(Contributed - by Donald Besaw Jr - 10/20/04)
The Binder Design Stealth is a 4" high power sport rocket with stealth
fighter styling and parachute recovery. This is the 38mm version. For you
motor fans, a 54mm hybrid ready version of this kit is also available.
The kit came in a heavy duty plastic bag with individual sections separating
the various components. I was really impressed with this style of packaging.
The kit included:
- 1 body tube
- 1 payload section tube
- 1 tube coupler
- 1 nose cone
- 1 forward bulkhead
- 4 Stealth shaped main fins
- 4 upper fins
- 2 centering rings
- 1 launch lug
- 1 17" long 38mm motor mount tube
- 1 36" nylon parachute
- 1 nylon strap
- 1 12' shock cord
- 2 quick links
- 4 washers
- 2 eye bolts
- 4 1/4" nuts
- 1 Stealth vinyl decal
- 1 fin marking guide
- 1 instruction booklet
The instructions for this kit were very easy to follow and had lots of text
and detailed drawings and were in logical assembly order. This kit was fairly
easy to build but I wouldn't recommend it as a first HPR kit but a good second
or third HPR kit. For all construction, I used Pacer 30 minute Zpoxy along with
Binder Design milled fiber in my fillets.
I started construction by drilling 1/4" holes in the centering rings
for my motor retention hardware and shock cord attachment. I then installed two
1/4" blind nuts in the aft centering ring and shock cord attachment in the
forward centering ring and then applied epoxy to secure them. The centering
rings were then epoxied on the motor mount tube. After the epoxy set up, I
applied fillets for strength. I then attached the nylon strap to the eye bolt
with a quick link and tightened it using a wrench.
The next step is to slot the body tubes for the fins, but I ordered my kit
directly from Binder Design with preslotted tubes so this step was not
necessary. The motor mount assembly was epoxied in the body tube followed by
fillets to all tube/ring joints for strength plus a thin layer of epoxy was put
on the masonite centering rings for additional strength.
I then sanded an airfoil shape on the main fins and attached them one at a
time. The 1/2" launch lug was glued on 16 inches from the bottom of the
body tube. The tube coupler and bulkhead were assembled and then mounted into
the payload section tube as instructed. I sanded an airfoil shape on the
forward fins and mounted them one at a time and applied epoxy to the inner
tube/fin joints. Fin fillets were then applied by mixing milled fiber in with
the epoxy for extra strength and used my fingers dipped in rubbing alcohol to
make them smooth and round.
To mount the nose cone into the payload section, I wrapped several layers
of masking tape around the nose cone shoulder and friction fit it into place.
I then attached the shock cord to the nylon strap and tied the remaining
quick link to the free end of the shock cord to complete the build.
PROs: Easy construction and logical assembly order.
I started by sanding the fins and epoxy fillets smooth and removed the sanding
dust with a tack cloth. The model was sprayed with a couple coats of Krylon
gray primer, sanded between coats, and then sprayed with three coats of Krylon
Semi-flat Black enamel. After the paint dried, I applied the Stealth vinyl
decal. These decals are a real pleasure to work with. I then secured the shock
cord to the payload section and tightened down the quick link with a wrench
before tying the nylon parachute to the shock cord as instructed.
PROs: Easy to finish.
out of 5
Binder Design recommends H, I, and J class motors for this rocket. This rocket
does require wadding. I used dog barf with great success.
For my first flight, I loaded an Aerotech I161W with a medium delay and
secured it into the model using two 1/4" machine screws, clips, and
washers used as spacers. I then inserted about three to four handfuls of dog
barf and then packed the parachute. The ignitor was inserted into the motor and
the rocket was loaded onto a 1/2" launch rod.
At launch, the I161W lit with no problems and lifted the Stealth to a very
respectable altitude (maybe 1,500-2,000 feet up), deployed the chute, and
The next flight was on an Aerotech I285 motor with a medium delay.
This was a much nicer flight. The Stealth took off straight and fast under the
bright red flame and went maybe 2,500 feet up before reaching apogee and
deploying the chute. Unfortunately, the nose cone separated from the payload
section and tumbled down. It was later recovered. The rest of the rocket came
down about 1/2 mile away from the launch site.
PROs: Flies great especially on small and mid size I class motors.
This rocket uses a 36" parachute which brings the rocket in rather slowly,
in fact a little too slowly for my liking. I had quite a recovery walk on the
first flight. For the second flight, I tied a knot halfway up the shroud lines
and still had quite a walk. The dog barf wadding is adequate as I didn't notice
any scorching of the chute.
PROs: Recovers nicely on provided recovery system.
CONs: Comes in a little too slowly for my liking.
½ out of 5
I really liked building and flying this kit. I chose this kit because I wanted
something that would fly on I motors and stay in sight throughout the flight. I
also chose it because I really liked the Stealth styling.
Again, I would not recommend this kit as a first HPR kit but probably as a
good second HPR kit. I think it would be a great choice for a level 1
certification with an H123W or H242T motor with a short delay. If you have a
LOT of room, this would probably be a great level 2 rocket flown on a CTI Pro38
5 grain J285 motor or Aerotech J350W or J420R motor.
Main PROs: Great instructions, easy assembly and finishing, great flight
performance, reasonable price.
Main CONs: Recovery is a bit on the slow side.
½ out of 5