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K.M.Knox
08-14-2007, 10:16 PM
I swung into the new Wal-Mart in my old home town this last weekend and came across a couple of sets they packaged under the Launchables heading. They had the Heatseeker in one box and the other had the Star Dart and Sizzler in one box. The price was only $8.97, thought that was a pretty good price for 2 rockets so I picked up the Star Dart/Sizzler combo.

Everything I have seen on them tells me they need streamers instead of the stock 12" chutes, especially if I am going for C engine flights. 2000' is way the heck up there!

The Heatseeker was the same price but I am not to sold on the plastic fins and all, I think it would look cheap without painting it, though the box says no painting required.

On another note I did just recieve the Thunderstar and the Eagle X-Prize kits via UPS today! Woohoo!!! Still scrounging for that Canadian Arrow and Lucky Seven, can't buy too many all at once though, the misses will start to question my mental prowess I think.

dwmzmm
08-14-2007, 10:57 PM
The Star Dart/Sizzler combo is usually a good deal; I once got one at my local Wal-Mart
that was priced around $5 (that's what it rang up at the checkout counter). Likewise, just
the Sizzler costs around $11 at Hobby Lobby and Michael's.

Both of these models can fly using the 12" parachutes, but they must be packed carefully
using the correct amount of wadding and talcum powder to prevent the plastic from sticking.
I've flown the Sizzler several times on the C6-7's, and they really do scoot up there well
out of sight! It was recovered successfully for the first two flights, but we lost it on the
third flight :( . Since this model belong to my son, and I made the decision to fly it when it
was lost, I had to buy him another kit.

Solomoriah
08-14-2007, 11:15 PM
I haven't gotten around to launching either my Star Dart or my Sizzler. I'm pretty proud of the paint jobs I did on them... probably why I haven't launched either one yet.

http://rocketry.newcenturycomputers.net/fleet/estes-stardart-thumb.png
http://rocketry.newcenturycomputers.net/fleet/estes-sizzler-thumb.png

I've read that the Heatseeker isn't terribly stable, so I've avoided buying one.

Also, note that Wal-Mart has the Bullpup in a Launchables package for the same price, if you can find one. Mine has yet to be launched (and not because I'm proud of the paint).

Rocketking
08-15-2007, 08:15 AM
I found a long time ago that the E2X kits were made to make it easy for young-ens to get a Bird in the air quick, but that the translucence of the plastic made it look like the 'toy' that it is.

I like to not only paint these rockets, but use a primer- White for the body and Grey primer for the plastic parts. Sanding the first and second coats of primer on the body usually fills the spiral groove. The primer on the plastic also allows covering slight 'imperfections' of the parts. And it keeps the light from showing through.

You might want to try it on the Heatseeker! Let us know what you think of it !

K.M.Knox
08-15-2007, 08:36 AM
Yeah, that makes sense with the plastic rockets. I didn't buy the Heatseeker, though with those ideas I may just pick one up. I like the missile look to the rocket, though I know it is not scale or probably even close to something out there in the real world.

I would not mind finding a Bull Pup since I used my kit along with a Black Brandt II kit to make a two-stage rocket, which has yet to be finished.

Shreadvector
08-15-2007, 11:00 AM
The heatseeker is dangerously unstable. PERIOD.

If you insist on buying it, you MUST add 1/2 ounce of nose weight inside the tip of the nosecone before gluing the nose in place. Other options include either converting to min motor power so the cneter of gravity is not moved as far aft by a heavy 18mm motor or add 3 more fins between the existing fins - make them Alpha sized.

Also, for the Heatseeker and similar E2X series rockets you will want to use a 9 inch bit of cotton cable cord for the shock cord anchor and then tie the existing shock cord to the free end of the cable cord. Otherwise, the existing shock cord moount will sever the shock cord. It will not sever the cable cord and the rocket will last virtually forever with this modification.

