I've built and flown a Centuri Space Shuttle clown a fair number of times now, and have been really impressed with the glide of the mothership glider. The thing always does a dramatic roll or corkscrew as it boosts, though.
Has any out there seen any of these things fly? Is this roll behaviour pretty much characteristic of the design or is there something I can do to straighten it out without killing glide performance?
Yeah, everyone I've ever seen corkscrews as it boosts. I think it might be a feature, although an accidental one. I think it's impossible to have the boost's elevons set perfectly symetrical on boost This imperfection leads to a roll. The imperfection arises because they deflect on boost, since they are just paper. You can't control this and invariably one deflects more than the other.
I've built a booster with solid balsa elevons, and what's more, the deflection of each is independantly adjustable. With new booster, I'm going to conduct an experiement to find out if I can null out the corkscrew, and in the process find out if that is a good thing. It could be that the thing doesn't fly well unless you roll on the way up.
In terms of improving it's glide performance, if you find a way to lighten the nose, then less elevon deflection is needed to keep the nose up. Less elevon deflection will lead to less drag. Overall weight reduction is a good thing too. Mike Jeurald's vacuformed nose cones are lighter than the originals.
I would think that plugging up the holes in the aft bulkhead would reduce drag a bit too.
That's a very good point about nose weight. I turned the glider noses from balsa, then hollowed them out a fair amount. I didn't want to hollow them too much as I was worried about durability. Likely the extra weight of the balsa noses is requiring excessive elevon.
I'm using solid balsa elevons on both gliders. Glide times are nicely consistent on both.
I checked out the Blast From the Past Rocketry website and had a look at Mike's offerings. The elevon angle in some of the pictures looks a lot like the angle of my Shuttle's mothership elevons. Maybe they aren't too far out of wack.
That Super Shuttle looks verrry tempting, and would defray the shipping costs for some nose cones quite nicely.
There mustn't be many of these things flying around. Folks aren't chiming in about them.
Mine's still in the round'tuit pile. It's been sitting on the shelf for a while, and I really do want to get to it. Along with it, I have a Quest Space Shuttle Intrepid, 3 Orbital Transports (2 Estes,
1 Lawndart) and a bunch of Edmonds' kits. Plus an ARV Condor, a Shuttle Express and an Aurora.
Now that I've got one each of most of the parasite gliders out there plus lots of other gliders, I still want MORE!! Give me MORE!!
Seriously, I really would like BFTPR's 160% upscale NASA Space Shuttle. That one may be big enough to convert to RC glider recovery. I'm doing that with my Ecee Thunder, and thinking about it with my Geminee Thunder (two pilots :) so another one would be kewl to have. The Geminee Thunder conversion promises lots of fun - duelling (~identical) gliders.
The upscale shuttle would also require two pilots, but since the birds aren't identical, duelling might not be practical. Regardless, now that the reconstruction on Penrose Street is complete, maybe Mike will have them available soon.
Hey, Doug, it sounds like you have a veritable air show in the works. Oooh, Edmonds' gliders, so sweet. I want some! No mention of the Nighthawk or Sky Dart, though. Are they in your collection? A gleam in the eye? :-)
The Space Shuttle's smaller glider has pretty small lift surfaces, so its glide time is a bit short, but its take-off is really cool. The motor's ejection charge gives it a "kick in the pants" so that it lifts up from the mothership glider quite dramatically. If it had longer wings (maybe something like flop-wings?) to extend its glide time it might have better RC-conversion potential, I'll bet.
I painted a Nighthawk for my neighbor. He's 14, and it was a big challenge for him - lots of detailed finish work, lots of sanding, filling and priming. Then, it sat in my garage for
4-5 months waiting for me to shoot it. But when I finally put a nice coat of red all over it, it came out stunning. I need to get a pic of it. With the decals, it was gorgeous, even with a few rough spots under the paint. (A good coat of RustOleum covers lots of sanding marks as well as providing an awesome luster.)
Anyway, no Nighthawk or Sky Dart in my collection, but I have two Estes SR-71's and an Apogee SR-72 in my round'tuit pile. While the SR-71's only look like gliders, the SR-72 is supposed to actually glide (according to Apogee's website). If I ever get around to it, I'll verify that :)
I'm back into Penrose St. House and about 1/2 way though sorting through the storage stuff and clearing out the last of the junk in the garage. The Super Shuttle is in the works again, the flight bugs were fixed and I pushed the prototype to the limit and it crash landed hard with an E11-4 RMS reload. I did that on purpose to see what would happen.
Once I can swing a ca.... um... ROCKET in the garage again I'll build a new prototype and work from there.
I have another BFTPR special project that's in the works that will really bring a smile to BARs.