Monday, May 29, 2017

Mini Higgs Build, part 4

The build is complete except for the last piece of the recovery harness. The kit comes with a thin tubular elastic cord that connects the nose cone to the Kevlar cord. I'm contemplating adding a thicker and longer elastic strap. I also went ahead and added a 3/16" lug. The 1/8" square lugs probably are sufficient for a C11 flight but I figured that a larger one might be better for D12 or composite flights.

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This will hopefully fly at the June NARHAMS launch.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mini Higgs build, part 3

This morning, I completed the nose cone assembly. This consisted of attaching the top, bottom and tip pieces, sanding & filling, sanding the shoulder to fit, and then attaching said shoulder.

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I found my Fill'n'Finish had dried out. The lid seemed tight but it was old and mostly used up. My local Home Depot doesn't carry the Elmers fillers so I decided to try a tiny tub of DAP Plastic Wood-X. It doesn't seem to fill balsa grain quite as well as the Elmers but it seems passable. I will hold judgment until I see what the grain looks like after a coat of primer. One nice feature is that it is pink when moist and white when dry.

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I installed the square lugs using balsa spacers that are provided. The lugs are 1/8", which is smaller than what I like on D-powered rockets. I haven't decided if I will also attach 3/16" lugs.

The last step is to cut and attach balsa trim around the upper lug and at the top of the body tube.

When I next post, the rocket should be ready for primer. (Or have primer on?)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mini Higgs build, part 2

The fin units have tabs that fit into precut slots. I put them on with the Trim and Molding glue, No fuss no muss. The standoff for the upper launch lug also mounts this way.

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The nose cone consists of eight interlocking pieces and also is easy to assemble. Once the glue is dry, the ends of both sections will be sanded flat. There is a square of balsa to cover the top and a balsa nose cone shoulder.

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I was stuck in a drying cycle so I built the parachute. I originally thought I'd use a nylon one from the ol' range box but liked the pattern on the stock canopy.  The canopy is pre-cut and has holes for shroud lines. But you don't use them. Instead, the kit uses self-adhesive strips. The middle of these are not adhesive and form an eyelet where the lines are tied. The instructions even show how to tie buntline hitch knots. I never used this knot but will in the future.

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Mini Higgs build, part 1

I dug into the build at the very best place to start - at the very beginning, which in this case is the motor mount.

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This is not so different than any other LPR mount. It includes rings (squares in this case), a motor clip, motor block, etc. The mount also has two normal round rings to hold the clip securely in place. The Kevlar leader is attached behind the forward square centering ring. Unlike any kit I've had, it also includes a section of shrink tube to protect the lower several inches of the Kevlar.  I pretty much built this stock. If I want to put a bigger motor in one, I will have to buy another one. The only deviation is that I attached the leader with 5-min epoxy.

Next up are the fins. The ply and square fins are both notched to mate with one another. This took some wiggling but they fit great. You have to love laser cutting. I tacked them square with a few drops of Bondic UV-sensitive glue and then started adding fillets using Titebond Wood and Molding Glue (now has a different name). The kit includes several Q-tips to swab glue on.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

First look...New Way Mini Higgs Farm Square Rocket

I decided to open up the kit that Tom gave me at today's launch.  As I mentioned in my launch report and displayed on the front of the instructions, this is a downscale of one of Tom's huge rockets.

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I am quite impressed with the parts. The body and fin tubes are quite solid. The fins themselves are plywood. The nose cone is balsa.  All the wood is laser cut. It includes decals and, here's a first, the required sandpaper and emery board are included. This will be a simple build but, since I have never built one of their kits, think I will read and follow the directions. I may fiddle with the recovery system.

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Launch Report 2017-3 (MDRA)

Location: Central Sod Farm, ESL-226
Weather: high of 68, wind 10+, overcast
Total flights: Today - 6; YTD - 16
Total motors: Today - 6; YTD - 17
Motors by class YTD:  B-1; C-7; D-1; E-4; F-1; G-2; I-1

This was a nice day for flying although the wind direction could have been more favorable. A lot of rockets fell near my camp but my car, my dog, and myself all escaped unscathed.  There were lots of flights including an 'L' and one of Tom Cohen's huge rockets.

I have to give an extra big shout-out to Tom. He handed me one of NewWay Rocket's downscale of his famous 'Higgs Farm' square rocket. Thanks a bunch! Hopefully, we can drag race them later in the year. I'll even drag race the full sized version :eek:

My Flights:
  1. Apollo Command/Service Module on a C11-3 - This was a finless RAIS-style experiment. It was underpowered and it was hard to determine if it had time to go unstable.
  2. Apollo Command/Service Module on a D12-5 - This was a much better flight. It had a wiggly, serpentine flight path but it did generally to in the upward direction. I've seen a similar wobble on saucer-style rockets although their's generally have a higher frequency.
  3. Mach Buster 2.0 on a C11-7 - This was a nice flight. It landed on the hard gravel parking lot and isn't too much the worse for wear. The cone looks just fine but is just a skosh less pointy.
  4. Rocketman Crusader on an I357M-10 - CR@300 - Nice boost, separation, RIP. The cone and payload section are reusable.
  5. 58mm JATO on a G74-6 - CR@300 - Nice flight, it appears the Chute Release survived the previous flight.
  6. AeroTech Cheetah on an F15-4 - Good flight.
My photos are [here].

MDRA ESL-226



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mach Buster 2,0, part 3

I had been pondering whether I should buy a set of decals from Stickershock (available, but not on their website last I checked). However, I had time to work on it today and I decided just to use some sparkly holographic sticker stock. And, here it is....

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I added a piece of elastic between the Kevlar leader and the nose cone. This slips into the cone and should help protect the printed connection point. With 6' of Kevlar, that may not be necessary but I've gotten used to doing this on LPR and small MPR builds. It currently has a 6' 'caution tape' streamer and will fly on a C11-7 at MDRA. I want to go small for the maiden flight to maximize the probability of a second flight. The RockSim model was updated with as-built numbers and it says it will go a bit over 500'. The optimal delay is about 5 seconds. I have three- and seven-second delays and think I will opt for the -7.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Mach Buster 2.0, part 2

This was a nice, simple one day build. Less painting, of course.

I noted the foil-lined 24mm tube is very, very snug in the Garolite body. Since a tape thrust ring or reload closure will push on the body tube, I left the mount pressure fit.

I started by planning the position of the shock cord mount by spotting the depth of an installed 24/60 casing, the nose cone shoulder, and width of my planned streamer. The hole in the shock cord mount had to be drilled out. I then installed the cord and pulled it out the back. I swabbed in a blob of 5-minute epoxy and shoved the mount into position.

The fins were attached, one at a time, using 5-minute epoxy. The alignment tool worked great. I then formed fillets, also with the 5-minute epoxy. After reading the EMRR flight reports on the original, I opted for a 1/4" lug. Small rail buttons would be nice but I don't have any and don't plan to buy any.

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The nose cone is a little rough. However, since this will get plenty of altitude, I'm going to leave it. I'm afraid that it will look ugly after sanding, which will lead to painting. That would be a waste of colored plastic.  Purple would look good on the body. Or, maybe I'll leave it white and add some red holographic trim,