Kestrel

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Kestrel is my first minimum-diameter high-power rocket. I built it between June and August 2018, planning to fly it at Airfest that year, but had to cancel that trip due to a family emergency. I ended up painting it in December and then taking it to Airfest in 2019.

The kit is a Wildman Mach Two, built with three fins instead of the four that came with the kit. I learned later that high-performance rockets like this are often designed with four fins to reduce coning. With three fins, the rocket did experience quite a bit of coning on its first flight (see launch report linked below). Other components used: Aero Pack thread-on motor retainer, Cesaroni tailcone rear closure, Spherachutes 36" ultra-light parachute, and an Altus Metrum TeleMega with a Featherweight magnetic switch. The rocket is built specifically for Cesaroni 6-grain motors. While it would be possible to fly a shorter motor using Aero Pack's adapter system, I have no plans to do so.

Build

ProLine epoxy was used for all bonding. No additional fiberglass reinforcement (i.e., tip-to-tip) was used. The rocket was finished with Rustoleum sandable primer and Rustoleum gloss enamel, and the graphics were made on my vinyl cutter.

Launches

Airfest 2019, K260