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REV 2.4 - Tue Oct 12 00:08:17 2010

OOP
Thrustline Aerospace
Mighty Mick
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SPECS: 24.5" x 1.64" - 3.4 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: Right Click to Download
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: C11 through E

[Picture](04/01/04) Thrustline Aerospace is a relatively new company (opening in 2003). At first it seemed they were focused solely on OOP Estes reproduction, however, they seem to be stretching out to their own designs. This rocket, the Mighty Mick is a Thrustline original. I won it with my Descon 12 entry.

Thrustline says this about the Mighty Mick, "Whenever you look at some of the larger rocket companies, it's really hard to find a... large tube, high performance rocket for sport rocketry that doesn't end up costing an arm and a leg! That's why I designed "Mighty Mick". I wanted a good solid looking rocket that I could put C11 through E motors in, without paying 30 dollars and up! This rocket has great flying flexibility!"

Finished

So, the Mighty Mick has a diameter of 1.64 inches and is 25 inches long and carries a price tag of about $14 (02/04). Some rockets that I feel are close equivalents include the Estes Eliminator (1.35" x 30.5"; $20.64) or the Estes Executioner (2.6" x 38.5", $37.50) and the FlisKits Rhino (1.6" x 24.5"; $11.95). The FlisKits Rhino isn't designed for E motors nor does it have a ripstop parachute, so it seems that Thrustline is correct on the pricing. What about performance and looks? Well, read on.

The kit includes a main body tube which is 1.64" x 17" and a solid balsa nose cone to make up the total length. The motor mount includes a 24mm tube that is 7" long, three (3) fiberboard centering rings, a motor hook and thrust ring designed for Estes E motor length. The recovery system includes a Kevlar tether, an elastic shockcord, and 18" ripstop nylon parachute and an eye-screw to attach to the nose cone. There is a balsa sheet to cut out the three fins from and two launch lugs.

CONSTRUCTION:

The instructions are printed on 4 pages (single-sided) of 8½ x 11" paper. There are black-and-white photos throughout to assist in the assembly of the kit. There is also a single page with the fin template and tube marking guide (my kit was missing this, but Thrustline resolved that quickly). The rocket is very easy to build and is probably not much more than a level 2 kit.


Parts

The motor tube is built first. After making 4 marks on the tube, for the insertion of the engine hook and the three centering rings assembly begins. The instructions are a bit confusing, but I think it is because of a typo I found. In step 1, it says that the marks at 1/4", 3-1/4", 3-1/2" and 6-3/4" are "...for the aft centering ring, the center centering ring, the rear engine clip insert point, and the forward centering ring respectively". However, in step 2 it says to "Make a 1/8th inch slit at the 3-1/4 inch mark" for the engine hook. After studying the drawings, I believed that step 2 should have said to make the slit at the 3-1/2 inch mark. But as I will explain later, I was wrong. Really, the mark at 3-1/4" is for both the rear engine clip insert and the center centering ring. Be real careful with this... in fact, here is a drawing for you. (Thrustline, please consider putting this in your instructions)

Motor Mount

The Kevlar tether is attached to the upper section of the motor tube. This is slid under the forward centering ring and secured. Nice arrangement. The motor tube assembly is put into the body tube. My assemble fit perfectly, however, Thrustline noted hat you may have to sand the fiber centering rings to get a good fit.

The fins are cut from the provided balsa using the fin template. Simple cuts. I choose to round my leading and trailing edges using sand paper prior to gluing the fins in place.

The rest of the construction is straightforward and basic build activity. Oh, I do want to mention that I built the entire rocket using Omni-Stick glue. I even did the fin fillets with this glue. It takes some getting used to, but grabs quickly (formerly called Quick Grab - see here for more info) and has adequate strength.

Not Painted

Thrustline does give finishing guidance including using wood filler, priming, sanding, priming, sanding, then painting. There are no decals provided with this kit.

Lastly, the parachute is assembled. This is done by pulling all the shroud lines together and cutting them so that they are even. Then tieing them on the provide swivel and placing some glue on the knot. No issues.

