great project.

    Any interest in a build thread?

    It will be based on an Estes BT-55 tube and measure ~19” when done.
     
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  2. Feb 6, 2019 #2

    kuririn

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    Welcome to the forum. And I'm in.
     
  3. Feb 6, 2019 #3

    Saluki

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    I am always up for an X-15 build. I have built one based around a BT-60 tube.
    The white one in the photos was the prototype. It flew straight and stable on a D12-5.
     

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  4. Feb 6, 2019 #4

    Leo

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    Very nicely done!
     
  5. Feb 6, 2019 #5

    Bruiser

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    I'll be following this one too!

    -Bob
     
  6. Feb 6, 2019 #6

    John_461

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    Very nice Saluki! I don’t think I have quite that level of finishing skill.

    Drew up a quick template in Open Rocket.
     

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  7. Feb 7, 2019 #7

    John_461

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    Got my raw materials arranged and the motor mount assembled with 4 feet of 300# kevlar line.
     

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  8. Feb 7, 2019 #8

    John_461

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    Picked up the Estes tube cutting guides. They make perfect cuts easy. Why didn’t I buy these earlier?
     

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  9. Feb 7, 2019 #9

    John_461

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    Got the wing roots, wings and fins cut out using the templates open rocket generated. The upper and lower fins are 1/8th balsa glued together then sanded to a wedge.
     

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  10. Feb 7, 2019 #10

    John_461

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    Airfoiled the wings and glued everything together. I sandwiched everything between sheets of wax paper, then flipped my digital scale (it was the only thing perfectly flat that I had handy) and stacked a gallon of water on that to make it all play nice.

    I’ll attach the aft wings later to make filling/sanding easier.
     

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  11. Feb 7, 2019 #11

    neil_w

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    I'm in.
     
  12. Feb 7, 2019 #12

    John_461

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    The wing assembly was glued to the body tube.
     

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  13. Feb 7, 2019 #13

    John_461

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    I took some 1/16th balsa and wetted it down, then wrapped it around some 1/2 inch pvc pipe I had laying around with wax paper. I decided to ditch the wax paper after the 2nd piece and just used tape to hold it in shape while I dried it with a hair dryer.

    The end result is pretty close to what I was looking for.
     

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  14. Feb 7, 2019 #14

    John_461

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    Then I mounted the the conformal strips to the wing roots.
     

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  15. Feb 7, 2019 #15

    John_461

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    I cut off the excess and used it to draw in the front.
     

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  16. Feb 7, 2019 #16

    John_461

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    I started using ever-glaze spot putty to fill in the gaps, but my wife quickly banned it from the house because of its strong chemical small (I’m doing most of this on my dining room table)
     

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  17. Feb 7, 2019 #17

    John_461

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    So much sanding...
     

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  18. Feb 7, 2019 #18

    Saluki

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    This is really coming along fast. So far it looks good.
     
  19. Feb 8, 2019 #19

    John_461

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    Yeah. It’s my weekend. This keeps me out of trouble
     
  20. Feb 8, 2019 #20

    Bruiser

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    Looking very awesome!

    -Bob
     
  21. Feb 8, 2019 #21

    dhbarr

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    Don't suppose you'd post the .ork for posterity?
     
  22. Feb 8, 2019 #22

    John_461

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    This is a work in progress and is by no means the final product. But it's close enough to get things moving along.

    I'm not really happy with the current nose cone. I cannablized it off of an Estes Goblin that got kit bashed a while ago. I found a 3 7/8in Von Karmen balsa nose on ebay that seems cheap enough. it seems much more to scale that the 5" ogive that i have now.
     

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  23. Feb 8, 2019 #23

    John_461

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    Rear wings and upper fin going on.
     

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  24. Feb 8, 2019 #24

    Bruiser

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    I never realized how large the X-15 was. I am currently building everything in 1/10th scale so I decided to look and see how close your rocket is to that. Come to find out, it would need to be 3x to be 1/10th scale :(

    I'm really enjoying your build thread. Lots of great work and I think it is looking very nice.

    -Bob
     
  25. Feb 8, 2019 #25

    John_461

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    Thanks! This build isn’t quite to scale. Lots of compromises have been made in the name of stability and builder skill (or lack there of).

    (Edit). Just did the math. 1/10th scale would be around 4” diameter and 5’ tall. If you can make it work, it should fly nicely on a 54mm 1 or 2 grain motor. Good luck with that!
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  26. Feb 8, 2019 #26

    John_461

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    Belly stabilizer glued on. Starting to look like something now.

    The motor tube hasn’t been glued in yet. I was just checking the fit. It’s still a bit tight.

    3.8 inch balsa nose cone on order from eRockets. I just couldn’t get over the length of the 5” nose.

    Overall cost, minus the parachute, is still under $30. Which is what I’d expect to pay for a kit of this size. However this way is much more satisfying.
     

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  27. Feb 8, 2019 #27

    Bruiser

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    I find designing and building my own rocket very satisfying also, even if it's just a kit bash. What you are doing with scratch building something you designed in OpenRocket is super satisfying!

    I did the math too and it'll be a long time before I get there. Still launching Estes "D" and only restarted launches (BAR) altogether last month :)

    Too bad you're not a little closer, I'd like to see this one launch. The way you are going to town, that should be very soon!

    -Bob
     
  28. Feb 8, 2019 #28

    John_461

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    15" Sunward parachute on order from Apogeerockets. It should bring my descent speed down to ~15fps. Almost choked on the $5 shipping price, so I picked up a baffle too. (Funny how that works) These things are an enigma to me. I don't understand the science behind them, but they're supposed to work and wadding gets expensive. Plus there is the added bonus of another few grams forward of the CoP.

    If it doesn't work, I get the joy of watching all of my hard work going up in flames...literally. haha!

    I put it on the scale this morning and it weighs 3.4 oz with a 24" parachute squeezed in the tube. the center of balance is at 10.25 inches without any nose weight. We'll see how everything pans out when parts start showing up in the mail. Until then, sealing, priming and more sanding, more spot filling, more sanding, more primer, more sanding...
     
  29. Feb 14, 2019 #29

    John_461

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    Parts came in this week and I finally had some time to sit down with this thing.

    Apogee’s buffer weighed in at just 4 grams when assembled and is sitting right at the center of pressure. So, not much help balancing everything. But, it moves the shock cord anchor point forward 3-4 inches. I didn’t get any pictures of it going in. Sorry.

    The new nose came in as well. I’m pretty happy with the shape of everything now. Time to start molding in the cockpit. Still using scraps left over from the wings, I got the base shape done, then molded the rest with Elmer’s wood filler.

    I’m going to let everything cure overnight and sand it smooth in the morning.
     

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  30. Feb 14, 2019 #30

    Nytrunner

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    This is a great project!

    Did you develop the parts yourself or base them off a kit?
     

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