Contributed by Todd Moore
I bought a Black Brant II from Cosmodrome because I loved the Estes Brant kit when it was available, and I got tired of waiting for the Estes re-issue.... besides, the Cosmodrome kit is 50" tall... A bit cooler than it's counterpart.
The rocket went together smoothly and quickly (3.5 Hrs) with 5min. epoxy used for the entire build. I replaced the steel shock cord that was included in the kit with aircraft cable of the same diameter after it was almost severed by crimping (with a hammer) the ferrule onto it. The instructions called for heavy sanding of the 3/16" plywood fins to a knife edge (about 75% of the fin area!). I deviated from this, and only sanded a 1/4" knife edge on the leading edge. (It's not to scale, but it was easy). The inclusion of motor retention is a much appreciated bonus.
I decided to paint the rocket true to scale, so I put several coats of primer on, then several coats of gloss white, and then spent 3 hours masking the white areas off. The included detail sheet for painting was very helpful, but it's still took a while to mask such an intricate pattern. After 3 coats of black paint the rocket was unmasked. Simply stunning. The included decals were nicely done, and made the completed rocket very authentic looking.
After reading some comments about the balsa NC of the Brant not being heavy enough to reliably pull the chute out of the rocket, I decided to give it some extra pull by adding a 12" chute to the NC eyelet. This would also help in recovery, as the only other complaint I've read about this rocket it that the included chute is just a little too small.
I selected a F52-5T for the maiden flight. wRASP simulation showed an 1170 ft. flight with maximum altitude at 6.1 seconds, and a maximum velocity of 314.6 ft/sec. True to the simulation, the rocket zoomed off the pad straight as an arrow to an estimated 800 or 900 ft., and deployed perfectly at max altitude.
The rocket drifted on for ever.... right into a rocket eating tree. The extra 12" chute was a little too much. The kit chute alone would have done just fine. (My friend scaled the tree and removed the rocket for me... if you're wondering).
Overall, I'll give the Cosmodrome Black Brant II a 5 of 5 rating. The balsa NC is prone to damage (I knocked the pointy tip off (1/8") while transporting it), but that is the only negative comment I can think of. Super Kit!
|2000-05-12||Casey Smith's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G35-4||-|| pefect boost, quick off the pad, excellent 1st flight engine, beautiful deployment and recovery |
|2000-05-12||Casey Smith's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G80-7||-|| Chute got fowled up after an amazing boost. estimated 1500 feet, those large fins can take any ...|
|2000-11-04||Casey Smith's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G64-10||-|| Beautiful boost on this kit, the wind never effects it with those large fins. Unfortunately, the ...|
|2000-12-26||Les Newman's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G40-7||-|| Superb flight - straight boost until out of sight in a blue sky. Drifted c.400 yards. Some slight ...|
|2001-03-07||Todd Moore's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||F52||-|| Nice boost. Very Fast flight to apogee. Straight as an arrow. Drifted into a tree. Argh! Recovered ...|
|2001-03-30||Casey Smith's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G35-7||-|| Nice straight up boost. I think it had an extra 20% propellant in it. It seemed to keep going. ...|
|2001-04-25||Todd Moore's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G33||-|| Nice slow flight on a pillar of black smoke. Perfect recovery. Nice motor for this rocket |
|2001-05-05||Casey Smith's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G35-7||-|| Great boost, weathercocked, good deploy. Landed about 400 yards away, the parachute is working! |
|2001-09-03||Les Newman's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G40-7||-|| Very good straight long boost - this motor suits the rocket. The chute didn't fully open. Landed ...|
|2001-10-27||John Storey's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||F52-8||-|| |
|2001-11-04||John Storey's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G75-7||-|| |
|2002-01-19||Todd Moore's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||H128||-|| Altimeter failure caused premature drogue seperation, and destruction of rear deployment airframe. ...|
|2002-05-04||Casey Smith's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||I200-L||-|| Screamed off the pad, way up there out of sight. Waited forever for it to come down, good deploy, ...|
|2004-07-24||Jason Vennard's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G64-7||-|| Beautiful flight, nice flying rocket. Unfortunately sharply airfoiled plywood fins meeting up with ...|
|2006-04-22||Jason Vennard's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G64-7||-|| Another awesome flight and everything came off without a hitch. Good boost and recovery under 30 ...|
|2006-04-22||Jason Vennard's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G64-7||-|| Another great flight, perfectly straight up and ejection right at apogee with no problems/damage. ...|
|2006-04-22||Jason Vennard's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G64-7||-|| Another nice flight, perfectly straight up and ejection right at apogee with no damage, recovered ...|
|2008-04-26||James Turner's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G64-4||-|| Flight was perfect. On landing 2 of 3 fins stuck in the soft ground just as a slight gust caught ...|
|2008-04-26||James Turner's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G64-4||-|| Another perfect flight |
|2008-04-26||James Turner's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G64-4||-|| First flight after almost 4 months of assembly and paint. Awesome flight. Straight up, no twist on ...|
|2009-04-18||Tim Bearden's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G76-7||-|| Perfect Maiden fligt, strait up strait down, landed 50 ft from pad. |
|2009-08-29||DAN KRAUSE's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||F52-8||-|| I built it heavy so it was a little late. Great flight but a little zipper. It handled the wind ...|
|2010-01-01||Tim Bearden's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G69-8||-|| |
|2010-01-01 ||Tim Bearden's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G69-9||-|| |
|2010-03-20||Tim Bearden's Cosmodrome Rocketry Black Brant II||G69-10||-|| Last of my sparky motors, chute got a bit tangled and cost a faster than optimal landing, slight ...|
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