The Big Ugly is my first large project, and I never did finish painting it, hence the name.
Standing 8" tall, and 6" in diameter, this is to date my largest rocket. The airframe is cardboard, with 2 layers of 4oz glass and a finishing layer of veil. The fins are 1/8" G-10, custom cut by Public Missles. The motor mount is also from PML, and has a central 54mm mount, 2 38mm outboards, and 2 29mm outboards.
The Big Ugly began its life as a kit, the Terminator, from US Rockets. However, the large plywood fins that came with the kit were warped, and I wanted more options for the motor mount, so I did a little customization. What I ended up with was a rocket utilizing the USR airframe and Nosecone, and a custom set of fins and motor mount from PML.
The maiden flight of the Big Ugly was my level 2 certification, and she definately lived up to her name. Lift off was fine, powered by a J-350, and everything looked good until burnout. The two halves were not fitted tightly enough, so at burnout they drag separated. I had it configured to come down under two separate chutes, and the payload section's chutes deployed immediately, bringing that section to an abrupt halt. Everything held together, and it came down fine. The booster section was a little scarier, though. It spun and tumbled back down to about 400' where the ejection charge fired and blew its chute out. In the end, everything recovered fine, no damage was done, and I had my level 2 cert...and my licence to spend the BIG $$$. The Big Ugly's first flight was ugly indeed, but successful.
The J-350 puts the Big Ugly to about 1100 feet, and is the minimum sized motor I fly her on. Later flights included several more J-350's and a cluster including a J-800 with 2 I-211 and 2 H-180 outboards.
Update - 10/1/98
In July, we had a mishap. The J-350 I launched the Big Ugly with had some sort of failure, and it came in ballistic. See the launch report below for more details. Good news is parts should be arriving in time for the launch in Millican, Oregon on October 25th. Stay Tuned!
Update - 12/10/98
Houston, we have a problem. While at the fall launch at Millican, we had a great launch on a Kosdon K-700 airstarting 2 AT I-211's and 2 AT H-180's. All but one H motor lit and everything went well, until it came time for main chute deployment. It didnt. She came in hard under drougue chute only, and took heavy damage to the airframe. Later investigation discovered I had used the wrong size of ejection charge for the main chute. Grr. Pictures from the full rebuild will be available shortly! The Big Ugly WILL fly again!!
Update - 11/1/98
Dammit, not again. Perfect flight at Millican, Oregon on a central K, 2 outboard I's and 2 outboard H's. However, used the wrong ejection charge for the main chute, and it came in on drouge alone. This time, rebuild shall include full airframe replacement, possibly a modular setup that allows the fin/motor mount unit to be removed.
Update - 07/17/01
Well, the decision to retire the Big Ugly has finally been made, and the remaining parts being sold off. All thats left is the fin can/MMT. If you want it, make an offer! :)
Follow the links below to see launch photos, etc:
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