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REV 2.4 - Tue Aug 17 09:24:58 2010

OOP
Thrustline Aerospace
Alien Troop Mover
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SPECS: 21.75" x 2.2" - 7.3 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: Right Click to Download
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: C11-3, D12-3, E9

Rating
(Contributed - by Berni Davidson - 05/07/05) Thrustline Aerospace Alien Troop Mover

Brief:
This is a single stage rocket with 5 fins. It features parachute recovery, balsa fins you cut from a sheet, balsa nose cone, laser cut centering rings, and 6 cool little "aliens" with their own parachutes! I got this kit from a friend who was moving and therefore I can't speak about the transaction from the manufacturer but my friend said it went fine. The rocket was in a clear plastic bag without any header or kit card picture.

Construction:
The kit features a single body tube that is 2.2" in diameter. The rocket uses five fins, not the normal 3 or 4. It also has a motor mount that will allow you to use any 24mm size motor, like the C11, D12, or E9, although there is no spacer for using a C11 or D12 size motor that is shorter than an E. The balsa fin stock was 1/8" thick and the nose cone is balsa. It also uses a Kevlar shock cord mount that is tied to the motor tube and runs up the body tube to the white shock cord. The 18" parachute is made of good quality mylar. The template for the fins is on thin paper and a pain to use to trace the fin on to the balsa sheet. I should have copied it to a heavy piece of cardstock first. After trying to trace the fins, it got messed up on the third fin so I cut one fin out and used it as the template! I was surprised to find a 1/8" launch lug on a kit that can fly on E motors too.

The instructions are OK, although some points are not all that clear. The big problem was the wrap for marking the body tube for the five fins just plain stinks! It went all the way around but the fin positions were not correct no matter what I did. I should have contacted the manufacturer about this, but I just measured the tube and made my own. The mylar parachute is first quality and the balsa nose cone was fine. The body tube was good but the motor tube had a rough cut on one end. Other than the problem with the marking guide for the fins and some typos in the instructions, it was an easy kit to build. Standard assembly for the most part. The PROs of this kit are the mylar parachute, balsa quality, and those cool little aliens! The CONs on this kit are the fin marking guide and lack of a spacer to use when using a C11 or D motor. Also, the kit should use a 3/16" launch lug. I used a 3/16" lug I already had.

Finishing:
I sealed the balsa and used a camouflage paint job like on the Thrustline web site. It looks pretty cool! There are no decals with this kit and none are needed! The assembled kit looks great.

Construction Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

Flight:
I put some recovery wadding in first and motor retention is with a metal motor hook. Here is the fun part, you load in the 6 Alien Paratroopers with the parachute. I put them above the main chute. I used a C11-5 for the first flight. It was a day with just about no wind. My friend has a large field behind his house and we launched it there. The first flight was great. It went straight up and was nose down when it ejected the parachute and aliens. I also launched it with an E. Wow! It was a high flight but I got it back right by the launch pad!!

Thrustline Aerospace Alien Troop Mover

Recovery:
There are no CONs on recovery. The mylar parachute is fine for this kit. The aliens came down all over the place and we had some kids with us, who had a great deal of fun catching them. There was one alien who tried to invade my friend's house by landing on the roof though! I did not load up the aliens with the E motor though.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
This was a fun kit thought it needs a better fin marking guide, fin templates, and a 3/16" launch lug. I like cutting out fins like the older kits used to be but paper is not the way to do it.

The aliens are the main attraction to this kit and are real cool! They look like little Thors from Stargate on TV.

Overall Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

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GUEST's OPINION:
05/05 - "After reading the review, I would like to comment on the 3 items in question that affected the final overall rating of this kit. #1- Fin wrap guide not correct. I pulled one of the fin wraps from a kit I have in stock, cut it out, and marked for fin placement. It does work and all fin positions are correct. As the reviewer stated, it does go all the way. There may have been an error as to fin interpretation on the part of the builder. If so, I'll take another look at the guide and re-simplify it if necessary. #2- No spacer included with the kit. A lot of builders that I have polled thought it might be better to keep it out of the kit as an adapter is easily made with 24mm spent casings. #3- 1/8" lug used instead of 3/16'. I looked at this and after all of the tests, did not see any excess rod whip using a 1/8" lug and an E motor and a stainless steel launch rod. As always, I'll take another look to insure that some improvements can be made." (J.F.R.S.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

SPECIFIC ROCKET TIP:
"" (x.x.)

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Altitude
Wind Notes
03-29-2005 Donald Besaw Est SU C11-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Great first flight, very straight boost. Everything deployed without incident, all 6 alien paratroopers and rocket recovered very close to the pad. No damage.
04-21-2005 Donald Besaw Est SU D12-5 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - Very nice flight, straight boost to about 600 feet. Great deployment and recovery. Everything recovered without incident. No damage.
05-28-2005 Donald Besaw Est SU E9-6 Apogee - NC Down 5-10 mph winds - Very nice flight, very nice boost on the E9. Great deployment but 3 aliens are now on the loose somewhere in the field. Replacements shouldn't be hard to get. No damage.
04-19-2008 Keith Hamel Est SU D12-5 Apogee - NC Down 5-10 mph winds - Great Flight with 3 aliens aboard.
06-28-2008 Keith Hamel Est SU D12-5 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds Event: Section Launch
- Nice slow boost with a slight arc. Cone popped but chute did not deploy, landed in tall grass with no damage.
07-18-2009 Keith Hamel Est SU D12-5 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - Great flight as always with this rocket. Nice easy recovery under a 10 Xform nylon chute. No Damage at all.
09-06-2003 John Rowan-Stern Est SU C11-3 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds ATM-1 - 2nd flight on this motor. About 600 feet, good ejection, nice slow decent. Ex Flight!
09-06-2003 John Rowan-Stern Est SU C11-3 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds ATM-1 - Nice flight. Did well with 18 chute. Landed 75 feet from pad.
09-06-2003 John Rowan-Stern Est SU D12-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds ATM-1 - Strong slow lift off with nice coast. Ejection was perfect and landed 100 feet from pad.
09-10-2005 John Rowan-Stern Est SU E9-6 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds Event: CATO
ATM-1 - Real strong impulse. Great recovery though strong winds aloft carried it about 1200' downrange. Recovered intact in great shape.
06-23-2007 Ron Wirth Est SU D12-5 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - First flight and it was nice & straight. Lost one of the Aliens. Donated another to a child that helped collect them.
   

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