I’m working on a number of exciting new rockets to bring to NSL this year, but the one I’m most excited about is the scale model of Blue Origin’s yet-to-be-built New Glenn rocket, since this would be my Level 3 cert. The New Glenn rocket is going to be pretty big , so I scaled it down from the photos out there such that the majority of the airframe would be the size of a 3″ PML tube. After looking at it for a while, I figured I might as well double the size and stick an M in the back of it to make it an L3 rocket, so most of it is the size of a 6″ PML tube. At just over 77″ in length, it’s not the tallest rocket on the block, but it still should be pretty awesome. I’ve baselined the rocket to use an AT M1350 motor, but the motor mount is a 98mm mount, so I can add more power later if I want (and have the $$$). Projected altitude is just over a mile because I believe in low and slow cert attempts.
So what’s the construction plan? The only thing that fits well into a standard tube size is the 6″ airframe and the 98mm motor mount, which will both be PML phenolic tubes (no glass). Unfortunately, it seems that Blue Origin did not have rocketry component scales in mind when designing this rocket, so I’m getting a bit more creative with the payload fairing and the aft section. In both cases, I am attempting to cast a polyester resin mandrel (4.9″ for the payload fairing and 7.1″ for the aft section), from which I will then use to create a short section of fiberglass airframe. If the cast mandrels don’t work out, I may have to 3D print the mandrels (which I don’t want to do) or find a way to turn a mandrel (I don’t have a lathe). A lot of other things are actually already 3D printed–the nose cone and both transitions, as well as some internals. The canards and strakes will both be 1/4″ laser cut plywood, and I’ve added four additional acrylic fins (1/4″ laser cut as well). Most of the centering rings and bulkheads are stock from PML, but I also got a couple of custom ones laser cut to TTW fin locking and for the non-standard diameter airframe sections.
Recovery will be standard dual deploy (36″/96″) with redundant altimeters. I’ll probably fly with my Raven as a primary and possibly use the Eggtimer I recently built as secondary. (I could also use the RRC3, HiAlt45k, or Eggtimer Quark.) I will likely leave my Eggfinder off, as I don’t anticipate too many issues finding a low-flying rocket in the desert, but will play it by ear on launch day. I will also fly with a 2kg dead weight payload for added stability and decreased altitude.