Certified Rocket Nut...

This is the rocket I built for the aforementioned HP certification test. To pass, you must pass a fairly basic written test, then demonstrate a completely successful H-powered flight; i.e., you must recover the rocket after a nominal recovery-system deployment, and present the rocket to the judge in re-flyable condition.
Of course, to be different, I decided that I'd pass my certification with an Estes kit!
I chose the Phoenix, and used the stock body tubes and nose cone. However, the fins are built-up affairs made of 1/8 x 1/4" balsa-strip frameworks covered with 1/64" plywood skins. They are through-the-wall mounted, passing through slots cut in the airframe, and bonded to the motor tube. (I'll call this TTW construction, hereafter) It turned out really light, but very, very strong.

Though it made some RSOs nervous, it's still a marvelous-flying rocket, and has flown time and time again on 240 n/sec motors. A 320 n/sec motor is too long to allow a comfortable space for the wadding and parachute, though I did try it once. It worked fine, though sure enough the 'chute was partially melted, resulting in a case of "plastic wad recovery".
The first photo shows a shakedown flight on Ravenna F107 power. Everything looked good, so I flew it again with a G208. Still A-OK, though it went so high we had to hike over a mile to recover it.
We were lucky not to lose it, so I declared the test phase to be over, and I painted and detailed the rocket for the certification attempt. For the confirmation flight I played it safe (or "chickened out", if you prefer <grin>) and used a Ravenna H89, a mere 200 n/sec H. And what a flight! It went NEARLY out of sight, and in fact the judge did lose it. I was frantically pointing it out as it descended, and he finally picked it up at maybe 300 meters, just in time to verify that the 'chute was fully deployed.
Being a big-time Certified High Power Rocketeer, I was now free to build some really hot rockets...

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