Public Enemy - SS-Arrow (4)

Contributed by John Coker

Manufacturer: Public Enemy
(Contributed - by John Coker) 

Note: For more SA-14 Archer pictures, visit John's site.

[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 the 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. 

I had a hard time finding any information on this rocket for a scale paint job. I ended up copying the paint job from other rocket kits, so it's colorful but I can't claim accuracy. The decals are all homemade on an ALPS MD-1000 and the three red bands are painted. 

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]One 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! (See the picture of my Honest John in progress.) 

Flights

Comments:

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A.M.C. (January 1, 2001)
I liked the SS Arrow kit. It is extremely similar to the NCR SA-Archer kit, and probably has a different name for copyright reasons. The overall quality was good, but the instructions were a bit terse - a single sheet with one diagram. On the other hand, it's not a complex kit. I didn't add any nose weight. I retro-fitted mine with the PML PMR system, which is a bit hard to get aligned but works fine. I put PML plastic rivets in to hold the nose cone, for a more secure fit than friction fitting, while still allowing access to a possible payload bay. This was the first kit I built in the 4" class, the first with epoxy, the first High Power kit and my Level 1 Certification rocket. The maiden/cert flight was nerve racking but went very well.

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