Friday, May 02, 2008

'Single Malt' rocket

I finally started a rocket using the Highland Park scotch whiskey can. I don't have a name but for now I'll just call it the Single Malt. I'm not sure what you call the shape (see photo to the right), but it definitely looks sci-fi to me. It wasn't close enough to any known spaceship and I decided to come up with something on my own. This build is another case of real time design. I've been contemplating existing designs, perusing the parts in my bins, and slowly building. The photo at the top of the post shows my progress to date and some additional parts committed to the project. Here's a run down of the design thus far:

Motor mount - A 29mm motor tube is mounted in a section of BT-60 tubing. The front of the tube is attached using a Giant Leap 29mm-38mm phenolic ring. It's a bit small so I shimmed it with some scrap tubing. The rear is attached to a ply centering ring that matches the lower diameter of a cardboard cone. I forget where I got that cone. The top of the cone was trimmed to fit the BT-60. T-nuts are installed in the aft ring for motor retention. The engine bell looks a bit over sized, but we'll see.

Main wings - The curved main wings were cut from 8" diameter Sonotube using a RotoZip cutting wheel. This is one-piece and is inserted through slits on the aft body. The smaller tubes are 24mm LOC and will be used as nacelles on the wing tips. The four plastic things are the bomblets from an Estes BLU-97B Cluster Bomb. These will be mounted in the tips of each nacelle. I guess this is Star Trek influence.

Aft body - I cut holes in the top and bottom of the scotch container to fit the BT60. I am currently thinking about running the BT-60 up to the removable top (also shown) and installing a shoulder to mate the top to the tube. The chute would pack in the scotch container beside the BT-60.

Fore body - I haven't decided what I want to do here. I'm currently planning to attach the fore body to the top cap. You can see I've attached a piece of basswood to the cap to help in this regard.

Nose cone - I have started on a 'crew compartment' cone, but forgot to bring it upstairs for the photo session. I formed it from pink fiberglass using a craft hot-wire cutter and sandpaper. Right now, the design says 'space freighter' to me. I'm not sure I like where it stands and will probably do some more cutting. I think I'd rather have it a bit sleeker.

Misc. - I'll have to think more about stability. I know I'll need some sort of vertical stabilizer(s) and a TBD amount of nose weight. I'm also thinking about adding details - plastic parts, ping pong balls, etc.