Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Designing a Christmas rocket...

There are two holidays which really get a rocketeer's creative juices flowing - Halloween and Christmas. I'm a little late for Halloween - though I do have a few rockets in my fleet with the appropriate decor - but it's not too late for Christmas designs and builds. There's a very long tradition here - for example, one could take a kit like the Estes Spaceman (first released back in 1963)


and turn it into something like this (model by JeffyJeep on Ye Olde Rocket Forum):

Click to enlarge.
or one could use the parts from an Estes Baby Bertha:

to create the Polar-1 (from my fleet):

Click to enlarge.
You get the idea... Anyway, my club, HARA, is having a Christmas rocket design contest this year. Winner gets a very nice Apogee Katana high power dual deploy rocket kit, suitable for Level 2 certification (or just impressing folks). I'm not eligible to win (as it was my idea and I'm providing the prize), but I figured I'd join the others in the fun - designing Christmas rockets is an awesome way to pass some free time!

So what to do? Well, I'm not the biggest fan of the popular flying Christmas tree (issues with installing a recovery system), nor did I favor the flying snowflake saucer route. Instead, I chose something quick and simple...

A BT-50 based flying Christmas candle.

This was easy-peasy to design in Open Rocket, and I am pretty pleased with the results - I particularly like the holly leaf fins.

Click to enlarge.
However, it seems a little bit on the boring side. So I hit upon the idea to use the LED flame from one of these as the nose cone:

Click to enlarge.
Stick this puppy in a BT-50 coupler with a small lithium watch battery and and a tiny switch, and I will have a pretty neat light up nose cone for my candle rocket.

The build starts this weekend - stay tuned!

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