Posts

Edmund Aerospace Legacy

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The Thrifty Rocketeer blog continues...About five years or so ago, a short while after I got into this hobby, I saw a person fly a glider at a club launch, and was immediately interested to look into it more.An internet search turned up a forum that suggested that I look at Edmund Aerospace.com but to do so quickly, because they were selling down their supplies.  I was immediately intrigued, as decades ago I had an Edmund Scientific telescope (and still have it today) and I thought I recognized the name.

When I got on their website, it became obvious that most of their models were named with double letters or plays on alphabet letters... but many of them were either sold out or had reduced supplies.   So I knew that I would have to order a couple for my first order if ever I wanted to see them.I ordered the Ci-Ci and the  Deltie.  When they arrived promptly, I set to assembling them quickly and discovered a few things:The kits were simple, because there aren't a lot of parts to a …

Glue Wars

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The Thrifty Rocketeer blog continues...No, this is not another "which glue is best" thread.Instead, I want to share a couple of horror stories with you about why you should ask the above question.When I first got into this hobby, I didn't have a lot of spare cash...I didn't have a lot of spray paint (yet)...and my glue options were few.Now several years before, for Christmas, my wife bought a couple of these assemble-yourself-kit-furniture kits, and we started a tradition of assembling the "thing" immediately on Christmas evening after the meal was cleared.Now, if you've ever assembled one of these pieces of furniture, you'll know that the instructions are stilted, the count of hardware is always exactly on, with virtually NO extras... and they supply their own tiny bottle of glue.Typically, the tube is smaller than a tube of toothpaste, but about the size of a lip therapy Vaseline jelly tube.As I recall the tube had a red or orange cap, and the tr…

First Flights

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The Thrifty Rocketeer blog continues...Most of us have flown an Estes Rocket kit before, and so we are familiar with the small blurb on the packaging and certainly in the instructions that cite two or three motors that the model will fly on.  It's my understanding that these motors are: Currently in production (at the time the kit is produced)Designed to "fit" in the unaltered kit, andTested in "Open Rocket"  or similar RocSim program The  company has done all the hard work for you... taking into account the area of the fins, the location of the center of propulsion, the center of gravity, the length of the body tube, the weight of the constructed model... everything assumed to be as they designed and intended the kit to be assembled.
Now, if you've deviated from the plans, or made a special modification, you're gonna have to factor those changes into the rocket simulation program and see what it recommends for your motors to effectively fly the bird sa…

There is Another...

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The Thrifty Rocketeer blog continues...Many decades ago, there was a nifty science fiction movie that appeared at my local drive in theater when I was a teen.  "Colossus: The Forbin Project" was a great piece of  doomsday/ cold war speculation that featured the outstanding actor Eric Braeden as Charles Forbin.  The movie was taken from the first of the Colossus trilogy of books, and remains as one of my favorites.The reason why I mention this, is because after the USA converts all of it's defense capabilities to a supercomputer named "Colossus", the very first thing that it does when it is switched on  is state, "THERE IS ANOTHER SYSTEM...."The plot doesn't go exactly where Skynet in the Terminator goes, but it is shocking that the computer immediately recognizes that the Soviets have also been building their own version of a super computer. It's not long before the two systems want a link so that they can "talk". Danger ensues.Well…

The Crayon

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The Thrifty Rocketeer blog continues...
Recently I had an adventure recovering a "Crayon Bank" rocket which offered some challenges.

The Fire Brigade

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The Thrifty Rocketeer blog continues...
It's not unusual to hear the call "All eyes on the pad" at a club rocket launch, either when a new rocket is being launched for the first time, or when there's something suspect about this launch.
We want everyone on their feet and aware, if something should go wrong, and be ready to respond.
But recently, I heard another request, "Need volunteers for the fire brigade", when a larger rocket was being launched on a "smokey".   Actually, I think it was a "sparky", which was much more of a concern.
As I understand it, these high power motors are manufactured to actually produce either a smokey trail or a sparkler flame jet on assent.  This is done for effect, for visibility, and is selected along with the motor at the time of purchase.

The need for a "fire brigade" was something I wasn't aware of.  Preparations for the "sparky" launch included:
Wetting down the ground around the laun…