Thrustline Aerospace Flux Probe

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Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2009
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This is the Readers Digest version of the Thrustline Flux Probe review (the full review with pictures will be up on EMRR soon):

The Thrustline Aerospace Flux Probe is a "longneck" straightforward rocket that looks like an arrow. In fact, a 13 year-old that saw me fly it, said exactly that. Probably with some detail work, it would look exactly like an arrow.

What makes the Flux Probe "longneck"? It has a 0.734" diameter and is 34" long, giving it a 46:1 length to diameter ratio.

The instructions have color photos throughout to assist in the assembly of the kit. There is also a fin template and tube marking guide. The rocket is very easy to build and is probably not more than a level 2 kit.

The instructions are very good. I personally don't mind cutting out the fins myself, but would rather have a cardstock template verse a notepaper one. A nice bonus to have both a parachute and a streamer provided. The kit did not include any decals.

Thrustline recommends the B6-6 for the first flight. They list the A8-5, B6-6 and C6-7 as recommended motors with altitudes from 200 to 1000 feet.

Since this is a minimum-diameter rocket, the motors are friction-fit with masking tape. Also, since this is a small minimum-diameter rocket, it packing of the recovery system is difficult.

The first flight was straight as an arrow. A8-5, no way! The 5 is definitely too long of a delay. Perhaps I should have airfoiled my fins.

Also, the motor kicked out at the same time as the nose cone ejected, then this rocket came in for a core-sample. Perhaps this is why it is call a Flux Probe... probes into planets to take core samples for analysis? Perhaps it was because the motor kicked out.

The next three flights did not core-sample, but did kick the motors out.

The rocket is stable and will give you straight flights. I only tested the streamer recovery which is all that I think the rocket needs. I'm concerned that I could keep a motor from kicking out at ejection. I'm not new at this, but I think the minimum diameter combined with the amount of stuff (wadding, Kevlar®, Elastic and Streamer) that has to be stuffed in the top makes a lot of back pressure. I would recommend wrapping tape around the bottom 1/4" of the rocket body to the motor as well as the tape on the motor (friction-fit).

- Nick
Thanks Nick. Of the flights that I have done on mine, only once did a motor kick on me. I will add a note in the instructions about using tape to secure the motor (Like the old EstesDrifter instructions)

Is that how you did it? Used tape to wrap around that last 1/4" and the motor sticking out?

I've just never done that, but the small diameter and the tightness of packing must make it necessary on this rocket.

Yep. but I do it more out of habit than necessity. I fly an Estes drifter clone alot and that's the way you set-up the motor. Along with a spiral of tape on the motor, tape around the last 1/4" of the motor on the outside.