Yeah, that makes sense with the plastic rockets. I didn't buy the Heatseeker, though with those ideas I may just pick one up. I like the missile look to the rocket, though I know it is not scale or probably even close to something out there in the real world.

I would not mind finding a Bull Pup since I used my kit along with a Black Brandt II kit to make a two-stage rocket, which has yet to be finished.

ghrocketman
08-15-2007, 03:30 PM
Unstable Heatseeker huh ?
Sounds like it could add the "early days of NASA" potential disaster excitement to every flight.
A "cartwheeler" is interesting every once and a while.

K.M.Knox
08-15-2007, 05:01 PM
Being naive to the whole big corporate dealings, but how does Estes (and others for that matter) put out a unstable rocket? I have heard others in the line are dangerously unstable also, but come on... When your primary target is kids and young folk would not the correct course of action be to create designs that are very stable on the recommended engines? From my trial version period with Rocksim I could tell what designs I created would work or not work... I did notice the CG and CP on the Sizzler and Star Dart are very close together, a little extra glue in the rear end could put them on top of each other it seems. Perhaps leaving the engine hook off those two is not a bad idea if you don't mind friction fitting engines.

In the end it just makes me sad that someone would sell a rocket the is borderline unstable. I know creative designs and 'fringe' type stuff is exciting and all but please... OK enough of my soap box. in the end I might still pick up that kit and give it a spin, taking your recommendations to heart of course. What do the simulation programs say about the Heatseeker I wonder.

DaveR
08-15-2007, 05:37 PM
... I did notice the CG and CP on the Sizzler and Star Dart are very close together,...

I saw an amazing video the other day of a flight where the CP and CG were a bit too close together. The liftoff was unstable only to have the rocket become stable after some of the propellant burned off. However, when it became stable it was parallel with the ground and IIRC it crashed into the ground under power. I will try to find the link tonight and post in an appropriate thread.

foose4string
08-15-2007, 05:58 PM
I did the "quick" finish on my Heatseeker and didn't add any weight to the nose. Not to worry, I haven't flown it yet.

I figured if I have to add nose weight, I might as well shorten it and make it more AIM-4 Falcon like. The grooves in the body tubes are virtual canyons and need serious filling, and the cheesy stickers were really starting to bother me. So.... I peeled off the stickers, removed the shock cord slicer on the side, and decided to do without the payload section. The payload section was destroyed when I peeled it from the nosecone and transition anyway. I cut about 2 inches from the tip of the nose cone and CA'ed some balsa to close it up again, The profile is not perfect but much closer than the long pointy cone that is included. Added some small fins to the front.

I'll post pics of the Heatseeker mod a little later. I think it's gonna turn out ok. Trying to get it looking more like the AIM-4D as seen here.

Solomoriah
08-15-2007, 09:56 PM
I did notice the CG and CP on the Sizzler and Star Dart are very close together, a little extra glue in the rear end could put them on top of each other it seems.
Heh? Are you using the same RockSim I am? (My trial expired, but my protege just started his...) With a C6-7 mounted, the Sizzler has 2.55 calibers of stability. I'm using the RockSim file posted on EMRR for that rocket, which seems very thorough... the creator of that file has even inserted a mass object for "glue, paint, and misc" as well as one for the shock cord and another for the engine hook.

The Sizzler, Star Dart, and Hi-Flier (all very similar rockets) all appear very stable to me, and I have had good luck flying all three. Cast aspersions on the junky plastic-laden Heatseeker if you like, but leave those sweet little birdies out of it.

dwmzmm
08-15-2007, 10:18 PM
Heh? Are you using the same RockSim I am? (My trial expired, but my protege just started his...) With a C6-7 mounted, the Sizzler has 2.55 calibers of stability. I'm using the RockSim file posted on EMRR for that rocket, which seems very thorough... the creator of that file has even inserted a mass object for "glue, paint, and misc" as well as one for the shock cord and another for the engine hook.

