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REV 2.4 - Mon May 9 11:30:22 2011

PML
MR-1
6030 Paver Lane
Jeddo, MI 48032
(810) 327-1710
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SPECS: 25" x 2.1" - 24 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: MISSING - please submit here
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: 38mm, 29mm (w/ADPTR-38/29); (PML website has specifics)

Rating
(by Al Gloer - 08/20/06)

Brief:
A real short mid to high power sport flier styled after an anti-tank weapon. It's basically a big nose cone with just enough body to hold the fins. Available in both 29mm and 38mm, this review reflects a 38mm build.

Public Missiles, Ltd. MR-1

Construction:
The parts list:

  • 1 Nose cone with pre-attached shock cord
  • 1 Urethane nosecone transition with launch lug mount
  • 1 Body Tube (available only in Quantum Tubing)
  • 1 Parts for 2.1" piston (tube, bulkhead, strap, D-ring
  • 3 G-10 fins
  • 2 Centering rings
  • 1 Launch lug
  • 1 Motor Mount

This is a basic PML build. You need to make sure you sand all the epoxy points as the bond to QT can be difficult to attain. In the case of this review, I was building with the 38mm mount so the internal fillets were a challenge at best (not a lot of room to work). I mixed up a slurry of 6 minute epoxy and milled fiberglass and then injected it into place holding the rocket level. I repeated this three times and got a fairly good set of internal fillets. In the case of this rocket, larger fillets on the outside are called for strengthening purposes.

Because the base of the nose is almost twice as wide as the body tube, the transition has a molded riser for the launch lug. This is not a bad case of flashing so read the directions and don't grind it off! I found that basic hobby epoxy did a lousy job of holding the brass lug to the urethane transition. JB-Weld is strongly recommended. If you are a hardcore rail junkie, this one will put you to the test of your creativity. Also, note that when finished, the nose cone does not seem to fit right and there is a 1" band exposed. This is there by design.

Retention is difficult as the gap between the MMT and BT is about 1/2". I epoxied a SHCS in and use a single nut to hold the motor in. If ever a rocket called for an Aero Pack or Slimline retainer, this is the one.

Finishing:
I painted the body gloss black, the nose red, the transition blue and covered the funny step in the nose with chrome trim Monokote. Other than that it's a basic paint your rocket if you like job. Of course with the airframe being QT, you need to give a light sanding for best paint adhesion.

Construction Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

Public Missiles, Ltd. MR-1

Flight:
Stuffing in the recovery system is a bit of a challenge as there just is not a whole lot of room. You push the piston as far back as possible, fold the chute real tight, and poke it in to the body as best as possible. Then invert the NC, stuff everything else in there, and slip it all together.

The first flight was at METRA on Aug 6th, 2006. The load was a G67R in the 38-120 casing. The rocket took off almost sideways off the pad and never got more than 150' off the ground. I heard the deployment charge, however, since it was basically a ballistic trajectory, the forces involved got in the way of the deployment. One of the fins had broken away intact. The cause of the wild flight was obvious. On launch, the lug had torn away and the rocket lifted off unguided.

The post repair second flight was at CATO on August 19th, 2006. The load this time was a G61 in the 38-120. A near perfect flight!

Recovery:
This is a standard PML piston design system. Some will choose to leave out the piston, however, that is a matter of personal choice. This is a perfect rocket on a small field for the 1 grain 38mm reload and on a larger field for the 2-grain. It is rather short and using electronics might me iffy. This might be a perfect airframe for the new AT EFC product if you wanted.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
Were I to build this again, I would slot the body to the base and assemble the fin can outside the body allowing for the better fin to MMT.

PROs:

CONs:

  • Not the best candidate for a rail.
  • Stuffing in the laundry required more thought than I like on the field.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5


Rating
(Contributed - by John Lee [Who's Who Page] - 06/14/09) Public Missiles, Ltd. MR-1

Brief:
The MR-1 is something that looks like it comes out of an ordnance inventory. Opening the bag, that impression is confirmed as one looks at the parts. The Quantum tubing and glass fins make this a heavy and substantial rocket. The NC makes it even more so.

