model rocket

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the maiden flight of Kandor One

Ok, so I’ve never done model rocketry before. This was my first attempt at it and my was it a good one.

Don’t ask me why I suddenly decided to buy a model rocket kit after years of wanting one but last week i did exactly that. I bought a starter kit from www.modelrockets.co.uk. It came with everything you need to start off and send something skyward, the base, the remote and of course the rocket, all in bits you understand. It was this one, if you’re interested. And coming in at under £20 you really can’t fault it.

I don’t know why I didn’t trust the pack. Maybe it was the lack of instruction that came with the pack (not the actual rocket – that came with detailed instructions on where to put all the bits, and even how to sandpaper down the fins). It was the equivalent of me handing someone a box with some some oddly shaped pieces of plastic, some metal bits and a pack of explosives and telling them they’ve got everything they need to make a working rocket.

But I guess I’m being too harsh. After about 15 minutes of playing around I got the whole thing into a configuration I was happy with – at least, I’d used all the pieces and everything seemed to fit together nice and tight.

So launch day rolls around and the final parts of the puzzle are assembled. Parts that previously were only placed together, are glued down, knots get gobs of glue on them and fins get sanded down to near aerodynamic perfection (no rough edges at least). And so a paint job is decided upon. A striking mettalic red, something that will stand out against the both the sky for the flight and the grass for the recovery. We decided on the launch site (a surprisingly large and out of the way field kind of place called the Vadre) – where even if it does all go terribly wrong the biggest worry is it landing in a pile of sheep poo. And we were on our way.

I really did expect the whole thing to just sit there on the pad, maybe smoke a bit and topple off its perch with a *pop* and that would be the whole spectacle over. But no. That was not to be. It shot up like it was born to be in the air.

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Instead came a critic defying (my self included) amazing first flight. On the windless day it took the rocket to next to near 300 feet by my reckoning. And, not only that, but the parachute deployed perfectly, returning it within 100 yards of the launch pad. In fact it was nearly too close as I offered Byron £5 (Gemma rashly upped that to £50 soon after) if he could catch the thing on its decent. And he nearly did. (look close in the picture)

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So, we reset the whole thing and in total launched it three times in a period of about 20 minutes. A most excellent spending of £20. So good in-fact that I have ordered some more rocket motors today, along with a more beasty staged rocket kit. Oh the fun we will have.

While mr. postman is bringing me the new bits and pieces you can check out the all the pictures we took that day here

Also, since the event we have posthumously named the rocket “Kandor One” with the hope of collecting a whole family of the beasties.

Much Rocket Love


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