Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Three Nearly Finished Rockets

I've been working on a couple of posts for a few days now - including the long-promised "Launching Your First Rocket (For N00bs)" post, plus one on the financial cost of starting out in rocketry. These are taking a while, so I thought I'd do a quick post to show you what I've been up to, rocket-wise.

Last weekend, I had two days off in a row. Due to the nature of my job, this never happens. I got so much rocket stuff done last weekend - it was awesome! The only regret is that I had to scrub a launch, because Chad wasn't available, and we wanted to launch his Apogee Aspire rocket.

Well, first of all, Orion was awesome!

I was at work, and we watched a bit there - missed the launch by ten minutes, but we did see the splashdown. I'd never seen a capsule splash down in real time; I grew up in the Shuttle era.

I finished the 3D Rocketry Nautilus II build - with the exception of attaching the nose cone to the shock cord. I like to finish painting first. The rocket is primed, but not painted:

I love the way a rocket looks when it's primed. It looks solid, serious, and like it's one
piece. I'm sometimes tempted to leave the thing gray and have that be its final color.

I also finished Janus II, my second two-stage design with a camera payload bay. This isn't even primed. All I need to do now is prime and paint it, then attach the nose to the rocket, and it's time to shoot some awesome POV launch videos.
Initial drilling out of the camera well with a Dremel tool
Attaching fins to both the booster and sustainer stages
The camera bay - this will be painted matte black
The completed rocket. It's my tallest one so far.

This payload bay has enough space to take
an altimeter as well - need to get one of those!

I can't wait to see how this performs - and to get video back!
I'll post the complete build soon, so you can see how I went from design to construction - and then to launch! If I can get this painted, we'll launch it on December 27 - along with Chad's Aspire.

I also started designing a camera chase rocket that I hope to launch with the Janus II, in order to get some interesting footage.

This rocket is intended to have a camera in the nose pointed skyward, and to chase the Janus II. I don't know if I'll get around to building it, or if it will even work - model rockets are unguided, so there's no guarantee the two rockets will even go in the same direction - but my hope is to see a vertical POV from this rocket of the Janus II slowly pulling away as is flies higher. Maybe next spring you'll see something interesting on the Youtube channel.

Finally, I got the Quad Runner, a 4-motor cluster rocket by Quest Aerospace, nearly assembled. This gave me a bit of anxiety, due to the compound fins, but it's looking good, and I'm working on fin fillets at the moment.


Love that Guillotine Fin Jig!

I just love the way this looks

This rocket is looking so beautiful.

I think Quest estimates the altitude of this rocket at 2400 feet - I'll have to take care not to lose it, as it's been weeks building for me! Again, I'll post on this build in the future.

Now, if only I can get these painted, these will be some great-looking rockets!

Oh, and I unpacked one of my new mid power rockets - the Estes Pro Series II Leviathan. The thing is freaking huge! I want to get building it, but I need to seek some construction advice, as I plan to make a few changes for strength, performance, and cosmetic reasons. And I need to build something to launch it from. This rocket is heavier than my others, and uses a 29mm motor - much bigger than what I've used so far.

A 29mm AeroTech reloadable motor casing, with an Estes C6-5 18mm motor in the foreground. The C6-5 is the
most powerful motor I've launched with so far, but I've built several rockets that use something larger. I just
need to get them out to the launch pad to see how they do!
Instead of using a plain metal launch rod, I may try to construct a launch rail - something higher power rockets use, as it's much sturdier.

The nose cone of the Leviathan is nearly the size of my head!

It's after 2 a.m. Bed time for Bonzo...

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