The Sizzler, Star Dart, and Hi-Flier (all very similar rockets) all appear very stable to me, and I have had good luck flying all three. Cast aspersions on the junky plastic-laden Heatseeker if you like, but leave those sweet little birdies out of it.

The Sizzler & Star Dart, I've flown both with C6-7's and they flew extremely well. Another
Challenger club member attempted to fly his Hi-Flier on a C6-7 several months ago at one
of our summer club launch, and it quickly went unstable as soon as it left the pad. My take
on the Hi-Flier is the body tube length needs to be stretched a bit (it "looks" too short to me). The club member's Hi-Flier hit the ground so hard (still under power) that it completely destroyed the model :( .

K.M.Knox
08-15-2007, 11:00 PM
Now now. I am not bashing those birdies, I actually can't wait to start their builds and make some sleek hi altitude seekers. I put together my own Rocksim files, and I have also dl'ed the Star Dart from EMRR. I will go and check out the differences and see where mine might differ. The only thing I do not have in mine is the Mass Object for glue and sealer, but that mainly adds more weight to the back and would pull the CG even further back (or am I mistaken). I will go back and check the stuff out though, you have me very curious right now...

CPMcGraw
08-15-2007, 11:27 PM
The Sizzler & Star Dart, I've flown both with C6-7's and they flew extremely well. Another
Challenger club member attempted to fly his Hi-Flier on a C6-7 several months ago at one
of our summer club launch, and it quickly went unstable as soon as it left the pad. My take
on the Hi-Flier is the body tube length needs to be stretched a bit (it "looks" too short to me). The club member's Hi-Flier hit the ground so hard (still under power) that it completely destroyed the model :( .

I whipped up a RockSim some time back to see what the sim would do, and it clearly shows a minus 0.35 margin when loaded with the C6-7. This means the CG is behind the CP with this motor, by almost exactly 1/4". A small amount of clay, 3/16 oz, will work. This brings the margin up to 1.24, and the final altitude would be just under 1900'.

dwmzmm
08-15-2007, 11:35 PM
I whipped up a RockSim some time back to see what the sim would do, and it clearly shows a minus 0.35 margin when loaded with the C6-7. This means the CG is behind the CP with this motor, by almost exactly 1/4". A small amount of clay, 3/16 oz, will work. This brings the margin up to 1.24, and the final altitude would be just under 1900'.

The club member who flew the Hi-Flier, when asked by me (after the unstable flight), claimed
he'd flown it before on a C6 with no problems. A similar thing happened to my Estes vintage
V-2 kit (the BT-55 version with balsa nosecone & tailcone). I'd flown it successfully several
times (the first flight of this particular model was at NSL - 2004 @ Hearne, TX), then several
months later it had a wild flight at the Alamo Club Launch near San Antonio, lifting off
straight up but then making a perfect 90 degree turn about 10 feet above the launch rod
and flying (under power) straight into the trees. I was able to recover the model. It sustained some damage to one of the fins. After repairs, I added several pennies of nose
weight and flew it again, and this time it flies perfect.

Solomoriah
08-15-2007, 11:41 PM
Well, I have to admit, I didn't actually simulate the Hi-Flier. We haven't launched any of ours (two of my protege's have Hi-Fliers) on C6-7's yet, owing to lack of a large enough field. I found the simulation of the Sizzler more than acceptable, though.

I'll probably counsel them to glue a few screws into the nose cones before launching either again. (I run a computer business, and have little screws all over the place, so they are my preferred noseweight for plastic cones.)

Tau Zero
08-16-2007, 12:29 AM
My take on the Hi-Flier is the body tube length needs to be stretched a bit (it "looks" too short to me).My initial response when I saw the design was, "That body tube's not long enough." :confused:

It wasn't until Craig crammed it into RockSim that I discovered that my "Just By Lookin' At It" rocketry design sense was actually correct in the real world. ;) :D :cool:


Cheers,

CPMcGraw
08-16-2007, 12:34 AM
The club member who flew the Hi-Flier, when asked by me (after the unstable flight), claimed he'd flown it before on a C6 with no problems...

