Aurora Rocket Fuel Print E-mail
Friday, 02 March 2012 21:31
Once more eBay has turned up another gem of rocketry history. This time in the form of a little brown box by Aurora.

Click to Embiggen

But what is it? Photos of the box contents and more information after the jump!
Cox Rocket Engines Print E-mail
Friday, 02 March 2012 20:56

Recently, while looking at all the rocketry stuff on eBay, I came across this little bit of rocketry history.

Click to Embiggen

These old Cox B6-6 motors are dated 28th April, 1971! They are in perfect condition and I'm pretty sure that if I was to load one up into a rocket (something that I'm not going to do!) I would get a perfect flight.

Click to Embiggen

More photos after the jump or on Flickr

Kinder Surprise Egg Rocket (Flight) Print E-mail
Friday, 02 March 2012 20:43
I built a rocket using the egg from a Kinder Surprise, but did it fly?

Well, yes it did!

Click to Embiggen

The C6-5 was the perfect match for this little rocket. Nice straight boost and recovery using an Estes 12" plastic parachute.

Click to Embiggen
Kinder Surprise Egg Rocket (Scratch Build) Print E-mail
Friday, 02 March 2012 20:31
During Christmas time here in Australia, giant Kinder Surprise eggs hit the shelves. Much like their smaller counterparts, you get a chocolate egg with this plastic bubble inside with a toy. The chocolate isn't too bad and the toy is usually (always?) rubbish, but the egg itself just screamed rocket!

These eggs with toys seem not to exist in the USA - some law about you can't have toys inside food. Bah! You guys are missing out!

I started by cutting two centring rings and added an 18mm motor mount.

I shaved off the locking ring on the lower half of the egg, so the top comes off the bottom easily.

Because of the type of plastic, not much in the way of glue will stick to it. I have used 5min epoxy throughout and through-the-wall fins - hopefully there's enough to hold it all together.

The nosecone has a wooden bulkhead on both sides of the plastic shell with a screw-eye going through both. I've added some lead shot for ballast in the nose.

Two launch lugs are mounted on the edge of one fin.

Centuri Draconian Marauder (Flight) Print E-mail
Friday, 02 March 2012 20:08
With the Centuri Draconian Marauder now built, I took a trip down to the local park to see how it flys!

The weekend was warm, the sun was out and there was only the slightest hint of wind. Perfect!

Due to weight and a somewhat draggy design, I figured that a C6-3 would be the perfect choice.

Click to embiggen

The boost was slow but straight and seemed to keep going forever! Great flight and perfect recovery. I think next flight I'll put it up on an D13 18mm reload.

More photos after the jump...
Centuri Draconian Marauder (Build) Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 January 2012 09:55
Browsing ebay, I came across an old Centuri kit from 1979 - the Draconian Marauder.

Released to coincide with the Buck Rogers craze. This kit is mint in an unopened package. I know that rockets should be built and flown, but this is really a collectable and I can't bring myself to open it.

I searched the web and managed to locate the plans and good quality scans of the parts. The unusual thing with this kit is that the fins etc. are all cardboard!

I re-drafted the parts in CorelDRAW and laser cut them out of medium weight cardboard. For the main body tube I used a length of BT50. The original body tube was about 1mm smaller - I don't think the difference will matter.

From what I've read, the included nose weight isn't enough (and being so dry, it's hard to get a correct weight. Due to the weight of all the paper & cardboard at the back end of the rocket, I fear that this may not be terribly stable, so I have added quite a bit of weight to the nose - well in excess of what was originally included.

Constructions photos after the jump or on Flickr
TRAAU 16th October 2011 Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 January 2012 23:58

October 16th saw the final Tripoli launch of 2011. we were greeted with a bright clear day along with quite a stiff breeze. Being the last launch of the year, quite a few certifications were attempted - some successful, others not.

(Right: Mark's Successful L2 flight)

The highlight of the day was Les's Level 3 certification flight. The launch rail was moved back to a safe distance and rocket loaded up. The NOTAM had been entered during the week prior as the estimated altitude was going to exceed our standard waver of 10,000'. The launch window had been approved and preparations were completed in time. Les's rocket got away well for a great flight however, recovery wasn't completely successful. Les had designed the nosecone to be recovered on a separate parachute. Due to the wind it was blown some distance from the rest of the airframe and not recovered on the day.

The good news is, however, a local farmer located the nosecone and returned it - Les's certification has subsequently been approved! Congratulations Les!

To see all the photos of the launch, take a look at my Flickr album.

Fleet Addition - Hellfire AGM-114A Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 January 2012 23:42
I've been building a few kits of late, the first one is The Launch Pad's Hellfire AGM-114A.

The Launch Pad kits have been described before as a kit for scratch-builders and that's a pretty fair description.

I bought this kit along with three other Launch Pad kits a couple of years ago but put them aside and have only just got back to building them.

The kit includes the usual assortment of parts - motor mount, 2.6" body tube, centring rings etc. The fins aren't pre-cut; you get a template and a sheet of balsa. Unfortunately, the balsa isn't quite big enough to fit the fins :( I ended up re-drafting the fins in CorelDRAW and laser cut them from 1.5mm ply.

I airbrushed the rocket with matt olive green and created a stencil for the lettering and yellow squares. To paint the nosecone, I mounted it in the chuck of my lathe and turned it by hand. Once finished, the Hellfire stands almost 2" tall and is designed to fly on 24mm motors. (Click image to Embiggen)
Rocket Motor box Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 02:35
For a long time I've used a plastic storage tub for my low-power BP motors and decided to use this old army surplus ammo box for my motors. I picked this up recently partly because it was cheap ($5) but mostly because it looked cool.

When I originally got it, there were some markings in white paint on the outside of the box - denoting the original contents. I removed this with 'goo off' without damaging the underlying green paint.

I laser-cut a stencil and applied new markings :)

I still need to line the box with MDF before I load it up with motors, but once done, will perfectly fit 18mm motors across it's width.
TRAAU 28th August 2011 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 02:23
The August launch marked the end of the Winter here in Australia - but Winter wasn't ready to let go just yet. The day was cold, windy and overcast. However, despite the weather, quite a few rockets got off the pads!

I launched my ACME rocket. The RSO wasn't so sure and went through all the standard questions "Have you flown this before?" and initially said "No way!" but decided to let me fly it off the high power pad as a head's up launch.

I have flown the ACME rocket before on D & E's, but this time around I wanted to push it up on an F. My flight card was approved, an F24 was loaded and off to the pad.

Heads up was called, the launch officer did the count down and:

The ACME rocket leapt off the pad and weather cocked ever so slightly and had a nice boost to 600' or so. Fins are so over-rated! More photos after the jump and the full set available on Flickr.
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