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Pumpkin drop event

New Member- GeorgeG - Rockets & R/C planes

GeorgeG

Junior Member
#1
Been watching Flite Test videos almost from the beginning. Finally posting to the forum.

I've been flying model rockets since 1970, and I'm pretty good at it. :) Contest flying, scale models, rocket boosted gliders, helicopter recovery, and so on, mostly my own designs. Also a "Sunguidance" rocket in 1988 that steers for the sun, gimbaled engine rocket in 1989, and many R/C Rocket Boosted Gliders.

Started tinkering with R/C planes in 1975 with an Ace "Baby" Pulse Commander (rudder only) in a glider. Finally got in some real flying around 1977 with a Goldberg Ranger 42, .049 power and rudder-elevator. Which later led to the joining of the two hobbies in 1980 with my first R/C Rocket Boosted Gliders. A lot of my non-rocket R/C flying has been with sailplanes, built a couple of Gentle Ladys in the 1980's, couple of other kits, and a few of my own. (photo in 1981 - Gentle Lady and two Rocket Boosted Gliders without their engine pop-pods)



Converted one of my custom built sailplanes (with a Vee-T tail) into an electric as I lost access to a field practical for hi-starts (fields overgrown by weeds).


The last few years most of my sailplane flying has been with Radians. Also in recent years I started to fly Multicopters. Really got hooked on videos by David Windestal on his rcexplorer.se site, and that also led me to Flite Test videos.

In 2015 I got a $10 nylon frame for a 250 size quad, and researched the web to find out info on the correct parts and methods needed to build it. Also learned about Arducopter (first heard of it on Flite Test) and decided I wanted the flexibility of having all the programming and set-up options it offered. That Quad worked right off the bat, and even better once I tuned it.

I'm mainly posting this intro message as the first step before posting a thread about a project I started in October 2016 and mostly completed in summer 2016. My second DIY quadcopter, except it's nearly 100% scratchbuilt, not an existing frame, and a VERY unique shape. :)

Hope to post that thread later this weekend.

A bit more rocket stuff. Vern Estes & myself with a 400% R/C scale-up of the Estes Astron Space Plane F/F Boost Glider that Vern and John Shulz designed in 1961. That 400% scale-up flew great, handled very nicely with mixed elevons and the original dihedral. I think it would make a great Electric powered conversion (My 400% model used 1/4" balsa that was rounded on the LE and TE, as per the original model with 1/16" wings).


Preparing to launch my 1/72 Space Shuttle in the S7 scale event at the 2002 WSMC in the Czech Republic. Orbiter mostly balsa, with some custom vac-formed and cast parts. SRB's sep after engine burnout (deploy their own chutes), Orbiter sepped by R/C and glides down by R/C (rudder and elevator). Flight Computer in the ET senses liftoff, burnout, commands SRB sep, and after orbiter sep is detected, fires ejection to deploy the ET chutes (The Computer was created and programmed by Jay Marsh, in the late 1990's).


Saw Jon Robbins' Swing Wing gliders in Model Rocketry Magazine in 1971. Made some of my own designs in various sizes, some for contests (1/4A thru F power) some of fun. Some big ones too, 6 foot span or more. Image below has a photo from 1972 at left. At right, a 2007 version which also had rudder-only R/C added (I had wanted to do that in the 1970's but could not afford it and the R/C gear was too heavy in those days).


And simple stuff too. A Halloween Spider Web candy bowl from a Dollar store. Flipped upside down, engine mount and launch lug added.


- George Gassaway

BTW - my website is at: GeorgesRockets.com
I have not updated it in a long time.
 
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buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#3
Be welcome! Rockets and RC planes? Together? That's too much fun to even contemplate. Peter Stripol's was a lot of fun to watch. He managed to save the electronics from the fire, as I recall. ;):LOL: Can't wait to see what you've got! Again, welcome to our family. :)
 

GeorgeG

Junior Member
#4
Thanks for the welcome. I guess my most "Rocket plane" model was my X-1. Well, second X-1, first one had a big problem. The second one (1997) was 1/10 scale, all built-up from balsa.




It flew using a G12 reload by Aerotech, in a 32mm reload casing meant for R/C RBG' s. Due to the weight of the propellant at the back, the CG would shift a lot. So I added a water tank to the nose, to allow water to drain out during the 8 second burn of the G12 (keeping the CG correct for glide).


More info about it on my website:
http://georgesrockets.com/GRP/Scale/X1.htm

In 1999 I built a 200% R/C scale-up of the old Estes SkyDart (Kit #K-57), one of my favorite glider kits they had in the 70's. It flew on various engines, D12, E6, E9, and E11.


I had wanted to build a sport model based on an original Space Shuttle concept of using a winged flyback booster. But I didn't want to built two brand new R/C models. So I decided to use the SkyDart 2X as a shuttle, and built a special R/C flyback booster to carry it up. I named the whole thing the Orbital SkyDart Project, and the booster named Sky Booster,, using color and markings similar to the old Estes Orbital Transport. I used the water ballast trick on this too since the propellant in the tail was so heavy. It took off using a cluster of two G12 reloads, then at burnout I flipped a toggle switch to ignite the engine in the SkyDart 2X to stage it. I always needed a "guest pilot" to fly the SkyDart back, sometimes it was Bob Parks (right).

More info on it here: http://georgesrockets.com/GRP/AOL/RBGliders/OSP/OSP.htm

I'll post some more models in other replies.
 
