|Manufacturer:||Art Applewhite Rockets|
When he was Beta-testing his 12" saucer line, Art graciously provided sent me several sets of blank white shrouds for experimentation. I had recently seen an article on the PEPP Aeroshell in an issue of Sport Rocketry, and decided to build something similar using the extra saucer components. Before reading this review, I suggest you first read my review on the stock Fluorescent Green Flying Saucer.
I started by attaching together the three sections of the stock saucer's top shroud. However, I did not form these into a cone or use them on the Aeroshell. Instead, I laid them out on a piece of poster paper, traced them, and extended the shroud so that the inner rim fit a 29mm tube. I proceeded to build the body of the saucer, per the instructions, replacing the top shroud with my elongated one.
I wanted to fly the Aeroshell on 29mm Gs, so I replaced the stock 38mm motor tube. Because there is not enough extra fin stock to make the larger fins required due to the smaller motor mount, you will have to provide your own. I used 1/8" balsa, but you could use 3/32 or larger plywood also. I computed the distance between the inner core of the saucer and the 29mm mount, and extended the stock fin template accordingly.
I cut a piece of 29mm tubing to fit so that the lower edge is at the same position as the mount on the stock saucer, but extended it up so it would just reach the top of the new shroud.
I really kludged the nose cone so I won't go into the details here. It suffices to say that I ended up with a conical nose cone with a rounded tip (resembles the cone on a Shuttle SRB). Ideally you'd find the angle on the shroud and get BMS to make one. I proceeded to attach the nose cone, build the fin can, and install it in the saucer. I then mounted the launch lug so that it touched the top shroud.
The fit of the nose cone through the top shroud wasn't good enough (my error), so I generated a smaller shroud using VCP and overlaid it on top. This filled the gap and I figured the extra strength wouldn't hurt. Finally, I cut a hole in the top shroud over the launch lug.
There was no finishing besides I painted the nose cone silver. I did seal the shroud with clear enamel.
One Art Applewhite Rockets 12" saucer kit
I flew the Aeroshell as the first of three back-to-back saucer flights (with the stock 38mm saucer going last). It flew great on a G80 (ejection charge was removed). Since there was no airflow through this "saucer", a ball of smoke was caught in the vacuum behind it. This looked very cool and generated several comments from the crowd. The Aeroshell fell bottom first all the way down, for a nice soft landing. The recovery resulted in even more comments as most saucers fall nose first.
This conversion worked out nicely. It looks unique, both statically and in flight. The 29mm mount still provides enough performance for the 12" saucer to be interesting.