Double the fleet

As you may or may not recall, on a whim I bought a model rocket this fall. I used to launch them when I was in high school, hadn’t fiddled with them for years.

WP_000287Well, I got the model built but haven’t had a good chance to launch it yet. You need a nice clear day with little or no wind, and I haven’t had the right combination of weather and schedule. I’ll get to it eventually, although (because of the wind thing) it may take a while.

When I do get to launch, however, I’ll have not just one rocket, but two. Dad gave me a rocket for Christmas, a really great and thoughtful gift. The rocket on the left here, a Taser, is the one I bought this fall; the one on the right, an Alpha III, is the new addition. It was more fun to put together, because it made less use of plastic parts. The fin assembly was plastic, but the engine mount was paper and metal, and so was the launch lug. I still want to build the old-fashioned kind where the fins are balsa wood and you have to glue them onto the body tube.

The other nice bit of serendipity was that Dad bought me slightly more powerful engines. I had bought a three-pack of A8-3s, the recommended “first flight” engine for my Taser – and also, as it turns out, for the Alpha III. It’s a fairly common first-flight engine. Dad, with his gift, bought me a three-pack of B6-6 engines. So now, I can give each model its recommended first test flight with the less-powerful A8-3, with an engine to spare in case of misfire, and then have the more-powerful B6-6 to challenge the models for a later flight.