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RC rockets - do they exist?

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Old 03-09-2014, 01:05 PM
  #1
Dan Grevelund
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Default RC rockets - do they exist?

Hi,
My name is Dan Grevelund. I am living in Denmark, Scandinavia. Last year I succeeded in getting aprovement of model rockets for sale in Denmark by the Danish authorities. Before 2013 this was not allowed. The license is only for small Estes rockets and engines. But it is a start. Accordingly, I am rather new to model rocketry and this great hobby is just starting in my country. I'm selling model rockets in Denmark through my shop WILDTOYS. The basic business idea of WILDTOYS is to provide outdoor toys that dad also likes to play with. This means toys that have the power to get dad out of the couch and make him turn off his mobile or PC. And model rockets certainly belong in this category! Besides WILDTOYS I have been running the strategy consulting company Vaekststrategi.dk (Growth Strategy) for many years.

In this forum I hope to increase my knowledge about model rockets in general. I'm always looking for new products. So if any of you have ideas for new products (in rocketry or other outdoor toys that can drive dad out of the sofa) please feel free to contact me. But is has to be a little wild!

I have been thinking about one question: Do RC model rockets exist? I know some gliders. But does anyone know of real RC model rockets?

As a person I like to help other people if I can. So please contact me if you think I can contribute or be of assistance.


I can be reached on: wildtoys@hotmail.com

Best regards
Dan Grevelund (it's me in the picture)
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:00 AM
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The only one I could remember on the consumer market was a rocket glider by Estes. There are also a number of high power space shuttle kits that have come and gone. High Power models usually have some Tx and Rx guidance controls.

One forum and has helped a lot is this one. There are all levels of experience that I am sure will help you out.

http://www.rocketryforum.com
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:00 PM
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I'd like rockets with user-controlled delay times on motors. Make one and I'll buy it for sure.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:19 PM
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Adjustable delay motors have been on the market for over a decade - they were introduced by CTI in 2001 or so, then hastily copied by Aerotech. In the early days of rocketry Crown had an E with a primitive adjustable delay, it was a fuse wrapped around a dowel on the top end of the motor.

Plus you can use avionics instead and have complete control over timing.

High Power rockets do not usually have "Tx and Rx guidance controls". They are usually free flight. However they often use avionics to control recovery and staging events, and redundant electronic recovery is mandatory over a given size of motor.

I thought RC guidance was prohibited in the North American MR and HPR safety codes but I can't find it. Few people bother trying.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:23 AM
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I need to stand corrected, there are no Rx Tx guidance controls, only Tx is usually telemetry data.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottrc View Post
I need to stand corrected, there are no Rx Tx guidance controls, only Tx is usually telemetry data.
For sure - telemetry, onboard accelerometers, barometric pressure sensors, staging timers, tracking transmitters, all that good stuff. Just not guidance.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:37 PM
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I am fairly sure it is against federal law to have any guidance system on model rockets do to the fact if you have a guidance system you can use them as a missile with a warhead.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:12 PM
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Yeah, but anything goes in Denmark. ;-)

One of my college buddies built a model with RATO (rocket-assisted take off) using two D rocket engines. That was pretty spectacular! He would ignite the rocket engines with Sylvania flashbulbs from a Polaroid Swinger once the model was rolling down the runway.

I can't imagine having the reflexes to take advantage of two seconds of thrust.

Back in the 70's I built a Centuri Mach-10 that was kind of a Mig looking rocket/glider, or maybe a FW Ta 183 for real trivia buffs, that was supposed to get altitude and then glide back down. First flight it just barely cleared the launch rod and made a 90 turn and tried to kill everyone nearby. None of us had time to duck but luckily it missed us and went cross-country at low-level. I never tried a second flight.

Last edited by Charlie P.; 05-30-2014 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:51 PM
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With radio gear like the tiny cheap micro stuff I recently scavenged out of a Flyzone Neuport, you can build fairly simple balsa C powered rocket gliders though.. good fun.
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:41 AM
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HI Dan, congratulations on opening up Denmark to black powder propulsion - that's no small achievement I imagine. For many years I was the head of R&D at Estes-Cox, and I can tell you that the concept of R/C controlled rocketry comes up often within the community, but it's not a common activity at all in my experience. It's mostly constrained to rocket powered boost-gliders, and there is a small community in that field. The safety concerns and possible liability issues keep most people from pursuing the rocketry direction I imagine. As for commercially available products - Estes did make two versions of rocket powered R/C gliders, first in kit form, and later as ARF models, and they were fun to operate. A lot of folks have made their own design rocket powered boost gliders.

We also experimented with aircraft launched rockets, and boat launched rockets. While those were all a lot of fun, the marketing of such products was never pursued. I can tell you that it's fun to launch missiles from your R/C aircraft though!

Good luck with expanding rocketry in Demnark. I imagine it will be a good market.

Scott
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:53 AM
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Aerotech sold the Pheonix rocket glider in the 90's which used a long burn 32mm reload.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:22 PM
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Flying the Astro Blaster or Strato Blaster on 2 second burn motors was no big deal at all - the acceleration is not that much and neither are flight speeds. They were very heavy, and the power was just over too soon. A speed 400 electric pylon racer could pass them in the vertical. They were touted to go many hundreds of feet, but it was total BS (I worked there at the time and demo'ed them at the AMA homecoming in '93). The best an AB ever did on a D was maybe 300 feet or thereabouts, perhaps 400-500' on a good day with a BP E15. I know someone who converted one to an Aerotech F10 and actually did achieve about 1000' as per the box copy.. with about 3 times the total impulse. I used to CHAD stage the Strato Blaster - typically D12-0 to E15-P, and a few times D12-0 to D12-0 to E15-P.

They were fun but were just sport performers. However - they were available in a pretty easy to build kit which is of course not to be sneezed at.

For serious performance with RC rocket gliders, look up S8E rocket gliders on Youtube and the 'net. 1000'+ on an E and very high glide performance.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:24 PM
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Yup, the Phoenix performed very well indeed. A bit more work to build but no worse than many sport RC models, it was similar to building an RC slope soarer with a rocket motor mount. Long burn composite reloads = much fun.
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:04 PM
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an RC controlled rocket would be cool, saw one on YouTube but it's considered to be a guidance controlled missile ! A federal offense for the average home rocket guy. Even today's little Drones are coming under fire :-(
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:27 PM
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Is it really against US law to build a radio controlled rocket? Or is it just against organization rules?

I remember many years ago, I think this was during the dial-up BBS years or very early internet, I came across an online article by a fellow who had built an optically-guided rocket capable of tracking a target optically. It was basically a ground-to-air self-guided missile. I always thought it would be fun to make one and pull a drone target with an RC airplane and try to shoot it down with your missile.

Steve
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:42 PM
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Dan, I would think that any manual control of boosted flight would be impractacle to say the least. Any guidance would be better placed on an auto stabilizer acting off the exhaust plume on a scale, finless rocket
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:34 AM
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Good fun with a Durefly Messersmith ME163 with rocket boost



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