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JAL3

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The Kestrel is a great rocket from HotRod Rockets that I was invited to beta test last fall. It is intended as a learning tool for people stepping up from the very basics and incorporates such things as a baffle system and adjustable noseweight. I built it while TRF was down and posted a thread on RP here: http://www.rocketryplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3002

The rocket did not have a name when I got started but has one now, the Kestrel.

I missed lots of flight opportunities with this rocket before actually taking it out. SOmethign always seemed to go wrong. When I did finally get it out to the field, I decided to enter it into my club's informal D streamer duration contest. I loaded a pair of 4" streamers from Hartle Engineering and put in a D12-3. I set it on the pad and made sure the timers were ready. It took off and flew brilliantly. One of the streamers came off but it still turned in the respectable time of 39.6 seconds.

A video of the flight can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23694991@N03/3374818516/

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JAL3

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For my second flight, I replaced the second streamer and found somebody who was willing to sell me a D12-5. The rocket again flew beautifully and clocked an almost identical time. Having the extra streamer did no good.

A video of the second flight can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23694991@N03/3374038645/

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JAL3

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I got off one more flight, this one again on a D12-5. This time I borrowed Dave Hein's streamer and that added 5 seconds to the time and put me in second place, except that we agreed that this flight would not officially count.

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JAL3

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It was a good flight but, unfortunately, the Kestrel popped a fin on a hard landing.

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JAL3

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Another victim of today's "get re-acquainted with your rocket" day is my Kestrel which performed so well on its maiden outing. Like the other repairs, this one involves a popped fin but in this case the break is very clean.

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JAL3

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A double joint with yellow glue sufficed to get the fin back in place fairly cleanly. The filleting and paint touchup should be a snap.

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Pantherjon

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Shoot, we ought to start calling you the 'Fin Man' John!;) Are the roads that rough around San Antonio that they are bouncing around so much and getting their fins snapped off all the time? I remember in my 'Over The Road' days of going thru San Antonio that there were some rough places on the loop(I635??)..At least your getting the 'fin repair process' down to a science!...Hope they stay together from here on out! :D
 

JAL3

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Shoot, we ought to start calling you the 'Fin Man' John!;) Are the roads that rough around San Antonio that they are bouncing around so much and getting their fins snapped off all the time? I remember in my 'Over The Road' days of going thru San Antonio that there were some rough places on the loop(I635??)..At least your getting the 'fin repair process' down to a science!...Hope they stay together from here on out! :D
My last outing was rough. These days I often make it through a launch with no damaged but the last time I had 5 that were hurt and one that flew away forever.

Very few are landing on the roads but when it hasn't rained in so long, the dirt takes on its own kind of "rough".
 

JAL3

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After getting the broken off fin replaced, there were still a few nicks and dings to take care of on some of the other blue fins.

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JAL3

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I masked off the lower body and odd fin with Frog tape and Aluminum foil.

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JAL3

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A few quick sprays with blue and the Kool Peppermint was as good as new.

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JAL3

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I took the Kool Peppermint Kestrel out to see how it would do after its repair job. This time I substituted a 12" chute for the streamer. I loaded a C11-3 and announced the launch. When I pushed the button, it blew out the clay nozzle and just sat on the pad spitting smoke and flame. Thankfully, no harm was done.

A video can be seen hereL http://www.flickr.com/photos/23694991@N03/3516341749/

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JAL3

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My Kestrel was going to be one of the featured rockets at a demo for some kids recently but that changed when I opened the box to find a popped fin. It is not the one I repaired before, thankfully.

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JAL3

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The fin was easily put back in place using yellow glue and a double glue joint.

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JAL3

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After about an hour, I began filleting using white glue. I intend to redo all the fillets and beef them up.

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JAL3

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The repaired fin having dried and gotten a fillet, all the fins received a white glue fillet reinforcement today.

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JAL3

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All the fillets turned out well. I fan feel the increased stiffness.

Its ready to go again.

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JAL3

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The last time I flew my Kool Peppermint Kestrel, it was in a streamer duration contest and it did quite respectably. On its last flight, it suffered a popped fin that was promptly fixed but it had since not been flown. I fixed that on Saturday when Lindsey asked me to fly it.

I did not want to fly it on a streamer again and was going to go with a 15" nylon chute. It just so happened that I had an 18" nylon from Red River Rocketry sitting in front of me so I went with that instead. I loaded up and E9-4 and took it out to the pad.

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JAL3

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Lift off went really well and it just kept climbing, straight without and corkscewing.

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JAL3

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Even after it stopped thrusting, the Kestrel kept going and we came slose to losing sight of it.

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JAL3

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When the chute opened it was at first easier to see... until we realized that it was mostly hanging and only coming down slowly. As it drifted down, it also drifted away.

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JAL3

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Lindsey was preparing for a long walk when we noticed that the drifting had abruptly switched direction by 180 degrees and it came back...and then passed us by. It finally came to rest about 200 yards away.

This rocket is a performer!

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