L3 experiences, advice, or just general ponderings…

Forums Knowledge Base L3 experiences, advice, or just general ponderings…

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  • #53449
    Bruce R. Schaefer

    The only reason this was mentioned was because of Brett’s question of seeking altitude as opposed to the launch it, watch it, recover it, K.I.S.S. We’re so proud of you, Chris. Please keep us informed of your profound accomplishments. 😉 Quick edit here, Chris. We all actually DO want to know what you will achieve in the future… though most of all/if not all will be security related. 😉 Keep ’em flying, young man, and keep all of us proud of you, as you will, and just remember who flew with you.

    #53450
    Bruce R. Schaefer

    Bret, thanks again for the ride, still owe you gas money. Here’s that fin jig template that JW turned me on to:
    http://www.payloadbay.com/index.php?page=Tools&action=FINGUIDES

    And, if you need two rail buttons for your L3, you can have two of mine. That’ll go toward the gas money. 😉 If you and your wife are going to the annual Co Rock dinner–and it is highly recommended, remind me, and I’ll bring them. They’re lucky. I donated two to Crhis L. for his Deuce, and that was one amazing rocket!

    And, one for parachute size:
    http://www.onlinetesting.net/cgi-bin/descent3.3.cgi

    And, I sit corrected. I didn’t remember that the Competitor 5 has pointed fins, I just had mine made. Always wanted a true, simple, pure delta.
    http://www.libertylaunchsystems.com/apps/wpisa.dll/LLS/RocketKits/PerformanceRocketry/RKPR0004?:6661993FB45C4788ACECECBA2C838943.4234:

    #53451
    Bret Packard
    Participant

    Thanks Bruce. That fin pattern tool is awesome.

    Anyone else with L3 words of wisdom to share? Kinda surprised there hasn’t been more here, because sure as heck once I certify L3 I’m going to know EVERYTHING! 😈

    (kidding of course, just sounded good) 😛

    #53452
    Bruce R. Schaefer

    And , of course, you know this from me:

    Anyone else with L3 words of wisdom to share? Kinda surprised there hasn’t been more here, because sure as heck once I certify L3 I’m going to know EVERYTHING!

    Since I know everything… NOT. But, that is the absolute beauty of this hobby, NO ONE does or CAN know everything. We all do things we learned from others. And, yeah, I’m surprised there hasn’t been more on this thread. How those who tried and didn’t quite make it to L3? NO ONE doesn’t have a bad day, even though they’ve done things correctly and should have made the cert… except for the tangled harness that didn’t release the main properly, or I ground tested, but it took the secondary charge to release the main (oh, wait, that’s me), to drogue or not to drogue–that is the question, whether ’tis nobler… this is for JW, or just anything. Does anyone else looking for L3 have questions, whether you are L2 or L1? This is the final step to flying anything you want within financial means and waivers. Our brother here is asking questions… got answers, or milk?

    #53453
    sserell

    I decided to abandon the KISS philosophy and go with what I was excited to build, attempt and fly…. and am nevertheless still working on the L3 cert. 2 attempts, a complete loss and a second purchase/ build of a 98 mongoose and even with a small M still breaking 30k has it’s challenges, least of which is waiting for those 35k windows, all without the fire restriction and minimal wind/rain/etc. All of a sudden the available windows to attempt my L3 at NCR last year turned out to be a single weekend. But I am still happy with my decision to try something challenging. If I fail on the 3rd attempt and the rocket is non-repairable I may abandon it and try something new, maybe a big upscale of my favorite childhood estes rocket. But I would still look back and be glad that I did something that personally challenged me. Trying to do an “easy” L3 build seems a little like trying to reach L3 for the certification and title rather than for the process. Just my .02 -Sean

    #53454
    Warren B. Musselman
    Moderator

    Sounds like one of my L2 attempts Sean… I wanted to tickle our 20K waiver. Whatever happened, it is still out there on the prairie somewhere – probably 8′ down. Lots of people told me not to get complicated or overambitious and I finally learned.

    My 4″ MD bird is in process, but mine will have to fly at BALLS. Let’s just say 6 grain 98mm with the main in the nose and leave it at that.

