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  #11  
Old 11-08-2017, 09:02 PM
luke strawwalker's Avatar
luke strawwalker luke strawwalker is offline
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Originally Posted by blackshire
Wow--I wonder how many people instead have only the first stages of childhood two-stage models... One day in the mid-1960s, a brother-in-law of mine excitedly prepared for the first flight of his pride and joy, his newly-finished Apogee II. Its flight was spectacular, but--possibly due to an unnoticed slight fin misalignment, whose effects were amplified by a slight wind--it arced over quickly like a ballistic missile, staged while traveling nearly horizontally, and flew so far away that he never found it, not even the first stage. Crestfallen, he never attempted a multi-stage model rocket again.


Sounds like one of my first two stage flights on my Estes Vigilante...

I was launching it at a friends house in the neighboring town... he lived at the end of a long street, where it turned to gravel, went down the slope of the creekbank to the culverts and to the city water works or something on the other side up the slope... we went down to the culverts to launch so we'd be clear of the trees lining the creek banks...

She lifted off beautifully, but I failed to account for the wind above the trees... basically as soon as she cleared the trees, the wind hit her and keeled her over nearly 90 degrees and of course at that moment she staged... the booster dropped straight back down nearly onto the pad (maybe 10 feet away) and the sustainer was heading due south like a ballistic missile... she burned out and coasted and we were following her as best we could and we saw the ejection charge and chute pop just before she dropped below the trees and houses on the other side of the neighborhood behind us. We went looking for it and checking rooftops and houses and yards as we went, and after working over about 2-3 streets, we finally found it... the creek curved around behind the neighborhood to the south and then turned west and ran along the edge of the neighborhood on the south side, and down the mown slope, about 3 feet out in the cattails, in a tiny little 'clearing' that looked like it was made just for it, was the Vigilante sustainer, sticking up out of the mud that it had core sampled into, perfectly vertical, the motor casing still slightly smoking. The rubber shock cord had of course snapped (as the stupid Estes rubber bands usually did after awhile) and the nose cone and chute drifted off across the creek and fence on the other side and out into the pasture of the ranch beyond. My buddy had seen it and been following it and he went over a few blocks and crossed the creek and jumped the fence and about 15 minutes later returned with the chute and nosecone. I reached out into the mud/water rather precariously and retrieved the rocket, not really the worse for wear except for a muddy core sample and last 3 inches or so of body tube.

Still have that rocket... she's retired to a place of honor now though...

Later! OL J R
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  #12  
Old 11-09-2017, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke strawwalker
Sounds like one of my first two stage flights on my Estes Vigilante...

I was launching it at a friends house in the neighboring town... he lived at the end of a long street, where it turned to gravel, went down the slope of the creekbank to the culverts and to the city water works or something on the other side up the slope... we went down to the culverts to launch so we'd be clear of the trees lining the creek banks...

She lifted off beautifully, but I failed to account for the wind above the trees... basically as soon as she cleared the trees, the wind hit her and keeled her over nearly 90 degrees and of course at that moment she staged... the booster dropped straight back down nearly onto the pad (maybe 10 feet away) and the sustainer was heading due south like a ballistic missile... she burned out and coasted and we were following her as best we could and we saw the ejection charge and chute pop just before she dropped below the trees and houses on the other side of the neighborhood behind us. We went looking for it and checking rooftops and houses and yards as we went, and after working over about 2-3 streets, we finally found it... the creek curved around behind the neighborhood to the south and then turned west and ran along the edge of the neighborhood on the south side, and down the mown slope, about 3 feet out in the cattails, in a tiny little 'clearing' that looked like it was made just for it, was the Vigilante sustainer, sticking up out of the mud that it had core sampled into, perfectly vertical, the motor casing still slightly smoking. The rubber shock cord had of course snapped (as the stupid Estes rubber bands usually did after awhile) and the nose cone and chute drifted off across the creek and fence on the other side and out into the pasture of the ranch beyond. My buddy had seen it and been following it and he went over a few blocks and crossed the creek and jumped the fence and about 15 minutes later returned with the chute and nosecone. I reached out into the mud/water rather precariously and retrieved the rocket, not really the worse for wear except for a muddy core sample and last 3 inches or so of body tube.

Still have that rocket... she's retired to a place of honor now though...

Later! OL J R
Wow (an interestingly, the Vigilante was one of the kits I'd wanted but could never afford back then)...if there was ever a "Most unlikely successful model rocket recoveries" thread, that one would rank near if not at the top! It's uncanny how unusually often they sometimes land in the *one* tiny, open spot from which they can be seen and retrieved, with tall trees, thick brush, or water right next to it.
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  #13  
Old 11-09-2017, 02:56 PM
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Despite the fact that my first rocket was an Estes Beta in 1977, I didn't make a two stage flight until 2001 when I got all the parts (minus a nose cone) for an Estes Avenger in a Designer's Special that I picked up on the cheap. I made several successful flights that year, then decided on a repaint, which is still ongoing. I eventually built another Beta and attempted a two stage flight with it to kick off the 2002 flying season. Boost was perfect, then..........SPLAT! Apparently the mini-motors need a bit of scraping on the upper stage motor to allow the second stage to light, which would have been a useful thing to have been told pre-flight instead of post-splat.
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  #14  
Old 11-09-2017, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fish Named Wallyum
Despite the fact that my first rocket was an Estes Beta in 1977, I didn't make a two stage flight until 2001 when I got all the parts (minus a nose cone) for an Estes Avenger in a Designer's Special that I picked up on the cheap. I made several successful flights that year, then decided on a repaint, which is still ongoing. I eventually built another Beta and attempted a two stage flight with it to kick off the 2002 flying season. Boost was perfect, then..........SPLAT! Apparently the mini-motors need a bit of scraping on the upper stage motor to allow the second stage to light, which would have been a useful thing to have been told pre-flight instead of post-splat.
Yech--"unexpected boosted-dart flight profiles" are never fun...
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http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
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  #15  
Old 11-10-2017, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
Yech--"unexpected boosted-dart flight profiles" are never fun...

Unless the rocket belongs to GH.



.
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2017, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
Unless the rocket belongs to GH.



.
Indeed; Reply #59 *here* http://www.oldrocketforum.com/showt...7422#post217422 confirms that... :-)
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  #17  
Old 11-11-2017, 08:58 AM
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Bob,

Pretty model!
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