PDA

View Full Version : Estes Birdie


SaturnV
03-01-2009, 11:48 PM
Remember this one??? It was a badminton shuttlecock. I had one and went thru LOTS of "S" series motors with it. Lived in an area with lots of trees and this one just never got hung up too bad in them (nothing a nearby hit w/ a football would not knock loose).

Leo
03-02-2009, 01:02 AM
Yep (http://forums.rocketshoppe.com/showthread.php?t=1582) :)

blackshire
03-02-2009, 04:05 AM
A boyhood friend of mine had an Estes Birdie kit, and many years later I built two clones using cheap "shuttlecocks in a tube" from a sporting goods store and short lengths of BT-5 tubing epoxied into them for their 13 mm mini motor mounts. They were never lost or damaged, but I finally had to retire them when their motor mount tubes became "crudded up" with ejection charge residue. When they got a little bit of launch rod tip-off on windy days when the launch rod swayed, they would corkscrew upward with a nifty spiral smoke trail--fun and tough little beasties, they were!

dwmzmm
03-02-2009, 05:41 AM
Still have my original Estes Birdie; nowadays when I fly it I use the A10-3T's with enough
streamer wrapped around to give it a nice, snug fit in the BT-20. When the engine ejects,
you can easily follow it down with the streamer attached as well as the Birdie's featherweight recovery.

gpoehlein
03-02-2009, 07:10 AM
Yup - I cloned one (I think the instructions for the 13mm version are posted on YORS). It flies just like the original - Straight up and straight down. I remember my original (which is long gone) was a lot of fun to fly in the school parking lot (where our high school rocketry club was shunted off to when the track team needed the track) - that little sucker could really bounce when it's rubber nose hit the pavement!!! :D

Greg

blackshire
03-02-2009, 07:20 AM
Yup - I cloned one (I think the instructions for the 13mm version are posted on YORS). It flies just like the original - Straight up and straight down. I remember my original (which is long gone) was a lot of fun to fly in the school parking lot (where our high school rocketry club was shunted off to when the track team needed the track) - that little sucker could really bounce when it's rubber nose hit the pavement!!! :D

Greg

Yes, mine bouncing off the old runway at Florida International University (FIU, built on the site of the old Tamiami Airport in Miami) made me wonder how high a WHAM-O "Superball" would bounce if ejected from a rocket, but I never tried it.

My friend's original Estes Birdie (the 13 mm "Mini Brute" version) didn't have a rubber nose like yours. The whole shuttlecock was molded in one piece in rather soft white plastic, with a narrow (4 mm - 5 mm wide) strip of green tape wrapped around it at the base of the nose. I guess Estes sourced the shuttlecocks from different manufacturers ("style may vary slightly") over the kit's production run.

Bob Kaplow
03-02-2009, 07:29 AM
I don't have an original, but have cloned them from the modern plastic shuttlecocks, which fly great on T motors. I've also got one of the giant ones for standard motors. It's my official FVR "mascot" rocket, as it's called Woodstock, since it's a yellow birdie.

http://www.foxvalleyrocketeers.org/photos/Bob%2001.jpg

sandman
03-02-2009, 08:10 AM
Yes, mine bouncing off the old runway at Florida International University (FIU, built on the site of the old Tamiami Airport in Miami) made me wonder how high a WHAM-O "Superball" would bounce if ejected from a rocket, but I never tried it.

My friend's original Estes Birdie (the 13 mm "Mini Brute" version) didn't have a rubber nose like yours. The whole shuttlecock was molded in one piece in rather soft white plastic, with a narrow (4 mm - 5 mm wide) strip of green tape wrapped around it at the base of the nose. I guess Estes sourced the shuttlecocks from different manufacturers ("style may vary slightly") over the kit's production run.

Off topic note*

I used to live in an 12 story dorm in college...lots of midnight rocket experiments!

But a superball dropped from only 11 stories literally explodes on impact!

blackshire
03-02-2009, 08:17 AM
Off topic note*

I used to live in an 12 story dorm in college...lots of midnight rocket experiments!

