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Fat Jax, Sky Duster, Nitro - RTF Triplets

By Randy Ogata

Estes Fat Jax, Sky Duster, Nitro - RTF Minis

Almost immediately after the Moon Mutt launched my boys into Rocketry 

It became evident that we needed more rockets to cut down on field preptime and more launching of rockets

Enter the wonder twins Estes RTF miniengine Sky Duster for Blake and Fat Jax for Drew

A few weeks later these twins were joined by the triplet - Nitro

Construction 

These 3 rockets differ in colors, graphics, and plastic fin design. The Sky Duster has a silver body tube and green plastic nose cone & squared off fins. The Fat Jax has a yellow body tube and purpleplastic nose cone & swept back fins. Both of these required application of their name stickers. The Nitro has a black body tube and a orange plastic nose cone & swept back fins. The name decals were already applied to this rocket. All were ready to fly RTF out of the box

The body tube is the second smallest Estes uses in rockets -BT10?- 

The nose cone is a two piece per-assembled (glued) with an attached shock cord and 6" parachute. The shock cord is attached to the body tube by two slits in the tube and a knot in the end. 

The fin assembly is an integrated motor mount with screw on retention cap, similar to Moon Mutt these screws are hard to fully engage when first using. More importantly they are durable. 

Flights

As these 3 have been worked into the launch rotation it has taken pressure off of the Moon Mutt. These three have consistently out flown the MM. They are perfect for small school yards or half fields and don't drift too far on the 6" chutes when they deploy.... In spite of my talking to others, reviewing videos and baby powdering the living daylights out of these chutes the size of the body tube and compression of the recovery system means that full deployment is rare. The vast majority of these end up with ejection and then the chute not deploying and acting more like a streamer. When packing the chute it is important not to push it too far down the tube so that it remains above the knot in the shock cord or risk non-deployment of the entire recovery system. This happened with the Sky Duster and it burried itself almost 6 inches into the ground badly crumpling the body tube.  Overall these are easy to use and maintain as well as launch & fly.

Pros: RTF, 6" chute, economical, great performers on mini engines

Cons: Recovery system is very technique sensitive, the initial flight may result in lost engine retention cap (but they give two)

Other: since body tube is slightly longer then Moon Mutt - place the shock cord slits father towards the fin assembly so that there will be more room to pack the recovery system more loosely to increase likelihood of full deployment

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