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vetrox

The model rocket thread

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I thought I would make a quick thread on this as i'm gonna spend some of my next pay cheque on a model rocket and some bits. (I was also surprised to see there isnt already a thread on this)

Ksp has made me want to do it.

Personally i like the idea of building my own from scratch but I'm not allowed to make rocket candy in the uk so will have to use off the shelf motors. I have some grand ideas but maybe ksp has made me forget about health and safety!

Anyone else here got any tips of their own about a first time launch? Im going to start with something small before i try to build a big one! Also. Anyone got any pictures of their fleet of model rockets? A timeline of your first rockets to your current one?

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Yay! Yay! Yay!

I'm a diehard rocketry fan... and have flown a number of largish rockets. I can safely say that model rocketry may be the closest real world equivalent to KSP, besides actually joining a bona fide aerospace company.

Here are some tips for your first rocketry launch.

1) Build a kit. Building from scratch on your first rocket is generally not a good idea unless you know basic rocket physics. Be sure to assemble the kit as per instructions, too. You can make modifications later, once you have a bit of a better understanding of rockets.

2) Start off kinda small. If your first rocket is a five-foot-tall four-inch-diameter behemoth and you don't have any experience in rocket-building, things can go very wrong, very quickly. Having your first rocket shred and send little bits from horizon to horizon is not a good way to get into rocketry. (This has actually happened, although fortunately not to me.)

3) Find a big field. Even with the small kits, you generally want a field that's at least 300x300 feet to account for parachute drift. With bigger rockets, the field should generally be larger. Once you start building the big stuff, you want to go a long ways into the countryside.

4) Join a club. This is the best piece of advice I can give. Model rocketry clubs are a great place to talk about building rockets, and they generally have very large fields to launch rockets. You will be able to make friends and learn a whole, whole lot.

5) If at first you don't succeed... Try again! But if you follow the previous four steps, you will be pretty much set.

And I'll leave you with my latest rocketry project, which is a GoPro camera carrying rocket that travelled over 1300 feet into the air.

Any other model rocketeers on the forum? :)

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Wow! Cool!!

I haven't built any RL rockets, and I guess it's forbidden to fly them in Hungary (and in the EU).

Edited by jmiki8

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My favorite: http://www.estesrockets.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Asteroid

(It is from a kit though)

Don't have any pictures of the one that's actually mine.

Also, a bit of advice, make sure not to pack the recovery wadding (aka overpriced toilet paper) to tightly, otherwise the parachute doesn't deploy and you get a rocket embedded about 6inches into the ground.

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I been thinking about trying out a small kit one day. Random question.. is it possible to stage rockets at such scales?

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I been thinking about trying out a small kit one day. Random question.. is it possible to stage rockets at such scales?

It is very much possible, albeit difficult and dangerous, because if the second stage is late in igniting, the rocket will start to tip over, and then start flying sideways.

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It is very much possible, albeit difficult and dangerous, because if the second stage is late in igniting, the rocket will start to tip over, and then start flying sideways.

Or if it's really late in igniting it will fire up as the rocket is on it's way back down, scream almost vertically towards a 5-a-side football pitch and explode a few feet above the players heads, causing them to dive to the ground in terror.

This is the time to pack up and expeditiously vacate your launch site, but that is difficult to do while crippled with laughter...

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You can get class C engines easily enough in the UK. I have a bunch of them myself after they were going cheap, but there's no way I'd buy them at full price.

A C6-3 engine will get a very small rocket a few hundred feet into the air. If you're going for a staged rocket, you can get engines that are designed to throw fire out of the top end instead of an ejection charge, thus igniting the next stage up. This means you don't have to take up your own battery and second-stage igniter, nor bother with timing. It just works (mostly).

As for "overpriced toilet paper" wadding, I just use toilet paper split into individual plies. It works well enough, and I haven't had any flaming-debris problems (again, yet).

That said, I'll tend to not launch these things near any 5 a side football matches. Amusing as the idea of scaring the pants off everyone is, a rocket firing straight down and hitting someone can and invariably will cause serious injury. If you're that worried, consult your local model shop and ask them for your nearest BMFA-registered model flying club that allows rocketry. £5 million in liability insurance for the cost of BMFA registration is a very good deal.

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Yay! Yay! Yay!

I'm a diehard rocketry fan... and have flown a number of largish rockets. I can safely say that model rocketry may be the closest real world equivalent to KSP, besides actually joining a bona fide aerospace company.

Here are some tips for your first rocketry launch.

1) Build a kit. Building from scratch on your first rocket is generally not a good idea unless you know basic rocket physics. Be sure to assemble the kit as per instructions, too. You can make modifications later, once you have a bit of a better understanding of rockets.

-snip-

Any other model rocketeers on the forum? :)

Ksp is deffinatley the reason I even thought about model rocketry

yeh the plan is deffo build a kit first. Honestly, I'm surprised at how cheap a hobby it actually is! Theres a kit I've spotted (cant remember the name) but comes with 2 rockets and almost everything except motors for a very good price. Ones basically an almost assembled bigger rocket and the other is one that requires assembly and is smaller but flies higher.

That vid was awesome and also...that rocket is huge! at least the video and the flames make it look huge

Are C motors really the biggest I can get in the UK? that's a shame

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Are C motors really the biggest I can get in the UK? that's a shame

You can get plenty bigger, but the licensing requirements for shops selling the engines changes at class D. For pretty much that reason alone, you'll find it a lot easier to get hold of class C than class D or anything higher.

