(Contributed - by Steve Graham - 08/10/02)
Single stage, 14" parachute recovery at apogee using motor ejection.
Two airframe BT's (27", 13"), 1.6" LOC nose cone, 3-plywood
fins, 2- paper centering rings, LOC-type 29mm motor mount tube (8"long), 1
coupler, bulkhead, and eye screw.
You also receive a length of 1/4" elastic for a shock cord. No decals.
Instructions are straight forward. I always expect good things from Barry.
The construction was very simple, with tips on how to beef up your fin joints
for higher power flights. No alignment problems. Everything went together very
well. Because, I intend to fly mine on H and I motors, I beefed up the fin
joints with fiberglass.
No special requirements are needed for the airframe and fins to get it ready to
paint. However; with all LOC nose cones, be sure you take extra care in
prepping it for paint. I usually sand mine down starting with about 150-grit
and progressing up to 600-grit. It makes for a nice smooth finish that will
stand up to a lot o abuse.
The only CON I found with this kit is that it doesn't come with decals. I
didn't worry about it that much as I just purchased vinyl letters.
out of 5
On the day of the flight, I used an Aerotech G64. Since I replaced the shock
cord with Kevlar
and a chute protector, this made prepping recovery very easy. The rocket lifted
off the pad straight and true. With the prevailing winds from the south at our
launch site, the rocket ended up drifting down range a bit. Never the less, it
was recovered in perfect condition.
Since the trailing edge of the fins are 1 in front of the aft end,
the chance of breaking a fin is minimized.
Next, I loaded it with an H128, which gave us a neck snapping launch.
Again, the rocket performed flawlessly.
The third flight of the day was with a single use F32 with a 24mm motor
adaptor. It wasn't as exciting as the H128. The F32 launched it to a
respectible altitude. My shock cord got tangled in the shroud lines. So the
rocket flat spinned into the Texas grass. I'm glad I glassed the fins now.
Shock Cord: replaced with Kevlar rollbars=no,menubar=no'); ">
from Apogee Components.
Parachute: 14" flat panel- rip stop nylon. , too small. This
rocket needs at least a 24" to recover it. I think a 14" was chosen
because the fins are situated 1.5" ahead of the aft end of the rocket.
Thus, reducing the chance of breaking a fin on landing.
out of 5
I don't have any bad things to say about this rocket. It went together very
well and quickly. As I stated above, it needs a larger parachute. And replace
the elastice shock cord with Kevlar.
out of 5
(Contributed - by Lance Alligood - 05/19/05)
The LOC/Precision Weasel is a simple, near minimum diameter 3FNC that can
fly as little as an E or absolutely tear a hole in the time-space continuum on
a high thrust H.
The Weasel is a basic kit with a minimal number of parts. The kit includes:
- 1 1.63"d plastic nose cone
- 1 38mm x 11.5" payload tube
- 1 38mm x 27" body tube (premarked for fins and launch lug)
- 1 coupler
- 1 birch plywood bulkhead
- 1 screw eye
- 3 birch plywood fins, 1/8" thick
- 2 paper centering rings
- 1 29mm x 6" motor mount tube
- 1 14" nylon parachute
- 6ft elastic shock cord
- 1 shock cord mount
- 1 launch lug, 1/4"ID
went very quickly and offered no surprises. I started by briefly reading the
instructions, which I found to be a little on the thin side content wise,
however, anyone who has built even a few LPRs shouldn't have any problems with
the Weasel. The directions recommend using epoxy for the build, but I am
confident that my usage and application of yellow wood glue ()
for the wood and paper components will also be more than adequate if not as
durable in building this kit. The motor mount was simply 2 paper rings and a
tube. To attach the fins, I rough sanded the body tube with 150 grit sandpaper
(almost to the point of sanding the premarked lines off) and then used the
"double glue" method for tacking the fins to the airframe. 2
applications of yellow glue fillets followed. The fins offered little if any
flex after the fillets were applied.
