Streamer booster recovery the MacGyver way

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Sep 5, 2009
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Boosters on LPR easily get lost. I searched for a way to add a streamer to a booster to aid in recovery, but I could not find an easy way to my liking. So, I improvised a cheap and dirty method. Shown is the Estes Savage.

I secured a length of streamer (caution tape) with clear tape to the booster airframe.

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The streamer is wound around the booster and bound in place by a length of mono fishing line. The line is tied to the threaded motor retainer and passes across the interstage coupler via two small holes in the booster airframe. When the first stage ignites the second stage, the mono is burned, releasing the streamer.

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The test on the Savage was successful. I was launching alone and focused on the sustainer. However, I saw the booster coming down under streamer from the corner of my eye and heard the streamer fluttering in the wind. The booster landed with a thud near me and was easily spotted and recovered.
Great idea. I'm going to try this on a booster that I have that prefers to come in ballistic rather than tumble.
I've never had trouble with the booster.
It usually shoots straight down and lands very close to the pad.
I've yet to get on to ringer the launch rod, but someday with enough launches...
One never knows.
But for the mid stage of the comanche 3, that would be slick!
I've had a similar idea, but never tried it. Looks like you made it work. Congratulations!

I recently lost the 2nd stage of my Mini-Comanche 3. :( This may have saved it, but I don't know if there was enough space for adding a streamer in there.