Model Rocket Clubs

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Ed P 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #28762

    Tippon
    Keymaster
    @tippon

    I’m just wondering if any of you have made your own model rockets, or been part of a club. I saw this video recently, and I’m intrigued:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12fR9neVnS8

    It looks like something that can be done relatively cheaply, and would be great fun to do with older kids. I’m looking into the rules around it, and if there’s anywhere nearby where I could try it out.

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  • #28882

    PlaneMan
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    @planeman
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    Ed, custard factories also go up fairly often.

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    #28891

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,448

    Talking of sugar factories, as kids we would ise icing sugar and corn starch, as ‘council estate fireworks’ .

    If you throw a handfull of either across a naked flame, like a bonfire, you’d get some great fake firework flashes.

    Or play bommy roulette, there you would all stand in a ring aorund the fire, and church a can of deodorant in it. One hand over your face, other over your crotch, and wait.

    Very stupid, but no one ever got hurt beyond a brused shin or chest. You don’t even see un offical bonfire anymore.

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    #28906

    Richard
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    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,007

    Few people realise the power locked up in simple things like sugar. Explosives are in general just slightly easier to persuade to demonstrate their power. Sugar mills are certainly not the only ones that give cause for concern. Flour mills and even those dealing with wood can be equally easy to destroy. A picture of a very large mill several hundred feet tall reduced to a few 6 foot high stumps can be sobering. A wood flour mill plant was recently destroyed in this country, though ‘elf and safety did complain before the event that cleaning was omitted rather than performed. The efficiency of the filters and exhaust fans had also been questioned.

    I heard stories of someone after the WWII who destroyed unwanted shelters with a candle, an old vacuum cleaner and out of date waste flour of some sort. By blowing the dust into the void using the vacuum cleaner’s exhaust air flow he slowly built up the right stoichiometric fuel air mix which hit the flame and blew the shelter roof to bits.

    I was told that a pound of butter has more energy than a pound of most explosives, it just does not let it go off so easily.

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    #28909

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,448

    I have the biggest erge to try the flour/hover method on my garden shed. Not that there is anything wrong with the shed, it just sounds fun.

    Corn flours goes up well, had lots of fun with that as a kid. It burns like a gas ball, when thrown across a fire in a dispersed type of throw. (sort of like skimming a stone method). Icing sugar to, but that gets your sticky.

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    #28910

    Ed P
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    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,227

    I have the biggest erge to try the flour/hover method on my garden shed. Not that there is anything wrong with the shed, it just sounds fun. Corn flours goes up well, had lots of fun with that as a kid. It burns like a gas ball, when thrown across a fire in a dispersed type of throw. (sort of like skimming a stone method). Icing sugar to, but that gets your sticky.

    Don’t!

    Fuel-air explosions are bloody frightening, and the impacts difficult to judge. As you probably remember from your army days a relatively small amount of explosive does a lot of damage and kilo for kilo a fuel-air explosion in the extreme can do roughly twice as much damage. – re domestic gas explosions and MOABs

    However, for heavens sake do not tell the ultra cautious politicians, as they will want to ban tins of custard powder and purchases of more than one ounce of flour!

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    #28913

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 2,448

    I was only joking. Plus my ahead back on to the neighbours extention.

    I could do the FiL garage lol.

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    #28923

    Bob Williams
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    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 2,935

    This Topic reminds me of two events in my life, both during schooldays:

    I had a mate at school (where are you now, Steve Cooke?) who had lots of hair which hung forward over his face, to the right. One day in Chemistry, he leaned too far over the Bunsen burner and his hair caught. I was on the bench behind and quickly filled a bowl of water, threw it over his head. He was not best pleased at first, had not even noticed his head was smouldering. One of those dreamy, half awake but very intelligent lads some of you may have met in school. I heard later that he got a scholarship to Cambridge to study Chemistry. I hope he didn’t blow himself up, or incinerate a College or two.

    About a year later, on Bonfire night, I was with my two partners in crime, my nephews, just 5 and 7 years my junior. We decided that strapping 5 large rockets together was the way to make an impression, stuck them in a milk bottle, lit blue touch paper (all 5 were twisted into one fuse) and retired. Bottle tipped over, rockets took off like an anti-tank missile. The path to glory was interrupted by the bonnet and engine cover of a Mobile Shop, based on an old Bedford coach. We lads took off at speed, back to their dad’s house, my big bro. Next day big bro asked us if we knew anything about a mobile shop being struck by a firework and killing the engine, which caught fire. Three pictures of innocence.πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ€”πŸ˜Š I think the shopkeeper saved all his produce, but his chestnuts may not have needed roasting.πŸ˜†

    β€œIf you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #28924

    Ed P
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    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,227

    Although I do not look back on the past with rose-tinted spectacles, there are two things about today’s British society that worry me.

    a) The way the Nanny State attempts to shield people from all risk. IMO being exposed toΒ  some risk is healthy, and necessary in a Darwinian way.

    b) Most teenage males do naughty and stupid things. In the past this just received a clip around the ear and a damned good telling off from the local bobby, or parents (often both). Today’s teenagers are very likely to receive the full due process of the law (assuming there are ANY policemen in the town.). This can then either crush career aspirations or drive the teenager into learning to be a criminal.

