(Contributed - by Mike Goss - 11/28/04)
The Gamma-Ray is a small sport rocket with a translucent red payload section.
The Gamma-Ray is packaged in the standard clear plastic bag with a nice kit
card with a color photograph of the completed rocket. All of the parts were in
the kit and were in good shape. The kit includes a motor mount tube, motor
retainer clip, body tube that is slightly larger than the motor mount tube,
plastic payload section, plastic adaptor, plastic nose cone, fin material,
parachute, shock cord, and self-adhesive decal sheet.
The instructions are printed on a sheet of 11 x 17 inch paper that is
folded in half and a single sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper for the launch
instructions. The instructions are in a logical order and have an illustration
with each step. There is a wrap around fin location template and a scale
printed on the instructions.
The build of the model is straight forward. You start with the assembly of
the motor mount and fins, followed by the assembly of the payload section. Care
should be taken in the alignment of the launch lug and the placement of the
engine hook between the fins. The payload adaptor, which is made of plastic,
has a couple of shortcomings. First the shoulders are very short, which does
not make it
easy to have the
payload section remain straight in the body tube. The second item is that there
is a hole in the adaptor that will allow the ejection gasses to pass into the
payload section. I fixed this issue by epoxying a small piece of balsa wood
into the bottom of the adaptor to eliminate this issue. There are no special
tools need in the construction of this rocket.
The instructions direct you to finish the booster section before you attach the
payload section. This is logical since the payload section is completely
plastic and does not require painting. After the booster section is painted,
decals are applied, and a clear coat to cover the whole thing, the payload
section was attached, completing the assembly of the rocket. I painted my
rocket with Krylon red, which closely matches the cover art of the model. The
result was a sharp looking rocket.
out of 5
The recommended motors for this rocket are the Quest A6-4, B6-4, and C6-5. The
preparation of the rocket is easy with the , install the motor,
wadding, and parachute. I also taped the nose cone to the payload section and
taped the payload section to the adaptor to make sure that all of the pieces
would come back together. The shock cord is the typical Kevlar/elastic
Quest design that I have found to work very well. The parachute is a 12 inch
plastic hexagon with the new shroud line reinforcements that are similar to 3
ring binder hole reinforcers. They are much better than the older style large
plastic "grippers" that were previously issued with the Quest kits.
These new smaller reinforcers allow the parachute to be packed more easily into
the small body tube.
The first flight was on an Estes A8-3. The flight was about as perfect as
you can get. Ejection was close to apogee and the descent rate with the
supplied parachute was just about perfect. If a payload were to be used with
this rocket, a shorter delay and a larger parachute should be used.
out of 5
Overall this is a great little rocket. The retail price of this rocket is $8.50
which is a good value in itself, however, I bought this one at one of the
famous Hobby Lobby half price sales, so it cost me only $4.25--an excellent
value. I would like to see a longer shoulder and a solid bulkhead in the
payload adaptor, however with care this should not be a major issue.
out of 5