3D Rocketry Lunar Eclipse Jr.: Unboxing

Oh hey, look. A BOX.

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Let’s look inside.

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For the benefit of you younger readers, that’s newspaper in there. Here’s what’s under it.

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A 3D Rocketry Lunar Eclipse Jr. kit. When built this will be an 80.6 cm long, BT-60 body, 24 mm motor mount, three fins and a nose cone rocket. Or is that six fins? See below. We have here two BT-60 body tubes with a coupler, a BT-50 engine mount tube, a plastic nose cone (looks to me to be an Estes PNC-60NA), an engine hook, instructions, and a bag of…

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… stuff. A Rocketarium mylar parachute on the left, a couple of business cards, a piece of Kevlar cord and a piece of elastic, two centering rings, a launch lug, an engine block, an engine adapter, and some wood things…

First the thick fin pieces, 3/8″ plywood:

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I have no idea what these things actually do to the stability and dynamic behavior of the rocket, frankly, but they certainly look distinctive. They’ll go in the semicircular gaps left by the outer, thinner fins, 1/8″ plywood:

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The unusual fin designs are 3D Rocketry’s specialty. Why plywood rather than balsa or basswood? I don’t know, but I’m willing to give them a shot. It may not be obvious from the photo but these are through the wall fins.

Then there are two D-shaped pieces of 1/8″ plywood. As far as I know the latter two are not normally parts of the kit, but I mentioned to Bill Carpenter I was thinking about making the body tube coupler into a baffle, and he tossed these in for nothing.

A couple more items escape initial notice, being tucked away inside the body tubes: Fin templates, and a decal:

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There you have it. Unfortunately for us all, I’m not going to build this immediately. I have other projects to get out of the way first, rockets and otherwise. And I want to make sure I’m confident of some new-to-me build procedures before using them on this beauty. Don’t look for this to be flying before spring, but it will fly by then, that I promise. Looking forward to it.

 

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