I am hoping to get a chance to do some HPR flying in May at the West Texas Thunder event so I started looking through some of the bigger kits sitting around and this one came up first. Mine came with a 29mm mount but it is available with a 38mm mount as well.

Construction:
My first step on reading through the instructions was to take a closer look at the Quantum tubing. I had never worked with this stuff before. It came with a high gloss and an insert dealing with this material said that all surfaces to be epoxied or painted should be scuffed with sandpaper to promote greater adhesion. That being the case, I gave it a good scrubbing which removed the high gloss.

The kit came with 2 plywood centering rings. One of them has a slot to accommodate the nylon harness. I test fit them in the BT and the motor tube and found both to be extremely tight on both the inner and outer circumferences. I started to sand them down. According to the instructions, a bit of tightness is desirable in the forward ring (the one with the slot) but the rear one should be loose enough to slip off without too much trouble. Eventually, these criteria were met.

Public Missiles, Ltd. MR-1 A mark was made on the forward end of the motor tube and a band of epoxy was run around the circumference with a 1" gap for the strap hole. The ring was then seated. When the first bit of epoxy had set, the forward ring was filleted, again leaving a gap for the strap.

The rear ring was then slipped on but not epoxied. To facilitate removal later, the instructions directed that I attach 3 strips of cellophane tape to ring.

The kit uses a piece of flat nylon strap for the recovery harness. It is supposed to slip through the notch of the forward ring. Mine would not and my attempts to get it to do so resulted in a frayed mess. I used a razor knife to cut off the fraying and form an angle at the end of the strap. I also used the knife to whittle away a bit more material and make the slot bigger. After doing that, I was able to use a pair of pliers to pull the strap through so that 4" were along the motor tube. A bed of epoxy was laid down and then the strap was embedded in the epoxy and held down with masking tape.

The next step was to install the motor mount into the airframe. The instructions called for placing a ring of epoxy 7 inches in from the aft end. My swabs were only 6 inches long so I used some CA to glue a swab to a mixing stick. The lengthened swab was then marked at 7" and a ring of epoxy was applied. The motor mount was shoved in, making sure that the strap was offset from all fin slots. It was pushed in until the end of the motor tube was flush with the airframe.

Public Missiles, Ltd. MR-1 Fin attachment began by applying a bead of epoxy along the root edge of the fin and then inserting the fin into a slot until it comes to rest on the motor mount. Once in place, alignment was checked and the fin was taped to hold it in position until the epoxy set. Then the next fin was done in the same manner as was the third one.

With the fins in place, I used the tape tabs put earlier on the aft centering ring to pull the ring out. This gave access to the joints between the fins and motor tube and the fins and inner BT. Small batches of epoxy were mixed and a long swab was used to fillet the inner and outer joints. At the same time, the outside of the BT was filleted to the fins. The epoxy fillets were smoothed by a glove clad finger dipped in alcohol.

At this point I need to confess up to a blunder. My thought was that the inner fillets did not need to be pretty and I was kind of messy applying them. This led to later problems in getting the aft centering ring back in place. I ground the blobs down as best I could but the ring still wouldn't go in. I used a sander to remove more from the outside and my finger with some sandpaper to work on the inside. It helped but not enough. Then I got the bonehead idea of forcing it. I used a rubber headed mallet to get it started and it did start. It was also apparent that it was never coming out again. I was committed. Then I got dumber. I placed the handle pieces of a pair of pliers on the ring and rapped the other end with the mallet. This drove the ring down but also split the wood. It wasn't split enough to be removed, but it was pretty awful looking. I finally finished seating the ring with the mallet and pliers method and then covered it up with epoxy. It's ugly but should work. Besides, people have no business looking up the behind of strange rockets.

Piston construction began with sanding down the piston bulkhead so that it would slip into the piston tube without using a mallet. This did not take too long with a belt sander. The nylon strap attached to the motor mount was then fished through the provided slot, passed through a D ring, and then passed back through the slot and snugged up. Epoxy was then used to bond the strap in place.

When the epoxy around the strap had dried, the piston bulkhead was inserted into the piston tube and epoxied into place with fillets on both sides.

The transition section still needed to be put together. It had to be epoxied to a 1" length of Quantum tubing that would receive the nose cone. I scuffed up the plastic with sandpaper and the epoxied it into place.

