(Contributed - by Justin Farrand - 01/16/08)
After little to no convincing, I wanted to take part in the Midwest Power IV drag race. Tim Lehr of Wildman Rocketry
teamed up with Performance Rocketry to bring forth the dual deploy version 4" Mad Dog rocket for $99.00. The MSRP
on this kit when NOT involved with this drag race would run you $169.00. I never intended to get a Mad Dog, but in the
months prior to MWP IV I decided to get in on the race. It really helped that I had a drop in avionics bay that was
already geared up and ready to fly for a Performance Rocketry 3.9" (ID) airframe. My Competitor 4 would not mind.
I simply borrowed the bay from my Competitor 4 and I was well on my way. The Mad Dog DD is all fiberglass, has a 54mm
motor mount and .125" thick G-10 fins. The drag race was for altitude and individual performance was key.
My Mad Dog (as I am sure everyone else's contained):
- (1) 48" long, G10 fiberglass airframe 3.90" (ID)
- (1) 24" long, G10 fiberglass airframe 3.90" (ID)
- (3) .125" thick G10 fiberglass fins with beveled leading and trailing edges
- (1) 16" long, G10 fiberglass 54mm motor mount
- (3) .125" thick G10 fiberglass centering rings (3.90" airframe to 54mm motor mount)
- (1) 9" long, G10 fiberglass coupler tube 3.90" (OD)
- (2) .125" thick G10 fiberglass bulkhead plates (fit inside airframe)
- (2) .125" thick G10 fiberglass coupler bulkhead plates (fit inside coupler)
- (1) 5:1 Ogive fiberglass nose cone 3.90" (ID)
- (1) .125" thick G10 fiberglass nose cone bulkhead plate
Construction of my Mad Dog was about as easy as it gets. Aside from adding a conical Aeropack Tailcone Motor
Retainer, this project was built and ready to fly in less than a week. All parts were scuffed thoroughly, and I began
gluing the centering rings to the motor mount as well as the base to the Tailcone retainer. Even though the motor
retainer added a small amount of weight, I decided to add it to increase the overall performance of the Mad Dog. Since
the goal of this drag race was maximum altitude, I opted to eliminate the common technique of gluing a recovery harness
to the motor mount. For my Mad Dog's maiden voyage on an Aerotech K-700, I would switch the plugged forward closure for
a plugged and tapped forward closure from Aerotech. After firmly tightening a 5-16" forged eye bolt, I was less
overall weight and still had a tried and true method for a firmly mounted drogue recovery harness. After the booster of
my Mad Dog was completed, the avionics bay was bolted in place, and I was nearly ready to rock.
Quick and dirty was the name of the game this time. I was limited on time. So I primed the Mad Dog with Duplicolor
high build primer, gave it a quick wet-sand with 400 grit wet sandpaper and sprayed the rocket. The booster was painted
red, white upper airframe and a black nose cone. I then shot the entire rocket with clear and it looked surprisingly
good for a fast job.
out of 5
In a drag race for altitude, there were a couple of ways to lose. One was to have your rocket
fail to ignite and the other would be a recovery mishap or damage to the rocket. You were also allowed a
buy" if you were first off the pad. SOLD! That's what I want, first off the pad. Copper Thermite in a K-700
made quick work of leaving the pad first! I came far short of the 12,000+ feet that Dave Zupan, the winner got, but the
rocket did reach a respectable 9855 feet. What a fun first flight with about 12 other Mad Dogs screaming toward the
blue sky that day!
The MWP IV Mad Drag race also yielded a fun recovery! While following our Mad Dog in the air via radio tracking, I
could tell the rocket was a far way down range. After the signal was lost, it touched down. The Mad Dog landed a little
over 2.25 miles away to the southeast. Unfortunately, it was dragged by the wind until the booster filled up with a
tilled Illinois corn field. Aside from a little field rash, the rocket sustained no damage.
out of 5
For $99.00, the rocket is the most bang for the buck I have even been part of. Even the everyday price of $169.00 is
very fair for an all fiberglass dual deploy vehicle. I highly recommend the Mad Dog DD, especially if you are in the
market for a L2 capable kit.
out of 5