Scratch - Der Red Bird Max Zero {Scratch} Original Design / Scratch Built

Contributed by Brian Ray

Manufacturer: Scratch

A scratch, goonified homage to both the Der Red Max and Blue Bird Zero.

My primary components were:

  • PNC-60 (Big Bertha NC)
  • 18” Aluminum foil tube – it was a virtually perfect BT-60
  • BT-50 – 3” for motor mount
  • Cardstock centering rings
  • 4 balsa BBZ fins, drawn and cut by hand.
  • Elastic shock cord.
  • Hartle Engineering parachute

This was a simple build and followed a typical pattern of construction throughout. It did take some effort to align the upper and lower fins, but it wasn’t overly challenging.

All of the paint was Wal-Mart spray paint. The decals were the most fun part of the project. I had originally intended to make this a goonified version of the Blue Bird Zero but changed my mind when I saw the EMRR Family Photo Contest. I decided to combine it with the Red Max theme. I made the decals myself incorporating aspects of each. The decals were printed on Avery label paper and clear coated after application.

This rocket has flown once on a D12-5 and it flew great. Recovery was a little rough, however. The DRBMZ came down quicker than I anticipated based on the size of the chute. When it landed I saw why -- a hole had been melted in the plastic chute and another portion had melted together. There was no significant damage, however. Two of the lower fins were loosened on impact but will be easily repaired. This rocket will definitely fly again, hopefully many more times.

A great rocket. It was fun to build and flies well. It has a distinctive look that hearkens back to two of Estes’ more famous creations, and does so in goony way.

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