I've been wanting to try a couple of new techniques with my rockets - zipperless design and boat tails. I decided to build Mr Stabby to see how these worked out.
This was a fairly straight-forward build, starting with the design in Rocksim. The boat tail is actually a BT70-BT50 transition that I drilled out the center. Creating a boat tail this way was a suggestion from Bones at Suburban Rocketry, and it worked out perfectly!
The airframe comprises of 2 lengths of BT70 tube (18" long), a BT70 nosecone (10.5") and the boat tail. The fins are made from 3mm plywood for durability and the zipperless coupler in the middle doubles as an ejection baffle. Mr Stabby stands 48" (123cm) tall.
The nosecone is expoied into the top section of body tube, with a length of Kevlar thread attached.
The 'blood' dripping off the top of the rocket was created with a hand-cut stencil and painted Rustolium Cardinal Red. The rest of the airframe is Rustolium Titanium Silver - I am very happy with the colours as well as the quality of the Rustolium paint :) Two coats of clear were applied to help protect the paintwork and to seal down the decal.
Well, almost. In the next few days I will give it a couple of coats of clear gloss just to seal everything in, but it won't change the look. I decided to go with a very different paint job to the stock rocket, and am happy with the result - nice and bright! I shouldn't lose that now.
I originally thought about painting it yellow from top to bottom, however after a coat of primer, a coat of white and a coat of yellow, the red line for the launch lugs was still bleeding through, so a coat of orange hid that.
At the moment, solid rocket motors with more than 62.5 grams of propellant aren't allowed to be flown in this great state of Victoria. Worksafe are currently reviewing their regulations and are open to submissions on how the explosives act can be updated. The good news is that Tripoli Australia and the Australian Rocketry Association have put aside their differences and are working together to try and get the law updated as quickly as possible. But for now, the Excel may simply sit and look pretty in my lounge room...
Over the last few weeks I have been working on my Binder Design Excel 38mm. I had held off building it until my replacement fins arrived.
Cutting the fin slots was a nerve wracking experience! After getting advice from other builders and reading all I could find on the web, I put knife to tube. I masked out the area to be cut using masking tape and, armed with a brand-new #11 blade and a right-angle straight-edge, slowly cut the slots. They turned out perfect :)
The 10-ply fins are solid. Very solid! So solid that it took ages to sand them down. After sanding, they got a thin coat of finishing epoxy and then more sanding. They've turned out smooth... Ooohhh.. Smooth.
The instructions showed both forward and rear centering rings being glued onto the motor mount tube and then installed in the rocket prior to attaching the fins. I differed from this step by not gluing the rear centering ring - allowing it to be removed. Fins went in next and having access at the rear allowed for the application of internal fillets on all fins as well as attaching the rail button.
Apart from installing the Aeropac motor retainer, The rocket is built!
I'm still debating with the colour scheme - should I go stock or paint something different... I'll make a decision on that after I've given it a spray of undercoat.
At the start of the year I purchased two Binder Design kits - the Excel 38mm and the Spike. Over the last couple of months I have been working on the Spike and am very happy with the end result!
Standing 30" tall (76cm) doesn't make it the biggest in my fleet (that honor goes to the Estes Mean Machine at 6.5" tall!) but I think it's one of the best kits I have put together to date.
The kit comes with a plastic nose cone, ply centering rings, heavy-duty cardboard body tube and motor mount, very nice high-quality plywood fins, rail buttons, tubular nylon shock cord, 18" parachute and detailed step-by-step instructions.
After running the design through rocsim, I added a couple of gramms of weight to the nose (there's a note on the front page of the instructions about this) for stability. I deviated only once from the instructions with regard to building the fins. Instructions call for mounting the two centering rings and then glueing in the fins - I didn't glue in the rear centering ring, allowing me to apply internal fillets to the through-wall fins - I believe that this will make for a more robust rocket.
I also made the decision not to use the rail buttons, instead using a 1/4" rod lug.
Almost 18 months ago I found an old telescoping light stand that was being thrown out. It seemed solid and I figured that I'd put it to use one day... Well, that day has come!
I've removed the telescoping sections and have now turned up a drop-in slug with a 1/8" launch rod fitted in the middle. I am half-way though making a 2nd one that will hold my launch rail as well as one for a 1/4" rod. It was flight-tested last weekend and am very happy with the results :)
As I was growing up, I was privileged to witness the dawn of the home video game era.
I had spent countless hours bashing a silver ball up and down an inclined play-field, utilising nothing but two fingers to manipulate a pair of rubber-coated flippers in a vain attempt to win a free game or beat the standing high score (typically held by someone called 'ACE', 'POO', 'ASS' or any one of a number of humorously creative three-letter words.)
Video games slowly appeared, typically tucked away in the same smoke-filled rooms as their electromechanical counterparts. These rooms, often found out the back of the local Italian coffee shop, were not the places that the youth of the time should be visiting, or so our parents would have us believe.
1977 Was the dawn of an era as the Atari corporation released the Atari VCS and every kid wanted one.
I've been doing a bit of re-building recently, another disaster now repaired. Once Called "The Big Nuke", a bonus delay on an Aerotech motor saw a zipper tear down both sides to just above the bottom of the 'check' mark around the top. I got myself motivated, trimmed off the top 3 or 4 inches and gave it a new lick of paint. Now simply called "Red & White" (because I can't think of a better name) has flown again! First video on an E9, the 2nd (after the jump) is on an E30. Flys like a charm and looks super under its matching red & white parachute!