I should mention that I did use a small amounts of and
epoxy in the build. The polyurethane glue is my preferred method of securing
the screw eye into the coupler bulkhead as it foams slightly to create a
satisfyingly sticky bond between metal and wood. The 12-minute epoxy with a
little milled fiber for added strength and thickness was used to attach the
nylon string shock cord mount inside the main airframe tube.
Lastly, I'm not big on launch lugs so I drilled and attached a pair of rail
buttons right into each of the paper centering rings with CA and saved the
paper lug for another project. And while drilling the holes for the rail
buttons, I also put 1/16" vent holes in both the payload and booster
Even allowing for everything to dry or cure, the Weasel went together in
only a couple of hours.
I don't think I am alone in wishing that LOC/Precision should include decals
with their kits. They just make their rockets look so doggone good on their
website that it's simply wrong they don't include any decals or information on
how to make yours look like the picture.
Decals aside, I kept the finishing work simple like the rest of the rocket.
The fins were sealed with Elmer's Fill 'n' Finish and then sanded smooth. The
tubing has slightly noticeable but I didn't feel that they were enough
of an issue to warrant filling them. The rocket was then primed with Krylon
white primer, sanded with 400 grit sandpaper, and then primed and sanded again.
Finally I had myself an excellent opportunity to apply a color I'd been wanting
to use for some time: Krylon Gloss Watermelon. It's not too soft a pink to be
considered feminine (not that there's anything wrong with that) but it is such
an eye catching color! I added Krylon gloss purple as an accent color--another
great color that should be great for helping locate the rocket in the field! I
painted a couple of fins and halfway around the body tube so I can easily track
any rotation during flight. For a final touch, I added some automotive
out of 5
Prepping the Weasel for flight is reasonably easy. There isn't much room for
any kind of external motor retention so masking tape is the obvious solution to
holding the motor in place. A handful of dog barf cellulose wadding goes in the
other end of the booster tube followed by the shock cord and chute before
closing it up and putting it on the pad. An AeroTech G104T-M was used for the
Weasel's first flight. While the total impulse is rather low, I liked this
motor because of it's high average impulse! I used that motor with the
intention that the rocket would zip off the pad but not go ridiculously high.
Well, if nearly 2000ft is someone's idea of not ridiculously high!
The Weasel flew just as I expected it to. The high thrust, fast burning
motor sent the Weasel up on a long, mostly silent to apogee where it
ejected right on cue. Excellent!
The 14" chute is tiny but made of non-porous rip stop nylon with some
stout shroud lines (almost certainly strong enough to serve dual duty as a
drogue chute for larger rockets!) If the chute didn't come with the kit, I'd
probably (and still might in the future) switch it out for a plastic streamer.
The chute is small compared to the rocket's size and that might alarm some
builders new to MPR. However, it should not only be more than adequate to
safely get the rocket down, the rocket's aft end with the motor mount and the
fins are placed far enough forward that the rocket would sustain extremely
minimal damage if any at all on all but the hardest surfaces. (In fact, you can
pretty much guarantee that it's the motor casing that will accept the brunt of
landing impact regardless of launch site.)
I attached the chute with a quicklink so that I can attach it as needed to
the shock cord. And speaking of the shock cord, it is 6 feet of standard
1/4" elastic--basically an upscaled version of what you'd find in a
typical LPR kit. I didn't have any problems with the quality of the elastic but
I thought it to be a little on the short side, preferring an extra 2 or 3 feet.
I used it anyway and it proved to be an acceptable length. The nylon string
that is epoxied just inside the forward end of the booster appears to be pretty
rugged and makes the elastic easy to replace if necessary in the future.
The chute came out perfectly and the rocket descended quickly. Being a
relatively light rocket, I didn't want it drifting anyway. The chute and shock
cord are more than acceptable for this rocket.
out of 5
The LOC/Precision Weasel is a great introductory MPR kit for someone making the
transition from LPR. It uses many similar build techniques found in LPR and is
a simple design that shouldn't overwhelm the builder. The small diameter of the
kit means that you're most likely going to have to resort to masking tape
friction fit motor retention but that is a technique worth learning. About the
only other thing someone might need for this kit is a 29-24mm to
fly it on 24mm E and F motors.
out of 5