Ed Rodrigo's ~RL-001-SR | Mystery Unit (legacy)
When and where this rocket was purchased is long forgotten, although it was very likely at Penn Valley Hobbies in Lansdale PA, with my grown son Peder, when he was a kid.
This rocket that refused to die, though goodness knows we've tried. We've had this rocket for over 10 years. I believe it was originally an E2X kit, although the name of the kit is long forgotten. Basically, you mate a BT-55 body tube to a 2-piece Estes fin can, add an NC-56 nose cone, and as long as you can find the pieces, you can fly her again. The lower launch lug is cast into the fin can, and the upper launch lug is connected to the plastic tube coupler, which the chute cord is tied to. One of Estes simplest, and most robust design.
This rocket lost at least an inch of the original body tube due to many hard landings, so she's about as short as you can get at this point, but she still flies gracefully. She's been extensively gerrymandered with scotch tape and super glue just to hold her together, but her finish still sparkles, and after over a decade she's as solid as she was when she came out of the original package.
Her last flight took place in the last day of summer, in a steady rain. Her original elastic shock cord had finally burned through, and she came down in two pieces. Once again she landed near the launch pad, we found all the pieces, and was miraculously recovered. From that day forward, this rocket is named the "Mystery Unit", and as of 5 September 2011, on Labor Day, she is officially retired. When I build a display rack, she will be placed in a position of honor in memory of many flights, on so many sunny days. Despite the vicissitudes of fortune, and the discomfort of old age, she flew one last time, and she flew well. Perhaps the most important thing you could say about the Mystery Unit is that she made kids happy until her last flight. So it is altogether fitting that, on that last rainy day of summer, after many days of making children happy, she was finally able to rest.
She's an incredible rocket. Long may she fly!
What You Can Do