    #53455
    Bruce R. Schaefer

    Joined: May 02, 2008
    Posts: 89

    Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:37 pm Post subject:



    I decided to abandon the KISS philosophy and go with what I was excited to build, attempt and fly…. and am nevertheless still working on the L3 cert. 2 attempts, a complete loss and a second purchase/ build of a 98 mongoose and even with a small M still breaking 30k has it’s challenges, least of which is waiting for those 35k windows, all without the fire restriction and minimal wind/rain/etc. All of a sudden the available windows to attempt my L3 at NCR last year turned out to be a single weekend. But I am still happy with my decision to try something challenging. If I fail on the 3rd attempt and the rocket is non-repairable I may abandon it and try something new, maybe a big upscale of my favorite childhood estes rocket. But I would still look back and be glad that I did something that personally challenged me. Trying to do an “easy” L3 build seems a little like trying to reach L3 for the certification and title rather than for the process. Just my .02 -Sean

    Sean, that is the journey. If someone wants to do the quick and relatively easy L3, it is there. But if, in most cases, that is done, there will be profound failure in the future, or not. I did mine with pure delta fins made-to-order on a kit, and added another 3 foot to it, with an AT M1315. Respectable but certainly not earth shattering… thank goodness. We all must do what we must do, for whatever reasons, and find people along the way who believe in us. Warren is the perfect example of someone who could have done it years before he did, but he was wise in doing it when he was ready and WANTED TO, one of the best L3’s I’ve ever seen. You only have to do it once… then if you’ve earned it, you’ll do it again, and then everyone will breathe easier. I did that and will hopefully do it a third time, and more. Though JW is on his 13th M and above launch. This is not a competition; it really and truly is a journey. Period.

    #53456
    Chris LaPanse

    I decided to abandon the KISS philosophy and go with what I was excited to build, attempt and fly…. and am nevertheless still working on the L3 cert. 2 attempts, a complete loss and a second purchase/ build of a 98 mongoose and even with a small M still breaking 30k has it’s challenges, least of which is waiting for those 35k windows, all without the fire restriction and minimal wind/rain/etc. All of a sudden the available windows to attempt my L3 at NCR last year turned out to be a single weekend. But I am still happy with my decision to try something challenging. If I fail on the 3rd attempt and the rocket is non-repairable I may abandon it and try something new, maybe a big upscale of my favorite childhood estes rocket. But I would still look back and be glad that I did something that personally challenged me. Trying to do an “easy” L3 build seems a little like trying to reach L3 for the certification and title rather than for the process. Just my .02 -Sean

    I absolutely agree with this. I went for a similar attempt – I wanted 3+ miles and supersonic for my L3. It worked the first time, yes, but I certainly could have gone easier if my only goal was the cert itself. IMO, the journey is more important than the destination. Build what you want for your L3, rather than simply something to “get an easy cert” (unless of course that’s what you want).

    #53457
    Adrian
    Participant

    I decided to abandon the KISS philosophy and go with what I was excited to build, attempt and fly…. and am nevertheless still working on the L3 cert. 2 attempts, a complete loss and a second purchase/ build of a 98 mongoose and even with a small M still breaking 30k has it’s challenges, least of which is waiting for those 35k windows, all without the fire restriction and minimal wind/rain/etc. All of a sudden the available windows to attempt my L3 at NCR last year turned out to be a single weekend. But I am still happy with my decision to try something challenging. If I fail on the 3rd attempt and the rocket is non-repairable I may abandon it and try something new, maybe a big upscale of my favorite childhood estes rocket. But I would still look back and be glad that I did something that personally challenged me. Trying to do an “easy” L3 build seems a little like trying to reach L3 for the certification and title rather than for the process. Just my .02 -Sean

    I absolutely agree with this. I went for a similar attempt – I wanted 3+ miles and supersonic for my L3. It worked the first time, yes, but I certainly could have gone easier if my only goal was the cert itself. IMO, the journey is more important than the destination. Build what you want for your L3, rather than simply something to “get an easy cert” (unless of course that’s what you want).

    So many people insist that the only good way to do a cert flight is to make is smaller/simpler than what you plan to fly with the cert. To me, the flip side makes more sense, that you should cert with the type of rocket you want to fly after you get the cert, so you can best take advantage of the guidance and oversight you get during the process. If/when I go for my L3, it will be with a flight intended to break an altitude record. If I flew “low and slow” for the cert flight, my first level-3 flight would be a record attempt anyway, so for me it makes sense to have oversight on that kind of a flight from the beginning.

    #53458
    Warren B. Musselman
    Moderator

    To each their own I sez… For my L3, I wanted to avoid the hubris I had going into my L2 cert process which ended up causing the loss or destruction of 4 birds before I successfully certed. As it was, I still topped 14,200′ AGL with a smallish M and a fairly substantial rocket that was intended to be a testbed for some construction techniques I was developing as well as a platform to test some future electronics projects. I wanted to cert L3 on my first try as well as to have a bird that would survive intact in the event of a deployment failure on the main. I succeeded perfectly on all counts.

    Now for my post L3-cert projects, I think you’ll see me go substantially further out on a limb. A 4″ MD project meant for a 6 grain 98mm motor with the any further details remaining unsaid until it flies because I just don’t want anyone trying to preempt me. Lets just say no one has done it quite this way before. I’ll leave it at simply saying I’m combining everything I’ve learned about altitude birds from the folks with a real track record for success. The main question on that project now remains the motor.

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