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REV 2.4 - Tue Aug 17 08:38:29 2010

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Nordic Rocketry
Phaze
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SPECS: 17.25" x 1.22" - 2.1 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: Right Click to Download
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: A8-3, B6-4, C6-5, D21-7, E25-7

[Picture] (12/31/99) We haven't heard much from Nordic Rocketry in a while and they have stopped advertising in Sport Rocketry Magazine, however, they are still preparing to release some new kits. I was fortunate to get my hands on one of them called the Phaze. This bird is an entry level kit designed to fly on 18mm motors with a projection of 300 feet on a B6-4 motor. It is 17.25" long, 1.22" in diameter, and weighs about 2.1 ounces without a motor.

The Phaze uses a single body tube that is thicker (1/16") than your normal rocket kits. This makes it a more durable model. Also, something new that Nordic Rocketry is doing that must get noticed is their new LaserLine. Previous kits from Nordic utilize the technique of punching holes along the edge of the fin mounts to allow the glue to seep in creating a "glue rivet". Now Nordic is making great use of their Laser Cutter and they put the holes in the tube for you.

Rocket Pic

They also provide precision laser-cut fins and centering rings cut from 1/16" plywood. Add a balsa nose cone, two 1/8" brass launch lugs and a the necessary motor mount hardware with retention and the Phaze become a nice little bird. For recovery, the kit includes a piece of 1/16" Kevlar that is tied to an eye-hook on the upper centering-ring which is then ties to a 36" long piece of 1/4" elastic shock-cord. This is tied to another eye-hook on the nose cone. Then a red 9" hexagon Rip-stop nylon parachute is added to complete the recovery system.

CONSTRUCTION:

There are 9 pages of instructions with plenty of illustrations to allow the builder to complete the kit with ease. They are not as basic as Estes instructions so a younger person (such as my 9 year old nephew) woudl need adult supervision if they had never built a rocket before. They are in logical order and provide details such as, needed tools and supplies, fin shaping, sanding and sealing, painting and flying preparation.

Rocket PicThe instructions suggest that yellow wood glue should be used for construction. I took this as another opportunity to use a glue that I have lately discovered; ProBond Weather Resistant Wood Glue for exterior use. What I like about this glue is that it contains wood fiber which adds to its "no-run" formula. This helps keep the glue in place and it seems stronger than white glue. Also, it grabs quicker. Put a thin coat on the root edge of the fin and place it on the body tube. Press and hold for just a couple of seconds and let it dry. It doesn't slide or tilt like when using white glue. For the Phaze, you really want to just use a thin coat for this initial attachment so as not to cover up any of the LaserLine holes.

The ProBond is such a thick glue that doesn't run easily, so I changed to epoxy for the fin fillets. You could use other wood glues that are thinner. The idea is to allow the glue to flow into the LaserLine holes. A couple of coats of glue are needed for the fillets because the first coat ends up with little divots where is has flowed into the LaserLine holes. This is a good thing! The second coat makes the fillet nice and smooth.

As mentioned above, the fins and centering rings are laser-cut plywood. You can see the clean cuts on the fins (pictured). The centering rings were just as good. These fit perfectly around the motor mount. They had a small hole for starting the recovery system eye-hook on the upper centering ring. They even had the small notch laser-cut on the lower centering ring to allow the motor retention hook to work properly. Very nice, making assembly a breeze.

Rocket PicFinishing was typical for me. I used Plasti-Kote primer, sanding between coats, until everything was smooth. Then I hit it with a Teal paint that was left over from another household project and accented it with gold. The Phaze came with a black "Phaze" self-adhesive decal, but I choose not to use it this time.

Overall, for CONSTRUCTION I would rate this kit >5 points. Considering the quality of the parts, I expect to have this bird flying for a long time!

FLIGHT/RECOVERY:

For launching, Nordic advises you on preparation of the rocket. Nothing, special. Motor is retained, add wadding and fly away. I used a piece of Rogue Aerospace's Perma-Wadding for the wadding and prepared to fly the Phaze on an A8-3.

The flight was fast and short and the ejection was obviously early. But it was the first successful flight.

The A8-3 is listed as a recommended motor but interestingly, the B6-4 is listed as the first flight. This is interesting to me as usually the smallest motor is the recommended first flight motor. I think that due to the weight of the rocket, and observing my first flight, the A8-3 is probably not the best motor to use.

So, up she went on a B6-4. Again, it was another obvious early ejection. Descent is swift on 9" parachute. Recovered with no damage anywhere.

Last flight for the day was on a C motor. Nordic suggested a C6-5. However, upon observation of the A and B flight, I choose to go with a longer delay. I used a C6-7. An excellent all-around flight occurred, including ejection just past apogee. This is a good match.

Rocket PicLooking into this flight performance a bit further, I designed this bird in Apogee's RockSim. You can download it here. My actual model weighed in at 2.25 ounces, so I simmed it at that weight. The A8 said 112 feet with an optimal delay of 2.37 seconds. So that confirmed the early delay I observed. The B6 simmed to 354 feet with an optimal delay of 4.09 seconds. So this is why Nordic recommends this motor as the first flight and good match. The C6 simmed to 875 feet with an optimal delay of 5.57 seconds.

Another point for those that want some altitude. Nordic recommends a D21-7 and an E25-7, too!

Graph

For FLIGHT/RECOVERY, I would rate this kit >5 points. Solid recovery system and a durable rocket make this bird versatile. A bit fast on the descent, however, never an sign of damage.

Overall, if your interest is in smaller rockets that can fly in small or large fields, a rocket with a unique look due to its fins, and you want the rocket to last, consider the Phaze from Nordic Rocketry. I give the kit an OVERALL rating of >5 points.

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[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Altitude
Wind Notes
10-19-1999 EMRR Est SU A8-3 Just Before Calm - Low altitude of about 100 feet, fast flight, early ejection. Good recovery.
10-19-1999 EMRR Est SU B6-4 Very Early Calm - This rocket still had plenty of climbing steam when ejection occurred. Good recovery.
10-19-1999 EMRR Est SU C6-7 Apogee - NC Down Calm - This seems like a good combination.
05-20-2000 EMRR Est SU A8-3 Just Before Gusty - Just testing the range with the wind, landed within 20 feet of pad
05-20-2000 EMRR Est SU C6-7 Apogee - Perfect Gusty - Testing the range with the wind. Rocket wobbled a bit going up, perfect ejection and then was carried all the way down the field. Then is started to rain!!
05-21-2000 EMRR Est SU B6-4 Just Before A bit gusty - Just testing the field and the wind. Nice flight, needs a bit longer delay. Good recovery.
05-21-2000 EMRR Est SU B6-4 at apogee A bit gusty - Another nice flight for the day, this time it looked at apogee
05-29-2000 EMRR Est SU B6-4 Just Before
(350 ft)
Calm - Just testing the field with what is becoming a faithful flier. RockSim says 350 feet.
05-29-2000 EMRR Est SU C6-5 Just Before
(850 ft)
Calm - This rocket really needs the extended delays. Just testing the field before I fly bigger rockets and higher. RockSim say 850 feet.
07-01-2000 EMRR Est SU C6-7 None - Unknown Light winds RIP - Nice launch and equally nice descent, just no ejection of the nose cone. It went into grass-land that was up to my shoulders. I didn't even try looking for it! - LOST Status: Lawn Dart
   

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