Rocket Squared - NakedAs my last scratch-build of 2009, I thought it was time I would have a go at building a square rocket. So here I present Rocket Squared or Rocket2!

Built using a central core of BT50 body tube with four strips of balsa glued around the outside. The rocket stands 42cm (or 16½") tall and has a 18mm motor mount. I have no idea how to build this in Rocksim?!

Rocket Squared - Side PaintedI spent some time trying to build a square nose cone but nothing looked quite right, so I sanded down the corners of the top-end of the airframe and stuck in a round one. Launch report to follow!

Click to embiggen

I've been busy for the last 6 weeks designing and building three new scratch-built rockets. All finished and flight-tested today!

First up is "Red, Black & Balls" and "The Lance of Adequacy"

Red, Black & Balls The Lance of Adequacy

"Red, Black & Balls" is about 20" long and built around a BT20 body tube. Three ping-pong balls are mounted at the bottom (and cutting the holes top and bottom was a pain!). Launched today on a Quest A6-4 motor. Ejection was quite late but recovered without damage. a C6-4 would be a better choice for this but with the wind today I didn't want to risk it drifting too far. "The Lance of Adequacy" went up on a C6-5, again ejection was quite late since after motor burn-out it virtually stopped and began it's return to Earth. With such a large conical fin at the rear slowed it down and recovered without damage.

My favourite for the day was my "Cruz'n Missile"

Cruz'n Missile (Side View)

Cruz'n Missile (Side View) Cruz'n Missile (Bottom View)

The "Cruz'n Missile" flys on a 13mm motor and features a custom turned nosecone. I had a vague idea of building a cruise missile when I started this. Very happy with the results :) Doesn't break the sound barrier or reach orbit - but still gets up a respectable few hundred feet.

Launch photos of "The Lance of Adequacy" and "Cruz'n Missile" after the jump.

I've been off work for a few days now with a twisted ankle and since I can't do much more than sit on my bum, I got busy finishing my current scratch-build project :) I give you - The QANTAS Rocket!

Qantas Rocket

Qantas Rocket Qantas Rocket Qantas Rocket

Qantas Rocket

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Mr StabbyMr StabbyI've been wanting to try a couple of new techniques with my rockets - zipperless design and boat tails. I decided to build Mr Stabby to see how these worked out.

This was a fairly straight-forward build, starting with the design in Rocksim. The boat tail is actually a BT70-BT50 transition that I drilled out the center. Creating a boat tail this way was a suggestion from Bones at Suburban Rocketry, and it worked out perfectly!

The airframe comprises of 2 lengths of BT70 tube (18" long), a BT70 nosecone (10.5") and the boat tail. The fins are made from 3mm plywood for durability and the zipperless coupler in the middle doubles as an ejection baffle. Mr Stabby stands 48" (123cm) tall.

The nosecone is expoied into the top section of body tube, with a length of Kevlar thread attached.

The 'blood' dripping off the top of the rocket was created with a hand-cut stencil and painted Rustolium Cardinal Red. The rest of the airframe is Rustolium Titanium Silver - I am very happy with the colours as well as the quality of the Rustolium paint :) Two coats of clear were applied to help protect the paintwork and to seal down the decal.

Atari 2600 Joystick RocketAs I was growing up, I was privileged to witness the dawn of the home video game era.

I had spent countless hours bashing a silver ball up and down an inclined play-field, utilising nothing but two fingers to manipulate a pair of rubber-coated flippers in a vain attempt to win a free game or beat the standing high score (typically held by someone called 'ACE', 'POO', 'ASS' or any one of a number of humorously creative three-letter words.)

Atari 2600 Joystick RocketVideo games slowly appeared, typically tucked away in the same smoke-filled rooms as their electromechanical counterparts. These rooms, often found out the back of the local Italian coffee shop, were not the places that the youth of the time should be visiting, or so our parents would have us believe.

1977 Was the dawn of an era as the Atari corporation released the Atari VCS and every kid wanted one.

So this is my hommagé to that time, a scratch-built Atari 2600 Joystick rocket!

I built this a little while ago and still waiting to fly it. But since I had the camera out, I figured that I'd take a few photos and put them up!

Lord Neville 3rd

Scratch-Built model rocket. Three ping-pong balls make up the 'feet' BT50 body tube with an 18mm motor mount & BT50 nosecone. So, will it fly??!!

In my ongoing quest to scratch-build a rocket that's somewhat different to the usual 3FNC, I came up with the idea to upscale the ever classic Estes C6-5 motor... This is the result! 2.6x Upscale Estes C6-5 motor

Scratch-built C6-5 Upscale

Another photo after the jump!

Scratch-Built 90mm rocket utilising Australia Post tube and a 'Crayon' nose cone. KNO3, Sorbitol and Yellow Iron Oxide - produced a longer burn motor than with RIO. Good boost, parachute tore free at apogee!

Only cracked a fin on this flight - but I suspect that the Magnetic Apogee Detector may have been damaged. The MAD armed correctly for the 2nd flight and I utilised a faster propellant (and achieved appox. twice the altitude) but the MAD failed to deploy the parachute and it came down like an Indian satellite landing on the moon!! LOL

Some time ago I built an Estes Mean Machine - at 2m tall, it's one huge-ass rocket! I decided to build a down-scale version of it. Built with 36" of BT20, 2" nosecone and down-scaled fins from the Mean Machine template. Stands almost 1m tall with Rocksim predicting an altitude of 2,000' when flown on an Aerotech RMS D13 motor - so that's what I did!

Unfortunately, the parachute didn't deploy and came in ballistic - recovered less than 50m from the launch pad. Motor case and last 14" of airframe have been salvaged and will fly again!

What happens when you stick half a discarded candy packet on top of some cardboard tube and add a bit of balsa? You get the Ballistic Chicken!

Ballistic Chicken Ballistic Chicken

18" BT50 body tube, 3x Balsawood fins, 18mm motor mount & a lick of paint. Now I just have to wait for the weather to be kind and up she goes!!