Astrobee D Rocket kit
A big rocket, accurate in every detail.
Build this Astrobee D scale replica with a very complete and rich set of unique details.
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|Motor mount||29 mm|
|Recovery||55 cm and 75 cm nylon parachutes|
|Launch pad||high power rail|
|Recommended Engines||Aerotech Single use F50-4T, G38-4FJ, G40-4W, G79-4W, G80-4T. Aerotech RMS F40-4W, F52-5T, G53-FJ, G64-4W, G77-4R, G71-4R This is just our suggestion.. Many other motors can be used as recommended in the motor matrix included with the kit.|
A great model suitable for everyone.
The Aerotech Astrobee D is a kit that allows you to build a scale model of the American sounding rocket of the 60s.
The kit is very complete, like all Aerotech kits. Not only has the solutions adopted in all the others kits of the serie, such as the fins locking system, the permanent parachute protection, the screw-on metal motr retainer, but also has a rich series of plastic and metal details that reproduce the various parts of the real rocket.
The antennas near the nosecone are made in two parts, one in resin and the other in aluminum, and can be disassembled to avoide breaking them down during the flight; the launch guides of the real rocket are simulated with a plastic profiled bar that must be shaped, glued and painted in golden color, and screws and other details are simulated with a very complete set of self-adhesive decals.
Another special feature of this kit is that its payload section separates at ejection, and the rocket returns to the ground divided into two independent parts, each with its parachute.
As in the real rocket, the payload section can accomodate several things: photo- or video-cameras, electronic devices for measuring altitude or for transmission of flight data, other devices and experiments. The volume dedicated to the load is very wide, and the diameter of the template (66 mm) allows you to enter the loads easily.
The motor mount is 29 mm, and allows the use of numerous types of engine available in this diameter. Aerotech manufactures various single-use motors of F and G class suitable for this model, and of course you can use both Aerotech and Cesaroni reloadable motors.
If you do not mount the front block in the motor mount tube you can also use high-power motors, if you have the corresponding certification. For its size and weight the Astrobee D can fly safely with H engines, and you can use it for your certification flight.
The model is equipped with launch lugs for 6 mm rods. Given its weight and size, the launch pads that use this rod size are truly at the limit. The rod tends to flex, causing the effect known as "slingshot effect", for which the model tends to follow an arced trajectory. Aerotech suggests its Mantis launch pad, but from our experience we do not recommend it. Rockets of this type can safely take off only from rails, which ensure absolute rigidity. These launch pads are generally in use in rocketry clubs. To use the rail you will need to replace the launch lugs with rail guides.
When using composite engines, the only type of launch controller is a 12 volts one, such as the Aerotech Interlock Controller or the PS II Estes Launch Controller.
Aerotech kits have a complete set of solutions and construction details that brings them one step beyond all other mid-power kits of the same size. For this reason, and for the great care with which they are made, they appear to cost more than others, but being so complete does not require the purchase of additional parts, and to finish them you need only adhesive and colors.
Opening the box of one of these kits you will immediately notice the quantity and quality of the parts. The tubes are made of strong kraft cardboard, with pre-cut fins slots. The nose cone is tough plastic, with a length to diameter ratio of about 5: 1.
But certainly the most striking particular is the motor mount assembly and the fins. These are made of rigid and molded plastic. You do not need to sand or give them an aerodynamic profile. They fit into two grooved plastic rings that keep them perfectly aligned and blocked at the same time. No more crooked and misaligned fins! In addition, the motor mount tube has a pencil line traced on it that acts as a reference for mounting.
Another unique feature of the Aerotech kit products is their parachute protection system, made with a steel mesh which filters and cools the ejection gases, preventing them to damage your parachute. Before reaching the parachute the gases are forced through the holes of a plastic closure which also acts as an anchor for the shock cord. This way you do not need to add any protective wadding or similar materials, and the rocket can be prepared to fly very quickly.
Even the motor retainer is worthy of note. Initially, these kits were equipped with a steel engine hook, similar to those present in Estes kits but bigger and stronger. Now Aerotech has made a screw-on motor locking system that is included in all their kits. If you add the cost of such a retainer and a parachute Nomex protection to the price of other kits comparable in size, you easily see that the Aerotech kits are very competitive.
A nylon parachute of appropriate size, a self-adhesive decals sheet of excellent quality, and launch guides for 6 mm rods are included as well.
The shock cord is made of fabric covered elastic. This is perhaps the only detail that we would improve. Although abundant in length, elastic is not the ideal material because it can break in the long run. As it is tied to the motor mount, it will be difficult to replace it. For this reason, we would add some 3 or 6 mm Kevlar tubular, at least until you get beyond the opening of the fuselage, in order to untie the elastic band if it should break, and replace it with a new one.