Attaching a rocket to an RC Airplane?

Discussion in 'RC Aircraft & Watercraft' started by xfler364, Jun 8, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. xfler364

    xfler364 New Member

    Hey I'm trying to build an RC airplane that has a rocket in it. Does anyone know how to activate an Estes or someother rocket remotely?
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Why would you want to do that..?? The sudden acceleration will probably make the plane uncontrollable at best, or rip it apart, at worst....If you want to risk the plane...Hook up the switch that ignites the rocket to a servo (5th channel) and when you're all set to loose the plane, just hit the channel & you're done...You'll need to pack the igniter batteries in the plane as well...
  3. Robert S

    Robert S New Member

    A rocket as a "booster" or as "weapon" !?!?Very simply, set a channel aside on the radio to operate a relay that would activate a standard "Estes" igniter.Doing that in the USA of today MIGHT get you some attention from the FBI or other law-enforcement agency !!Back in the early 1980's I had a 1/8th scale P-47 Thunderbolt that we rigged 6 scale rockets to... using Estes Engines (C motors) and 3 separate radio channels (launched in pairs).Ah for the good-old-days !! Good Luck, be SAFE and SMART
  4. wefabender364

    wefabender364 New Member

    How would I build the relay?
  5. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I would just activate the ignition switch with a servo working off the fifth channel...
  6. Bones

    Bones Member

    Using a standard Estes ignition module activated by a servo would be overkill, and a lot of bulky weight.
    I'm pretty sure you could get away with some diodes for feedback protection, and a gate switch wired to the leads for a 5th channel.
    All the electrical components (minus wires) would fit in a space the size of your thumb nail.
  7. zedob

    zedob Member

    Try this. TDE* |* R/C Electronic Switch Interfaces

    They have different relays available, so you may want to look around the products pages.

    If you have any questions, shoot Dan an email. He's real healpful.
  8. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    A miniservo and a small switch would fit in a small match box and weigh a couple of ounces...Plus it's the simplest way of going about it. He didn't say if he wanted to propel the plane with the rocket, or shoot the rocket off the plane. If the first, use the simplest and cheapest method as the outcome will probably be disastrous...
  9. qwert

    qwert New Member


    i have a question can u please explain what i need and where i can get it to fire a mini rocket off a r/c heli?
  10. Ron Olson

    Ron Olson Member

    Check with Estes themselves, they used to have RC gliders that were launched with their rockets then you flew them down.
  11. mrln68

    mrln68 New Member

    Bit of thread necromancy - but it is an interesting topic.

    Years ago (OK - maybe decades ago) I had an Estes rocket glider. Launched from the ground and then glided back down. Nothing fancy, no RC components. However, it didn't fly to pieces on ignition.

    While later (before the advent of electric boosted RC gliders) it was a common modification for flat lander RC glider enthusiasts to use a Rocket booster to get the glider to altitude and then fly from there. Again, while they didn't generally attempt to do any complex maneuvers while under rocket power (for the few seconds of rocket propulsion) they could use the elevators and rudders to keep it more or less flying straight. At the time, I wasn't too interested other than in I am not too sure what ignition method was used.

    My own experience with actually igniting them was on an RC Calliope (think it was a Sherman chasis...). We did it up for giggles for the 4th of July several years ago to fire bottle rockets.

    We used Estes igniters to light the bottle rockets. They need about 6 volts and a fair amount of available current (resistance wire lights the pyrotechnic material that in turn will ignite the rocket engine...or wick). As opposed to a servo/switch set up, we used an LED headlight board with a separate relay. We got the relay from Radioshack IIRC, just need to shop around for one which can be triggered by the input from the LED board and has the ability to handle the igniter current. We found out the hardway that the IC on the light boards wasn't able to handle the current.

    Other than the development incident with burning out the first LED board, it worked great. A similiar set up would work fine for a fixed wing RC aircraft. You will want to have a seperate power supply to power the igniter though. When we did it on the tank - it would bog down while the igniter fired...something that might be problematic in the air.

    For the RC heli - might be more issues with stability (especially if the rocket got stuck somehow).
  12. ErnieG

    ErnieG New Member

    RC and Rocket Motors et all

    I like to do things simple.

    I did JATO Jet Assisted Take Off on a PBY Model in the 1970’s (yes I am old but never grew up) with model rocket engines.

    I tried tow engines to simulate the scale aspect of this but could never get the engines to ignite simultaneously so abandoned that and went with a single Rocket in the centerline of the fuselage.

    The set up I used was simple. A flexible wire attached to the servo arm that contacted a fixed wire in the fuselage when I through the 5th channel landing gear switch. This crude switch worked quite well.

    With today’s 2.5 oz. cheap servos this seems the easiest.
  13. ErnieG

    ErnieG New Member

    Simulating Rockets on Airplanes

    Simulated rocket fire from an RC Aircraft can be cool, but now days I would not even go there.

    Back in the 70’s I did this with my Scale A1E with success but I did have two desasters worth mentioning to anyone tempted to do this.

    First you could lose your airplane.

    My first attempt to launch bottle rockets almost cost me the model since I chose to simulate a rocket pass in a shallow power dive.

    The rockets fired but didn’t leave the tubes under wings due to air speed putting too much air pressure on the blunt nose, side loads putting friction on the sticks, etc.

    The results were the underside of the wings caught fire and when the exploded I lost even more covering on the bottom of the wing. Balsa and Monokote do burn.

    I fixed the problems by sanding those sticks smooth and lubing them with dry hand soap.

    The second disaster was when I put rockets into dry grass beside the road we were flying from at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base and started a fire that got us all grounded for 90 days and me a good dressing down by the base commander.

    Do something like that in the USA now days and the minimum you would get would be a fat bill from the fire department if not jail time.
  14. photoku02

    photoku02 New Member

    This is interesting I want to install a rocket in my RC car as a turbo booster

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page