Scratch - Los Alamos Chicken {Scratch} Original Design / Scratch Built

Contributed by Jeff Lane

Manufacturer: Scratch
(Contributed - by Jeff Lane - 04/19/08) Los Alamos Chick Portrait

Brief:
A large plastic Easter egg with nuclear waste-colored legs bustin' out. Since it's from Los Alamos, it's a mutant with three legs.

Construction:
The parts include:

  • 1 8" diameter Easter egg ($1 post-Easter sale at Hobby Town).
  • 1 2" diameter Christmas wrapping paper tube
  • 1 29mm thin-wall Apogee motor tube
  • 2 foamcore centering rings
  • 1 motor clip
  • Kevlar® and elastic shock cord
  • 1/4" plywood main legs
  • 1/8" plywood toes

It took about 5 hours to build. The plywood was cut out with a power jigsaw, then two coats of Giant Leap Megafoam was poured on each side of the plywood. The "overfoam" was cut off all around using the plywood as a guide, then an orbital power sander was used to fine-shape the foam. Some half-cured Megafoam was dribbled around the joints where the two side "toes" are glued on. This serves as good reinforcement and also makes for a yummy "guts" look. The 29mm motor mount is a standard build, with Kevlar® shock cord. The legs were glued to the 2" scrap Christmas paper core using wood glue, which was the hardest part of the build. Slots were cut in the bottom of the plastic egg with a Dremel and the leg-and-tube assembly was slid in and glued using Gorilla glue. Each time it has landed so far, a leg needs to be glued back on.

(Scratch) Los Alamos Chicken(Scratch) Los Alamos Chicken

(Scratch) Los Alamos Chicken(Scratch) Los Alamos Chicken

(Scratch) Los Alamos ChickenFlight and Recovery:
The first flight was on an E23-2, but it CATOed and ejected the chute on the pad. It wasn't big enough anyway, so second flight was on a G71-4 Redline, which worked fine. Minimum recommended motor is an F72-2. Recovery system space limits motors to fairly short ones. An H128 wouldn't fit unless you wanted "featherweight" recovery.

Prep is normal. Wadding and chute. Tight fit required changing elastic after second flight from scorching.

Flight path is a lazy corkscrew (see video). Recovery is good on a 54-inch chute.

Summary:
The good: it's fun. One comment I especially liked: "It looks like something from Heavy Metal"

The bad: it's heavy and draggy, so it doesn't get much altitude.


Videos

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