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REV 2.4 - Sun Jan 9 16:51:18 2011

Semroc
Lil' Hercules
Box 1271
Knightdale, NC 27545
(919) 266-1977
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SPECS: 6.5" x .759" - 0.3 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: Right Click to Download
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: A8-5, B6-6, C6-7

Rating
(Contributed - by John Arthur - 03/01/04)

Picture courtesy of SemRoc           
Courtesty of SemRoc

Brief:
The Semroc Lil' Hercules is a Semroc "retro-repro" of an earlier model. It is comparable to an Estes Mosquito or Quark. Just a little bit bigger.

Construction:
Kit contained 1 body tube, 1 balsa nose cone, 4 laser cut fins, 4 metal washers and 1 paper launch lug. There were no motor mounts or shock cords as this one recovers via tumble.

The instructions were very well laid out in a logical order with plenty of pictures. Semroc instructions are some of the most thorough on the market. Basically, just mark the body tube with the fin template provided, glue on the fins, launch lug and nose cone and you're ready to go. Oops.. almost forgot. You have to glue 1 metal washer to the base of each fin. These are supposed to aid in the tumble recovery. Nose cone was made of balsa as with all Semroc models and the fins were very high quality and just fell out of the sheet as they are laser cut. We (me and a 5 year old) used Elmers wood glue to put everything together.

Finishing:
We put a couple of fillets on the fins, gave her a quick prime and then painted her fluorescent orange. The really bright kind that the road crew guys use. I'll let you guess who picked the paint. Good idea, though, as this thing really soars and the fluorescent orange is easy to spot.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Flight:
No recovery wadding was necessary and we flew it twice on A8-3's. Instructions call for an A8-5 to reach 600'. Each one of our flights were probably a little less than 600'. Both flights were the same. Flight was very good on the way up with a little bit of a spin.

Recovery:
The tumble recovery was not very tumble. It was the lawn dart method - straight down. Possibly the washers need to be moved around a little bit. At a price of 3.50 each, I think I can afford to experiment!

Flight Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary:
Overall, a nice little rocket. We put it together and had it in the air in about an hour. The tumble needs a little work - but I think it can be fixed by moving those washers.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5


Rating
(Contributed - by Tim Bennett - 12/03/06) Semroc Lil' Hercules

Brief:
The Semroc Lil' Hercules is part of Semroc's Retro-Repro line of kits based on the Centuri Lil' Hercules, shortened to Lil' Herc in 1972.

Construction:
The kit contains a body tube and balsa nose cone, 4 laser cut fins, a launch lug, and 4 washers used to add tail weight for tumble recovery. The instructions are straightforward, and the kit goes together like a typical minimum diameter 3FNC rocket. The instructions have you glue the washers to the fin tips. I decided to take my X-Acto knife and hollow out the tips of the fins in order to hide the washers. The result was a slick looking Lil' Hercules. Since this model is designed after the original Centuri kit, I still give it full marks even though I made this one small modification.

Finishing:
I used Elmer's Fill 'n' Finish to slick up the nose cone and fins, then added a couple of coats of fast drying lacquer primer and sanded after each coat. I decided to use the paint scheme of the original Centuri model from the 1972 catalog. Here is a link to the paint scheme I was looking for on Ninfinger's website.

A white base coat was applied, then the red on the nose cone, and blue on the fins. I didn't have any Trim Monokote for the two silver bands, so I dug out some scrap body wrap material from my Estes Mercury Atlas kit. The final touch was to add the small Centuri decal that I made using Bel waterslide decal material. The results turned out pretty decent. Note that you can't see the weights at the fin tips.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Flight:
First flight was on an A8-3. The launch was whiplash fast. With the shutter lag on my digital camera, all I got was a smoke trail. That's unfortunate because it was launched from a vintage Centuri Powr Pad, and I'm told by my kids who were not behind the camera lens that it looked really good.

Recovery:
Since I was behind the camera and didn't see the ascent, it took me a while to locate the Lil' Hercules. It was almost at treetop level when I saw it, but the kids tracked it the whole way. It landed about 100 feet from the pad. The tumble recovery worked well and the bird was in excellent condition upon recovery with only ejection gas soot as evidence it had been flown.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
This is a great little Retro-Repro kit. Semroc is doing a great job helping us old folks remember the good old days.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

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GUEST's OPINION:
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SPECIFIC ROCKET TIP:
03/04 - "The "lawn dart" recovery was a feature of the first version of the original Centuri Lil' Herc as well. Later versions had steel washers that you glued to the tips of the fins that moved the post-ejection CG aft so that it would *usually* tumble. Then, still later, they switched to a plastic nose cone which moved the CG forwards made it lawn dart again! Adding weight to the tips of the fins near the trailing edge until it goes unstable is the solution. Simple with ROCSIM, certainly doable with hand calculations and some experiments." (B.B. )

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Altitude
Wind Notes
02-28-2004 John Arthur Est SU A8-3 None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds - Another flight like the last one.
02-28-2004 John Arthur Est SU A8-3 None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds - Nice flight. Not much tumble in the recovery
03-19-2004 EMRR Est SU 1/2A6-2 Didn't See Calm RIP - Zip, Zoom, gone. Heard and found kicked motor. Status: Lost
04-09-2008 Mark Grisco Est SU A8-3 None - Unstable 0-5 mph winds - too much tail weight, went unstable. my kit had 8 weights, i think it is supposed to have 4.
03-19-2008 Jason Orosco Est SU A8-5 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds vmf-214 - Perfect flight snapped a fin when it landed can be repaired.
07-28-2009 Jason Orosco Est SU A8-5 None - Tumble 0-5 mph winds vmf-214 - Good flight
03-04-2006 Chan Stevens Est SU 1/2A6-2 Just Before 5-10 mph winds -
03-26-2006 Chan Stevens Est SU 1/2A6-2 None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds -
04-22-2006 Chan Stevens Est SU 1/2A6-2 None - Tumble 5-10 mph winds - Unstable flight--tumbled on way up?!
02-28-2004 Art Upton Est SU B4-6 Apogee - Perfect Calm - We put a Hole in the body tube up by the nose cone, so at ejection, the gases would whip the rocket around to go un-stable. Instead, it glided, very well and fast in a circle, like a super fast slope soarer. Much better the a mach-10's glide I might add.

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