Aerotech - HV Arcas {Kit} (89012) [1989-]

Contributed by John Yurcina

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Manufacturer: Aerotech
Style: Sport

Brief:
A great scale model of the HV ARCAS sounding rocket. Nothing more to say!

Construction:
This kit came with two body tubes, four fins, three centering rings made of "aerofibre" material, and a large hollow plastic nose cone.

The instructions that came with this kit were *very* easy to follow.... Everything fit into place as planned, I had no problems. I used 30-minute epoxy and medium CA throughout the entire construction. I would say to deviate from the instructions and use epoxy throughout the entire process, as epoxy is muuucccchhh stronger than CA. The method of securing the parachute to the shock cord seems a little cheap to me. I would suggest a different attachment method.

Finishing:
The body tubes had a very shallow and narrow spiral groove that was easy to fill with Elmers Fill and Finish.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
The first flight for this rocket (and my first larger than D flight) was on an Aerotech G35-7W. Nice, straight, and LOUD! The included baffle unit worked very well, and the supplied motor hook worked fine also. One suggestion, TAKE OFF THE LABEL ON THE MOTOR! I had to literally crush the used motor casing to get it out! And I wanted to save it....

Recovery:
My only gripe about recovery is the method of attaching the parachute to the shock cord. Seems a little shoddy. And my chute got tangled on the way down, no damage though. Just spent a while untangling the chute.....

Flight Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary:
GREAT first MPR rocket. I especially like the thick plastic fins, I hate having to seal and sand plywood and balsa fins. I also like large rockets, and this suits me just fine.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

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A.I. (June 1, 2000)
I got this as one of my first mid-power rockets. I was a little disappointed that is had the same body tube and nose cone as the Initiator (which I also have) but it wasn't a big deal. It was fairly easy to build. The 29/24mm converter needs some sanding to put the rings on but it's always more fun to just use the 29mm engines anyway! I never got around to painting it... at least not yet but I've launched it two times, first on an E30, it did fine. A nice, slow lift off. And then on an F-25 which it got some altitude. However the bulkhead that holds the upper half of the rocket on to the bottom half ripped out and the top fell about 1000 ft into mud (but it was not damaged luckily the lower half drifted on the parachute and actually snapped a fin in half (they are plastic). Overall, the rocket is easy to build and fly.
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D.P. (July 1, 2001)
Aerotech supplies great products. I got this kit for Christmas, what a great gift, a rocket! The construction was simple, everything fit nicely. Flying is something else. So far I have flown the Arcas on an F39-6T and an F52-5T. The first flight,(the F39)totally ignored the rod angle and went straight up. There was no harm though, as we had a big field. On the second flight however, the Arcas again ignored the angle and went straight up, deployed at apogee, and drifted on the large chute into the woods. We searched for it with no luck until the next day, and it was low enough to pull down. The chute is too big! I am switching to a 24" chute for it's next launch. I agree with the review. It is a great flier, just make sure you choose a non-windy day because it's going straight up any way!
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J.F. (August 1, 2001)
This is a great rocket and easy to build. Very sturdy. I've already painted mine about 3 different times. Just can't make up my mind. I've always fired mine with a G35-7w and believe me its up there. That's the problem, even on a calm day it will drift a good 1/4 mile after the chute is deployed. On a breezy day you better be prepared to walk. I've shot mine about a half a dozen times and I have 4 more motors to burn. After that its going into retirement.
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J.C. (September 15, 2003)
The Aerotech HV ARCAS is an excellent candidate for a Level 1 HPR that doesn't need extensive modifications. Instead of CA, use 15 to 30 minute epoxy for construction, place the engine block up to the nine inch mark inside the motor mount tube to allow enough space for 29mm reload motors, add an Aeropack Motor Retainer to the motor mount tube, and get yourself a 30 inch Spherachute for recovery. That's it. You can keep the ejection baffle system if you're so inclined and you won't have to worry about wadding. Indeed, the most difficult part of construction was adding the fin can for scale appearance. This rocket flies beautifully on G-35-4 single use motors, F40 and G64 reloads, and flies like a bat-out-of-hell on H165 Redlines. I certified with the Redline and the rocket screams off the pad straight as an arrow and returns close to the launch site on every flight. With her clean lines, the red and white paint job, and the strong plastic fins, you've got a nice tall rocket, with beautiful lines, fantastic performance, and rugged dependability.
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J.S.P. (September 23, 2003)
I have had my Arcas for over 10 years now and I still love it! I usually fly it with a reload (always G) and I've never had any problem with it whatever. I just repainted it simply due to the fact that after 10 years the white was kind of off-white and the red was a little dinged up, and it looks as good as the day I first finished it. I can't wait to fly it again!
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R.W.L. (March 2, 2007)
This was one of my first mid-power rockets as well. The fin-lock system went together nicely, and the baffle was a nice touch. This was such a lovely rocket to fly on Aerotech SU G25 motors -- if you can get your hands one one, I'd highly recommend it for this rocket.

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