Sunday, September 18, 2016

Saturn V fin replacement

After one use, I highly recommend getting some Bondic liquid plastic glue. It's a bit pricey, but I can see it will be very useful. I attached this fin in about 15 seconds. But that took an extra pair of hands. Still, this would have been very difficult even with CA.

I first laid on a thin bead and carefully positioned the fin. My wife then irradiated it with the included UV LED source for about 4 seconds. It seemed sturdy enough but I added a thin layer on each side. I bet this joint is at least as strong as the other three.


fin replacement

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Launch Report 2016-8 (MDRA)

Location: Central Sod Farm, Centreville, MD, ESL-219
Weather: 75-80, mostly overcast, wind 0-10
Total flights: Today - 5; YTD - 62
Total motors: Today - 10; YTD - 80
Motors by class YTD: MMX-1, 1/2A-2, A-17, B-2, C-28, D-7, E-10, F-5, G-8

Nice day, no shade required. The crowd didn't look too bad but the pads were mostly full on each round. I once again had a misfire on a G74SU using the stock igniter and left without flying the Ventris.

My Flights:
  1. Landshark on a G118-8 - CR@300' - Fast flight, short walk.
  2. Mini Chesapeake Sea Monster on 5 x A10 - All 5 lit using the Cluster Buck. See the partial video in the album below.
  3. Boyce Saturn V on an C6-3 - Despite a marginal thrust/weight ratio, it flew well with just a little wobble. The dowel tower and one fin broke. I will replace the fin with 1/64th G10 and attach it with Bondic UV sensitive glue.
  4. Chesapeake Sky Monster on two D12-3s - Only one went and it quickly nosedived. Amazingly there was no damage.
  5. Chesapeake Sky Monster on two E12-4s - Both lit and it did a wider loop before hitting the ground. It was still under power so it tried to head off toward Bat-mite's tent. Both motors ejected on the ground. It doesn't look in too bad a shape in the attached photo, but it is not repairable. Needed more power? It was out of kilter due to the crash? The 'skeleton' design had lift issues? Who knows.
I tried to embed the whole Flickr album, but it doesn't seem to be working. If you click on this photo you can navigate backwards through the rest of the photos.

MDRA ESL-219

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Adios to Kay's Lounge (1939-2016)

Credit: culturemap Houston/Eric Sandler.

I just heard that my favorite college watering hole has closed and will be torn down to make room for patio homes. Located close to Rice U., it was a favorite hangout for Rice students and other locals. I spent a lot of time there, drinking Longnecks and playing foosball. We'd occasionally get to sit at the famous Texas Table. My name is on there somewhere.

Credit: culturemap Houston/Eric Sandler.

I hear the sale was amicable. The local cats have been relocated and the Texas Table is being retained by the owner. He says they may reopen in the Hill Country at some point.

Thanks for the memories.



Tuesday, September 06, 2016

My experience with Estes 'E' motors

I keep thinking about all the problem report that I've seen over the last couple of years. I just checked my logs and found that I have used 143 E9's since 2002. In that time, I only remember one cato. This was quite a while ago and I used a quick and dirty off-label ignition set-up. I thought there were a second but if there was I can't find it. If it isn't in the EMRR logs, it didn't happen! That's 0.7%.

As for E12's, I've used 31 and have had four cato's. That's 13%!

No point, just my curiosity.

Thanks to Richard Holmes for pointing out my arithmetic error. I guess I checked that as well as I check spelling. :(

Thursday, September 01, 2016

A rocket that can fly on dihydrogen monoxide *and* APCP?!? Say WHAT?

Well, that's exactly what the folks over at Air Command are doing. In a continuing move to the dark side, they want to start flying HPR. So they are building a rocket that can either fly as a big a$$ water rocket of a nice sized HPR bird. No matter what your preference in propellants, I'm sure you will enjoy this video. They make all their parts themselves, from the fiberglass tubes to the aluminum closures. I wish this video had been out there when I first started glassing things.