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Moon Mutt

By Randy Ogata

Estes Moon Mutt Launch Kit

My boys love everything aviation related. Theirs eyes have turned towards space with the arrival of the Space Shuttle trainer soon.

So we purchased the Moon Mutt Launch Kit at the MOF gift shop. And started down the path of model rocketry for my two sons.

Did not immediately let on to them that I had traveled this same path 40+ years before with my father...

Moon Mutt Launch Kit

Includes 1) Moon Mutt rocket, 2) Light Duty non-adjustable tripod launch pad, 3) Launch Controller, 4) Range Box? - the box the kit comes in

About the Moon Mutt rocket - E2X series with some really easy assembly required. It comes with the traditional glued in shock cord but in such a small body tube one needs to make sure it is placed far enough in so the nose cone can still fit fully when ready to launch. Also they give a huge 12" -have replaced it with a 6" as it has failed to deploy a lot. This rocket is ideal for a starter kit as it is durable enough to take landings without parachute deployment and fly again and again. In 2 just about 2 months have easily logged over a dozen flights. Mainly on 1/2A engines. Had never used the screw on engine mounts before and was concerned when I couldn't close all the way on maiden flight. This has been similar to experiences with other similar Estes rockets. After 1-2 flights the motor mount breaks in and it allows the retention screw to be turned all the way.

About the Launch Pad - legs of tripod made of wood & launch rod positioned in a fixed upright angle. So the only way to compensate for wind is to put something under the leg(s) of the tripod. Launched 20+ mini engine Estes and one Alpha 3 without problems. For 1/2A engines the lack of adjustability does not hurt recovery efforts much. 

About the Launch Controler - reminded me of the old gray Solar Launcher that I used to have because of the 4 AA batteries that it uses

Pros: Cheap, easy to build, durable

Cons: 12" parachute too big (IMHO), screw on motor retention ring too tight at first, launch pad too small for regular rockets + non adjustable for wind compensation

Would be nice: don't try to pass off packaging as a range box, replace 12" chute with a 6" chute or streamer recovery system


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