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3 stage LPR Rocket
#1
A friend in our rocketry club has been cleaning out a vacated family home, and comes across older LPR kits, rockets and support materials that he has forgotten or has out-grown long ago.  As a result, he has been generously donating them to me at times.

Most recently, he has given me a very tall, thin 3-stage rocket that has never been flown. He assumes that the kit is at least ten years old, making it pre-2006.  It  measures 3 feet long.  Each of the three sets of three fins, measures 3 inches wide, and 2.5 inches tall.  Each stage is aprox. 3 inches tall. (Total number of fins is nine.)

The recovery system is a simple orange streamer. The rocket appears to have a plastic nose cone, and the body tube is composed of at least two body tubes joined together. The top one was 9.5 inches tall, and bottom one was 18 inches. Two large launch lugs measure 2.75 inches for a larger rod.

The motors used in this 3-stage rocket would be the standard small 18 mm Estes rocket motors, but the values are not known. There are no instructions, and no name for this rocket. There are no decals.  I assume the rocket would take B6-0, B6-0 and B6-6 or something similar.

Does anyone have any ideas on what this might be?   I'd like some guidance on what his rockets might need to fly regularly, safely and stable.

I've just searched for images of the Comanche-3 rocket, and a close-up of the fins has convinced me that this is the rocket that I've received.

I am re-gluing at least one of the bottom-most fins back on the final stage...and there's a third, missing fin that I am reconstructing from a scrap piece of balsa.

As a result, I have sealed the new fin, primed it with white, and now am puzzling over what to paint that final fin. The entire rocket is royal blue, which might stand out against the sky blue, or if found laying in a field of hay or grasses.

But the possibility of painting the new fin another contrasting color is appealing.
I am thinking perhaps it should be red or orange...not only for contrast,but to be seen if laying in the grass of the launch field.

Do you have any suggestions?

Anyone know what rocket motors are recommended for the Comanche-3?
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#2
Here's the instructions for the 1382 Comanche 3: https://www.estesrockets.com/media/instr...NCHE_3.pdf

The motor recommendations are there, a little complex to try to summarize since you can fly just the top stage, the top two, the top and bottom, or all three. But I notice according to these instructions the first stage should be 24 mm, taking a C11-0 or D12-0. If you have 18 mm in all three stages you might not have a Comanche 3.
Rich Holmes
Camillus, NY
Secretary / newsletter editor
Syracuse Rocket Club

http://richsrockets.wordpress.com
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#3
Oh dear... I don't have it right in front of me at the moment, but I didn't think that there was a variation in size of the motors.
I was pretty sure that they were all 18 mm motors, but now I am going to go check!

Thanks for the link.
I'm going to go look at it now...

I am almost certain this is the comanche-3....except why he painted it blue, not orange, I don't know. I'm thinking of checking to see if he used primer, or if the rocket has blue primer that I'm mistaking for the finish coat. I really thought it was the Navy Blue finish coat.
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#4
I built one in the mid 80s when I was probably 13 and thought it was a good idea to try the D12-C6-C6 combo on the first flight, at the school yard, even if it was a pretty big field. If I recall the rocket will do half a mile of that combo. Needless to say I did not recover the sustainer. It's painted candy apple red in case it turns up :0
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#5
(03-14-2016, 09:24 PM)MarkH Wrote: I built one in the mid 80s when I was probably 13 and thought it was a good idea to try the D12-C6-C6 combo on the first flight, at the school yard, even if it was a pretty big field.  If I recall the rocket will do half a mile of that combo.  Needless to say I did not recover the sustainer.  It's painted candy apple red in case it turns up :0

Should land any day now!
Rich Holmes
Camillus, NY
Secretary / newsletter editor
Syracuse Rocket Club

http://richsrockets.wordpress.com
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#6
I finished painting the third, missing fig on the bottom stage, and glued it onto the blank spot again. It wanted to fall over, but after holding it for about 15 minutes, I was able to prop it up and let it stand pointed vertical to the sky, and by morning, it had cured in place. I applied two additional glue fillets either side of that fin, and they were dry by noon. A final touch up with some matching blue paint, and I think it's ready to go....but I'm considering masking one of the other fins from the second stage so that it will be visible when falling into green grass or against blue skies.
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#7
Several rocketeers have suggested that booster stages have a habit of disappearing, and so, recommend a brighter, day glow paint job. I'm thinking of masking off and shooting another fin or two with bright yellow.
Also, they recommend multiple sets of eyes on each stage to track them as they tumble recovery.

Has anyone ever heard of a streamer recovery on the outside or from a booster stage before? I can't figure one out....
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#8
Well, despite a week's delay in the launch date, I still didn't feel quite prepared for the launch of the Comanche-3.
However, I did pick up two D12-0 boosters and had one B6-0 left, and multiple packs of B6-6 around.

So I loaded them up, rolled up the streamers and added a little dog barf, and set to launch.
No matter how many times I checked the wiring and ignitor, I still couldn't get it to go.
It wasn't until I changed from the brown ignitors included with the D12-0 to an older black one that it launched.

Had some trouble with the motor ejecting from the body tube, and only one of the streamers deploying, but it landed OK.
Broke the brand new fin off, but was able to re-attach with some superglue and fast hardner.  So we were ready to go again.

This time, the second stage didn't separate, and as a result, got pretty singed, but flyable.
So after another donation of a B6-0 from an old Elmer, I launched a final time as a two-stage.
This time the second stage burned completely, and all I have left are the fins, and the complete first stage, which again came down pretty fast.

So, I'm left with an intact first stage, a destroyed second stage, and a third stage that can't seem to keep the new fin on without some epoxy.

I'm about to whip up a batch of 5 minute epoxy to solve that problem.

But I'm trying to hunt up parts for reconstruction of the second stage.  I can salvage the fins, but I'm looking for the centering rings,connector, a body tube and a motor mount.
I think I can get the local hobby shop to mail them to me (44 mile trip one way) if I send them a $5 bill.

What do you think?  Is it worth it?
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#9
YESits worth it! i gotta look, but i recall seeing estes replacement parts online.
have ya thought about upgrading the fin material to 1/8" plywood? ive got an estes liberty. the fins are somewhat like the alpha- they hit the ground first upon recovery. last launch i sent it up on an e30 and cut a big dump hole in the chute so it would come down quicker. it came down pretty quick, landing on asphalt, but didnt hurt the fins.

on my old comanche i put chrome momokote on 2 of the fins on each stage. really made it easier to see them tumbling back.
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#10
To rebuild the second stage of the Comanche-3, I need the following:

two green 1/4" centering rings
one red 1" tube connector
one 2.25" motor mount tube (for the estes B6-0 size motor)
one 2.75" BT-50 body tube to house this all in.

If I'm careful, I can recycle the fins, and one of the green centering rings, but the other one and the red tube connector are probably glued in to well to salvage. Plus, they're sooty...

Anyone got a good supply source for these five items, cheap?
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