The Aerospace Specialty Products That Tube Rocket! is a large tube finned rocket that includes a payload bay. Easy to build but at over 4 feet tall, it is hard to store. The kit includes spacers so you can use the shorter 29mm F motors. There is even an adapter so you can it fly on 24mm motors too.
The kit includes:
The instructions were exceptionally clear and concise and quite easy to follow. It assumes you have some rocket building knowledge and it is rated between beginner and intermediate.
ASP recommends that you use CA on the cut edges of all the tubes to help seal them from humidity and prevent swelling. I went ahead and did this and it seems to have worked well. Plus, it creates a hardened edge on the tube fins which may help in the event of a bumpy landing.
The motor mount construction is typical and with the addition of dual engine hooks, you should have no problem with motor retention. The Kevlar® portion of the shock cord assembly is mounted to the engine tube which makes for a very strong connection.
A light sanding on the outside of the tubes is also a good idea to ensure a good gluing surface. It is important that you take your time gluing on the tube fins. The first one is the most important. If it is crooked or out of alignment in any way, the rest of the tube fins will be askew.
I used a fair amount of white glue to attach my tube fins. Also, I added several layers of white flue fillets between where the tubes join each other not only for strength but for appearance as well.
The last step is to assemble the payload section and you are done. This rocket took me a total of 2 hours to assemble not counting drying time.
Note that a parachute is not included with this rocket. I added a Nomex® heat shield and a 24" rip stop nylon chute to complete my recovery system.
There are no decals included with this rocket. I had already sanded the body tubes with 220 grit paper to give the primer something to stick to. I used 2 coats of Krylon dark gray primer. It took almost 3/4 of a can to prime this thing due to its size.
Once the primer dried, I did a 600 grit wet sanding to smooth any rough spots. I then applied black and blue automotive metal flake paint which came out so well, I decided not to clear coat. The automotive paint is very strong and it resists peeling and chipping like some enamels.
Construction Rating: 5 out of 5
Although ASP says you can fly this bird on a D12-3, it just seemed that a rocket this big ought to have a bigger motor, so my first flight was on an AeroTech F50-4T SU motor with the spacer added in. It moved nicely off the pad to an altitude of about 650 feet with ejection right at apogee. This big rocket is easy to track in the sky!
Second flight was on a G104T-S. It was much quicker off the pad to at least 700 feet and ejection was close to apogee.
Final flight of the day was on a G64W-10 motor. This was easily the best flight of the day. The rocket shot quickly off the pad to at least 1000 feet. The delay was a bit long and ejection was well after apogee but the shock cord system held up!
The 24" parachute I provided was a perfect match for this rocket. It did not drift much and all landings caused no damage whatsoever to the rocket or its sturdy tube fins.
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
This is a great big rocket that has excellent flying characteristics and it really calls attention to itself. It's a joy to watch from liftoff to touchdown. According to the ASP website, a 3 x 24mm cluster version is coming soon. I might just need another one!
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5