The transition was slid onto the BT down to the fins. The strap from the nose cone was then pushed down into the BT on top of the inserted piston and the nose cone settled around the top of the BT as far down as it would go. The transition was then moved up until it housed the lower end of the cone and a line was marked on the BT and the transition slid back down. A ring of epoxy was then applied at the line and the transition slid back into place. You must be careful at this point to make sure that the nose cone does not get bonded.

All that was left, except for the lug, was to attach the strap from the nose cone to the top of the piston.

Public Missiles, Ltd. MR-1

Finishing:
Finishing began with the scuffing of all exterior surfaces with sandpaper. I started with 220# and then went to 400# because I didn't like some of the gouges.

Then it was into the booth for the first of 2 coats of Kilz. When it came out a few days later, the Kilz was lightly sanded and I masked off the part of the rocket from the transition aft.

I am not overly fond of flat paints so I decided to go this something similar too, but not like the "publicity photo". I proceeded to give the forward section a coating of flaky metallic silver. I had gotten a case of the stuff for another project and it has worked well for me.

The silver had a couple of days to dry and then I peeled off the masking and reversed it. The bottom of the rocket was then sprayed with a glossy, dark green. I don't know where I got the can from. I didn't even know that Valspar made rattle cans.

When the green had dried, the masking was peeled off and the results inspected. I was satisfied and needed only to get to work on the lug.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Public Missiles, Ltd. MR-1

Flight and Recovery:
The first flight of the MR-1 was a comic tragedy of errors. I checked and saw that I had put the chute in place and loaded an Econojet F20-4. It came with a Copperhead igniter, of course, but I had never had too much trouble with those...until today. It didn't even tickle the motor.

I replaced the igniter with a First Fire and got ignition, after a fashion. The motor chuffed for a while but then decided to go with the flow and the rocket took off describing a parabola. At this point, we all knew that trouble was brewing but I kept hoping that, somehow, the chute would eject. I ran around a truck that was obstructing my view and had just enough time to see the following:

  1. The ejection charge fired about 10 feet off the ground.
  2. The chute was in the tube but had not been tied into the harness (It flutters nicely, by the way)
  3. The rocket takes a core sample.

Some of the excitement can be seen here on video.

Things got stranger after that. The first really strange thing is that the rocket had no damage. That made me think it was indestructible and ready it for another flight.

Public Missiles, Ltd. MR-1 This time I loaded a G38-4J. I tried another Copperhead with the same result as before and replaced it with a Quick Fire which did indeed fire quickly. The rocket flew well, went up, sounded good, the piston deployed the chute just the way it was supposed to and the rocket came drifting down. That's when the winds decided to act up and take it towards the Alamo Fireworks warehouse. Ignoring my pleas, it landed on the wrong side of the fence.

Several of us saw it land gently. I decided to go on Monday to reclaim the rocket. Alamo has always been very good about that. At the end of the day though, another club member was driving off and noticed their gate was open. He retrieved his own rocket and my MR-1.

To summarize thus far: the rocket augured in on its first flight and sustained no damage. Now it had landed gently the way it is supposed to and it popped a fin. A video of the second flight can be seen here.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
I like this strange little rocket. It will be fixed and fly again.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

