The Binder Design Raptor is a single stage 4 inch diameter kit. It has a 54mm motor mount and comes with high quality paper body tubes and laser cut fins.
The Raptor came with two 36" body tubes and an Ace nose cone. The body tubes are paper and BSD style with a glassine coating. It comes with one paper coupler, one bulkhead, 3 plywood centering rings, two eyebolts, 2 quick links, 18 feet of tubular nylon, and a 45" Top Flight parachute. It had three sets of four fins. The fins are 3/16" aircraft plywood and come laser cut and sanded. It came with one nice white vinyl decal that said 'Raptor'.
One definite pro to this kit was the extensive instructions, which included directions on how to make it dual deploy and adapt it for use with Hypertek hybrid motors. It had good drawings that showed exactly what to do and left nothing to chance. Another thing that was good about this kit was the you had to slot the tubes yourself, which was actually rather easy with a Dremel. It is also easily done with a sharp X-Acto knife. One thing we did in this kit is fiberglass fillets on the fins to allow for a hard landing. The only downside was that it was hard to finish. Everything fit together perfectly with almost no need for sanding. To put it together, we just marked and slotted the tubes, tacked the fins in place with 5 minute epoxy, and then applied fiberglass fillets. One tip to align the fins is to use two clamps and a strip of wood attached to both set of fins. This will insure that they are perfectly lined up. The only con was that the directions did not include the rocket's CP, so when it came time for flight some assumptions had to be made. It really isn't that big of a deal as I had simmed it on RockSim and knew approximately where it was, but that is just one minor detail.
The kit is pretty easy to finish. The only thing for us was that we used fiberglass fillets, so it took a little Kilz primer and Elmer's Fill 'n' Finish to get it to look presentable. We painted ours yellow and blue. The decal is computer cut vinyl and says 'Raptor' in a pretty cool font of white letters. We were not able to apply ours as we peeled off the wrong side and the letters were messed up in the process. This kit looks pretty sharp once it is finished no matter what paint scheme you use.
Construction Rating: 5 out of 5
We have only flown it once for a successful level 1 certification and it was a beautiful flight. We used a Pro38 I285 with a 6 second delay. We also attached a Boostervision camera and got a nice video of the flight. One cool thing about the flight was that the split fin design caused a whistle after motor burnout. RockSim said about 2800 feet on that motor but we built it heavy so I would estimate about 2200-2400' for us.
One cool thing about this kit is the 18 feet of tubular nylon the manufacturer provides. I thought it was a nice touch. We used the supplied 45" parachute with main at apogee. The chute got tangle on the way down because the nosecone somehow got looped through a shroud line. The rocket was tough enough that it was fine though. I would say that chute is about perfect for this rocket.
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
This rocket is the pride of our fleet right now. It is very sharp looking and pretty big at 7 feet tall. The construction was fairly straightforward and the directions were wonderful. This kit can be easily modified for dual deploy with an electronics bay that can be bought from Binder Design. I would definitely recommend this rocket to anyone who is looking for something they can fly on a high range of motors. It can be launched on anything from a high thrust H to a K. Two thumbs up.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
( Contributed - by Bob Fortune) General The Binder Cobra (or the rocket formally known as Raptor) is a 4" x 84" rocket that comes stock with 54 mm motor mount. The rocket can be flown with a hybrid motor with additional 54 mm motor mount tube (not supplied) as it comes stock with about 14" of tube. Fins mount through the wall to the motor mount tube and are secured by ...