The Betty-X



This rocket started out as a Quest Big Betty kit -- which I received direct from Quest as compensation for damage to my first Fat Fat Boy caused by a CATO of a Quest C6-0 motor in one of the outboard mounts.  At the time I built the Betty, though, I needed an egglofter for an upcoming contest; further, I wanted to experiment with an interchangeable motor mount, and the Betty's 40mm airframe tube lent itself well to all of this.
The fins and airframe tube were kept stock, and I used the shoulder section of the original nose cone -- most of the rest was subject to improvisation.  The original motor mount used one of the original fiber centering rings as a thrust ring, pushing against the other kit ring, installed in the airframe butted against an improvised double-thick coupler made from paper towel tubing.  This mount, unforunately, ejected from the rocket every time it was flown, and was lost during testing; it was replaced with a heavier, but sturdier mount with 1/8" balsa centering rings, in the though that this sturdier material would be less prone to slipping past the mount latch (made from a modified Estes motor hook) and blowing clear of the tube -- and with a little tape on the aft centering ring, this one stayed in for the contest.

The rocket also got a baffle made from four disks of balsa with an edge clipped by about 1/4 the diameter; these were arranged in a zig-zag layout, with three 1/8" dowels drilled through them and the entire baffle assembly glued together with CA before being installed into the airframe and glued in place with more CA.  The kit Kevlar shock cord was tied to one of the dowels in the baffle, and the kit elastic cord also used.

The mouth of the airframe was reinforced with a short section of Estes BT-60, which is a slide fit over the Quest T-40 tube.  This same tube was slipped over the nose cone shoulder section, and used as a standoff to support a CMR vacuformed egg capsule.  The capsule was faired in with wood filler, hardened with CA, and the diameter step at the rear edge of the BT-60 reinforcement was similarly faired in with filler.  Then the entire rocket was given my usual (heavy) finish of half a dozen coats of primer and two or three of, in this case, gloss white.  Decals depicting my NAR number (this was, after all, intended as a contest bird), US Air Force, and a whimsical cockpit window and hatch decals for the egg capsule, and Betty-X was ready to fly -- and fly she did.

Originally, I installed dual 18" plastic parachutes, but I found duration wasn't enough to be competitive, so I changed to dual 24" nylon parachutes -- these barely fit in the body (thank heaven the baffle eliminated the need for wadding!), and I had a few deployment problems in early tests, but in the end, these were what I flew in the contest -- with durations of close to a minute, I wasn't even close to the NAR record times recorded, but in all tests and the contest, Betty-X has never claimed the life of a single egg...  B)



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