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REV 2.4 - Tue Dec 3 22:50:13 2013

Launch Pad
25984 SW Rucks Dairy Rd
Okeechobee, Florida 34974
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SPECS: 39.25" x 2.6" -
ROCKSIM FILE: Right Click to Download
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: (Plan-Pak Version): Booster: D12-0 x 2 AND D12-3 x 1; Upper Stage: D12-5, D12-7; (Kit Version): D12-5 x 2, D12-7 x 2, E15-7 x 2

(Contributed - by Chip Jenkins)

Rocket PicBrief:
The Scimitar is a mid-power Launch Pad original Surface to Air missile with dual 24mm engine mounts and an 18" parachute recovery.

This rocket came packed in a bag, all of the pieces were contained in the bag and none were damaged. The 6 pages of instructions were well illustrated and detailed. The body tube was spiral wound tube with only a light spiral to fill (almost non-existent) The one thing that I didn't agree with (and didn't follow) was the body tube assembly. The instructions direct you to glue the 2 tube sections together first and then glue the engine mount assembly and the chute compartment disk in second. This would have made it harder to get the chute disk in properly although it would have been possible either way.

The next thing was the sandwiched main "wings", if you follow the instructions to the letter, you would end up with an open area between the two fins that attach to the airframe. If I would have left this area open, it would have been impossible to finish. I filled them with a small sliver of balsa and it turned out good.

The fins needed to be cut from soft balsa wood stock from templates that were provided. It's a good thing that it was soft balsa too, because there is a lot of it to cut, sand and form. I'll address more on the fins in the finishing section.

Rocket Pic

The last thing was the light cardboard "turbojet" air intakes. The intakes are cut from light cardboard that is provided, scored, folded, and then glued to the body tube on 4 sides 45 degrees from the fins. I looked at these and tried to talk myself into leaving them off. Once I prepared them for assembly, I decided to put them on anyway, this was a good decision on my part. They look kind of cheesy when you first look at them but, once it's finished, they look nice.

Once everything was glued to the airframe, the resulting product was sturdy and solid. The parachute supplied was an 18" mylar that I didn't care for. I like nylon so I substituted an 18" ripstop nylon chute.

The finishing had one particular twist that I'd had not encountered before. The soft balsa and the cardboard were to be coated with light CA before sanding. This did make the fins sturdy but almost impossible to sand smooth. I guess I could have sanded them until my fingers hurt but, I'm glad I did not (see the sad end to the story). The next one I build that instructs that I apply CA to balsa, I'm going to use the standard sanding sealer. It will take several coats of sanding sealer but, I'm sure it will be easier to sand smooth. (or it will just seem easier and I'm all for that)

After everything was sanded, I sprayed on a few coats of primer and sanded it down again. Then I put a coat of machinery grey paint. Then I applied some 1/8" and 1/4" automotive pinstriping. The resulting Scimitar looked very nice.

Construction Rating: 2 ½ out of 5

Rocket PicFlight:
The recommended motors were a pair of either D12-5, D12-7, of Aerotech E15-7. I used two D12-5's for the only launch (this is leading to the sad part of the story). The motors were held by Estes style retaining clips, and the igniters were tied together. I put the wadding and the parachute in and set her on the pad and connected to the leads.

At launch, the rocket few a straight line to maybe 600 or 700 feet and then it weathercocked bad and flew at about 40-50 degrees to the horizontal (best guess) this was not the fault of the rocket (I'm guessing again) but my fault. The wind was not exactly calm but it was not continuous either. I would guess that the large fin area in conjunction with the wind gusts well above my head contributed to the arrant flight path.

The shock cord was long enough but it attached by a piece of heavy paper in an Estes style. I didn't have a big problem with the way the recovery system was set up. From my vantage point on the ground, I saw the ejection and the parachute high in the sky. Now this is the sad part. Since the flight path took the rocket much farther over than I expected, I was unable to recover it. It cleared a row of trees into a field on the other side of the tree line. I figured that I missed the trees so I would be able to go to the field on the other side of the trees and search for my rocket. Once I passed through the trees, I discovered that the field was not empty but, full of field corn about 8 foot tall. I did buy a piezo locator but, I didn't have it ready for installation. I should have been working on that instead of launching that day. The flight was not that bad because I cant blame the rocket kit for the will of Mother Nature.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

I read some of the comments that others have written about Launch Pad kits and I have read the comments from the Launch Pad. I will agree that it was more of a challenge than building an Estes kit. I will also agree that the instructions leave something out that a novice would have trouble with. I do like the fact that the instructions leave some of the thinking to me. After all, I can't really say "As a matter of fact, I AM a rocket scientist" if I were unable to assemble the kit with the instructions provided. I didn't agree with coating the balsa with CA. If several coats of sanding sealer made it necessary to add some nose weight, then so be it. It would have been worth the time to add it although I don't believe that nose weight would have been necessary either way. I know that the CG was just fine without any additional adjustment.

Here's a good tip that I learned from this rocket. If you take your time building a rocket to make it look and perform well, don't be in a big hurry to lose it on the first launch. I wanted to see it fly and I needed to wait for another day. This rocket leads me to believe that the wind causes more problems to rockets with large fin area.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

* SPECIAL NOTE off of RMR from Chuck Barndt, President of The Launch Pad

(Contributed - by Stephen Morrow [Who's Who Page] - 04/07/09) The Launch Pad Scimitar

A Launch Pad original, the Scimitar is a two motor cluster, mid power rocket. Some skill in model rocket building is needed for this kit but overall it is a very easy kit to build.

