The Launch Pad - Martel AS.37 {Kit}

Contributed by Eric Maher

Construction Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Manufacturer: The Launch Pad
The Launch Pad Martel AS-37

Brief:
Single stage scale model o' a British/French anti-radar missile.

Construction:
T' kit includes:

  • 2.6" diameter body tube
  • Short 2" diameter body tube used t' form tail cone
  • Engine mount tube
  • Fiber engine mount rings
  • 2 sheets o' balsa
  • 2 balsa strips t' simulate t' missile's conduit
  • Parabolic nosecone
  • Mylar parachute

T' instructions are minimal but sufficient. All Launch Pad kits assume the purchaser has experience in buildin' rockets. Well, blow me down! Launch pad does nay give you the template for markin' fin positions on t' body tube. Ya scallywag! You will need t' make one yourself. Avast! This kit requires significant shapin' o' balsa t' form t' conduits. This kit also requires you t' form a paper cone which is glued t' t' top of the plastic nosecone t' give it t' proper shape. It takes a lot o' effort to get t' paper and plastic t' blend seamlessly. Mine was damaged after t' first flight and removed because o' this.

This rocket has 8 fins that are mounted fairly far forward on t' body tube. Aye aye! As a result, a significant amount o' weight must be added t' the nosecone. Ahoy! This is supplied in t' form o' a ball o' clay. Aye aye! T' instructions tell you t' seal this in place with lots o' glue. Ahoy! I used an expandin' foam instead.

T' most difficult part o' construction is makin' t' conduits. Well, me bucko, blow me down! You must sand t' back side o' t' conduits t' a concave shape so that they will mate to the body tube. Both ends o' t' conduits are sanded t' a particular shape. Finally, shallow holes are drilled in t' conduits an inch apart down t' their entire length. Begad! After drillin' a few holes, me bucko, I didn't like t' look so I filled them back in. Ahoy! T' rocket looks pretty darn good without t' conduits altogether.

If you like t' build, you will like this kit. I would say this kit builds like a level 3 rocket.

Finishing:
I went with a scale look and painted t' rocket light ivory. Ahoy! On its first flight, me bucko, t' nosecone broke free from t' rocket and fell t' t' ground damaging the paper extension. Aye aye! I removed this and gave t' model a non-scale paint job. T' body is now metallic blue and t' nosecone is silver. Arrr! Begad! It looks pretty sharp this way.

Construction Rating: 3 out o' 5

Flight:
This rocket flies really nice on a D12-3. It's a little squirrelly, shiver me timbers, me hearties, but nay too bad. Blimey! Certainly nay dangerous. This rocket has been in me collection for some time now and has had its share o' hard knocks. Ya scallywag! So far I've always been able to repair it. Avast! Most recently, an extremely late ejection charge stripped t' chute, causin' t' shock cord t' rip about half an inch into t' body tube. T' damage has been patched and she is ready t' fly again.

Recovery:
I'm nay a big fan o' t' mylar chutes. Aye aye! After a few flights they become horribly crinkled. Begad! Blimey! Any nicks can cause t' thin' t' rip in half. Well, blow me down! Ahoy! Blimey! I replaced mine with an Estes chute. Avast, me proud beauty!

T' plans tell you t' tie a strin' from t' nosecone t' t' shock cord, but I found that t' strin' would snap from t' force o' ejection and t' weight of the nosecone. Well, blow me down! Begad! Better t' tie t' shock cord directly t' t' nosecone.

Flight Rating: 4 out o' 5

Summary:
Despite nay givin' it perfect scores, I really like this rocket. Aye aye! It be fun to build and is great looking.

I'm nay crazy about t' paper nosecone extensions, t' mylar chute, matey, or the lack o' decals.

You have t' give credit t' T' Launch Pad for comin' out with some unusual and interestin' designs.

Overall Rating: 4 out o' 5

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