Porta-Pad flight conversion (The Flying Launch Pad)

Porta-Pad flight conversion (The Flying Launch Pad)

Post by Nathan Chronist » Tue, 22 Mar 1994 22:00:00



This is a story of one of my misguided rocketry projects from when
I was in High School.  It was just begging to be tried!

The Estes Porta-Pad has three legs which almost, kinda, sorta
look like fins, and the central body is just about right for a
D engine.  

I installed a mount and replaced the launch rod swivel with a
tiny, inadequate compartment for an 18" 'chute.  The blast
deflector was replaced with cardboard painted to look like
a real one, with black char on it. Since the height of the
deflector was not raised, there was no room for a proper
parachute/wadding system.  Maybe rear ejection would have been better,
but I couldn't figure out how to do it at the time.

The model made several very stable and impressive flights,
going about 100 feet into the air.  It rates as one of the
coolest rockets I've flown.  With each flight I tried a new
way of protecting the parachute, but none of the methods that
work in longer rockets were effective that close to the engine.

Plans for a two-stage version, using an Alpha as the upper stage,
were never realized.  Would've been neat, though.
Spectators watch as the little Alpha is prepared for launch.
The countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  Then suddenly the whole f**king launch
pad screams into the air!

Maybe the Alpha could be a dummy which would hold a parachute
for the rest of the system.  A parachute is definitely needed
for safety with a model of this weight, but the model itself
always survived when landing on deep grass.

Nathan "If it's heavy enough it'll fly fine" Chronister

 
 
 

Porta-Pad flight conversion (The Flying Launch Pad)

Post by kaplo.. » Thu, 24 Mar 1994 02:59:00


Quote:

> You're a loon!  Thats the coolest idea I ever heard!  Any other
> 'unidentified flying object' stories?

And another oldie too. Back in an old MRm or model rocketeer, there were
plans to convert the old MPC "Lunar Lectric" launch pad. Do I get a $ for
this one too :-)


USPO:   HealthCare COMPARE Corp.3200 Highland Ave Downers Grove, IL 60615
TPC:    (708) 241-7919 x5327            ICBM:   41 49' North 88 1' West

Running a NARAM will never give you as much grief as rewriting a PINK BOOK!

 
 
 

Porta-Pad flight conversion (The Flying Launch Pad)

Post by Nathan Chronist » Thu, 24 Mar 1994 06:29:00


Quote:



>> The Estes Porta-Pad has three legs which almost, kinda, sorta
>> look like fins, and the central body is just about right for a
>> D engine.  
>....snip...
>> Nathan "If it's heavy enough it'll fly fine" Chronister

>You're a loon!  Thats the coolest idea I ever heard!  Any other
>'unidentified flying object' stories?

That was with the older, heavier version of the Porta-potty.
It was black and it looked really cool.

My other weird projects include rocket powered helicopters
(helis with engines mounted horizontally), and tasmanian devils
(spinning rockets with rotor, but engine pointing straight up).
These have flight characteristics similar to the Estes flying
saucer but they spin very rapidly so they are more fun.
(And the tas d's are fun to stage!)

I've also built some night rockets and some odd rockets with long
dowels for fins.  These dowels brought the center of mass back behind
the engine nozzle to provide stability independent of airspeed.
(I didn't know, when I was in high school, that this wouldn't work.
So I tried it and it DID work! The models were also aerodynamically
stable, but it turns out that rotational inertia is all the
stability that was needed in the very brief, low-velocity portion
of the flight.)

Has anyone tried an underwater launch like I read about in
an Estes publication a long time ago?

Nathan

 
 
 

Porta-Pad flight conversion (The Flying Launch Pad)

Post by Mike Frazi » Fri, 25 Mar 1994 00:26:53



|>The Estes Porta-Pad has three legs which almost, kinda, sorta
|>look like fins, and the central body is just about right for a
|>D engine.  

This is a great idea!  Thanks for sharing it.

|>Plans for a two-stage version, using an Alpha as the upper stage,
|>were never realized.  Would've been neat, though.
|>Spectators watch as the little Alpha is prepared for launch.
|>The countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  Then suddenly the whole f**king launch
|>pad screams into the air!

I like this also.  Hmmm... I wonder how a CATO (the rocket, not the Es15 ;^)
would be for the "second stage"?  Talk about a totally dramatic flight...

|>Maybe the Alpha could be a dummy which would hold a parachute
|>for the rest of the system.  A parachute is definitely needed
|>for safety with a model of this weight, but the model itself
|>always survived when landing on deep grass.

Rather than the Alpha, I'd choose something that doesn't have fins that extend
downward (like a Patriot).  That way, it looks natural for one of these to be
"sitting" on the blast deflector (when in actuality it is staged to the launch
pad).

Geez...The possiblities for this are endless ;^)

        Mike
--
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