Weir Rockets - Sweetheart Express
(Contributed - Reviewed by Tim Wood )
The Sweetheart Express from Weir Rockets is aptly
With its heart-shaped fins, it adds a little romance to the launch field.
But as a flyer, it also could be called a sweetheart for its sweet flying
Weir Rockets is a new company started by Paul Weir of Newark, Dela. Weir, a
long-time rocket flyer and "born again rocketeer," started
manufacturing kits after friends requested kits of his original designs.
They say you can't be sweet and tough, but the Sweetheart Express is both.
The motor mount rings are the thickest I've seen on a rocket of this size. The
motor hook is considerably thicker than those on comparable kits, and there is
a motor block included. Not all kits that include motor retaining hooks also
include a motor block.
The shock cord is one-half inch thick and would be adequate for some
high-power designs. There is a "leader" included to attach the
parachute to the nose cone; you don't have to attach the 'chute directly to the
nose cone. This approach reduces the possibility of parachute tangles. Snap
swivels make removal easy. The 'chute itself is a mylar chute, a type that
offers better visibility and better opening characteristics than the plastic
parachutes found in so many kits.
The fin patterns were drawn on the balsa wood stock. Also included were four
plastic "vanes," which help stabilize the rocket.
The rocket was fairly easy to build. I was confused somewhat about the
vanes, especially since in addition to the included plastic vanes, vane
patterns were drawn on the balsa wood. This problem will be corrected in future
releases. The instructions are well-written with adequate illustrations. A
rocket builder should have a little bit of experience before tackling this
There are no decals included. This is not surprising for a start-up
company's kit, as decals are expensive to produce in small quantities.
The test flights occurred at monthly flights of the Parker County 4-H Rocket
Club. I didn't plan to test the rocket's durability, but that's what
The first flight was on a B4-2. The parachute tangled and didn't open, which
likely was due to poor packing. However, the rocket landed safely with no
After a change of parachutes, a straight-up flight on an A8-3 went fine. I
didn't think a rocket that size could fly on an A8-3, but I was wrong. It went
up on a C6-5 with the launcher tilted steeply into the wind. The angle was
within safety limits, but the rocket weathercocked more than I expected. Thus,
it didn't get enough altitude for an optimal ejection. The result was a
"cliffhanger." The rocket was headed straight down and picking up
speed when ejection occurred about 80 feet above the ground. The parachute
opened immediately and the rocket was recovered safely - with no damage.
At a later 4-H club launch, I stood at the launch control panel as my son
hit the launch button. The rocket flew normally, ejected the chute and floated
right back to me. I didn't have to take a step to catch it. That's what I call
Perhaps you could build one and dedicate it to your sweetheart. It might be
one way to get her - or him - out to the launch field. As the instructions say,
"Take your love to new heights!"
Length: 23.5 inches
Weight: 3.5 ounces
Diameter: BT-55 equivalent
Nose cone: plastic
Motor mount: 18mm with hook and block
Launch lug: 1/8 inch
Fins: Balsa fins and plastic "vanes"
Recovery system: mylar parachute
Recommended motors: A8-3 for first flight; B and C motors for other
Available from Weir Rockets, 25 Metten Road, Newark, Dela., 19713