Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Manufacturer: Art Applewhite Rockets

Art Applewhite 24mm Whirlwind Monocopter

Brief:
The Whirlwind Monocopter is the 18mm Dragonfly's bigger brother and flies on 24mm motors. I had the opportunity to build and test a beta version, which was known as the Cyclone. The differences between the beta and production models are minimal.

Construction:
Wing: Basswood, 2" x 10" long

Balance Beam: Long dowel

Center, Center & Motor Supports: Basswood and short dowels

Motor Mount Tube: BT-50 tubing

Motor reinforcement: Fiberglass drywall tape

The construction of this kit was simple and similar to the Art Applewhite 18mm Dragonfly. The following materials and tools are required: Elmer's Glue-All, hobby knife, scissors, ruler, drill with 1/4" bit. I substituted carpenter's glue for the Elmer's.

Here's a summary of the steps:

  1. Assemble center hub
  2. Add supports and balance beam
  3. Glue wing on
  4. Assemble motor mount, including fiberglass tape wrap
  5. Glue mount to hub
  6. Drill launch rod hole

At the end of each step, heavy fillets are applied to all joints.

Finishing:
Finishing is optional but at least a clear coat is recommended. I used Helmsman Spar Urethane.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Art Applewhite 24mm Whirlwind Monocopter

Flight:
Prep consists of centering the motor in the mount, adding a tape thrust ring, and friction fitting. You can use booster motors or sustainer motors with short delays. It flew off of my standard pad, which happens to be similar to that described by Art (plans included in the instructions and on his website). I already had a 1/4" stubby monocopter rod. I flew mine twice on a D12-P and an E9-4. The D12 flight was nice, but the longer burn E9 was fantastic! The winds were heavy and they did travel a ways downrange, but the walks were short when compared to any rocket with anything that resembled a chute.

Art Applewhite 24mm Whirlwind Monocopter

Recovery:
At burn-out, the monocopter flutters lightly to the ground. I found that the side of the E9 had burned through just above the nozzle. Because of the length of the motor vs the motor tube, this did not damage the model. It may have reduced the performance toward the end of the burn.

I did not reduce my rating due to the burn through. This is unavoidable and, like I said, there was no ill effects.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
Not much to say. Simple, elegant build and lots of fun to fly. Get some E9s!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Other:
Soaking the self-adhesive tape in glue tends to make it lift. I used plastic clamps to hold the tape down at the joint between the motor tube and its stand-off. Plastic clamps won't stick to the glue and may be removed after the glue is partially set.

Flights

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