I first heard about this issue here on this forum, but found several flight reports on EMRR that had the same experience. That's when I put the sim together and looked at the margins.

Your club member may have flown it before on the C6-7 with no problems, but he didn't fly it with no ballast. His ballast weight may have come loose after the last "good" flight and he just didn't notice it.

CPMcGraw
08-16-2007, 12:39 AM
My initial response when I saw the design was, "That body tube's not long enough." :confused:

It wasn't until Craig crammed it into RockSim that I discovered that my "Just By Lookin' At It" rocketry design sense was actually correct in the real world. ;) :D :cool:


Cheers,

My first thought way-back-when was, "The body tube's OK, the fins are wrong." After doing the raw sim, I changed the shape of the fins to include that now-infamous "notched", or "stepped" leading edge, which got me started down that "long and winding road" of designs. I'll dig it back up and post it here later.

ghrocketman
08-16-2007, 10:01 AM
I like a good unstable-to-stable POWER-PRANG every once in a while...especially when it is someone ELSE's rocket !!!!
:D :D :D

Solomoriah
08-16-2007, 10:43 AM
Just got a chance to look at the RockSim file for the Hi-Flier. With the nose weight you added taken out, that bird isn't even safe on a B engine... dang.

ghrocketman
08-16-2007, 12:00 PM
Hi-Flier ay ?
Sounds like a good land-shark Power-Pranger to me.

tbzep
08-16-2007, 12:09 PM
I like a good unstable-to-stable POWER-PRANG every once in a while...especially when it is someone ELSE's rocket !!!!
:D :D :D

I was a human power prang Sunday!

ghrocketman
08-16-2007, 03:15 PM
I like rocket power-prangs once in a while, but would not want to be or see a human power-prang.
Far too painful and potentially lethal....it's all BAAADDD !

foose4string
08-21-2007, 09:27 AM
Here's my modified Heatseeker, as promised. Looks more like an actual heatseeker now. Still a far cry from being scale and is missing a lot of detail, but has a certain AIM-4D realism to it now. Basically, the only thing I changed was leaving off the payload section, and chopping off more than half the nosecone. I then glued balsa to what was left of the plastic nose and sanded into a more rounded profile. The nose shape is still way off, but better than if I had left it stock. I added a little more than half an ounce of weight to the nose, so we'll see how that does. I also removed the shock cord slicer, patched and filled the tube. Oh yeah, I added the forward fins. I was hoping to test it today but it's raining pretty steady this morning. :(

I much happier with it now. The suggested quick build and look of "pre-finished" parts was really bugging me, and the cheesy stickers didn't help matters.

Ltvscout
08-21-2007, 09:28 AM
Here's my modified Heatseeker, as promised. Looks more like an actual heatseeker now.
Very nice!

foose4string
08-21-2007, 11:05 AM
Thanks Scott. :) With the plastic mount, plastic fins, and extra nose weight it feels a kinda heavy for it's size, but at two and a half ounces, it's still lighter than my Bullpup. Rain, rain go away....

Solomoriah
09-05-2007, 08:53 AM
I whipped up a RockSim some time back to see what the sim would do, and it clearly shows a minus 0.35 margin when loaded with the C6-7. This means the CG is behind the CP with this motor, by almost exactly 1/4". A small amount of clay, 3/16 oz, will work. This brings the margin up to 1.24, and the final altitude would be just under 1900'.
A little thread resurrection here... I'm getting ready to modify two Hi-Fliers belonging to some young friends of mine. By my calculations, 3/16 oz. = 0.1875 oz. = 5.32 grams (approximately). I have recently weighed a random assortment of computer screws, and come up with an average weight of 0.778 grams each; this results in a total of 6.81 screws. I have no idea what epoxy weighs, but I assume I can drop about one screw and add the epoxy and get away with it, so I plan to glue 6 screws into each cone.

