Friday, April 2, 2010

Starting the L-13

I started construction of my Fliskits L-13, serial #38, the other day. It's mostly a conventional 4FNC (4 fins and a nose cone) rocket, but it's got some tricky spots. The tail cone is formed from a paper wrap, and the fins have to be glued to that. There's also some tricky scale details, and of course the difficult paint scheme to mask.

I started with the motor mount. I decided to not use the engine block; that way if I ever am able to use longer 18mm motors (like the old Aerotech E25s) it'll still be possible. I glued on the two fiberboard centering rings, and I drilled a 1/16" hole in one. I then tied the kevlar thread - the flameproof base of the recovery system - between the rings and threaded it through the hole. It forms a solid and flameproof attachment point for the elastic shock cord that attaches the nose cone and parachute to the body.

Then, I prepped the nose cone. It's a nice cone of an unusual shape made from pretty hard balsa. I'm not good with normal sanding sealer, so I just sanded it, coated the outside with wood glue, sanded, coated again, and buffed with steel wool; now all of it (except the shoulder which goes inside the body tube) is smooth, solid, and ready for painting. I glued in the screw eye to which I'll tie the shock cord, and I painted the base of the cone to protect it from the ejection charge.

Pictures will follow eventually.

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