Wednesday, February 17, 2010

This is taking forever

Currently, the Viper IV construction is almost so very nearly at a halt. I've got the entire fin assembly glued together, so now all I have to do is the fillets on the fins. Which, due to the four motor tubes intersecting, have any number of little nooks and crannies that are really really hard to fill. In fact, there's a total of 56 inches of fillets that I have to rid off some 40 tiny little holes, and I can only work on one of the four sides at a time.

Which effectively means that this is going to take a while. Sunday is about the earliest I can possibly expect to be done with the fillets. Fortunately, after that, it's smooth sailing - just glue on the fin unit, tack down the launch lug, and tie the nose cone to the shock cord.

And, of course, 2 coats of primer and 2-4 coats of paint, but that's another story.

However, I do have some side projects going. The first of those I started today. It's a new 18mm booster stage, to replace the older version that got destroyed in spectacular fashion. While this one still won't be able to survive a 300 feet-per-second power prang**, it does have some improvements.

It's a brand-new piece of tubing, rather than a crappy piece of scrap. The tubing is a bit long so that the butt joint between the upper-stage and lower-stage motors is inside the tubing, which lessens the likelyhood of the joint bending. The fins are large, strong 3/32" balsa and will have double fillets of wood glue, so they'll be very strong. They're nice and large, which will keep the rocket stable and also slow the booster down on its descent.

I've also got a few other designs that I'll be building soon. They include a 13mm boost pod for gliders, a 29mm saucer, and a ridiculously complicated design.

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