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REV 2.4 - Tue Aug 17 04:09:57 2010

Modification
LOC/Precision
Aura (Auracle)
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SPECS: 23.3" x 4.86" - 9 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: MISSING - please submit here
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here

(Contributed - by Larry Brand [Who's Who Page])

Brief:
I have modified the LOC Aura to a tube-fin design.

Modifications:
Tube fins described above were fastened to the main body tube in the time-honored, self-jigging manner for tube-fin rockets. Opposite tube fins glued on first with main tube on a flat surface to insure alignment; next pair added to the top of this array; last pair added to the bottom of this arrangement after the first 4 are dry. Standard LOC recovery system can be used. I prefer to attach the shock cord through the upper hull, anchored with an external knot that is covered with 1/2 of a BIC pen cap sawn lengthwise. I spray-painted the rocket in navy gray primer, and left the cone unpainted (photo).

Construction:
The LOC Aura wood fins were replaced with 6 identical tube fins cut from 40.5mm cardboard tubing from an empty Saran Wrap roll. This happens to be identical in diameter to the 1.62" LOC Aura fuselage tubing, and the size of standard 38mm motor tubing. Tube fins were 2.5" long, cut with a 22.5 degree bevel on top, which I find both looks better and improves stability and performance.

PRO: The purpose in this modification was to eliminate two shortcomings of this popular LOC product: breakage of the wooden fins, and loss of the whole contraption due to its small size and hot performance. Tube-fin rockets are significantly stronger in the small sizes, and the added drag slows things down a bit and straightens out the flight (less weathercocking) so you have a better chance of getting the thing back. This tube-fin design in particular flies remarkably straight up, especially on an E30-7 (adapter needed).

CON: There's always loss of speed and altitude with the substitution to tube-fins, but on anything bigger than an E30, this can't be a disadvantage, since it goes out of sight anyway. I like to actually see the recovery system deploy, personally. This is conducive to getting the rocket back, I find.

Flight:
I have flown the tube-fin LOC Aura exclusively on E30-7 motors. Very fast, very straight, even in a breeze. I use tape friction fit of the motors in a LOC 24-29 mm adapter tube. There is no reason to fly this rocket on anything more if you expect to get it back. After 7 flights, not a bit of damage.

Summary:
The modification completely fulfilled my expectations. I'd like to see LOC include a tube-fin option like this with the Aura kit -- makes it more attractive to small-field fliers, and I think the bevel tube-fin structure looks cool (see attached photo).

Other:
I prefer to replace the underpants elastic shock cord included with the kit with 6-7 feet of parachute cord.

[Submit your Opinion]

GUEST's OPINION:
12/02 - "I also tried building one of these and it turned out great. There are not that many tube-fin rockets out there so you often have to design them yourself. I did everything the same on mine(including using Saran Wrap rolls for fins) except I bought the parts separately instead of the buying the Aura kit itself. Instead I cut the fins to 45 degrees because my miter box can't cut 22.5 degrees. I have not yet got the chance to fly it though, I plan to as soon as spring comes." (P.V.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

SPECIFIC ROCKET TIP:
"" (x.x.)

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Altitude
Wind Notes
03-16-2003 Peter Smith AT EconoJet F20-7 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Great first flight. It went surprisingly straight. Recovered nearby with a TFR 40x4 inch streamer. I think I am going to replace the saran wrap roll tube fins with custom made PML phenolic tube fins.
04-18-2004 Peter Smith AT EconoJet F20-7 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds Event: PARA
- Good first flight for my new version of this design which has custom cut PML tube fins. Old F20 was hard to ignite, magnelite finally got it going. Got about 1,500' Landed nearby using 40x2 mylar streamer.
   

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