But a superball dropped from only 11 stories literally explodes on impact!

I'm not surprised, since they were molded under great pressure--my brother cut one open once, and the oil in the center burst out before the knife blade even got to the core!

hcmbanjo
03-02-2009, 08:24 AM
I've enclosed an attachment of some Birdie instructions I produced a few months back.
These were drawn for practice with my new Corel Draw software.
My company Odd'l Rockets" does not exist, I just own the name.
Now, don't ask - I don't produce these kits.
There are two changes in the instructions:
The front illustration page says a A3-4t and A10-3t engine. It should read A3-2t and A10-3t. On page two under "You'll Need:" I neglected to add an expended T motor casing.
With you providing the parts:
You'll have to cut out your own "engine block disk". The hole for the launch lug would have to be cut (or punched) at the right location in the 5/60 adapter ring.
The shuttlecocks in the instructions are purchased at Walmart. They are a little more flimsy than the original Estes Birdie, but fly fine.

Enjoy! And let me know if you build one using the instructions.

Gus
03-02-2009, 11:15 AM
If you prefer a kit of the Birdie rocket, one is available (for $6) from Uncle Mikes Rocket Shack. (http://www.unclemikesrocketshack.com/WWR.html)

BEC
03-02-2009, 01:15 PM
When I found a box of my old rockets recently I discovered a Birdie I built from a rubber-nosed shuttlecock (for the original S-series engines) using the original Estes plans. The rubber nose is kinda dry and cracked now (over 35 years later). I'm also putting together one of the T-powered clones from UMRS. Just need to do a little gluing.

Great fun, this one.

Mark II
03-02-2009, 07:51 PM
I cloned a K-44 and a Mini-Brute Birdie last year using some locally-bought shuttlecocks. You just can't find the original style birdies that Estes used anymore. I gave my Astron Birdie clone (the red one) a standard-length engine mount, and I incorporated a fairing into my green 13mm clone. I haven't flown either yet, and I have no excuse for that. :o

MarkII

marslndr
03-03-2009, 09:00 AM
I've cloned a few. They really are very easy. I use a 13mm motor mount kit (or you can make the stuff yourself), about 2 in of launch lug, a 60/5 centering ring, and a birdee. I usually use the center punchout of the centering ring as a bulkhead. I sand it down and glue it aft of the motor stop. This just keeps the hot ejection gas from the plastic birdee. Cut a notch in the centering ring for the launch lug, cut a hole in the birdee webing for the lug to stick out of, and glue. I use 5 min epoxy.

You can build one in about 10-15 min. It's great for the kids. They can launch them almost any where. I have never seen one get stuck in a tree and they always land within 20 ft of the pad. When they were younger my kids would go through 3 or 4 packs of mini motors in an afternoon launching in the driveway. Good clean fun.

Jeff Walther
03-04-2009, 05:07 PM
Yep, I too love the Birdie. Or more accurately, I love the way my son loves the Birdie. I think that part of the reason he likes it is the impatience of youth. There is no tedious (to him) packing of a recovery system. Just shove an engine in, install an igniter and whoosh. It really is easy to go through a bunch of engines in an afternoon with Birdies.

I built three of them last fall. I found a couple of cans of vintage shuttlecocks which look like the one pictured in the 1973 Estes catalog. The spiral webbing isn't so easy to find these days.

I'm impressed with how well the things hold up. I may need to glue the launch lug back into one, but the shuttlecock portion does not appear to be taking any damage. I guess launching is a light workout compared to getting whacked repeatedly with a racket.

Rocket Doctor
03-04-2009, 06:50 PM
The only thing that I see negative about the Birdie is that it ejects the motor, in this day and age, that would create a problem for some.

The Gyroc is in the same position, it ejects the motor.

Mark II
03-04-2009, 11:59 PM
The only thing that I see negative about the Birdie is that it ejects the motor, in this day and age, that would create a problem for some.

The Gyroc is in the same position, it ejects the motor.
How so? They are biodegradable, I think.

