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  #1  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:07 AM
Toobuilder's Avatar
Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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Default Eliminated the Rear Baggage Shelf

The Rocket is a fine transportation appliance for me and my wife, but it's cramped when it comes to cargo volume. Notice I said volume, not weight. With my diminutive bride in back, I can pack just about anything short of gold bars in the baggage compartment and remain within CG and GW, but bulk - that's a different story. Cross country in this bird is a game of inches (cubic, that is). That said, I thought I was done with the aft fuselage a few weeks ago but had to make some changes "as long as I was there..."

In short, I eliminated the shelf that covered the elevator bellcrank and replaced it with a robust, minimalist cover. On some Rockets this area houses the battery and other stuff. On mine the battery has been split into two and one went forward while another went aft, freeing up this space. Additionally, I removed the baggage compartment floor outboard of the center keel, gaining a few more cubes (and shedding some ounces).

Now I have more room to stuff soft bags and other odds and ends for those times when we need to travel maxed out, and I'm now slightly lighter when empty. More cargo, less weight - a win/win!

A shot of the -8 serves as a "before" shot:



After:



Not shown are some simple sheet metal covers required to keep the rudder cables from rubbing on the cargo.

For those wondering about the added round access cover, that's to get at the transponder antenna and smoke oil plumbing.

The whole change isnt exactly "rocket science", but I thought I'd contribute a slightly different spin for the benefit of the collective.
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:38 AM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toobuilder View Post
On mine the battery has been split into two and one went forward while another went aft,
Connected by diodes, relays, switches or just simple magic wire
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2018, 11:07 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike S View Post
Connected by diodes, relays, switches or just simple magic wire
Its very simple: 4 switches need to be flipped in a specific order which is determined by a computer generated randomizer - updated every 37 hours. The only snag is that if you get the order wrong 3 times, this triggers an overvoltage event which causes the battery to go into a thermal runaway. But this is fixed by an automatic trap door in the fuselage which ejects the now incindary battery out the bottom of the ship. The problem of the falling battery is solved by employing a nomex parachute which is deployed by the simple action of returning the previously discussed 4 switches to their original positions in reverse order.

And there's some diodes, relays and wire too.

Simple!
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WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
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Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI instalation in work
RV-8 - Flying
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 -flying

Last edited by Toobuilder : 05-18-2018 at 11:11 AM.
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2018, 01:24 PM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is online now
 
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Nice work! on my first rocket I did something similar, except only half the compartment as I still had the battery back there. At that time no one was putting the aft baggage area in and thus we were really tight for space.
What you did is something that new rocket builders should plan on. It is easier do now that we have lighter batteries that can move further forward.
Good stuff, it is not an easy area to work on in a flying airplane.
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EVO F1 Rocket 1000 hours,
2010 SARL Rocket 100 race, average speed of 238.6 knots/274.6mph
RV4, RV7, RV10, two HRIIs and five F1 Rockets
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2018, 02:04 PM
Turbo69bird Turbo69bird is offline
 
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Thumbs up

Great idea. Just as long as nothing ROLLS back there like a 50lb weight. Of course you could use the trap door for the battery to send it packing if it did.
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2018, 03:43 PM
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smokyray smokyray is offline
 
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Default Tunnel of love...

Michael,
I like you're thinking!
On my HR2 I retained the original RV4 baggage compartment and removed the upper access panel/plate. I then installed a .016 floor aft to the next bulkhead level with the upper deck/elevator bell-crank cover. I then closed the aft fuselage off at the further aft bulkhead.
This created a "tunnel" for light items and doubled my baggage capacity. I also installed tie down hooks in the front cockpit between my legs and placed my travel backpack under my legs tied down with bungee cords.

Any items placed in the aft tunnel required a "string attached" to recover them once placed there.

V/R
Smokey
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2018, 04:39 PM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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Smokey - I also have that same extended aft compartment. One has to be really creative to stay within CG in that compartment though, so that's why the effort to make the fwd compartment more "dense". I can keep the heavy stuff fwd, then the aft compartment is the overflow for the low weight/high bulk stuff.
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WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
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Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI instalation in work
RV-8 - Flying
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 -flying
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  #8  
Old 05-29-2018, 08:06 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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Fabricated rudder cable guards for the baggage compartment. Three bends in a strip of featherweight .016 in the shape of a inverted V: _/\_ adds remarkable stiffness to the panel and certainly isnt going to be crushed by anything I'm going to place back there. Attached with double sided tape on the feet to place it, then secured with two layers of speed tape. Not sure about the long term life of the adhesive, but it's not going anywhere soon.

Also a slightly better view of my extended (to the next bulkhead back) baggage.

NOW I'm done back there!

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WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
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Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI instalation in work
RV-8 - Flying
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65 -flying
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