Friday, April 22, 2016

Three New From Scratch

Just a quick post while I take a break from launch prep. Tomorrow, April 23, will be my first launch of the season, and today I finished three new scratch built rockets, just in time.

Ceres B with Camera Payload Bay

This is a design from Mike Westerfield's book, Make: Rockets: Down-to-Earth Rocket Science. The camera payload bay, which Mike calls "ICU2," I've built before, and lost, on a rocket of my own design.
I made a few enhancements to the design. The fins are mounted through the wall of the airframe and attached to the motor mount. The fins are also beveled on the edges, and tapered radially, meaning they get thinner near the tips. I was able to do this pretty easily by building the fins up from three pieces, and will do a more detailed post about how to do it. It also makes the fins really strong.

The camera will be hidden inside the payload bay:

The payload tube is held on to the conical transition piece with removable plastic rivets. Static port holes in the payload tube allow an altimeter to take accurate readings (actually, the camera hole is probably more than sufficient for this purpose, but I added static ports anyway).

The original design is a standard E-motor length model rocket motor mount with a hook. I kept the hook and thrust ring out, and added a screw-on motor retainer, so I can fly the rocket with any 24mm motor, regardless of how long it is.

I can't wait to fly this one a few times tomorrow.

Imperius D

This simple design was one I did for a fundraiser at the Bloomington Playwrights Project, and I decided I wanted my own. It's a BT-56-based design, which will fly on D motors.

There's no launch lug - the rocket has tiny micro rail buttons for use with a MakerBeam launch rail pad.

I was going to go with black and red, but I already have a Der Red Max, and a lot of red, black and white in my fleet. So I went with blue and gold for this one.

Copperhead with Booster Stage

Another fundraiser rocket, this was originally called "Keith's Rocket" here on the blog. Even though it's pretty small - BT-50 body and BT-60 payload - I really liked the design, so I built one for myself.
I also decided to add a booster, because why not? A booster stage looks really cool on this rocket, and it will make the rocket fly higher.

The fins on this are 1/16 inch basswood, and sanded into airfoil shapes. Again, the payload has static ports for use with an altimeter.

I'll stage it with either B or C motors, depending on the wind and how confident I feel. But I really like the way this one turned out.

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