2.6" Wildman Darkstar Build

This project was the first Wildman Darkstar rocket I build. In retrospect, there are some changes I would make to the build process, but mostly this build laid the ground work for all the other Darkstar builds I have done. 

The Darkstar line of rockets is very popular for a lot of reasons. They are easy to build, fly wonderfully, look cool and, usually, have a distinctive whistle during the boost phase.

The 2.6″ version normally comes with a 38mm mount. It also comes in a 54mm mount version, which I will build in another thread. This project was built as a standard dual deploy rocket with a single flight computer.

Build date: November 2020

Electronics: Missile Works RRC2L

Dry weight: 4.6 Lbs pounds (2083 g)
Length: 57 in (1456mm)

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Documentation & Rocksim File

Rocksim File:

Parts List and components

Initial Build Notes

Although the airframe components (body tubes, nosecone and fins) are from Madcow, I replaced or added everything else.

Motor Mount Build

The toughest part of this build seems to be getting the entire MMT assembly correct, so that is where I began.

The MMT assembly all stems from the placement of the forward centering ring. This CR is also the point that will take the brunt of the recovery shock, so I chose to fabricate it out of 1/4” thick FR4 Fiberglass. Incidentally, all the CNCed fiberglass parts on this rocker were made using FR4 sheets. FR4 is just the fire retardant version of G10 FG. The main reason I went with FR4 over G10 is that the place I source my FG sheets from (www.eplastics.com) only sells the FR4 version since it can be substituted for G10, but G10 can not be substituted for FR4. Also, I figure being fire proof can’t hurt!

Booster Section Build

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EBay Build

Nosecone

Odds and Ends

Ground testing

The charges for the ground testing were calculated using the calculator at Insane Rocketry’s site: https://www.insanerocketry.com/blackpowder.html

The calulation for the drogue charge was 3g of FFFFg black powder. That charge turned out to be good and was used for the primary charge in the cert flight. The backup charge was 4g of FFFFg.

The charge for the main charge was calculated to be 4g of FFFFg. This turned out to be a bit weak, so the primary charge used for the cert flight was 4.5g of FFFFg and a 5.5g backup charge.

Drogue Test

Main test

Recovery

Attach Points and Recovery Method

Pictures & Flight Videos

This was a shakeout flight for an 8 inch AGM-33 Pike rocket at Upstate Research Rocketry Group (URRG) in New York on 21 AUG 2021. Flight was conducted on an 75mm Aerotech L2200G.

Altitude was about 2000 feet.

Many thanks to Jeff Manning and URRG for their instrumental help in launching and recovering the rocket on this flight.

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