Cherokee-D from CC Express Modification

Scratch - Cherokee-D {Scratch}

Contributed by Jon Revelle

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Manufacturer: Scratch

(OOP) Estes Cherokee D

Very popular early D motor powered rocket that's a simple 3FNC design and packs a huge punch at liftoff.

This kit was made with the currently available CC Express from Estes. The parts needed from the CC are:

  • 1 BT-55 body tube 18.25"
  • 1 NC55 nose cone
  • 1 D motor mount
  • launch lug
  • 12" parachute
  • shock cord

You will also need to buy:

  • Decals from Tango Papa or Excelsior Rocketry
  • 1/8" balsa wood stock

The rocket construction is very easy. First build your motor mount and slide it in the butt of the body tube without glue to check the fit. Then glue it in when your fit is good enough. Next you cut out the 3 fins and sand the edges round. Glue those on. (I used CA.) Now take the launch lug and cut it in half. Glue one half to the top of the body tube and the other to the bottom. Finally, attach the shock cord to the nose, the parachute to the shock cord, and glue the shock cord in. Estes says you should use an 18" parachute. IMO, if you use the 18" you'd better kiss the Cherokee goodbye. Use the 12" that came with the CC Express.

Spray paint the body tube and fins gloss white. Then spray the nose cone gloss red. Last, place the decals on and clear coat them. When finished, it looks great!

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

My Cherokee has flown twice with impressive performance. The recommended motors for the Cherokee D are D12-5 and D12-7. But for the first flight, I recommend a C11-5. This is definitely not a rocket for small fields! I loaded a C11-5 at the NIRA Event on 4/17/05. I had a bunch of people telling me that they had one when they were a kid and I think they really liked this one. It uses about 5 sheets of wadding. Because the CC Express does not come with an engine hook, I used friction fit for motor retention. It's a tight squeeze anyway.

Flight one screamed off the pad even on a C11-5! It landed rather far away but I got it back. Good thing I angled the pad a little!

On flight two it had the same performance as the first. I love the way it flies but I'm afraid to fly it on a D12!

Estes says to use an 18" chute, but like I said, you'd better kiss it before you launch it with that big chute. The 12" works perfectly. It landed in some tall grass and I had a pretty long walk to get it back.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

This is a very cool rocket. I'd recommend trying to clone it.

PROs: Very impressive flier. Looks great.

CONs: Watch your field size!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

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