After a hiatus (you know, it’s 2020…), we’re back with The Model Rocket Show!
This episode is a classic “workshop” episode fans of The Rocketry Show have come to enjoy – and the N00b is joined by Jesse and Gheem from The Rocketry Show! CG is there, too, but just listening quietly in the background (you know how Gheem and the N00b can ramble on…)
In the first half of the show, we answer listener questions, including one from a Patreon patron which slipped through the N00b’s email for a while (sorry about that, Les!).
After our break, we get to talking shop with a fun, longwinded conversation which culminates in… MURDER!!!
…of the N00b’s Mercury Redstone escape tower.
A lot of rocketeers have been frustrated by a build over the decades, and sometimes smashing a piece which is getting your goat feels like the only solution…
In this episode, we chat with James Duffy, an accomplished scale modeler and competitor in FAI international model rocketry competitions.
James’ main specialties in scale modeling are the Bumper WAC – an early American two-stage sounding rocket consisting of a captured German V-2 first stage with a WAC Corporal cobbled on top as a second stage…
…and the Little Joe test vehicle, which NASA used during Project Mercury to test the launch escape system (the Little Joe II was later used for the same purposes for Project Apollo) and heat shield.
One impressive model James has flown in international competitions is his 1/12 scale Little Joe.
We discuss scale modeling and get his advice, and James tells us about FAI international model rocketry competitions. The American team has made a bid to hold the World Championships here in the United States in 2023. This would be the first time the international fly-offs will have been held in the U.S. since 1992.
Also, check out Spacemonkey Models (CLICK HERE), James’ company selling the most detailed scale model V-2 available anywhere. It’s a static model (which means it doesn’t fly), but it can be converted to a flying model rocket with a conversion kit sold by Apogee Components (CLICK HERE to get it). You can also buy the Spacemonkey V-2 itself from Apogee.
I have one of the Spacemonkey kits, and it’s a gorgeous thing. James has a thorough video tutorial series for building the V-2 on his YouTube channel. CLICK HERE to go to the playlist.
The kit comes with four different decal sets, so you have what you need to build one of four different iterations of the V-2, and the decals fit almost perfectly to the Estes V-2, so with a Spacemonkey kit you have the decals to build three more flying models!
In this episode, we talk with Gary Rosenfield, who founded AeroTech Consumer Aerospace in 1982. AeroTech makes ammonium perchlorate composite propellant motors, often referred to as simply “composite motors.” This distinguishes them from the traditional model rocket motors, which use black powder propellant.
AeroTech is known for making high power motors, up to the enormous M, N, and O impulse motors. But they also make low and mid power motors for model rocketeers.
Around 2014, AeroTech merged with Quest Aerospace, a model rocket company which manufactured kits and black powder motors. The motors were rather similar to the Estes black powder motors, but included the much-loved Q2G2 igniters.
Q2G2’s were fast igniters. That is, they required less amperage to fire, and with a small black pyrogen tip, they were great for igniting black powder clusters – configurations of two or more motors.
With clusters, it’s important to have all motors ignite simultaneously, or the rocket could leave the pad with one or more motors unlit. This can sometimes result in a less-than-straight flight trajectory, and it’s what makes clustering a fun challenge!
Following an accident in a port in China, through which Quest’s old motors were exported to the U.S., Quest motors and igniters became unavailable for a long time.
Bill Stine, who had founded Quest, challenged Gary to create an A-impulse motor with composite propellant.
Gary accepted the challenge, and after a long period of development and experimentation, the new Quest composite motors became a reality.
Dubbed “Q-Jets,” these little 18mm motors are the same length and diameter as standard A/B/C model rocket motors, but because they contain the more energetic AP composite propellant, Quest/AeroTech can get a D powered motor into the smaller sized casing.
This is because AP propellant has a higher specific impulse than black powder propellant.
Q-Jets are fast, fun, zippy motors. And AeroTech has lots of different AP motors for rockets of all sizes.
You can get Q-Jet’s from our sponsor, eRockets.biz, by clicking here.
And you can get AeroTech motors from eRockets by clicking here.
And, hey, if you appreciate eRockets sponsoring The Model Rocket Show, let owner Randy know when you place your order! I’m sure he’d love to hear that his support is appreciated.