Public Enemy - Honest John {Kit} [?-?]

Contributed by John Coker

Manufacturer: Public Enemy
Style: Scale


[Rocket Pic]I wanted to try out Public Enemy's rocket kits after I got their catalog at a ROC launch. I like sport-scale rockets so I ordered the Honest John and SA-14 Archer kits. Public Enemy makes larger versions of both rockets, but I wanted the smaller ones so I could launch them at LUNAR ("H" motor maximum). Both kits use 38mm motor mounts. 

[Rocket Pic]The rocket flew for the first time at Balls 98 (August 1st) and did beautifully on a small I motor. 

The Kit

The kits were pretty standard high-power rocket kits. Public Enemy kits show evidence of more manual labor than other companies' kits and more attention to detail. The instructions are minimalist, but there isn't anything unusual about these kits. If you've built several other high-power kits, you'll have no problem. The instructions are a single page with no photographs and one overall diagram. 

[Rocket Pic]As in the feature of this kit I liked was the way the fin unit could be finished outside of the body tube. The centering rings are epoxied to the motor mount and just placed into the body tube. Then the fins are epoxied to the motor mount tube, but not to the body tube. The fin unit is then slid back out of the body tube. (The fin slots go all the way to the aft end of the body tube.) Now the fins can be filleted to the motor mount tube and centering rings without trying to reach inside the 3" body tube! 

Honest John History

[Rocket Pic]The Honest John was a simple, free-flight rocket (as opposed to a guided missile) capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. This highly mobile system was designed to fire like conventional artillery in battlefield areas. The rocket was 27 feet long, 30 inches in diameter, weighed 5,800 pounds, used a solid propellant and had a range of 12 miles. It was first fired at White Sands in 1951 and replaced by the Improved (M50) Honest John (left) in 1961 which reduced the system's weight, shortened its length, and increased its range. In July 1982, all Honest John rocket motors, launchers, and related ground equipment items were type classified obsolete. 

The above is from the Public Affairs Office White Sands Missile Range and the Redstone Arsenal Historical Information. [Link Dead]

"The centering material is made from MDF, not particleboard and is as strong as plywood for what it is being used for. The centering rings do not take much of the stress due to the internal structure of PER kits. Don't let this material fool you. It's good stuff." - Public Enemy Rockets - Roy



B.R. (January 1, 2001)
The only draw back to the Outlaw kit was particleboard centering rings and bulk heads. Particleboard is not as strong as Plywood and will fail much quicker. I know this because I am a PB and plywood salesman. For the money spent plywood should have been supplied. Everything else was perfect!! This review is very good.

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