American Alliance Emulator

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Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2009
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Another rocket I built while TRF was on hiatus was the Emulator from American Alliance.

The Estes Ds are the recommended motors for this rocket. I decided to use a D12-5 for the maiden flight. Accordingly, I prepped the motor and loaded it into the business end of the rocket.

The instruction give 2 different methods for loading the chutes. I chose the "triangular" method where wadding is optional. It basically involved folding the chute into a triangle and rolling it up tightly before stuffing it into the deployment tube. The only hard part was stuffing the elastic into the tube ahead of time. I posted a build thread on YORF:

When it came time to launch, the rocket went straight up, even in spite of the high winds. It was a textbook flight and the 5 second delay seemed about right too. It gave the rocket a chance to nose over before deploying the chutes.

All 3 chutes deployed but the high winds promoted a bit of tangling. Even so, the rocket recovered safely and would have been ready to fly again with minimal prepping. Even so, it did not get to fly again this day because of weather concerns and the time it would have taken to straighten out the chutes.

A video of the maiden flight can be seen here:

The final rocket that flew at the demo for my church's VBS program was the Emulator. I was hoping to surprise some people when the rocket arced over and started down, looking like it was going to lawn dart, only to be saved at the last minute but the rear deploying chutes. That was the plan, anyway. The plan would have worked better had I put in the right motor.

I was planning on a D12-5 but somehow loaded a D12-3. It was put on the pad and launched to good effect.




The rocket flew well and deployed sooner than I had hoped thereby saving wear and tear on the shock cord system.