Does this sound like a good plan?

Shreadvector
09-05-2007, 09:01 AM
A little thread resurrection here... I'm getting ready to modify two Hi-Fliers belonging to some young friends of mine. By my calculations, 3/16 oz. = 0.1875 oz. = 5.32 grams (approximately). I have recently weighed a random assortment of computer screws, and come up with an average weight of 0.778 grams each; this results in a total of 6.81 screws. I have no idea what epoxy weighs, but I assume I can drop about one screw and add the epoxy and get away with it, so I plan to glue 6 screws into each cone.

Does this sound like a good plan?

Creating metal bullets inside nose cones is never something I recommend personally. I prefer to use plasticene clay or sand held in place with a bulkhead. (Not sand formed into concrete with a cement).

Why not just make the rockets longer? Longer = more stable and more room for wadding and recovery system.

CPMcGraw
09-05-2007, 11:30 AM
A little thread resurrection here... I'm getting ready to modify two Hi-Fliers belonging to some young friends of mine. By my calculations, 3/16 oz. = 0.1875 oz. = 5.32 grams (approximately). I have recently weighed a random assortment of computer screws, and come up with an average weight of 0.778 grams each; this results in a total of 6.81 screws. I have no idea what epoxy weighs, but I assume I can drop about one screw and add the epoxy and get away with it, so I plan to glue 6 screws into each cone.

Does this sound like a good plan?

Solo,

Sounds like a lot of screws. Make sure they're secure. Wouldn't want any to come loose. I think that's been at the root of my problems for a long time... :p

I like to use fishing sinkers. You can get these in small weights, like 1/8 oz and 1/10 oz, which would be sufficient for this problem. A couple of drops of epoxy would hold them in place near the tip of the NC. Using some BBs or air pistol pellets might trim out the final mass.

Why not just make the rockets longer? Longer = more stable and more room for wadding and recovery system.

Shred,

As for making the model longer, that would be a possible design improvement for a future version. A simpler change would be to enlarge the fins a little. This being a BT-20 model, there's a point where the length starts to unbalance the overall visual appearance. My revised version actually saw the stability go up through a change in the shape without adding any length.

See attached...

Solomoriah
09-05-2007, 10:34 PM
Six computer screws isn't a lot... as I said, about .8 grams each. They stay put pretty good when you dribble slow-setting epoxy over them.

I could use lead sinkers, sure. But I'd have to PAY for them. I have computer screws coming out of my ears (figuratively) so why buy something else?

CPMcGraw
09-05-2007, 10:59 PM
Six computer screws isn't a lot... as I said, about .8 grams each. They stay put pretty good when you dribble slow-setting epoxy over them.

I could use lead sinkers, sure. But I'd have to PAY for them. I have computer screws coming out of my ears (figuratively) so why buy something else?

I fix (and scavenge) computers, and have a ton of 'em, too. Probably would make an easy way to drop some inventory without throwing them away...

About 0.8 gm each??? :rolleyes: Standard case screws, right?

Solomoriah
09-05-2007, 11:38 PM
Yeah. I weighed 100 assorted case/HDD and floppy/CD-ROM screws, probably 50% of each, and the whole lot weighed 77.8 grams. I used a scientific scale of reasonable if not stellar accuracy.

Solomoriah
09-11-2007, 10:16 PM
Why not just make the rockets longer? Longer = more stable and more room for wadding and recovery system.
I just looked... for the Hi Flier you'd have to replace the 9" body tube with one 16.375" long to get a caliber of stability with a C6-7.

Ouch.

mrhemi1971
09-11-2007, 10:54 PM
One thing I like to use for weight is lead shot. Just go to your local hunting or gun store and ask for it. Bird shot seems to work the best, and conforms to the tightest nose cones.

Solomoriah
09-11-2007, 11:08 PM
Lead shot works fine; so do BBs. But, as I said before, with the literally thousands of 0.8 gram computer screws I have laying around my office, I just can't see buying weights.