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Contributed by Tim Fischer
I was asked to lead a small rocket build and launch event. In preparation for this, I looked at several "Skill Level 1" kits from various manufacturers. Estes is the usual "obvious" case for such classes, but I was a little unhappy that all of their beginners kits seem to have plastic fin units. I really wanted to give the kids a taste of working with real wood fins. As such, I emailed Jim Flis and asked about the possibility of getting one of his Jig-Tech rockets in builk for our class.
If you're not familiar with the Jig-Tech fins, they're really awesome - basically the fins fit together perfectly, and are easilly glued up to make your own fin unit. So it's sort of the best of both worlds - you get the instant alignment of the plastic fin unit rockets, but the kids get a taste of working with balsa.
Jim steered me toward one of his newer creations, the "DooDad" rocket. This rocket seemed to fit the bill perfectly - it's a "minimum diameter" rocket (meaning the engine fits right into the body tube), yet it has an engine hook. This makes for a quicker, easier build than larger body tube rockets, and the kids were excited to find out it would also mean higher flights due to the lower weight and reduced body drag.
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