Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Published: 2010-02-22
Manufacturer: Art Applewhite Rockets

Brief:
I received this kit as a prize for the Roam the Site contest. As a recent BAR, I found this kit - this genre, more correctly - very intriguing. There was nothing like it when I was first building rockets in the late 70's. The Simitar family of kits are pyramid shaped saucers using engines ranging from 13mm up to 29mm.

Construction:
3 sides, 1 bottom plate, and a engine tube. That's it. How hard could it be? Famous last words...

Well? How hard can it be? Depends on how well you want everything to fit. If you've ever heard about the simplest things being the most difficult,...

Objectively, the instructions are great, taking you through the construction step by step. There aren't a lot of pieces, so it can come together pretty quick.

But if you want all the seams to line up juuust right, you've got to get those straight cuts realllly straight. Them 45 degree angles neeeed to be 45, not 43, and don't even think about 46.

Ok, I exaggerate... a little.

The instructions do say to have a fresh blade for your knife. Do yourself a favor - buy a 5 pack. 1 blade for each piece. I'd almost go as far as to say try using a fresh blade for each cut. It seemed like every 3-4 cuts I was crushing the foam. Most likely it was because I wasn't taking as much time as I should. I probably had all the pieces cut and fitted inside 2 hours.

Finishing:
Finishing is an absolute nightmare. There is so much empty canvas to work with that I just have way too many ideas on how to complete it!

A bit of white glue to all the exposed foam edges is necessary sealant prior to painting, but beyond that, the skies the limit.

Mine? Still unpainted. Flew naked on it's first flight: I was hoping to get inspiration. Didn't work. Even more ideas now than before, 'cause now I want to take advantage of that cool super spinning flight.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
That's right: suuuper cool spinning flight. Spins like a top. Spins faster than some tops I've seen. Put some sequenced photos on it, and you could have one of those animated gif movie things. How cool is that?

And it's quick to get on the pad, too. Yank the ejection charge, shove the engine in, and you're good to go. Done. It'll take you longer to line up the launch rod through the guide holes.

First flight theory says smaller motors to keep it lower and put less stress during the "shake-out" flight. Nah... Aerotech G76 Mojave Green. Love the green flame, and since the Scimitar only goes to at best 400' on a G76, I get to enjoy every last bit of the burn instead of reaching for the binoculars and searching the sky for a hint of chute.

Recovery:
I've heard/read that it's supposed to spin on the way down as well. Mine kinda flopped around like a fish. Wasn't quite what I was expecting. May have to do with my construction - as I said, I went rather quickly, so my edges may not line up as well as they should.

Regardless, spinning down or tumbling down, it's a nice easy recovery close to the pad.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
Get the idea that I really like this kit? I do. It may not be for everyone. It's not a speed/altitude champ, but it's got plenty of style points all it's own. How many rockets do you have that can launch at the neighborhood softball field? How many of those can launch on a G while still expecting to recover it on the field? Not many?.. thought so.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

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