Aardvark Rockets - Sandia Tomahawk (2.6") {Kit}

Contributed by Daniel Cutteridge

Manufacturer: Aardvark Rockets
Rating
(Contributed - by Daniel Cutteridge - 03/10/02)

Brief:
This is a single staged ,single 29mm motor mount sport scale rocket that is 2.6in. in diameter and recovered via a 24in. parachute.

Construction:
When i got the kit it consisted of 4-1/8in plywood fins, 1-2.6 dia. 36in. long main body tube, 1-16in. long 2.6 dia. payload tube, 1-2.6 dia. bulkhead assembly, 1-LOC 2.6 nosecone, 1-12in long 29mm motor tube, 3-1/8in. plywood centering rings, 9 feet of 1/4in. wide strap Kevlar®, and finally 1-24in. parachute.

the instructions were fairly easy to follow. The had several helpful illustrations and were easy to follow. A newbie would have no problem building this kit. When i was building this kit I notice how easy it was to build considering its size. There were no problems with fin alignment since the fin tabs reached the motor mount perfectly. When i started assembly I noticed that the nicely laser cut fins were a little flexible so I added a couple coats of sanding sealer and I have never had a problem. I was also a little concerned about the all strap Kevlar® shock cord which is tough stuff. My concern was that it might be too tough. I thought that it would cause the heavy kraft paper tubes to zipper like a new pair of levis. I actually flew it recently on an F50-6. Even though the label said six second delay it was a true 9 second delay. The extra 3 seconds caused the rocket to come in ballistic and then tail slide and flip over and come in butt first and no zipper was found. 
Pros of construction: ease of assembly, great quality materials. 
Cons: nada, zip, zero, zilch, none

Finishing:
Finishing was fairly simple since I chose not to fill the body tube spirals which were average depth. The amount of paint I used took Care of that. I have found that the best paint out there that I have ever used is ACE Hardware brand paint. This is some very high quality stuff for a low price. I sprayed several coats of primer sanding between coats. I then painted the main section Brit Blue and the payload section and nosecone Silver. After it all dried I thought i would try something new and spice it up a bit. I tried for the first time a flame paint scheme. I bought some 1/8in. wide curvable masking tape and used that to mask off the outline of the flame scheme and then masked off the area with no flames off with normal masking tape. I then painted silver in the flame area over the blue and it came out looking amazing.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Carol Johnson's Model - Courtesy of AardvarkCourtesy of Aardvark

Flight:
I have flown this rocket twice. First on the minimal motor that I would recommend for this kit, the F20-4 which put it straight up to about 600 feet. The second flight was on and F50-6 Blue thunder which popped it off the pad and straight up to about 1000 feet. I did use my own form of motor retention since none is provided. I took 2-2in. long wide tread wood screws and two was her and simply screw those in and out to load and unload the motor. I also prefer cellulose wadding but you could use whatever you want. The 24in parachute has a little speedy descent rate but I have never had a problem with it. I would like to fly it on a G35 or G38 next and then maybe A G40.

Recovery:
The worry I had about the shock cord is long gone. But like I said the recovery is a little speedy unless you glass the fins if you plan on flying it in a parking lot, but it holds up fine to standard fields.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
I think this would be a great First mid power kit for any one. The design is proven and is really pretty cool. The whole kit was one big pro. There were no cons whatsoever.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

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