    Making and flying rockets seems like a great way of being exposed to measured risk, while learning the disciplines required to handle the risk.

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    #28928

    Bob Williams
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    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 2,935

    Agree on all points Ed!

    When our son, now 50, was around 19, I gave him my beautiful black Cortina Ghia, after having a small windfall and buying a Granada. During one night, it was stolen and we informed the local police. (they were still local then) The local PC was an old friend, 6’5″ and built like the proverbial outhouse. He found the car, which had the centre console ripped out with son’s music centre, which he had saved to buy for months. The local copper also had a good idea who had taken the car and chased up his intuition, to find the console, music and other bits taken. The real stupidity of the young miscreants, was to attack the PC when he called to make inquiries. They were both eventually taken under arrest to hospital, treated and released to custody. Admitting several previous was easy, after so much stolen property was found to match other cases.

    Our local PC was on the Chief Constables mat for this, he told me, not for the first time. However, what should have been a severe reprimand turned into a sit down and a coffee. Officially, he was verbally reprimanded (again) Unofficially, he was congratulated for a job well done. He told me that he would probably remain a PC, but as he was just a few years off retirement he had no intention of changing his policing methods.

    Probably one of the last “Old School Coppers.”

    Ah, those were the days, before the Trendies, the liberals and lefties used Elfin Safety as a tool to cripple society.

    β€œIf you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #29144

    Wheels-Of-Fire
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    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 1,394

    To make the best black powder you have to “crack” it. Grind your ingredients separately and add to your mortar and pestle. Add a little water and grind into a fine paste. Let the paste dry into a lump and then grind that into your final powder.

    Im sure most people on here know that but is that a siren I hear 😁

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    #29148

    Ed P
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    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,227

    Let the paste dry into a lump and then grind that into your final powder.

    That is the step when people lose hands and eyes.

    During Uni vacations, I once worked in the labs of an explosive factory. From my untutored eye the safety precautions surrounding black powder production were much greater for smaller quantities than those for nitroglycerine. (just a darned great zip bag in the ceiling full of tons of water).

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    #29150

    Wheels-Of-Fire
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    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 1,394

    That reminds me Ed. I used to maintain the phone system at the BFI and one day I nearly got soaked entering the building. Bells started ringing and then water just gushed from the roof of the building.

    Once inside I asked what was going on and they said the water deluge system was being tested. They stored the old celluloid films in a specially built concrete room on the roof.

    As you can’t extinguish celluloid fires the idea of the deluge system was to fill the whole room with water within 5 seconds and to keep it full for up to 2 hours. The hope was that with the temprature kept down only the stuff that was already burning would keep burning and burn its self out.

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    #29158

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 2,007

    WoF, that would be the old nitrate film base, which as you said contains essentially the same materials as several well known explosives and could produce very similar results. I had to recheck my memories of such film issues. Nitrate films should be stored in the right climate conditions and, ideally is small batches within fire proof storage units. As you said, once it starts burning it is almost impossible to stop and given even half a chance it has the desire to burn violently. Acetate film stock breaks down in other ways and gives rise to the acetic acid smell. Both film stocks are far from ideal from an archive point of view though some reckon the nitrate film bas gave a superior image result. Not much use if it cannot be shown due to licence conditions, or the fact that it has self destructed! Polyester film appears to be the most stable, but being very tough, it risks damaging either cameras or projection equipment should it jam along the way.

    Ed, I am not surprised that, quote During Uni vacations, I once worked in the labs of an explosive factory. From my untutored eye the safety precautions surrounding black powder production were much greater for smaller quantities than those for nitroglycerine. (just a darned great zip bag in the ceiling full of tons of water). endquote

    Provided that you avoided the things that nitroglycerine did not tolerate it could be kept moderately happily, shocks and heat were two that I remember. Watch out if you start to develop severe headaches especially in the presence of gelignite it is a sign it is breaking down.

    With black powder the grinding puts energy into the mix and thus risks heat and god forbid a potential for sparks or hot spots.

    Father used to burn off some unwanted explosives when they were constraint free, i.e. out of any casings, though munitions were usually blown up once the fuses were removed for transport.

    At a guess the water was there not to stop the nitro going up, but to suppress any subsequent fire and to try to absorb any explosive energy, at a guess stopping it if it had a mind to brew up would not be an option.

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    #29160

    Ed P
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    @edps
    Forumite Points: 3,227

    I suspect the bag was there to give the (lone) operator a false sense of confidence!

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