PML Black Brant

Construction of the PML Black Brant X rocket

Specs: 8.5' tall, 4" diameter, 9 pounds, 4ozs, I - K engines

Click here to see pre-launch and launch pictures

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Kit cost $150 and comes in two big bags.

Contents of bags.

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All fin surfaces which will be epoxied must be sanded to roughen the surface.

Also, all body tubes must be sanded both inside and outside where epoxy comes in contact.

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The CPR3000 system from PML. This is the Dual Deployment kit. I didn't know that were so many parts. Now I know why is cost $105!!

For engine retention I am using the old T nut and screw drilled into the boat tail section trick.

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The 54mm engine mother tube and centering ring. The strap is cut down from its original length when using the CPR option. The boat tail is not yet epoxied.

Once the motor mount assembly is glued in the bottom tube, the coupler and strap are epoxied. Less than 1/2 the recommend length of the coupler is in the tube but PML says is it OK.

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Aft section of CPR unit under construction.

Aft section's strap is being glued and fore section under construction.

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The two CPR sections done and ready to be epoxied into the body tubes.

The long tedious job of gluing the fins on is next.

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2 fins attached with fillets being added.

The aft CPR unit is now epoxied in the aft body tube.

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The Black Brant X will hopefully fly on a J350 engine which requires a 38/720 engine casing shown above. This isn't your son's engine!

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Three fins on and one piston complete. I sure do have a messy work area, don't I?

The two charge holders that hold the black powder to eject both chutes.

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The CPR unit is installed in both main tubes along with the ejection pistons.

Rocket still needs alot of work but I wanted to take a picture to show how big it is.

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Now comes the really tedious job of epoxing all the fin/body tube/engine tube joints (16 contact areas).

The T-nuts being epoxied into the boat tail section. Masking tape covers up the screw holes to protect them.

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The method I plan to use to retain the motor. The clamp is a sink clamp; screen door clamps work too for smaller rockets.

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The top section's canard fins will be installed now.

All 4 canard fins installed and epoxy fillets are being added.

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The top section is done, just needs sanding and paint.

The bottom section is done, just needs sanding and paint.

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The bottom launch lug is put on. I want to add more epoxy to the fillets. Then I can sand this unit and paint it.

The hole to mount the altimeter on/off switch is being cut here in the forward section.

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The PML Co-Pilot Altimeter! The symbol of an advanced rocketeer! 8-)

Back side of altimeter showing connection points. Click here to see the altimeter being test fired.

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To protect the altimeter switch from being bumped in flight turning it off, I installed a metal guard over the switch.

After the rocket was completed, I measured the center of gravity and found it wasn't 1 caliper (4") before the CP so I added some nose cone weight to shift the CG forward 2".

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The Black Brant X all finished and ready to be painted.

The rocket all done. Click here to see launch day photos.

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