MMHPR Spitfire IV

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May 10, 2011
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It flew! I posted pics of the construction and paint a while back in another thread, but it was un-named at that time... I think it needs its own thread now. I asked someone what they thought it should be called, and they said "Spitfire". So, at launch day, I put "Spitfire" on my flight card for the maiden flight. It looked awfully plain, and also easily confused with the Estes Spitfire SSI. Not quite as confusable as the Fliskits ACME Spitfire, but still... So I added on "IV" So the rocket is now named (drumroll please) Spitfire IV . :)

For those of you not familiar with the rocket, it has an Estes plastic nose cone (Big Bertha style) (The final kit will proabably have a balsa cone, possibly from Apogee.), with an 8" section of BT60, with a balsa transition down to a BT55 (the larger tube is at the forward end of the rocket, similar to the Fliskits Drake), with four BT20 tubes as standoffs for the fins, then four more BT20s on the tips of the fins.

For the maiden flight, I packed it up with a D12-5. I loaded it up, and waited for them to come around the circle and launch it. The final kit will have a 3/16" lug, mounted on standoffs because of the bigger tube up top. They got around to my pad (It launched off of Pad 7 all three flights), and launched it. It went up perfectly. No spin at all. It reached apogee, and popped at the exact moment it stopped moving. The whole rocket made about one or two rotations during the entire flight to 600'. The chute came out, but it didnt open... Scary moment there. But then it opened up for a perfect landing. I flew it again soon afterwards on the same motor. The flight was exactly the same, only the chute got stuck on a part of the shockcord mount that had formed a little hook, so it had a tumble recovery. The rocket was going down fast, then it caught a gust of wind, and slowed down a lot, then found its stability again, and started down fast, then it slowed down again, and landed. No damage. So I decided to fly it again... E18-7W this time... (thanks to Doug for helping me assemble the reload... I didnt know you had to screw the forward closure halfway on 24MMs...). It flew like a bat outta... er... heck. :D I couldent see what happened at apogee because it had flown directly over me, and the White Lighting smoke was blocking it out... Anyways, I used either too little BP or too much wadding.... Another tumble recovery... Little harder than last time, it deformed one of the outboard tubes... Oh well. I went to take the reload case out (I figured it would be cool by then... I had given it a few minutes to cool off...), and it was still very, very hot. Whoops. Now BOTH tumbs are burnt... Sparkler explosion on the left thumb, aft-closure shaped burn on the right thumb... :rolleyes:

So the rocket is now in retirement of sorts.... I have it hung from the ceiling in my workshop... The origional version of my first-ever kit deserves a spot of honor... :D Im going to build another two soon... Then go all-out and blow a few hundred bucks buying supplies for the beta-test kits and the actual kit release.

Heres a pic of my pride and joy (for LPR anyways... ;) The S&F gets that title in the HPR catagory... ;) ) on the pad...
And here is the first flight.

My camera is acting up... I didnt get too many good pics of this launch... Whenever I tried to zoom, it would focus, then get all fuzzy and take a stinky picture... :(
And dont go making a joke about me posting in the LPR forum... I havnt built an LPR bird other than the Spitfire IV for... About a year now. :rolleyes: THat should be remidied soon, though... I bought a Fliskits Long Overdue... (my dad foolishly gave me a $20 for lunch... ANd even more foolishly said I could use the change to buy a rocket... :D )

Heres flight #2. I missed the third flight... If anyone got it, please contact me! :(

What do you think of the rocket?

The first flight was really amazing... I have never seen anything besides a perfectly-build Big Bertha do that... I went straight up, and just STOPPED. It didnt move at all. It was just hanging there in the air, with no speed at all, with the tracking smoke still coming out. Then it popped. Perfectly. It was so darn cool! :D

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