(08/01/04) Advanced Rocketry Corp appears to have recently had a
"re-opening". I had heard of them some time ago when someone
submitted a review on their
1318 PSR which is a side- cluster rocket. This time they have
brought another rocket into their collection, Shark. Anything special about
this rocket? Yes, its looks. That is the only reason I bought it.
ARC indicates there may be other "sea
creature" theme rockets coming. May I suggest a Mississippi Catfish (with
whiskers), a Hammerhead Shark, or a Sword Fish.
The kit includes a single and a
nose cone to make up its 16" in length. There are seven laser-cut
balsa (contest grade?) fins. It also has an 18mm with thrust ring
and retainer hook. A 12" ASP parachute with a 1/8" elastic
shockcord for the recovery system. Lastly there are two decals for gills and
The instructions are printed on the front and
back of a single sheet of 8½ x 11" paper. There are appropriate color
photos and a tube marking (2D) template. The ASP Mylar assembly
instructions are included with the parachute. The rocket build is easy
and should be considered a skill level 2 kit. The rocket finish is more
difficult and should be considered advanced.
The motor mount is assembled first and is
fairly routine in its assembly. ARC uses a paper to hold the
center of the hook down. I needed to take out one inner layer of this
ring before it would fit over the motor tube and hook. I simply took a hobby
knife and picked at the spiral edge and then peeled one layer out. I would
recommend this step.
The laser-cut fins are nice. They also seem
denser than balsa typically provided with kits (may be contest grade).
I spent the time to round each fin so that it
looked more life-like and to mimic the provided pictures of ARC's Great White
I used wood glue to attach the fins to the
body tube and then used 5-minute to make fillets (no pun
ARC instructs you to attach the
between two fins 6" up from the bottom of the rocket. I cut mine to be the
same length as a small, forward fin and then glued it into the joint. This
would be the bottom of the shark and therefore would be better hidden.
The shockcord is 26" of 1/8" white
elastic. It is mounted with a paper mount. There is a that you are
supposed to trace onto some cardstock (index card). The template is simply a
rectangle that two slits are cut into. The elastic is weaved through these
slits and then it is glued into the rocket body tube. This may or may not be
equivalent to a .
There is a large washer for that
is glued to the balsa and then an eye-screw is glued/screwed into the
nose cone. The elastic is attached to the .
Once the ASP Mylar Sport 'Chute (12") is
assembled it is attached 4" down from the nose cone.
Before beginning the process, I
sanded the tip off of the balsa nose cone to make it less pointed. This was to
try to make it look closer to the provided picture.
I used thick coats of Plasti-Kote and
sanded in-between. The nose cone took a lot of work. Once I was finished with
all my sanding, I noticed how the color of the Plasti-Kote looked so much like
the shark's grey. So I sprayed it again.
To make the lines on the sides to separate
the grey from white, I took masking tape and tore it lengthwise and used the
rough side as the "line". I then continued with my primer idea and
used Krylon white primer for the underside of the shark.
After dry, I put on the decals. The mouth is
printed on solid white decal paper. It is large and didn't conform perfectly to
the nose come. So there were a few small creases that barely show. Not bad
The gills were printed on transparent decal
The eyes and nostrils were put on using a
Sharpie Red and White permanent marker.
Once all that was done, I sprayed the entire
rocket with several coats of Walmart Clear Paint. How'd I do?
Overall, for CONSTRUCTION I
would rate this kit
points. The instructions are descriptive and easy to follow. Laser-cut
fins and the decals really add to the quality of the kit. Again, the most
difficult part of the rocket is the finishing portion.
ARC recommends the B6-4 and C6-7 for flying
the Shark. They indicate that the rocket should weight 2.1 ounces. My rocket
weighed 2.5 ounces.
I decided to fly it for the first time on an
A8-3. I used 5 sheets of to try to protect the parachute and
I chose the A8-3 since I was launching in the front
yard. It worked out real nice and I would add this to the recommended motors
list. The flight itself was very stable and ejection was at (nose cone
down). Ejection was good and the rocket descends at a nice rate.
Upon inspection there is a scuff on one of
the upper fins. Could this be from the shortness of the ? Not sure
and there is no other damage.
The second flight was a repeat of the first
for and ejection. Upon ejection the rocket's upper fins got caught in
the shock cord and stayed there until it was on the ground. Perhaps that is
what caused the scuff the first time? No other damage was observed.
Now what to do? I could fly it on larger
motors and most likely get the same results. I was thinking about setting this
one aside and use it for a "demo" at my son's school someday. We'll
For FLIGHT/RECOVERY, I would
rate this rocket
½ points. The rocket flies straight and looks cool on the pad. Its
mylar parachute is nice (it includes a ). The elastic shock cord length
has me bothered a bit.
I give the rocket an OVERALL rating of
½ points. It is a unique looking model rocket that performs well
on A8's for back (front) yard flying. A nice mylar 'chute, laser-cut fins, and
motor mount system. Takes a lot of work to get a sea worthy finish, but the
decals help. I'd recommend this kit just to get started on the
"theme". Could these be the new Gooneybird's, errr, fish?