Finished

At first I wasn't thrilled about finishing this rocket and for those that have followed my reviews, it is my least favorite part of building. As I continued to look at this rocket, I really started to appreciate the "classic" lines with the 3-fin and nose cone design. That appreciation led me to putting forth great effort to finish it. So after many, many coats of Plastic-Kote Primer and sanding in between, I got this rocket as smooth as silk. I then used Walmart White and Red paints to finish it off (additional comments about Walmart paint). I'm very pleased with its looks.

Overall, for CONSTRUCTION I would rate this kit 3 ½ points. The instructions are adequate, however, I did find that the motor mount assembly was a bit confusing. I'm sure this will be corrected. I'm not thrilled about how the Kelvar tether sticks out of the top of the rocket body, but we'll see how it holds up. I see this as a formula for zippering verses the wider elastic. I had no trouble cutting the fins, but compared to other kits where the parts are laser cut, it is a small detractor (note: I'd rather cut these simple fins myself and keep the price of the kit down). The kit did not include any decals.

FLIGHT/RECOVERY:

Thrustline recommends the D12-3 "...until you can observe the rocket's performance and work your way from there." They also say from C11 through E.

My rocket weighed in at 3.4 ounces. I went ahead and worked up a RockSim file for it to get better guidance for flying.

RockSim

After deciding to head out for a few flights on a delightful, spring-preview day here in Vermont, I decided to fly the Mighty Mick on a C11-5. The kit does not come with an adaptor (which I think it should) to allow you to use C11 and D12 motors in the E9-sized motor mount. I took a 24mm coupler and sized it for the difference in length between a C11 and E9 motor. I slid it up into the motor mount and then pushed in a C11. What's this? It stopped short! It didn't clip in under the motor hook. Surely, the coupler is stuck... maybe on some excess glue? Wrong! By now you know what I did. Yep, it was hitting the thrust ring that was under the motor hook. Well, so much for ever flying this rocket on E9's!

I just cut out the coupler I put in, and made a shorter one to allow the use of C11's.

At the launch site, I prepped the rocket. I used two sheets of wadding and then added a Nomex heat shield to the shock cord. I loaded the C11-5 and was ready to go.

First flight was off and got some nice pictures. It was as straight as an arrow. The finish on this rocket allowed for great contrast to the blue sky. The C11 blew its thrust quickly and then just silent ascension. It was beautiful! At apogee a trail of white smoke appeared as it arced and then pop, the nose cone ejected and the bright yellow parachute open. A classic looking rocket in a classic looking flight. Very nice.

I decided to repeat this and was successful. Landing nearly in the exact same spot. It was beautiful.

Flight Flight Flight

The recovery system looks great and looks like it will last a while.

For FLIGHT/RECOVERY, I would rate this rocket 4 ½ points. I'm very pleased with the performance of this rocket. And even though it will never fly on E9's, I think it is a nice rocket for C11's. I'm also looking forward to a D12 flight and then maybe I'll break out my 24mm RMS system for it! Perhaps, I'll change to a streamer first. The recovery system and rip-stop parachute are very nice. The only thing not making the rocket a perfect 5 is that if a rocket is designed for E9's, I think an adapter should come with it to allow flights on C11 and D12's. That's all. Perhaps, overly critical.

I give the rocket an OVERALL rating of 4 points. The rocket has classic lines which makes it look nice. It makes a nice addition to any fleet. It does take some patience in finishing with the all balsa nose cone. But the recovery system and the motor choice flexibility are nice. Remember the price comparison at the top of this review? Go get a Mighty Mick... but watch that motor mount assembly!

[Submit your Opinion]

GUEST's OPINION:
04/04 - "The Thrustline Mighty Mick is one cool rocket! I never intended to fly mine on E9's so I built it accordingly and that was a mistake. After I saw how well it perfomed on a D12-5 I wished I could put an E9 in it. Built this kit per instructions and you will have a well built, great looking and high flying rocket! I love this rocket!" (K.M.S.)

