Rocket Recovery

Built my first two rockets in 15 years this weekend. They flew great on A8-3
engines and I recovered both of them after the parachutes fully deployed (I
was quite proud). However, when I put C6-7's into them....well, that was the
last I saw of either of them.....one just totally dissapeared and the other
we thought we saw the 'chute deploy but then lost it.....FYI...both rockets
were Estes Sizzlers.
What am I doing wrong. I love shooting the rockets lower for my son and his
friends to see but I also like the idea of high flying for me as well.....
All tips are appreciated!!!!
Thanks!
Scott
Reply to
Scott
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Fly larger rockets - they are easier to see at altitude, and can accommodate payloads such as radio-beacons to help track them.
-dave w
Reply to
David Weinshenker
(my tips follow the quoted message)
Scott wrote:
-------------------------------------------- Here are a few notions that might help...
Having more observers at the launch is invaluable for tracking high flyers. If more people are tracking the flight, there's more of a likelyhood that at least one person will be able to keep it in sight while others are searching for it in the sky.
Having trackers stand quite far from the launch pad can help. They will see the rocket from the side during the entire flight. When you are close to the flight path, you are looking up the butt-end of your rocket, which is a tiny area compared to the side view. This is also why a larger, longer rocket is easier to track.
Avoid flying high when clouds are in the sky... at least within the flight area. When the ejection charge fires, you're more likely to see the puff of smoke when the sky is a contrasting blue colour.
Painting your high-flying rockets a dark contrasting colour (like black) helps tracking when the sky is quite light-coloured.
Cut a spill-hole in your parachutes. Less drift time means less of a likelihood that you will lose sight of the rocket during descent.
Use black parachutes. They are more visible against a light-coloured sky.
Happy flying!
Dwayne Surdu-Miller SAROS #1
Reply to
Dwayne Surdu-Miller
I'm the same way. I bought these things to FLY, darnit! Put 'em up there on a C engine... Then I totally lose track of it... Oh well, I've gotten used to the idea that if you keep launching rockets, you're bound to lose a few. That (and the fact that most of mine are under $15) helps east the occasional fly-away.. I do stick to B and below for my local field, but I'll load the Cs at club launches. More space, more people walking around, more chance of it being found, even if no one actually sees it come down.
Eldred
Reply to
EldredP
I would think that it would just come down quicker, and less likely to drift away. It's just down on the ground before you see it.
Never heard this one before, but it makes sense. Problem is, a black chute would be harder to see once it gets to the ground. So if you don't SEE it land, you could be searching for a while. So, I wonder what's the best combination of colors to use? Black, so it shows against the sky. White or orange for better visibility on the ground. Orange rocket with a black chute? I launched my Renegade(a black rocket almost 2 ft. tall) yesterday, and lost it before ejection. It just so happened that someone else saw it land, and was able to point me in the right direction. Another benefit of launching with a bunch of people. When I got close, I was able to see the chute.
Eldred
Reply to
EldredP
You could use a streamer - Apollo 11 over here (UK) sell a great reflective mylar, which has saved several of my rockets by being very visible. I have an 18mm minimum diameter rocket called 'Offering to the Rocket Gods' (since putting a C6-7 in something so small is asking to lose it) which I haven't yet managed to lose, even though its ended up kicking the motor quite a few times. getting on for 10 flights I think, it comes back quite fast but I've never had a problem, its so light!
Happy flying,
Niall Oswald =================================== Electronic & Electrical Engineering University of Bristol UKRA 1345 -
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Reply to
Niall Oswald
Dwayne wrote some great guidelines for flying rockets
Scott,
The bottom line is you made a BAR-rookie mistake. Going from A to C is 4X. Shoulda used a B first. That said, on a BT-20 based 3FNC like the Sizzler, even a B is flirtin' with losing it.
We've all done it. There's a Quark out there somewhere we flew on an A. Shoulda never tried that, at least not without less wind, more eyes and a better choice of paint color.
Please don't get discouraged. Build some more, and fly them with a tad more caution now that you're a little wiser for it.
And welcome back after 15 years.
