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Centuri Tiger Streak

By Bill Eichelberger

Centuri - Tiger Streak {Kit} (5357) [1983-1983]

The Tiger Streak is one of the kits from the waning days of Centuri, the time period when parts and designs were being shared with Estes because of the common Dana parent company.  The Tiger Streak is the fraternal twin to the Estes Apache-2, and always interested me because it was built using Estes parts.  I've been looking for a lightweight two-stager to fly at B6-4 Field and since I've had the plan for the Tiger Streak printed off for several years now, I think it will meet my needs nicely.

I bought the laser cut fins from Semroc earlier this spring.  As you'd expect, they're nicely done, with excellent, hard balsa and sharp features.


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Booster build (2012-10-03 17:57:06)

Pretty easy, this.  Unless you screw up like I almost did. Embarassed Since the Tiger Streak fin marking guide is missing in action, I went looking for another BT-50 rocket that also had a three fin setup.  I tried the Estes Apache-2 first.  No luck.  Tried the Estes Alpha.  Ditto.  I finally settled on the Astron Shrike.  Perfect.

Uh, no.  I already had the fins marked on the booster tube when it struck me that the Shrike was a 4fnc bird.  In my mind, I heard Homer Simpson.  DOH!!  Luckily, I was alone.  In the end, the Estes Astron Constellation became the donor, and except for some extra lines on the booster, everything turned out great.

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Fully finned (2012-10-04 07:12:26)

I've had trouble with past two-stagers because the fins failed to line up on the booster and sustainer.  Since these are meant to look like a seamless set, I wanted to make sure they were as close to perfect as possible. To that end, the laser cut fins make that a lot easier, but I rigged up a fancy custom rig to make my chances of success even greater.

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Now it looks like a rocket (2012-10-05 06:53:37)

Like the rest of the project, the motor mounts were scrounged from various shop junk, in this case probably leftovers from one of the Red Arrow Tube Assortments that I've bought over the years.  I'm due for another one.  It didn't occur to me that the motor tubes might be different sizes, but I can handle that kind of diversity.  Sustainer is the standard 2.75" while the booster is 2.25".

The finished booster.

As you can see from the dry-fit, it's very close to being flightworthy.  The launch lug will go on this morning, so that I can spray on a coat of primer this afternoon.  

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Finally........progress! (2012-10-24 20:54:28)

Scant time to work on this of late, but I had some time in the last couple of days and managed to slog my way through the prime, Fill & Finish, and sanding parts of the build.  I first sprayed the bare balsa and body tube with Valspar primer, sanded, reprimed, sanded some more, slathered on the first coat of Fill & Finish, sanded more, slathered more, and finally added the last coat of primer.  I wasn't completely sure which orange I was going to go with, flourescent or metallic, but it became a moot point when I couldn't find a metallic orange at Hobby Lobby.  I settled for Sunburst Orange and a black metallic.  The first coat of orange should hit tomorrow.



And just for something different, I actually remembered a launch lug for a change.Embarassed

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Painted, but..... (2012-10-28 00:03:53)

Not Painted Butt.  That would be gross.Tongue Out  Orange went on yesterday, and the black today.  Both nice colors, but they don't work together for me.  I think the metallic black would have worked better with metallic orange.  Whatever the case, the paint is done except for the nose cone.  Somehow I convinced myself that it was supposed to be black.  Well. I convinced myself WRONG!  It gets sprayed tomorrow, then I get to see if the decal I printed just looks big, or is big.

Not the greatest of pictures, but it's midnight.  I should have taken a shot of it masked, but I forgot.  Profuse apologies.  It was a rough day.

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FINI! (2012-11-12 20:12:43)

Yeah, I know.  Finally, eh?  The weather cooperated this weekend, so I got the nose cone painted, then got the decals on tonight after dinner.  The decals were from a PDF, but printed slightly oversized.  I had to cut a notch in the wrap decal to allow for the launch lug.  There was some overlap, so the area around the lug isn't perfect, but from ten feet on the pad, it'll look pretty decent.  I picked up some A8-0s from our onfield vendor on Saturday, so I'll be keeping an eye on B6-4 Field for a launch opportunity in the coming weeks.



Todd Lewis (December 26, 2012)

I was not familiar with this model.  I love the way the fins on the booster stage nestle alongside of those on the sustainer.  Great job lining it all up with your "fancy" rig!  It looks fantastic, and I'm looking forward to reading about its first flight!

Bill Eichelberger (January 25, 2015)

Ill winds blew all summer long at B6-4 Field, so I never got a day where I felt comfy launching a two-stager.  In the end, I just decided to wait for the big field at NARAM 55.


Bill Eichelberger (January 25, 2015)

Well, the NARAM field didn't turn out to be quite as big as I'd hoped, but the winds were favorable for the most part during the week.  As long as you didn't do anything stupid, that is.  Therein lies the problem.  I have a past checkered with stupid.  The flight of the Tiger Streak wouldn't be that far out of the ordinary for me.  The problem came as I was prepping the bird.  I'd bought several packs of A8-0 boosters specifically for small field flying.  The field wasn't that small, but the winds were carrying everything behind the flight line.  I decided to angle to rod into the wind so that the A8-0/B6-6 combination could do the two stage thing while still recovering safely on our side of the road.  The problem was, I grabbed a B6-0 to pair with the B6-6.  This made things more interesting.

I knew I was in trouble as soon as the rocket left the pad.  The boost was obviously too long for a mere A8-0.  It staged perfectly and kept going, WAY higher than I'd planned for.  At ejection it caught the breeze and began racing back toward the flight line.  It cleared us by well over a hundred feet, cleared the power lines with plenty to spare, and cleared the house across the road without a problem.  From where I stood it looked as if it was going to easily make the woods behind the house.

Bill Eichelberger (January 25, 2015)

I was sure it was lost, but felt like I had to at least make the token search.  I rang the bell at the house to ask permission to enter the yard, just in case.  No one was home, so I considered that a "yes".  Behind the house I found an open pool.  I slowly crept up to the edge and looking inside.  Nothing.  I walked deeper into the yard toward the woods, looking up into the trees because I was sure it drifted at least that far.  It didn't.  As I looked down at one point I saw a flash of orange ahead.  The Tiger Streak had defied the odds and managed a safe landing over all of the obstacles.  Wires, trees, road, house, pool and woods, none of them had stopped it.  Wish I could say the same for the other birds I flew that day.

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