FlisKits - Tri-Glide {Kit}

Contributed by Joe Policy

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Diameter: 1.64 inches
Length: 23.40 inches
Manufacturer: FlisKits
Skill Level: 3
Style: Glider
FlisKits Tri-Glide

Brief:
A unique kit where the body tube has no fins but uses the fins from three attached gliders instead.

Construction:
The parts list:

  • 1 nose cone
  • 1 18" body tube
  • 1 18mm motor tube
  • 2 centering rings
  • 1 engine hook
  • 1 engine block
  • 1 16" parachute, plastic
  • 1 shroud line
  • 1 set tape disks
  • 1 elastic shock cord
  • 1 Kevlar® shock cord
  • 1 launch lug
  • 3 pin lugs
  • 1 screw eye
  • 1 strip basswood
  • 1 fin stock, balsa
  • 3 foam gliders
  • 3 decals for foam gliders
  • 1 fin pattern sheet
  • 1 set of instructions

Quality instructions make this an easy kit to build. Motor mount assembly is standard with the Kevlar® shock cord attached directly to the mount which all but ensures it will not detach even under the harshest of ejections.

This rocket actually has some very tiny fins on the body tube, but they are there only to keep the gliders stable during flight. I had a little trouble ensuring that the "fins" were perpendicular to each other as shown in the instructions, they tended to want to spread out into a "V" pattern, so take your time on this step.

Small launch lugs are used as the mounts for the gliders. You cut out the pins for the gliders from the included basswood strip. I had to sand my pins down just a bit so that they did not fit quite so tightly into the lugs because if they are too tight, the gliders will not deploy. The body tube gets a parachute for its recovery.

The gliders themselves form the fins for this rocket. My gliders fit quite well together, but the instruction do say you may have to sand the wings a bit to get a perfect triangle. The gliders are pre-formed Styrofoam so you do not need to trim them at all and they fly quite well left as is.

Finishing:
I did not have any paints that I could use on Styrofoam, so I used different colored Sharpie markers to color mine. The body of the rocket is quite easy to finish, especially since they really are no fins to speak of. Although decals were included for the gliders, I chose not to use them.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Flight:
Launch day was a bit windy, so I was concerned because the gliders caught the breeze a bit and moved around some. First flight was on a B6-4. It weather cocked a bit but was a surprisingly straight flight. Ejection was close to apogee and two gliders came off while one stuck to its mount and came down with the body tube under parachute. Everything was retrieved.

I sanded a little more off the pin on the stuck glider. The second flight was with a C6-5 and all three gliders detached and glided down. The C6-5 is almost too much motor as the gliders are fairly small and became very hard to see.

Recovery:
The gliders fly quite well. They are very light, so they are affected by winds but have a fairly steep glide angle and are easy to recover. The carrier comes down via parachute. No problems noted.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
There are four things to keep track of on this rocket for recovery! It helps to have some friends with you if you are launching with bigger motors. The is a fun kit to build and the gliders are an interesting alternative to putting fins on the body tube.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Flights

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