The only thing that I don't like about rockets that eject their motors is the fact that I don't get the spent casing back (most of the time - I do find a few). I can usually find uses for the spent casings, so I like to get them back.

MarkII

Mark II
03-05-2009, 12:04 AM
...

I built three of them last fall. I found a couple of cans of vintage shuttlecocks which look like the one pictured in the 1973 Estes catalog. The spiral webbing isn't so easy to find these days.


Those vintage shuttlecocks are worth some money, I believe. When I looked for some last year, the only ones that I could find (on eBay) were rather pricey.

MarkII

Royatl
03-05-2009, 12:11 AM
How so? They are biodegradable, I think.

The only thing that I don't like about rockets that eject their motors is the fact that I don't get the spent casing back (most of the time - I do find a few). I can usually find uses for the spent casings, so I like to get them back.

MarkII

Within reason, they are somewhat biodegradable, but being tightly wound, they can last for some time.

So, one of the reasons that we don't really like ejecting motor casings is that if we don't find them, someone else will, and may not like it, depending on how they find it. Many different scenarios there.

The other one is that a falling casing is pretty dense and can hurt when it hits someone. It is bad enough when, say, a reload casing gets ejected unintentionally. I've been whacked in the head by a mini casing. A standard casing would've been just at the edge of my ability to tolerate it.

Mark II
03-05-2009, 12:28 AM
Within reason, they are somewhat biodegradable, but being tightly wound, they can last for some time.
Well, I'm rather tightly wound, too... Does that mean that I can expect a long life? :chuckle:

So, one of the reasons that we don't really like ejecting motor casings is that if we don't find them, someone else will, and may not like it, depending on how they find it. Many different scenarios there.
They are pretty darned hard to find on the cut grass of a softball field, and I'm LOOKING for them... :rolleyes: But I suppose, theoretically, there is a risk of that. We regularly get invaded by flocks of Canada geese, who like to hang out in open fields. So, all things considered, the ejected casings aren't the most objectionable brown cylindrical things that you can find in the grass. :eek:

The other one is that a falling casing is pretty dense and can hurt when it hits someone. It is bad enough when, say, a reload casing gets ejected unintentionally. I've been whacked in the head by a mini casing. A standard casing would've been just at the edge of my ability to tolerate it.
Well, if your rockets fly as high as mine do, then the casing won't even reach terminal velocity. :rolleyes:

MarkII

blackshire
03-05-2009, 01:11 AM
Within reason, they are somewhat biodegradable, but being tightly wound, they can last for some time.

So, one of the reasons that we don't really like ejecting motor casings is that if we don't find them, someone else will, and may not like it, depending on how they find it. Many different scenarios there.

The other one is that a falling casing is pretty dense and can hurt when it hits someone. It is bad enough when, say, a reload casing gets ejected unintentionally. I've been whacked in the head by a mini casing. A standard casing would've been just at the edge of my ability to tolerate it.

I like quite a few classic and new model rockets that eject their motors. A simple solution (shown in the instructions of the Centuri Hummingbird boost-glider kit, see: http://astrocam.aea6.k12.ia.us/man4.jpg and http://astrocam.aea6.k12.ia.us/hummingbird.html) is to tape a length of cotton string to a streamer, tape the other end of the string inside the motor case using a square of masking tape (or glue it in place using a square piece of card stock), push a small amount of flameproof wadding down into the front end of the motor (or wrap the rolled-up streamer in one square of flameproof wadding), and then push the streamer down into the front end of the motor.

A roll of 7/8", 1", or 1-1/16" wide fluorescent orange plastic flagging tape contains enough material for scores of motor case recovery streamers. Prior to a launch session, one could prepare all of the streamer-equipped motors at home beforehand. These ejected motors could be left on the flying field during the launch session and be picked up afterwards, and their streamers could then be removed and reused for the next flying session. (An ejected motor lying on the ground with its streamer could even be used as a spot-landing "target marker" for a subsequently-launched model in a streamer, parachute, or glide recovery spot-landing contest!)