Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Published: 2012-11-06
Manufacturer: Aerotech
Style: Sport

Brief

This is Aerotech\'s semi-scale model of the IQSY Tomahawk sounding rocket.

Components

The kit includes: 

  • 1 slotted body tube
  • 1 payload section
  • Plastic nosecone
  • 4 plastic fins 
  • 2 FIN-LOK rings
  • 29mm motor tube
  • 2 centering rings
  • Tube coupler
  • Bulkhead
  • 2 screw eyes
  • Motor hook
  • Ejection gas baffle
  • Stainless mesh \"wadding\"
  • Thrust ring
  • Thrust ring flange 
  • Black elastic shock cord
  • 2 launch lugs
  • 24mm motor adapter kit
  • Decal sheet
  • Tomahawk plan drawn by G. Harry Stine
  • Box that doubles as a work/display stand
  • Instructions

Construction

Pros - A very easy kit for the mid power novice to assemble. Makes a great first scale kit.

 

Cons - Shares very few building techniques with kits from other manufacturers due to Aerotech\'s proprietary FIN-LOK fin mounting system. The included launch lugs are bulky and detract from the sleek lines of the completed rocket.

Finishing

Construction of the Tomahawk was very easy given Aerotech\'s excellent instructions. All building was done with the recommended medium viscosity CA, which provided ample working time for all construction steps. I deviated from the instructions a bit, first by replacing the kit shock cord with 15 feet of 750lb Kevlar cord, and second by attaching the nose cone with 3 button head screws rather than gluing it in place to allow th payload section to be utilized. All other construction was per the kit instructions using kit parts.

Finishing the rocket was easy, again due to the xcellent kit instructions. Aerotech even includes a section on how to make the rocket look more scale. They refer to the blueprint so keep it handy while finishing the rocket. Miimal sanding is required to achieve a good finish due to the plastic fins. I chose not to fill the body tube spirals on mine. Painting is easy with minimal masking needed - one fin is painted black, that\'s it. 

The decals are of the self-sticking vinyl variety. There is one wrap-around for the instrument bay and four to represent the fin bolt plates. I recommend double-checking the blueprint to ensure these go on properly. Once applied they make a tremendous difference in the rocket\'s appearance.

Construction Score: 4

Flight

Because of Aerotech\'s baffle system no wadding or dog barf are required. Launch prep is as simple as packing the shock cord and parachute into the body and installing a motor.Installing the motor can be fun because the motor clip is very strong and can be tough to pull back. Once you have the hang of it the job becomes easy. Built per instructions the clip fits perfectly into the slot of an Aerotech 29/40-120 motor case. Even with the strong spring I still recommend using a zip tie or similar to keep everything in place.

My first flight used a G80 reload. It was an amazing, fast launch followed by a perfect flight to about 3,000 feet (estimated). Ejection occurred just after apogee.

Recovery

Aerotech includes a high quality 22\" yellow nylon parachute that is a perfect choice for this rocket. Deployment was perfect resulting in a slow (2+ minutes), gentle descent. The rocket came down about 250\' from the pad and suffered no damage at all despite the rock hard desert playa.

Flight Rating: 5

Summary

This was a good choice for my entry mid-power and scale rocketry. I highly recommend it to anyone lookingfor an easy to build, fun to fly kit.

Overall Rating: 5

Flights

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