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[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Altitude
Wind Notes
05-20-2007 Howie Druckerman AT RMS F40-7 Very Late Gusty - I drilled the 10 sec delay to 7 sec. Even this was 4 sec too late based on the flight. It severely weather cocked to about 700 feet as it gracefully arched over. The ejection charge came at about 15 feet off the ground (phew!) and there was no damage.
07-27-2007 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G77-6 Just Past (1-2sec) Light winds Event: NYPOWER 12
- A great flight
07-28-2007 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G64-7 Apogee - NC Down Light winds Event: NYPOWER 12
- A great flight.
07-29-2007 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G33-7 Apogee - NC Down Light winds Event: NYPOWER 12
- Love that black smoke -- another great flight.
08-19-2007 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G77-M Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds - I great rocket that never fails to fly great. used standard chute to reduce drift.
09-16-2007 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G77-M Very Late 0-5 mph winds - PML says 12 sec delay; M should be 10 but it should have been a 7 max. The extremely late delay dinged the nose cone shoulder and the piston; both are repairable.
10-14-2007 Howie Druckerman AT RMS F52-7 Very Early 10+ mph winds Event: CTRA Invitational XIII
- Drilled down 11 sec delay to 7 but acted more like 3. Thrust had ended and under coast, but still progressing upward at a high rate of speed. All parts survived.
11-18-2007 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G77-M Very Late 0-5 mph winds - Sputtered a couple of times on the pad and then took off, taking a sharp left turn after leaving the rod. Ejected 3-4 seconds late and over 2000 feet away; almost a 1:1 flight
12-15-2007 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G77-7 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds Event: December Launch
- Launch lug snapped off but had straightest flight ever (will be repaired). Landed on other side of river -- about 2 hour walk in snow to retrieve. Great day to be out.
05-17-2008 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G79-7 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - Fine flight with chute just a bit late and slight damage to piston.
05-25-2008 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G77-7 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - An absolutely perfect flight with the shock cord landing on one of the legs of the launcher
06-21-2008 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G79-7 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds Event: NERRF4
- Drilled down M delay by 5 washers
07-25-2008 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G77-7 Apogee - NC Down 5-10 mph winds Event: NYPower 13
- Parachute stayed within airframe and did not deploy. Rocket hit hard but no damage
09-20-2008 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G53-5 Very Late 10+ mph winds - Has flown successfully many times but spiraled this time and ejected about 10 feet off the ground
07-06-2009 Howie Druckerman AT RMS F52-5 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds Event: LDRS-28
- landed less than 20 feet from where I was standing, behind the flight line.
11-22-2009 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G64-5 Very Early 0-5 mph winds - Drilled down a second or two too early -- needs to be at 5-6 seconds. This was 3-4. No damage though.
12-19-2009 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G64-7 Very Early 0-5 mph winds - Early deploy was not a problem
01-17-2010 Howie Druckerman Ces RLD G115-7 Very Early 0-5 mph winds - Needed longer delay
02-20-2010 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G64-10 Didn't See 0-5 mph winds - A great flight
06-12-2010 Howie Druckerman Ces RLD G163-7 Didn't Record 0-5 mph winds -
06-26-2010 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G64-10 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds Event: NERRF
-
08-21-2010 Howie Druckerman AT RMS G77-8 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds -
11-21-2010 Howie Druckerman AMW RMS G185-9 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - blew large hole in side of rocket; significant rebuild required
08-13-2006 Al Gloer AT RMS G67-10 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds Event: METRA
- This was the first flight and due to a failure in the launch lug the flight was nearly horizontal and a hard spack on the ground. Broke one fin loose. Easy repair
08-13-2006 Al Gloer AT RMS G61-10 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds Event: CATO
- Beautiful second flight. The 38-120 motors are perfect for this bird!
09-09-2006 Al Gloer AT RMS G67-10 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds - Parachute got wedged in NC. Overbuilding resulted in a bounce...
11-17-2007 Robert Hall AT RMS H128-10 Just Before 5-10 mph winds Event: Faust
- Awesome flight, RockSim'ed to 2900 feet. Looks like it got all of it.Perfect level 1 flight. Used the 29mm motor mount, held in with screws. Cert Flight: L1
06-13-2009 John Lee AT EconoJet F20-4 Very Late 5-10 mph winds Flight PictureEvent: Alamo Rocketeers Monthly Launch
- Wild maiden flight. Arced over, long delay, ejected about 10 above the ground. The real tradgedy is that I forgot to connect the chute to the harness! NO DAMAGE!!!!!!!!!!!
06-13-2009 John Lee AT EconoJet G38-4 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds Flight PictureEvent: Alamo Rocketeers Monthly Launch
- Great flight, great deployment, gentle landing and popped fin.
03-06-2010 John Lee RoadR SU G80-7 Didn't See 5-10 mph winds Flight PictureEvent: Cub Scout Launch
- Great flight but a bit of a drive to recover it.
10-02-2010 John Lee AT EconoJet F42-4 Apogee - NC Down 5-10 mph winds Event: AARG Hutto Launch
- Sweet post repair flight

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