|Manufacturer:||North Coast Rocketry|
This is one of the biggest North Coast Rocket rockets made and is fairly challenging to build. This is not a beginner rocket in any way.
All parts were in the box in good shape upon inspection of them. One thing you need to make sure to do is get a length of LOC 29mm motor tubing to replace the 28.5mm NCR tubing. This way you can use Aerotech motors and Kosdon motors in the rocket too, that is what I did.
The instructions were ok, some places were not written very well so I had to read over them a few times to get what they were saying, there were illustrations for nearly every step, which I found to be a big help on the parts that were hard to understand. I do recommend putting some t-nuts in the aft centering ring, this way you can retain Aerotech and Kosdon motors in the rocket as the NCR retainer will not work for the other motors.
The rocket was pretty easy to build except for one part. Which was the conduit. They want you to sand a contour out so it will fit neatly on to the 4" tube when you glue it on. So I tapped some 80 grit sand paper on to the tube down the whole length and started sanding away. They came out pretty well, not that you can see the bottom once it is glued on anyway. Other then that it was rather easy to build. Just use epoxy through-out the construction process. One other note, MAKE sure to get the centering rings lined up right so the fins will go through the wall! If you don't, then it won't go together right.
Finishing was pretty easy. The decals were pretty nice. I would recommend getting some soapy water to put them on since they are rather big. This way you can move the decal around on the rocket once you have put it on. Also make sure to put a good clear coat on after the decals have dried to protect them and the finish!
Construction Rating: 4 out of 5
For the first flight I choose the Aerotech G64-4 White Lightning reload. Prepping was easy, just put a good amount of recovery wadding in! Then I packed the nice 36" red nylon chute and put that on and then the cone. Next I put the motor in and put my retaining clips on and took it out to the pad. On ignition it started off very nicely, then at about 20 feet it started doing cartwheels in the air, then after a few seconds of that it fell to the ground and the ejection charge went off. Once I retrieved the rocket I looked at the back end wondering what happened, and saw that the casing had burned through! There was some minor damage to the motor tube, the end was burnt pretty badly and some of the centering ring was burned badly, but is fixable. I then sent the casing and motor back to Aerotech and they did not replace it because the 'aft o-ring got pinched', to say the least I am not very happy about that. I will fly again, but next time on Kosdon power!
The shock cord was mounted to a steel cable which was mounted to the forward centering ring. I find this method to be the BEST! It is very strong and it can't burn! The shock cord was 10 feet of 1" nylon elastic. Which I think is fine. But I did not get to test it on recovery due to the poor flight. I will give 4 points for flight as it was doing very good until the burn through in the case.
Flight Rating: 4 out of 5
Overall the NCR Patriot is a good kit. It is not all that hard either. I rate this a four overall. If they had a bit better directions and a better way to put the conduit on it would get a 5.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5