(Contributed - by Michael Rangitsch (MikeyR))
Single staged sport rocket with parachute recovery.
This is the redesign of the
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 The nose cone, fins and fin can have been replaced by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 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
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 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.
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.
out of 5
(Contributed - by Bill Eichelberger -
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
½ out of 5