Vaughn Brothers - Stretch Blobbo {Kit}

Contributed by Jerry Davis

Manufacturer: Vaughn Brothers
(Contributed - by Jerry Davis)

A longer version of the VB Blobbo, also upgraded to a 24 mm motor mount, designed to fly on relatively small fields.

Comes with one 14" body tube, 8.25" ogive plastic nose cone, three 1/32" G10 fiberglass fins with TTW tabs, two plywood centering rings, 24" of 1/4" elastic shock cord attached via a coated shock cord mount to the motor block, and an 18" nylon parachute.

VB's instructions are a bit terse, with few illustrations, but complete and in the correct order. I found this kit easy and quick to build. The G10 fins are nice, but surprisingly for TTW designs do not extend to the motor mount, which would have provided greater strength if you could get it glued right. A design modification might be to go with a longer motor mount and a third centering ring, allowing the aft ring to be added after the inner fin fillets are applied... but maybe this is getting more robust than other parts warrant. The body tube is not precut for the TTW fin mount; I would recommend doing this carefully since it helps to have a good fit. I did make a few modifications: a longer engine mount to handle Estes E9 engines (I had to modify a motor retainer to match its 95-mm length), Kevlar® heat shield cloth (wadding replacer) and a Kevlar® shock-cord sheath. Required supplies are typical: CA adhesive, epoxy, medium sandpaper and spray enamel.

Finishing is very simple. This isn't a scale model, so you don't really need to worry about the paint job. And if it looks funny, well all the better; this is after all called a "blobbo."

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

I have flown this thing three times, using two motors, both Estes: D12-5 (2 flights) and E9-6 (1 flight). All flights have been excellent, pretty straight, and great fun to watch. Since I've used Kevlar® cloth and it has a motor retention hook, preparation has been very simple. This is a rocket which will make you like the much-maligned Estes D12 (assuming it doesn't CATO). I got inspired to write this review after flying it late in the afternoon on a D12-5, and the light was low enough that we could see the engine glow long after the initial boost.

On the third flight, we landed on a tin roof and that was enough to loosen one of the fins. You be the judge as to whether this means it needs a bigger parachute. If it were the next size up, it might have drifted too far, so it's a tough call.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

I like this rocket. PROS: very nice flight on a D12-5 at a somewhat limited field (middle school lot). CONS: fin tabs should go to the engine mount.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5


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