Public Enemy Performer

Public Enemy - Performer

Contributed by Bert Garrison

Manufacturer: Public Enemy
(Contributed - by Bert Garrison) 

I am quite fortunate to live in the High Desert of California.  Only 90 miles from the Lucerne dry lake, home of ROC , Rocketry Organization of California. While at one of my first group launches I met Roy Weid of Public Enemy Rockets.  He always shows up with his trailer of bargain priced rocket kits.  I picked up the 3" Performer with a 38mm motor tubeat the April 11th launch after  the wind blew us off the playa. 

The rocket stands 67" and has a 3" body tube. Est. weight is 1.5 lbs. Mine came out to 2.1 lbs (all that paint...LOL)[Picture]

The kit comes complete with 1/8 " plywood fins, MDF centering rings and bulkhead, yellow virgin craft paper tubes, nylon webbing and 3/8" black shock cord, rip stop nylon 24" chute, blow molded nose cone, ½ inch copper launch lugs (beveled to a 45) and hardware for connecting the shock cord. 

The instruction sheet is one page with a diagram on the back.  This is not a beginners kit. Some basic knowledge of Medium and High powered rocket construction is required to build a safe High performance rocket. The instructions are simple and basic construction is laid out in easy to read order. You can do a lot to this kit in the way of payload and other modifications. The choice of motor retention is left up to you. 

I used a belt/disk combination sander to put 45’s on the two fin edges of the three plywood fins. 

Next I followed the directions and epoxied the no. 1 centering ring to the motor tube. The rigs are marked and the no. 3 has a notch cut out for clearance of the shock strap webbing. Don't forget to slide the no. 2 ring on the motor tube before you epoxy the shock strap no.3 ring on!!! 

After cleaning out the dado grooves in the body tube, I dry fit the fins for alignment and everything looked good. I used just a small amount of thick CA to "Tack the fins in their aligned position. I then slid the assembly out of the body tube and used West System epoxy on all the joints. When the epoxy had set (overnight) I slid the assembly back into the body tube and epoxied it in place. Be sure and save some of the body tube material that you take out of the dado groves, you can use it to fill the gap behind the fins. 

I used The West System epoxy and a filleting compound to make my fillets.  A pop sickle stick works perfect for the radius of the fillet. 

[Picture]The payload section builds fast. Simply epoxy the eyebolt into the bulkhead and the bulkhead to the coupler. I poured an 1/8 " of epoxy onto the bulkhead top and bottom for security. Epoxy the coupler/bulkhead assembly into the payload tube 3". This will give you 16" of usable payload space for whatever your heart desires. I used screws to hold the nose cone in place. 

Glue the copper launch lugs in the location marked on the tube.  Be sure and scuff the copper and tube where the epoxy will contact.  I used the same fillet formula as I used on the fins. 

I drilled a 1/8" vent hole in the body tube just above the motor tube and one just below the nose cone in the payload section. 

The Performer was finished entirely with Krylon. The purple, black, white, black and purple scheme is set on Krylon flat white. "Crystal Clear" covers the purple and white and "Satin" clear covers the black. 

The maiden flight was out at Lucerne on the 18th of April. I selected a G80-7W for the first launch. I plan to certify level one with this rocket which is why I selected the 38mm version. Roy will give you a 29mm tube and centering ring for adapting 29mm motors, just ask.  I prepped the rocket and installed a 30" chute. The kit comes with a 24" chute, but calm winds and heavy (3lbs fully loaded) rocket pushed me to the 30".[Picture]

The rocket flew great! Lift off was "ALA" Saturn V, but once she got moving she flew straight. Good chute at apogee and a landing only inches from the flight line! 

All in all I liked this kit very much. Keeping in mind what I paid, $45 plus tax, it is a great bargain. The quality of all the components was excellent. The centering rings and bulkhead were perfectly round and fit the tubes nicely. There is plenty of room for you to customize your kit the way you want, be it motor retention or electronics. I give this kit 4 ½ points on the Essence scale.I picked up the 74" performer 3" for dual stage deployment.. I'll let you know how that kit goes together!  I'm already pleasantly surprised. 

Other Reviews
  • Public Enemy Performer By Aaron Stanley

    Brief: This is your basic high power rocket. It would be great for L1 or L2 certification attempts. It came with a 36 inch body tube and an 18 inch payload bay, the fins are 1/8" Baltic birch, the centering rings are fiberboard but once you have a layer of 15 minute epoxy on there good and strong, the motor tube was a 38mm and the parachute is an orange 36 inch parachute. The way the ...



R.B.W. (May 2, 2003)
Very good review. I purchased a Performer and have been very pleased with it. This kit is not for the beginner but is no particular challenge to build. The first launch using a G40-7 was great. Slow long burn and very good altitude. The chute was dead at the top. I will continue to shop with Public Enemy in the future.
K.A.C. (May 12, 2005)
I bought the dual stage deployment version off of Magnum rocketry. Like said in other articles, this is not a beginner?s rocket. I decided to not use the altimeter bay that came with it, but rather cut off 1" of the tube off and slide it over a coupler. This makes it easier to install everything. The rocket did get painted fairly quickly after sitting in my garage for half of a year. Well I really like this kit and I'm going to fly it in two days at Southern Thunder in Manchester, TN if it doesn't get rained out. This is the kit that I plan to certify L1 as a Junior. I don't think that I'll do it at ST2005 though.

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