This is a review of the first production Derecho kit from Starlight Rocketry. It is a single 18mm powered bird with 6 tube fins.
I started by reading through the 3 pages of instructions. Illustrations appeared to be hand drawn but that is by
no means a bad thing. They were very well done. The instructions over all were straight forward and easy to understand.
The first step is the assembly of a standard 18mm motor mount. No need for pics...I think we have all built 1 or 2.
Next we work on the 6 tube fins. These are glued together in pairs. I gave each 3" tube a light scuffing before I glued them together.
Now we move on to some recovery system work. This rocket has a transition and that's where the screw eye goes. Here is where we hit the first small snag. The transition already has a hole in the center...and it's way too big for the teeny tiny screw eye supplied by Starlight. No big deal...i'll just move off to the side a bit.
Motor mount installation was next and here was another slight snag. More of an incomplete sentence really.
Quote from step 4.
Quote:"Apply a bead of glue about 1/2" or so inside one end of the 13 3/8" long BT10 tube. Then take the motor mount assembly and smoothly slide it in with the thrust ring facing the tube end until the 2 tube ends"
That's it. I am assuming it should end with "are flush" or "near flush". I built mine so it
hung out 1/4" for easier access.
Tube fin installation....The tube fins are installed a pair at a time flush with the end of the body tube.
Now here is where I went bad...I deviated from the instructions!!! But only a little bit. Instead of putting the launch lug ahead of the tube fins I actually put it between a couple. It just looks better. Sorry Bob!!
I had no interest in payloading so I went ahead and glued the transition and the nose cone into the upper body tube. Great balsa cone and transition BTW.
All that's left at this point is to install the shock cord mount and assemble and install the chute.
Starlight uses the 3 hole glue in mount. I like it better than the trifold system but I still prefer to attach a piece of kevlar to the motor mount and then tie the elastic cord to the kevlar. I built this one as per the instructions and it seems very sturdy.
I then assembled and installed the chute. The supplied chute is a 12" mylar and is perfectly suited to this bird.
Overall I would give the instructions and components a 4 out of 5. I am sure Bob will take care of the issues noted in this review. On to paint!
OOPS...almost forgot...here she is "nekkid". Well...almost nekkid...I had started masking.
The short and sweet is that she flew great on both a B6-4 and C6-5 though the C6 put her out of sight. Next time she launches on a C it will be with a streamer! Flight is 5 out of 5 all the way.