Binder Design - Galaxy {Kit}

Contributed by Todd Bavery

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Manufacturer: Binder Design

Brief:
Designed for the advanced builder and sport flyer, the Galaxy is a 4" dia. High Power Rocket with a retro look. It comes with unique aluminum nozzle and motor retainer and rail buttons! Fly it on an H or I for your Level 1 certification, and then stick a J or K motor in it for your Level 2 flight and watch it scream.

Picture courtesy of Binder Design
Rocket Pic

Construction:

Kit includes:

  • cut and sanded 3/16" aircraft quality plywood fins
  • high strength airframe tube and couplers
  • centering rings
  • bulkhead plate
  • high quality hardware package (including rail guides)
  • 54 mm motor tube
  • plastic nose
  • computer designed and cut vinyl decals
  • 60" premium nylon X-parachute

With the instruction manual being very thorough, all you need to be able to do is read left to right. The longest part of this project was the building of the aft section. The fin can assembly allowed for the building of great internal fillets, the slower I went produced terrific results. As the instructions tell you, the care that you take during these steps will insure a well built and solid rocket. I found that a hand sander and dremel came in very handy.

I used the Slim Line motor retainer that was included with the kit. I am sold on these, and plan on using them in all future rockets. It is sleek, easy to use and assemble, stronger, and better looking than masking tape. I originally planned on using motor ejection, so I stayed away from the optional avionics kit. However, now I know I am ready for electronics so it will save me a lot of walking in the future.

I took my time and made sure that the rocket was going to be solid because I wanted to be able to use the maximum recommended motor, a K550W. The rocket weighed in at 4.0 lbs. loaded and ready to go (sans motor).

Finishing:
I had built this stock, so my intentions were to finish it exactly as shown in the instructions. After sanding and prep, I applied two coats of primer followed by three coats of finishing paint, using chrome paint for the entire rocket. The nose cone tip was finished in red gloss paint. Binder Design provides excellent decals to finish the rocket and give it a great look. On top of that, since this was the first Galaxy ever sold, Mike provided to me a '#1' decal.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Picture courtesy of Binder Design    
Rocket Pic

Flight:
My level 2 certification flight was set for a Tripoli Launch in Walcott, IA. There were 5 NAR levels 2 or higher certified flyers there & they all helped me in some way in preparing for the flight. The day was about as perfect as you could have. Having obtained my LEUP earlier this summer and just passed the test for Illinois explosives. I was ready for my first 54MM motor, a J415. Rocksim had the rocket reaching apogee at 6273 feet.

Having built the motor and installed into the rocket, I was ready to pack the recovery system. Using motor ejection and a single chute I knew that it was going to be a little risky, however the great weather that day convinced me that I was going to be fine. With no electronics on board, this was going to be a straight ahead launch.

As I mentioned, the rocket is quite impressive when finished and I believe this was the only Level 2 launch of the day so it attracted a fair amount of attention. It was loaded on the rail and we were ready to go. With he wind coming at about 5 miles an hour out of the NW, I adjusted the angle of the pad to take advantage of the wind and keep the rocket out of the neighboring corn field.

It looked great lifting off the pad, straight as an arrow with no wobbling whatsoever. The Galaxy took all that the J415 would give her.

Recovery:

I was able to see the separation and chute deployment. As the rocket descended, I told myself that next time I would be using electronics and dual deployment. Coming down from 6300 feet, there was a little more drift than I would have liked. It was headed for the corn field. I thought to myself, "Here we go again...walking corn rows." I quickly got up on the roof of my van and then grabbed a set of binoculars to get a good line of sight. After an hour and 20 minutes I was able to locate the Galaxy near the adjacent farm house.

Other than a little dirt and mud, the rocket was in perfect condition. Returning to the launch area, people were surprised that I was able to find it & equally amazed that the rocket went as high as it did while landing without a scratch. It was one of the more memorable flights of the day and I was certified Level 2.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
The Binder Design Galaxy is a rocket that you will not only have fun building, but enjoy it more watching it scream off of the launch pad. I can't wait to see what Mike comes up with next in his "Fisher Premium" series of kits.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

avatar
C.K. (November 7, 2003)
I bought this kit because it looked so cool! Like all the Binder kits the directions were very detailed. I built mine with the avionics bay so I could dual deploy. I did do some additional strengthening of the kit and put a layer of carbon fiber on the fins. I was a little worried about the holes in the fins causing flutter but that turned out to not be a problem. I flew it on a K700 for the first (sadly the last) flight and it flew perfectly! No fin flutter but being so light it was gone pretty quickly. Did see an apogee event and main deployment but it got lost in the corn. I'll never fly without a tracker again! Anyway, a great kit that flies great. I'm building another one that will have a tracker in it!

comment Post a Comment