Saturday, April 21, 2018

"I fell into a Burning Ring of Fire"....

First off, I want to thank Art Applewhite for this cool birthday present. I love saucer-like AND spinny rockets, so this fits me too a tee!

The Ring of Fire is Art's latest kit and, as Art states, is the "epitome of Minimalism." Since the beginning, Art has pioneered the use of simple, low tech components - plastic plates, foam board and cardstock. Who else provides a kit that has been printed on a computer? However, the Ring of Fire actually uses REAL ROCKET PARTS!  Exactly two of them - a piece of a LOC 38mm motor tube and a short section of 5.5" tubing.

There are no motor tubes nor is there a launch lug. These functions are served by holes that are cut in the 38m tube. My Ring of Fire came with pre-installed flame wraps that also serve as cutout and alignment templates.  I did my cutting using the recommended "plunge cut" technique. That is, you take a hobby knife with a new #11 blade and repeatedly shove it into the tube along the guide lines. The length of the cut depends on the depth of the plunge. This is also my preferred method for slotting tubes for through the wall fins.

Art recommends gluing the center tube into the 5.5" ring with Elmer's glue all but I used Tightbond Quick and Thick. I sanded the end cuts slightly making sure the fit of the 38mm tube in the ring was good.

The motors are mounted using tape thrust rings. If you add a few tape wraps on the upper end of the motors once they are inserted they will also have positive retention.

I flew the Ring of Fire twice at NARHAMS' April launch. The first flight was on two D12-5s. It was a real crowd pleaser, ripping off the pad with a loud whir.  I then moved up to a pair of E12-4s. This flight was faster, longer and even LOUDER!

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This is a really fun kit and is sure to get everyone's attention!

You can find all my photos/videos of the Ring of Fire [here].