T-Bolt Rocket Kit vs Super DX3 L1 Certification Kit

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stefang
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T-Bolt Rocket Kit vs Super DX3 L1 Certification Kit

Postby stefang » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:26 pm

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I have been playing with LPR and MPR now for about 4 years. I'm not a member of a club however I do hold membership with AMRS and TRA. I have mostly been flying on my property in the Capertee valley where I have a remote observatory.

I have logged about 73 flights with the MPR gear I have, and countless others on the small LPR stuff.

I'm interested in going for my Level 1 Cert. Obviously with so many choices for single deployment Kits, countless hours watching John Coker youtube tutorials, apogee rocket videos , BPS.space, TRA materials et al, I'm reaching a point of analysis paralysis.

I'm interested in buying my first HPR kit, something that I might be able to use for both a L1 and L2.
Do anyone have build experience with either:

GiantLeapRockets - T-Bolt Rocket Kit https://giantleaprocketry.com/products/kits_almost.aspx or
MadCow Rocketry - 4" Super DX3 https://www.madcowrocketry.com/4-super-dx3/

As I am looking to use this for a L1, L2 cert, is it worth considering the material upgrade to a full fiber glass kit. I have a background in advanced materials science so am comfortable dealing with the nuances of working with fiberglass / carbon etc.

Any assistance and opportunity to stand on the shoulder of member giants most appreciated. I'm happy to speak off list if someone wants to have a chat on the phone.
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strud
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Re: T-Bolt Rocket Kit vs Super DX3 L1 Certification Kit

Postby strud » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:30 pm

Hey Stefan,

Nice part of the world you're in there, sounds like a great place if you can launch rockets and run an observatory.

I don't have much experience with kits per se, but happy to chat and assist if I can. I've been playing with rockets for about 20 years (almost exclusively scratch built) & I'm in the Central West/tablelands as well so a meetup could be possible if that is of interest. Will PM you.

Strud

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Re: T-Bolt Rocket Kit vs Super DX3 L1 Certification Kit

Postby Aquaman33 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:32 pm

Great to hear that you are considering your L1 and L2. It sounds like you have lots of low and mid power experience, which is great.

I am not very familiar with either of those rockets but for me altitude is a big consideration. If it goes "too high" you reduce your chances of getting it back, which in turn reduces your chances of getting certified. So I like to idea of fatter rockets for cert flights eg. the Madcow rather than the T-Bolt. But the T-Bolt's fin can saves a load of work!

In terms of materials: For my L1 I went with a simple LOC kit because I was familiar with all the materials. It's basically an upsized Estes kit, so a low risk build for me. But it sounds like you have lots of materials knowledge. There are lots of kits out there made from basic materials that can handle an L1 or L2 flight so you don't need to go for fibreglass unless you want to.

I am using some fibreglass in my L2 build because I wanted something a bit tougher that can easily handle dual deploy and shear pins.

New South Wales Rocketry Association will hopefully have a high power launch near Gunnedah later this year. Gunnedah is less than a 4 hour drive from Capertree. You are closer than us Sydney folk! It would be great to see you there, even if your L1 rocket isn't finished by then.

Good luck with your decision making.

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Re: T-Bolt Rocket Kit vs Super DX3 L1 Certification Kit

Postby mgaertne » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:27 pm

Hello Stefan and welcome to your next step in rocketry.
I do not know those kits but they look to be good for the task.
Fiberglassing is a good feature but not really necessary for L1 and even L2. It gives a peace of mind though and a (small) protection against hard(er) landings. So go ahead with that.
Other than that, my general advise is that for certification rockets KISS ("Keep It Small and Simple", there are variations to that sentence) is the most important factor. Anything complex will give you nightmares while prepping for *the* launch.
I'm happy to help and I do plan to be at the next NSWRA launch...
Cheers
Mathias
PS: As for fiber glassing. If you think of flying those rockets with larger motors than just required for cert, glassing seems to be a very good option!
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Re: T-Bolt Rocket Kit vs Super DX3 L1 Certification Kit

Postby OverTheTop » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:47 pm

Welcome Stefan,
As others have said, fiberglass is not a requirement at those levels but can make for a more robust rocket.

You can certify both levels with the one rocket but I would recommend maybe building two, just to add another to your fleet! It also adds a little more experience.

Keeping things simple certainly makes for less stress on certification day, and is highly recommended by me also. Don't forget to give camera duties to somebody else so you get a good record of the day too.
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T-Bolt Rocket Kit vs Super DX3 L1 Certification Kit

Postby Sirbrad » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:56 pm

Hi Stefan,

For my level 1 I chose the PML Callisto kit with a 29mm motor mount. For level 2 I built a LOC Precision NORAD Pro Max with a 38mm motor mount.

Neither kit used any electronics and I flew the NORAD at a launch site with plenty of wide open space so that I could see where the rocket landed.

I have since built a dual deployment rocket to learn about electronics.

I would avoid the first rocket you suggested because the fins are already assembled. You will gain more experience from building a kit whereby you attach the fins yourself.

Hope this helps


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Re: T-Bolt Rocket Kit vs Super DX3 L1 Certification Kit

Postby OverTheTop » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:17 pm

My L2 rocket (also flies on L1 motors) is the Binder Design Velociraptor. These have a cardboard airframe.
www.binderdesign.com
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