GUEST's OPINION:
04/04 - "Production Update-About a month ago, I accomplished a re-design of the motor mount and have made the instructions for that area much clearer. The instructions for installing the Kevlar have been clarified as well." (Thrustline)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

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

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Altitude
Wind Notes
09-11-2005 Matthew Bond Est SU D12-5 Just Before Light winds Event: QUARK Section Launch
- First Flight! Nice smooth boost, straight and fairly high. Little early on the ejection, good chute. Not much drift, but a long time coming down. Tall grass landing 100 yards out, no damage.
09-11-2005 Matthew Bond Est SU E9-6 Just Before Light winds Event: QUARK Section Launch
- Long burn! Straight, fast and high. Good ejection, chute didn't unfurl for 2-3 seconds. Not much drift, but it took a long time to get down, chute might need a spill hole. Grass landing, no damage.
06-21-2009 Matthew Bond Est SU D12-5 Just Before 5-10 mph winds Flight PictureEvent: Southern Thunder
MMClone - First flight of the new Mick! Smooth boost, arcing into the wind at ejection. Good chute, long walk, grass landing, no damage. Needs a smaller chute for these winds.
06-21-2009 Matthew Bond Est SU E9-6 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds Event: Southern Thunder
MMClone - Final flight of Southern Thunder 09! Long boost, straight and high. Arcing into the wind, ejection right at apogee. Good deployment of smaller chute. Medium sized walk, grass landing, no damage!
07-11-2009 Matthew Bond AT SU E30-7 Apogee - NC Down 5-10 mph winds Flight Picture MMClone - Awesome! Dead straight and wicked fast off the pad, easily over 1500 feet. Arcing into the wind during coast, nose down at ejection. Good chute, long walk, grass landing, no damage. Great Flight!
09-05-2009 Matthew Bond AT SU E15-7 Just Before 5-10 mph winds Flight Picture MMClone - Motor hook caught on the standoff for a second or so after ignition. Rod flexed and then whipped back as the rocket broke free. Fast and high, not quite done climbing at ejection. Good chute, long walk, grass landing, no damage.
11-21-2009 Matthew Bond Est SU C6-3 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds Flight Picture MMClone - Flown with an 18mm adaptor and 48 inch launch rod. Good small field set up for this rocket. Nice boost, smooth and straight. Just stalling out, nose up at ejection. Good chute, minimal drift, grass landing, no damage.
11-21-2009 Matthew Bond Est SU C6-3 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds Flight Picture MMClone - Another nice flight of the Mick! Flown with 18mm adaptor and 48 inch rod. Nice boost, smooth and straight. Just stalling out, nose up at ejection. Good chute, minimal drift, grass landing, no damage.
09-26-2010 Matthew Bond Est SU E9-6 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds Flight Picture MMClone - Great flight of the Mick. Nice boost, smooth and high on a long burning E9. Arcing over, nose down at ejection. Good chute, long walk, lakebed landing, no damage.
10-08-2005 Matthew Bond Est SU E9-6 Apogee - Perfect 10+ mph winds RIPEvent: QUARK Section Launch
- Not really sure what I was thinking? Nice boost, straight fast and very high. Could see it drifting during the coast. Chute deployed perfectly at apogee and that was it. Chased it out of the park and into the housing tracks but it never had a chance. Status: Lost
03-28-2004 EMRR Est SU C11-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - First flight and it was lovely. Straight as an arrow, nice altitude, perfect ejection and then the beautiful white and red rocket with yellow 'chute descended home. Excellent
03-28-2004 EMRR Est SU C11-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Repeat of the first flight. I like it!
05-06-2004 EMRR Est SU C11-5 Apogee - Perfect Calm RIP - I really like this rocket and motor configuration. Perfect flight and ejection... but alas it is now a victim of the trees! Dang, some rockets, ya just hate to loose. Status: Tree/Roof
04-28-2007 Ron Wirth Est SU C11-5 Didn't Record Gusty - Good flight
06-23-2007 Ron Wirth Est SU D12-5 Didn't See 0-5 mph winds - Burnt through shock cord. Body tube separated from nose cone and chute. No damage sustained.
   

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