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GeorgeG

Junior Member
#5
Some non-R/C models. 1978 - Two X-wings and an X-15. The X-15 was about 30" long. The middle X-wing did not look very realistic but it glided after ejecting the nose tip to allow a clear plastic canard ot deploy like a scissor-wing. It had to be trimmed nose-heavy because if it ever stalled it went into a deep stall and belly-flopped to the ground. Big lesson there is do NOT use biplane wings on the back with a single canard on the front. The Wright Brothers fortunately had a biplane canard on their Flyer.


A BT-50 sized Concorde, based on the same ejecting internal pod method used by the Estes SkyDart. Plans were in the July 1980 issue of the NAR's Model Rocketeer magazine.
More info at: http://georgesrockets.com/GRP/Plans/Sport/Concorde.htm

One of my contest type Boost Gliders (this one for the FAI S4B event at the 2000 WSMC in Slovakia). This one had a 14" span, meat-tray type foam wings, with a balsa LE for ding resistance (also a DT fuse drop-weight DT up front). Japanese Tissue vac-bagged onto the foam for added stiffness and smoother finish (thin epoxy was applied to the tissue, then squeegeed off to remove a lot of the epoxy, enough "damp" epoxy left to bond it and produce a nice finish). I usually use balsa, but have done a few special models this way.
 
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GeorgeG

Junior Member
#6
Have made three 6 foot span R/C Rocket Boosted Gliders. This is the best one, Big Bird-III. It was designed to carry two eggs in it. Because the Nationals (NARAM) in 1996 was holding F powered Dual Eggloft Duration. Objective to have the longest flight time and get both eggs back safely. Most people "assumed" you had to use parachutes for that event, but the rules just say duration, not what recovery method. :) Turned out a couple of other people had the same idea, one model worked, the other could not get his done in time. Won in 1996, and also a few years later when they had the event again. This model usually flies using an F10 or a G12 reload, 8 second burn engines. The engine mount is under the wing, at the rear of the balsa fuselage section. The wing is sheeted, 1/16" balsa skins, ribs and spars glued to the bottom sheeting before upper sheeting glued in place. Also has wing joiners for transport.
 

JTarmstr

Well-known member
#7
Welcome to the forums! That's a lot of fantastic rockets you have. We have a small rocket thread over here if you want to share some of your designs. How stable was that Shuttle going up?
 

GeorgeG

Junior Member
#9
How stable was that Shuttle going up?
I have a couple of web pages about it. The long road from 1977 to 1999 here:
http://georgesrockets.com/GRP/Scale/Shuttle-G/shuttlehome.htm
Photos more related to the contest level shuttle model built in 1999 and upgraded in 2000.
http://georgesrockets.com/GRP/Scale/Shuttle-M-CD/ShuttleModel.htm

Anyway, it flew very stably due to the things I learned in all the previous years. Many test flights, several boilerplates, several crashes (I gave up on clustering engines for it, too unreliable. Engine (F25) is in the base of the ET, offset towards the orbiter). Can't notice it much in the photo, but each SRB had one single clear plastic fin on it at 45 degrees to the wingspan, providing some extra pitch and yaw stability.

You can see the fin orientation in this photo of a final boilerplate in 1998, with plywood fins on the SRB's. That's a 1/72 shuttle stack, and at lower left is a 1/60 scale orbiter that was boosted up on a special non-scale rocket (using a G12 reload).



Here is a video of one of the 1998 boilerplate tests when everything finally came together. The audio is loud.

Oddly, not many pics of a launch of the contest model, but here's one. :) That's the NAR's magazine.
 
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GeorgeG

Junior Member
#10
And now.... the special project I mentioned earlier.


Lunar Module Quadcopter. Half expected someone to ask what my avatar was. Now you know.

I have posted a build thread here:
https://forum.flitetest.com/index.p...project.57161/#lg=_xfUid-1-1548656997&slide=0

I"ll build other R/C projects, but none are likely to be as personally important to me as this one (as a kid, I wanted an R/C Lunar Module that could fly around like a helicopter! But that was an impossible modeler dream in 1970).

Anyway, please reply about the Lunar Module Quadcopter in the LM Quadcopter thread.
 
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JTarmstr

Well-known member
#11
I have a couple of web pages about it. The long road from 1977 to 1999 here:
http://georgesrockets.com/GRP/Scale/Shuttle-G/shuttlehome.htm
Photos more related to the contest level shuttle model built in 1999 and upgraded in 2000.
http://georgesrockets.com/GRP/Scale/Shuttle-M-CD/ShuttleModel.htm

Anyway, it flew very stably due to the things I learned in all the previous years. Many test flights, several boilerplates, several crashes (I gave up on clustering engines for it, too unreliable. Engine (F25) is in the base of the ET, offset towards the orbiter). Can't notice it much in the photo, but each SRB had one single clear plastic fin on it at 45 degrees to the wingspan, providing some extra pitch and yaw stability.

You can see the fin orientation in this photo of a final boilerplate in 1998, with plywood fins on the SRB's. That's a 1/72 shuttle stack, and at lower left is a 1/60 scale orbiter that was boosted up on a special non-scale rocket (using a G12 reload).



Here is a video of one of the 1998 boilerplate tests when everything finally came together. The audio is loud.
Wow, thats awesome, I have always wanted to try a shuttle but I have never really had the gear. My goal this year is to go trans-sonic with a mid power rocket (if i'm lucky maybe even supersonic.).