Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I think I've decided on what kit I want to get for my Level 1 certification: A Madcow Rocketry4" Patriot kit.

I plan to buy it from Apogee Components because Apogee has other stuff I need and legendary customer service, plus I get a free 32" plastic parachute with my order. I'd like to be able to fly it on the 29mm single-use G motors like these, so I need 29mm body tube and a 29mm engine block. While I'm at it, I might as well get enough building materials to last a while, so I'll go for a Tubes o' Plenty and Rings o' Plenty. Along with a G78-4, I'll be pushing 150+ bucks, but that's still only a couple weeks worth of pay for me, for a rocket that'll take me a month of afternoons to build, paint, ogle, and prep for launch.

The kit is fairly basic: Body tube, payload section, bulkhead, plastic nose cone. 4 fins, MMT, 2 centering rings. 2 screw eyes, shock cords, 36" parachute, 9"x9" chute protector. Rail buttons and 1 large "US ARMY" decal. It's a bit expensive at around 95 bucks plus shipping, but these Madcow kits are apparently very high quality and well-worth the money. It'll hit around 1200 feet on a 38mm H motor and about 400 on a G77/78-4, but I don't know if the 4-second delay is short enough. I'll probably order a G78-4 loadable for the first flight in case I can't fly even an H at CATO.

Speaking of Apogee's legendary customer service: I've heard it's good and all, but I got it well-proven to me yesterday. I sent them an email on their website yesterday - on Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday no less, and I got a very detailed response from Tin Van Milligan, Apogee's owner, less than 4 hours later. He even ran a few simulations on Rocksim for me. I also get a free 32" plastic parachute for it being my first order from them and a free 3-pack of 24mm nose cones for being an NAR member. Cool stuff!

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