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REV 2.4 - Tue Aug 17 08:35:54 2010

Fun Rockets
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SPECS: 17.125" x 1.64" - 2 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: MISSING - please submit here
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: A8-3, B4-4, B6-4, C6-5

(Contributed - by Michael Rangitsch (MikeyR))

Single staged sport rocket with parachute recovery.

This is the redesign of the Holverson Designs Tangent. The nose cone, fins and fin can have been replaced by pre-colored expanded polystyrene versions. The shock cord is far longer than any supplied by Estes for similar rockets.

Instructions are simple for this beginners rocket. Only white glue is needed for assembly. The new foam fins may end up being fragile, but should be easy to repair. The fin canister is protected from exhaust and ejection by glued on paper rings. The activity sheet included with the instructions is a nice touch to teach beginning rocketeers a bit about what they are doing.

No finishing necessary, but the fins and nose show some texture under the pre-applied paint.

Construction Rating: 3 out of 5

Recommended motors are A8-3, B4-4, B6-4 and C6-5 with a standard wire retainer. I've flown it on all except the B4-4. Prepping the rocket is simple. I used lots of wadding to protect the seemingly fragile parachute. So far no damage after 3 flights. The flight profile is nice and straight with little spin.

The shock cord looks to be holding up well, and is quite long. The delays on the recommended motors are very nice. One fin has been cracked already, but should easily fixable.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

This is a nice beginning rocket that requires at least a bit of construction. The activity sheet lets the beginning modeler learn something of rocketry in general. A definite step up from the RTF stuff Estes sells.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

(Contributed - by Bill Eichelberger [Who's Who Page] - 10/26/05) Tangent

The foam Tangent is one of the Doug Holverson designed rockets produced by Fun Rockets under Doug's name. While certainly an innovative idea, it wasn't necessarily a great business idea in the somewhat fickle world of low power rocketry. The Tangent was selected for this comparison because it fit the "low and slow" description, and despite its OOP status, it added a little more color to the launches.

Included in the sturdy, colorful box are a foam nose cone/main body tube/assembled recovery system, three foam fins, and a foam and paper engine mount/fin can.

The instructions that come with the Tangent are far and away the highlight of the kit. Doug has gone to great length to provide the beginning flyer with detailed information about how to go about achieving the best possible performance with the Tangent. Construction is simple to a fault. All one has to do to get this rocket ready to fly is slide the three large Styrofoam fins into their slots in the Styrofoam engine mount, secure them with some wood glue, then glue the assembled fin can into the rear of the body tube. Everything else is already done for you, right down to the packed parachute and the first load of recovery wadding.

This is a simple matter of affixing the self stick decals. Everything else is pre-painted and with the exception of the stickers being too thick, the overall look of the rocket is impressive.

Construction Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

Of the four rockets in this comparison, the Tangent is the most interesting from a flight standpoint. Pre-loaded with recovery wadding and a comparatively large parachute, the Tangent screamed off the pad on its initial C6-5 flight, cocking into the wind. Ejection occurred as scripted, but the nose cone didn't completely separate from the body tube at first and eventually pulled free as the rocket started to fall. Upon inspection, it appeared that the rocket had been pre-loaded with three tight fitting wads of recovery wadding which wedged against the base of the nose cone instead of ejecting it.

The second flight was on a B6-4 and was noticeably lower than the previous flight. The Tangent on a B6-4 looks to be a great choice for those days when you fly from you local soccer field, as it winds up at a respectable height and cocks into the wind, which allows it to recover back near the pad when the breeze is factored in.

The third flight was on a B4-2 for a couple of reasons. First, I was told that it was a great small field motor for these big birds that allowed them to live up to their "low and slow" reputation. Second was because I was too tired to chase it very far and the B4-2 flight was low enough that the recovery walk was minimal. An interesting feature of each of the B4-2 flights that I made with the four different rockets that day was the little hitch that they made as they cleared the rod. It looked almost as if the rocket was making a course correction as all of them seemed to fall sideways ever so slightly before the thrust kicked in and sent them into the wind.

An interesting feature of the foam Tangent is the pre-built and pre-packed recovery system. The Tangent comes with enough spare wadding wrapped in with the instructions for several flights and three wads were already tightly packed in the main body tube. As I mentioned earlier, it's probably a good idea to take the chute and wadding out and repack them yourself because they seem to have been shoved in awfully tight. The shock cord is pre-mounted and uses an interesting mounting method. The elastic cord is tied through a piece of launch lug, which is glued to the inside of the main body tube. The method seems effective enough, although I'd consider it a bit suspect over a long period of time.

The parachute is large and sturdy and in fact may be a little too large for some tastes. I cut a large reef hole in the chute, which seemed to have little effect on the performance of the recovery system except to allow it to recover closer to the pad. The descent rate is obviously quicker, but it is still slow enough to allow a damage free recovery.

Flight Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

The rocketry world is no worse off with the loss of the foam Fun Rockets products, but seeing the Tangent pass into history with this as its last gasp would be a shame. The balsa version of this rocket is one that is well worth hunting down and I hope that the future holds a comeback for the Holverson Designs half of this unfortunate partnership.

PROs: Great small field performance. Sharp looks from a distance. Instructions. The Holverson Designs/Fun Rockets saga is one of the odder stories in rocketry.

CONs: Cheesy foam. The fact that you can tell it's cheesy foam from close up. Sticker decals, also cheesy.

Overall Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

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[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Wind Notes
03-22-2009 Tim Beever Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 10+ mph winds - Perfect flight, drifted a long way because of the wind.
03-22-2009 Tim Beever Est SU B4-4 None - Parachute Fail 10+ mph winds - Launched into the wind - good boost but parachute didn't come out - bad packing job by Dad!
01-04-2001 MikeyR Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds -
01-04-2001 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Didn't Record 0-5 mph winds - Tangled parachute, but I caught it. No damage.
01-18-2001 MikeyR Est SU A8-3 Didn't Record Calm - Nice and low.
01-18-2001 MikeyR Est SU B6-4 Didn't Record Calm - Nice flight.
01-18-2001 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Just Before Calm -
01-22-2001 MikeyR Est SU B6-4 Didn't Record 5-10 mph winds -
01-23-2001 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect Didn't Record - landed over the fence.
02-01-2001 MikeyR Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect Didn't Record - Nominal flight.
02-20-2001 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds -
02-21-2001 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds -
03-07-2001 MikeyR Est SU A8-3 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds - Nice and low.
03-07-2001 MikeyR Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Very nice flight.
04-08-2001 MikeyR Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds -
04-19-2001 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - Drifted to the Vet school. OK flight.
05-15-2001 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - Duration 60.1 sec.
07-28-2001 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Nice long hangtime.
07-31-2001 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect Calm - Excellent. 65.22 sec.
12-20-2001 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Nice flight. 70 sec duration, cracked a fin on landing.
01-26-2002 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - 62 seconds predicted, 62 seconds achieved
04-17-2002 MikeyR Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Really nice
07-14-2002 MikeyR Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Nice flight.
12-28-2002 MikeyR Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect Calm -

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