BSD High Power Rocketry - Thor {Kit}

Contributed by Chuck Pierce

Manufacturer: BSD High Power Rocketry
(Contributed - by Chuck Pierce - 04/01/03)

On the RackMark Saunders, of BSD High Power Rocketry, graciously donated a 4" Thor kit for a raffle prize, for the Huntsville Area Rocketry Association's (HARA) Rocket City Blastoff (RCBO), October 2002. I was the lucky winner of this kit, and as such, would like to reward Mark's generosity by posting this review to RMR.

I approached Mark during the Summer of 2002 to ask if he'd be willing to donate a raffle prize for HARA's RCBO in October. Mark quickly agreed to send us a Thor, and we had received the kit a month in advance of the event. We had received many nice donations for the RCBO raffle from BSD, Cesarioni, Aerotech, Topflight Recovery, and many others; so, the raffle was a rousing success! Luckily, my number came up for the Thor, and I carted the kit back home to be built. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to start work on the kit until February, which is why this review is being submitted nearly 5 months after receiving the kit.


Loading MotorWhen I opened the Thor box, all of the pieces had been included and where well packaged, and typical the high-quality instructions were included. BSD has always provided some of the best kit instructions of any kits on market. The specs for the Thor are that it's 4" diameter by 7' long, has a 54mm motor tube, and should GLOW at approximately 5 lbs. Since this was a raffle prize, I'd hoped to build it stock, but I rarely build anything stock anymore, and this was the case with the Thor. My target motor was the Hypertek 835cc motor system. So, the two main modifications were (1) lengthening the fincan airframe from 34" to 44" and (2) lengthening the 54mm motor tube from about 10" to 28". Both of these mods were needed to accommodate the 30-inch-long 835cc motor. I also decided to fiberglass the airframe and fins with 6 oz fiberglass cloth and Mr. Fiberglass slow epoxy. I adapted the altimeter bay to accommodate an RRC2 altimeter for a dual-deployment recovery setup. Due to the lengthened components, fiberglassing of the airframe and fins, and altimeter, the Thor had a final no-motor weight of 8.5 lbs, and with a nitrous-filled HT 835cc tank, GLOW'd at 11 lbs. The RockSim simulation can be seen just above. The simulations for the 835cc/J330 and 835cc/J317 seem to be right on the money, but the 835cc/K240 is quite optimistic (when I checked the .ENG file, the total impulse of K240 had integrated to be about 25% higher than the advertised impulse of the motor. I need to fix the file).

In the AirIgnitionOn March 8, 2003, I loaded the finished Thor and a couple other rockets onto the roof of my wife's Xterra and headed to the Music City Missile Club's sod farm in Manchester, TN. The weather was beautiful ( your hearts out all you Yankees and Canucks reading this... :-)) with a 5 - 10 knot breeze. After helping several HARA members complete their L1 and/or L2 cert flights, I prepped the Thor with a 835cc/K240. With the altimeter armed, the tank was loaded, a 5-count was given, and the hybrid K motor roared to life. Ascent was a nice and slow, long-burning boost on the K240, and the recovery (drogueless to a Bob-Fortune 66" main at 500') was flawless. Several of the Civil Air Patrol cadets, who'd come out for the launch, enthusiastically made the half-mile trek to recover the Thor. Peak altitude was 3178'.

The Thor is wonderful kit! I've received MANY appreciative comments on the Thor, and know of 2 folks already planning purchase to a Thor kit for themselves. I sincerely hope that I've done justice to the kit and that many folks seeing my kit and/or reading this review will want one of their own! We all know that the rocket vendors don't have much of a profit margin, but still gladly support many of our raffles and other fund-raising events. It is to the credit of these many fine vendors, like BSD, that hobby rocketry is such a wonderful hobby! Thank you, Mark, for donating this kit for HARA and thanks to all of the vendors who have donated kits/equipment to support our rocket clubs!

Other Reviews
  • BSD High Power Rocketry - Thor {Kit} By Allan Trau

    (by Allan Trau - 07/01/02) Brief: Single stage, dual deployment capable, three split-fin design. Construction: The kit includes: 3 body tubes, 34" aft, 10" electronics payload, 24" forward 2 coupler tubes 3 plywood centering rings 3 aft 3/16" plywood fins 3 fore 3/16" plywood fins plastic nose cone 45" nylon chute 20' elastic ...

  • BSD High Power Rocketry - Thor {Kit} By Gary Sinclair

    ( Contributed - by Gary Sinclair) Brief: Kevlar ® /Fiberglass body with Carbon Fibre reinforced fins mounted externally to the motor mount. Giant leap electronics bay added for dual deployment. All thread reinforcement of zipperless fin-can. Nosecone reinforced and thickened with fiberglass. Internal nosecone all-thread and bulkhead added for recovery harness attachment. Mo ...

  • BSD High Power Rocketry - Thor {Kit} By Allan Trau

    When I purchased my BSD Thor, I knew I would also need to purchase new motor hardware. So I also purchased a 38mm set with a 38-240, 360 and 480 case. I also purchased a PML 54mm to 38mm adaptor to allow me to fly the 54mm-based Thor on my new hardware. So needless to say, this was a large outflow of money to venture into the largest rocket I have built. Is it the tallest I've built? No, the ...


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