Doug
Reply to
Doug Sams
(comments inserted in reply)
EldredP wrote:
That helps too! My thought was that the longer it's a tiny speck, the more chance there is of losing sight of it. Our club has lost a few long, high drifters that way.
That's true. Our club launches from virgin prairie which is light-coloured for most of the year. A better 'chute on a sunny day might be silver mylar. The 'chute of a Solar Sailor II is real easy to spot in the air and on the ground.
Dwayne Surdu-Miller SAROS #1
Reply to
Dwayne Surdu-Miller
My attitude has been changing somewhat over the past few years. I'm leaning more towards bigger, clumsier (draggier) rockets, that require a larger engine, but that don't go too terribly high on the 'stock' engine. Then, when I want some more altitude, I can use one of the composite motors (RMS or SU) to get up there. I particularly like some of the upscale clones such as the QModeling rockets, or using some of the Estes 'D' rockets (such as the Maxi Big Bertha or Maxi Alpha). They can be modified for the Estes E (and work great on them), work okay on a D, but you can use an Aerotech F if you want to.
The larger rockets are far easier to see and recover, with the 'smaller' engine (relatively) can still be used on a small field (and look impressive as heck there), and can still get some altitude when you're out on a larger field.
I still like the smaller rockets for many reasons (some nostalgic, some just because they're 'neat'), but I'm trending more towards the mid-power. I don't, however, find myself trying for any altitude records the way I used to with the smaller rockets (it's fun to see how high you can go on a single 18mm motor). Once they're going out of sight, I find it more frustrating than satisfying.
I would feel different if I were in HPR, but at that point I'd be using tracking signals, etc. I'm just not at that point right now.
David Erbas-White
Reply to
David Erbas-White
payloads such as radio-beacons to help track them.
I can agree with this for the above reasons. It also allows you to also use larger motors that put on a better show for everyone, and let's face it, it's all about the show with the smoke, fire, and sound. Otherwise you could get the same thrill from tossing a ball up in the air, it's doing the same basic thing as a rocket. Up....down....up....down..... This isn't a dump on smaller rockets. They're a heck of alot of fun and I can get as big a grin from an "A" motor as I can from an "I" motor. Just remember they have limits if you want them back. More spotters isn't an issue since I'm always flying with the local club. Watching the flights is part of the social function of the launch, so spotters are everywhere. The advice of contrasting colors I use myself. Almost all my rockets are painted in broad stripes. One's light for visiblity on the ground, one's dark for against the sky, and the third fits in between for contrast in either. I also prefer parachutes that contrast both in the sky and on the ground. Inspite of my best efforts I haven't lost one of my big ones yet. Never tried colored talc/chalk dust, but I've seen it used to good effect more than once. And remember the "economy of fun." If your kits are less than $15, that's about the price of a dozen 13mm's, or 3 of the bigger 24mm Estes C/D/E motors. Would you rather spend the money on yet another kit after losing one, and the time to build it, or would you rather use that same coin to grab some sky with a rocket that'll fly well on those things and still come back? Hmmm, more time flying, fewer lost rockets....hmmm, boy that's a hard call for me to make! ;-)
Chuck
Reply to
Zathras of the Great Machine
Building on Tweak's definition of knob motors, we now have knob rockets.
I like it. Flying real high and fast sounds exciting (but spending two hours hunting for your rocket does not). Seeing your low-n-slow knob-rocket stage in plain sight _is_ exciting.
Doug
Reply to
Doug Sams
My personal favorite: 5.5 inch upscale EZI-65, weight of ~20 pounds. Launch on I435, then airstart three H180s (or I200s, the H128 just doesn't make enough racket). Get no-smoke, then smoke, lots of noise, staging is at about 500 feet and total altitude around 2k. Then stack 3 or 4 deployment bags to deploy progressively bigger, obnoxious neon chutes. It only the I435 were green, it would be totally "knobtastic".
Reply to
Tweak
Someone said that they saw an orange chute in the sky for like 4-5 mins on a fly away flight.
Reply to
AlMax
you didn't do anything wrong, you did something right! you just learned the literal definition of making a donation to the rocket gods.....;-)
Reply to
Lew Garrow

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