U.S. Rockets Fire & Forget

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Jan 19, 2009
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This is the Readers Digest version of the U.S. Rockets Fire & Forget review (the full review with pictures will be up on EMRR soon):

U.S. Rockets states that the "Fire & Forget is the reference model rocket for U.S. Rockets. It is a near minimal diameter rocket in 24mm mode and a minimal diameter rocket in 29mm mode. The maximum 29mm motor length is 9" (H120-12). Aerospace specification airframe tubing is used to assure high performance and high strength."

The Fire & Forget is my first U.S. Rockets kit. It is considered a Level 1 kit by U.S. Rockets.

The Fire & Forget is simply a three-fin-nose-cone (3FNC) rocket and is very easy to assemble.

The instructions are adequate and do provide some nice alternate build ideas. Although, not a significant build impact, the ragged edges on the plywood fins was disappointing. Was pleased to have a 24mm adaptor provided and the peel-n-stick decals added to the finish.

The list of motors that U.S. Rockets recommends is impressive. It ranges from 24mm D12's to 29mm H120's. The provided altitudes were from 66 feet (using an A8-3: not in recommended motors since it is an 18mm motor) to 7109 feet on a H60.

U.S. Rockets gives a bunch of stats on the rocket, but I personally think the most important is where the CP is supposed to be: 22.5" from the nose cone. Why important? With the range of motors that can be used in this rocket, one may need to add nose weight to maintain the U.S. Rockets' desired stability of 1.5 calibers (CG at 20.65").

U.S. Rockets does not provide a thrust ring nor motor retention since they don't want to limit any motor selection. They give instruction on using fiction-fit and tape-wrap retention.

I do plan on using the rocket for it "to experience its namesake" using a G25 or G125, but first I decided to fly it on a C11-5.

I stuffed in four sheets of Estes wadding, friction-fit the C11-5 into the 24mm adaptor, then friction-fit the adaptor into the rocket.

The flight was straight as an arrow flight and it was fairly high (RockSIM says around 650 feet). The streamer ejected right at apogee and the rocket descended fast and hard.

Upon inspection there was damage to the coupler and upper tube. At first I thought this was due to the speed that it descended, but later determined that it was definitely an Estes-dent (U.S. Rockets dent?) caused by the shortness of the elastic shock cord. I will bend this damage outward and go again.

The rocket, as built is very stable (based on 1 flight) and versatile. The variety of motors makes it impressive. The short elastic shock cord caused damage on just the first test flight, but perhaps if you are going to fly it in "Fire & Forget" mode, you don't care. I would recommend building it, as optionally described, with nose cone ejection (but you will need to add an eye-screw). The friction-fit and tape-wrap retention doesn't concern me for this type of rocket, but if it is not going to be "Fire & Forget", I like hooks and thrust rings.

The rocket can be assembled in about 1 hour. It can be flown in small fields or pushed to fly over a mile high. The thick body tubes give it a steadiness that if not lost would make the body hold up to a lot of abuse. Not thrilled with the elastic shock cord system, nor the "look" of the pre-cut fins.

Looking forward to seeing it (or not) fly on a "G"