Thinking bigger...

I continued my Estes airframe strength testing with this BT-101 rocket which was equipped to handle a 29mm core motor with a surrounding cluster of 8 motors, four 18mm and four 24mm motors.
The following pictures are the shakedown flight, before the rocket was even painted. On the theory that you start off with a magnum load, the main engine was an F100, with the secondaries being Estes D12-0 boosters fused for main air-start, and Estes C6-0 fused for secondary air-start. It was, in a word, spectacular! It fairly leapt off the pad, with the F100 taking it to maybe 60 meters before burnout. It coasted for a further 50 t0 60 meters when, still carrying a good turn of speed, the D-12 motors lit with a really neat "crummmmp". The C6 ingnition was barely discernable, and the 'chute deployed aprox. 3 seconds after burnout, with the rocket still climbing like mad.

I also flew it with a combination of F100 with E6 secondary, though it was a much less impressive flight.. The E6 cluster could accelerate the big model only leisurely.
On the last flight, at my very first meeting with the Tripoli Chicago boys, I tried to duplicate the F100/D-12 flight.. And the F100 suffered a cato (for CATastrOphic failure)! It was pretty hairy, with the F100 making a boom like a dozen M80 firecrackers, and disintegrating the lower 12 inches of the airframe. Worse, it scattered the cluster of D12 boosters hither and yon, with 3 seconds of burning fuse! They lit up and pinwheeled all about, sending those that were just starting to emerge from cover diving back behind their cars and such! O' course I, being on a 50-foot launcher cord, was standing there freaking out!

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