|Manufacturer:||Art Applewhite Rockets|
I won this rocket as part of an EMRR giveaway, which was really exciting for a variety of reasons. Aside from this being my 15 seconds of international fame, I've wanted some rockets I could launch in a small area (such as my 30' x 20' front lawn or the street out front) since all the local fields are now full of various summer crops that make flying impossible. (Can you say corn stalks?)
Due to construction and painting projects around the house, I didn't get to the Dragonfly kit until I saw the deadline for a review was tonight. I'm hoping EMRR is on the West Coast, but I'm not so sure... So, I'll put off some painting and build this kit, writing the review as the glue dries. Oh, my digital camera is missing in action, so this may be without illustrations unless I can get the camera on my phone to work.
I had kind of put this build off because of various projects and it's pretty far removed from what I'm used to, which has been 12 or 14 3FNC/4FNC kits in 2.5 months, but let's see what happens.
This kit appears to be quite simple, and after reading the previous reviews I'm inclined to think this will go pretty quickly. There are only a few components, 7 to be exact. There is a basswood wing, a basswood sheet, 3 dowels, fiberglass tape, and an engine mount tube.
All components appear to be in excellent condition and of high quality. Each was wrapped in its own compartment of a bag, which was accompanied with instructions and placed into a larger bag.
The instructions are only two 8.5" x 11" pages long and have plenty of illustrations. Upon an initial review, they seem simple enough.
Well, what I overlooked at first was that three components need to be measured out, drawn, and cut out of the basswood sheet. I tend to be meticulous so this took me some time. Plus my X-Acto blade wasn't the sharpest.
FYI: If I did this project again, I'd cut the lines that go with the grain first then across the grain later. This would make the pieces more manageable.
Overall, construction of the structural support went smoothly. I did note the instructions didn't specify to center the balance beam on the center support structure, but it is obvious.
If I were doing this again, I'd make a mark ahead of time on the edges of center piece and center support indicating the middle. Also, the instructions say to apply glue fillets after attaching the center piece to the center support. I did this all around. One of the fillets hindered the attachment of the balance beam and had to be cut out.
To facilitate a straight attachment of the engine mount, I did the "door frame" method utilized by many Skill Level I and II model kits.
The rest of the rocket went together pretty smoothly. Again, I recommend marking center points where the wing edge is connected to the center piece.
Wrapping the fiberglass tape went fast enough and I should mention that drilling the hole requires a very sharp drill bit so minimal pressure can be used.
Overall, this took me 2.5 hrs to build, but I made a lot of beefy fillets that took time to dry, and I wrote this as I was building.
I didn't use any finish yet, but I will use a polyurethane spray.
Construction Rating: 4 out of 5
I let the glue dry about 30 minutes and was looking forward to flying it too much to wait until tomorrow. There are lighted tennis courts nearby, and I went to it to try flying this thing. Oops! I didn't have a "Dragonfly" launch pad made. I used my regular launch pad and taped off the end of my 1/4" launch rod.
The flight of this is very unique and difficult to describe. The videos on the other reviews are accurate.
This will be a cool little gadget to fly when the "bug" hits me. (Get it? "Bug"? Did you note the name of the kit? Sorry, some midnight humor there...)
I initially tossed the Dragonfly from my deck to see what recovery looks like. It looked fine.
My rocket got a little burn where the others mentioned. I may put a thin layer of 30min epoxy or JB Weld to protect the area.
I'll do another launch in the daylight. The other reviewers submitted videos of the flight, so unless my flights are drastically different, I'll refer you to the videos.
Flight Rating: 4 out of 5
This rocket was a nice change of pace from what I was used to. It built on skills I've learned from other rockets, mainly cutting with the X-Acto knife. It forces the builder to think outside the box from what the typical rocket looks like.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5