The parts list:

  • Two Body Tubes
  • 24mm Motor Tubes and Retainers
  • Couplers
  • Cardboard Centering Rings and Bulkhead
  • Plastic Nose Cone
  • Balsa For Fins
  • Mylar Parachute
  • Elastic Shock Cord
  • Fin Templates
  • Cardstock Transition and Scoops

This kit came with detailed instructions and should be followed to the letter if you are wanting the same performance that TLP advertises. Overall, the instructions are easy to follow. They do not include CP or CG locations or where to place the launch lugs, but this is an advanced kit and you should be able to determine those things for yourself anyways.

The kit goes together very well as long as you make sure to plan out all of your fins on the balsa before you cut them. They include just enough balsa to make the fins, but if you plan the cuts wrong you will run out before you are done. The balsa is also very soft and the instructions state you are to apply CA to the fins for strength. I decided to paper the fins with cardstock and wood glue instead. If you do this, make sure you book the fins over night so they do not curl up on you.

The motor mounts are recessed in the back of the transition pretty far so I decided to add some material to strengthen that area and protect it from the motors. I cut some thin tin flashing I bought at Home Depot to the appropriate size and glued it in place with JB Weld. So far the addition of the flashing has payed off. You can clearly see the char from the motors on the tin but no damage to the rocket.

The recovery system relies on the old Estes three fold paper method, which I think would work just fine in this model, but I decided to change it up just a bit to suit me. TLP includes a bulkhead that mounts up front in the body tube making a parachute compartment. I think this is a great idea and it helps keep the CG where it needs to be and also baffles the ejection charge some. What I did was back the cardboard bulkhead with balsa and epoxy in place a U-bolt that I made myself out of a coat hanger and attached a steel leader to that. I then attached about eight foot of thick elastic then what comes in the kit to the end of the leader. This gave me something that I can pack above the wadding to keep from getting it burnt, and the elastic is also easily replaceable.

One thing to mention, if you build this rocket stock then the parachute included is more than enough needed, but if you add the mods that I did you will break a fin almost every time it lands. Invest in a bigger chute for it if you do decide to bulk it up.

The kit also includes some cardstock parts, such as the rear transition and the ducts that are on the side of the rocket. The instructions call for soaking the parts in CA, which gives them more than enough strength. Bending them may be a bit tricky, but the effects are well worth it. All said and done this is a very satisfying rocket to build and fly.

The Launch Pad ScimitarThe Launch Pad Scimitar

The Launch Pad ScimitarThe Launch Pad Scimitar

The kit does not come with any decals, but it does come with sort of a painting diagram. This was such a cool looking rocket that I decided to DX the military theme and go with a nice sporty flame job. I filled the spirals and joints with wood filler and sanded and primed the entire rocket. I painted the entire rocket gloss black and then after it dried I masked off the flames and painted them metallic silver fading to yellow. I also painted the ducts on the side of the body silver and yellow which produced a very nice accent. I then clear coated the entire rocket to finish it off.

All paints used were Rustoleum or Krylon. I can not remember the specific clear coat I used on this rocket.

Construction Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

The Launch Pad Scimitar

I have flown this rocket now over a dozen times on two Estes D12-5s and have had perfect, arrow straight flights every time. The motor mounts are side by side so using a RMS would be difficult due to the aft closures thrust ring. I have never flown this rocket on anything other than D12-5s and I am more than happy with it. I would say that it is my favorite MPR to fly.

For wadding I used dog barf, but a Kevlar® or nylon chute protector would be great too. I do nothing special with prep for flight on this rocket. To launch the rocket, I use a 12V system to ensure the clustered motors ignite together properly.

The parachute included in the kit is great if you build the rocket stock. If you add any weight to it you will want to use a larger parachute or else you will break fins off of the back on landing.

The Launch Pad Scimitar The tri-fold paper method is used to secure the shock cord to this rocket, and although I did my own mod on this, I feel that with the included bulkhead you should be very well protected using the tri-fold method.

I did use longer and better elastic for my build than what was included with the kit.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

This rocket is outstanding on the field. A few things I would change, such as the recovery system and adding support to the aft end, but other than that it is wonderful to build and to fly.

Overall Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

[Submit your Opinion]

10/05 - "My experience was much the same as noted above. I did build the forward fins as per the instructions however. I sealed them with several coats of sanding sealer which helps to stiffen the whole assembly. I have read and reread my instructions and nowhere was it stated to coat the fins or the paper "intakes" with CA. I know that other TLP kits do require this. My first flight was a success and I can't wait to fly it again!" (M.T.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

"" (x.x.)

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Wind Notes
08-27-2005 Andrew Grippo 2x Est SU E9-6 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds Event: SOLAR Monthly Launch
- This good looking rocket was launched without a parachute and unfortunately it landed in the parking lot and crushed the end of the body tube.
04-28-2007 Andrew Grippo 2x Est SU E9-8 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds Event: Monthly Launch
- Good motor and delay combo, slight singe of the chute. Good ignition of both motors.
02-20-2010 Stephen Morrow 2x Est SU D12-3 Apogee - Perfect 10+ mph winds - Perfect flight. Some slight fin seperation from landing.
03-07-2010 Stephen Morrow 2x Est SU D12-5 Just Past (1-2sec) Calm Flight Picture - Nice flight. One motor ignited late and the rocket did weathercock slightly, but still a very nice flight.
04-18-2010 Stephen Morrow 2x Est SU D12-3 Didn't Record 0-5 mph winds Flight PictureEvent: KRASH Site
- Only one motor fired. Rocket still lifted off of the pad, however it only went about 150 ft before it nosed over. The chute popped out just in time to slow it down on impact. No damage to rocket.
09-24-2005 Mark Thompson 2x Est SU D12-5 Apogee - NC Up
(not sure ft)
5-10 mph winds Event: Whitaker's Monthly
- First flight, first cluster. AWESOME!!! Arced into the wind. The twin thrust spikes looked great. Recovery was on an 18 chute

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