BMFA insurance, last I checked, will cover you for anything up to class M, so long as it's launched from BMFA-approved land (like a model flying club).

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Are C motors really the biggest I can get in the UK? that's a shame

You can get plenty bigger, but the licensing requirements for shops selling the engines changes at class D. For pretty much that reason alone, you'll find it a lot easier to get hold of class C than class D or anything higher.

BMFA insurance, last I checked, will cover you for anything up to class M, so long as it's launched from BMFA-approved land (like a model flying club).

Yup. Just been reading the UKRA site and absorbing it all. Its very well structured in the way the you get certificated to use certain rocket motors. I'm sure i can have plenty of fun with off the shelf c class for now and then move up the ladder once i have a bit of experience.

Its not like ksp where you just strap stuff to other stuff and see what happens :D

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Lovely thread!

I too started small and mostly built models from Estes and flew up to C engines when I was a kid. Nowadays I'm into the bigger stuff, J engines and such. And am a member of my local club (WAC; Washington Aerospace Club, Seattle).

My video!

(Caution: the second half will make you dizzy unless you're Jebediah Kerman.)

Edited by MajorThomas

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Wow! Cool!!

I haven't built any RL rockets, and I guess it's forbidden to fly them in Hungary (and in the EU).

I sincerely doubt it is forbidden in Hungary. Rocketry clubs exist in all ex socialist countries and you don't have to be a member. There are limits, however, regarding the height and the mass of the propellant.

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i love model rocketry, i dont have pic's of my launch's but i have done some cool stuff. i launched a rocket with an egg cargo inside and it survived. with a similar rocket, i launched a lizard (closest thing to a kerbal in real life i could find) and sadly jebediah lizardman did not survive as the parachutes failed to deploy properly and he ran into the ground, R.I.P. but on my second try, bill the lizard packed the chutes properly and he soared to about 4000ft and successfully landed, i gave that lizard a ride of a lifetime.

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In the moment a model rocket launches, anything onboard experiences pretty much the same G-force as when it drops down into the ground at terminal velocity. Chances are that the lizard will die in the moment of the launch, or will be hurt and then finished in the event of parachute failure. Even if it all goes well and the animal walks away, the launch will hurt it, causing internal bleeding, brain trauma, etc. so it will likely die few hours later. It's a slow death.

Don't launch lizards. If you need to launch animals, use insects like ants, beetles, or annelids like earthworms, or arthropods like millipedes, centipedes. They are not developed enough (no brains, only ganglia) to actually suffer.

Lizards can suffer. It's not a great suffering as with mammals, but they do suffer.

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Living things aren't toys for children to play with. And I'm speaking here as someone who hunts animals for meat.

Back to rockets, it's surprising how much fun you can have with a humble 'C' motor. I'm going to build a liquid fuel engine one day, but I doubt I'll ever be able to make one light enough to fly.

Edited by Specialist290
Thread cleanup.

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I sincerely doubt it is forbidden in Hungary. Rocketry clubs exist in all ex socialist countries and you don't have to be a member. There are limits, however, regarding the height and the mass of the propellant.

Thanks for making this clear! I may even start my own model rocket career... :D Too bad, I live in a densely populated area, so I have to travel pretty far to launch rockets, unlike our neighbors next to us who dared to launch fireworks (which then accidentally flew right into our house).

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Its amazing what you can do with model rockets. So I will be ordering my first kit and some motors and other miscellaneous parts. However I doubt this will quench my rocketry hunger for very long so I am already drawing up somce designs of my own using off the shelf motors. Its annoying that I will have to get some certifications to use the bigger stuff as I prefer working with aluminium and I dont think a b or c will quite cut the mustard for an aluminium rocket so balsa it is for now.

Either way the sooner I can get a k into my rocket the better.

Another thing thats an interesting concept. If it burns...you can make fuel out of it. Cant remember where i read it but stuff like pvc and N2O can be made into a fuel. Also, as I'm not making an explosive I am allowed to use it so further down the line i can design my own motors :D V3trox is very happy. I Better go brush up on my chemistry. Its like being at school all over again...except this time I can enjoy myself

Edited by vetrox

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Anyway, enough of launching perishable pseudo-Kerbals. I recently flew a plasticine Kerbal on my latest rocket flight, the one that had the GoPro in it. The results were gorgeous.

The video's already in KSP Fan Works but I'm posting it here as well. Enjoy!

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Anyway, enough of launching perishable pseudo-Kerbals. I recently flew a plasticine Kerbal on my latest rocket flight, the one that had the GoPro in it. The results were gorgeous.

I'm at work so i cant watch the vid, but do we get to see the unamed kerbal beforee launch in the vid?

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Yep, but only at the end of the video.

I would say that he's a little Jebadiah, judging by his orange flight suit and his big grin.

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I'm not a rocketeer, so I would ask: how do you measure the height reached by the rocket?

Edited by jmiki8

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There are a number of commercially available altimeters for model rockets. Some of them are quite small and, frankly, rather cute. I got my altitude, velocity and G-force figures from a AltimeterTwo, which you can buy/read about here. http://www.apogeerockets.com/Electronics_Payloads/Electronics/Jolly_Logic_AltimeterTwo

You can buy other altimeters that do things such as parachute deployment, rocket staging, etc. but the AltimeterTwo is inexpensive and very durable, so that's the one I use!

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