ModelRockets.us - Boostar-C {Component}

Contributed by Revell Walker

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Manufacturer: ModelRockets.us

Brief:
An affordable and easy way to add 2 stage capability for the Centauri, Super Centauri, Toob-oh, and Super Toob-oh model rocket.us kits and other BT-50 based rockets. Sister to the ring-finned Boostoh staging kit. Availalble also in RTF form.

Construction:
The kit consists of:

  • a laser cut booster section of their special .988 dia BT-50 sized body tube,
  • laser cut fins,
  • centering rings,
  • metal engine hook,
  • engine block,
  • instructions,
  • laser etched 18mm engine tube.

Pros:

Instructions: The instructions included with the Boostar-C are concise and easy to read and follow. They appear to be written in plain language that a fourth grader can understand, with bold print and line illustrations in black and white. They also include a fin alignment guide to help in installing the through-the-wall fins.

Ease of Build: I was surprised and pleased at the manufacturing quality of the kit parts. Everything was laser cut and smooth. The tube paper quality is sturdy and made in a thicker wall to handle the rigors of building and flying these models in novice hands. This standard is followed in all of the kits available from model rockets.us. Lasers are used to cut out the slots for the TTW fins. It was gratifying to punch out the rectangles left by the process by simply touching or blowing on them!

The booster tube coupler, which is designed for use with their thick wall tubing, will fit most BT-50 style tube conforming to Estes/Custom Rockets specifications. It was a very tight fit, however, for the Quest 25mm tubing, and thus the booster unit should not be used with Quest's line of single stage 25mm tube models. It is advised to make sure you allow for fit of the coupler in front of sustainer rocket's aft motor centering ring when match-building a single rocket for use with the Boostar-C

The engine tube has laser-marked locators for the centering rings and the engine hook slot. Clearly designed for the student who has never encountered building a rocket model before. I had the booster assembled and ready for fillets in the fins in under 30 minutes.

The fins need to have their laser tabs cut away before they will fall out, so be wary of that lest you break them trying to punch them out with your fingers. They fit nicely into their body tube slots but will be loose so that you can still position them before the glue dries.

Cons: I haven't found any, the kit is virtually fool proof, but a class of middle schoolers will surely find a way to make a mess of things.

Finishing:
Model Rockets.US uses hard balsa for their fins. I think this, a plus thanks to its close grain, making it easier to seal with a spray coat of Kilz followed by light sanding, then color of your choice. The instructions guide the novice as to how to correctly apply paints to the Boostar-C to include the masking of the coupler ring. The kit also includes a nice set of Boostar-C markings you can add should you decide to do so.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Flight:
I flew the Boostar-C with a scratch-built model of my own design, a B6-0 for the first flight. I was initially concerned about the upper stage failing to ignite due to the distance between the engines, but that worry soon vanished as the broad-finned booster/sustainer combo cleared the pad and gave me a straight up flight, separating cleanly and tumbling back to earth.

Recovery:
The Boostar-C followed standard booster practice and tumbled back after separating, nothing unusual to report on that

Flight Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary:
The Boostar-C is a fine addition to your fleet in either kit or ready to fly forms. It will turn your skill level 1 rocket into a skill level 3 in one setting. Just remember that Quest 25mm tubes won't fit this unit and thus won't fly the Payloader or Astra. Fit and finish of the parts are outstanding for a relatively unknown manufacturer, and this quality can be found in all of their kits. If you are an educator and have built the Centauri or Blade kits, this a wonderful progression to teach staging in preparation for TARC students.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Other:
Just enjoy the building experience!

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