Back in September, I thought about a theme for a Tripoli Tampa field-friendly rocket I was going to build. It was a LOC Precision Phantom 438 with an electronics bay. During my visit to the LOC Precision factory, I learned that Dave and Jason played in a band and were big Rush fans. So, I decided to create a Rush the Band Tribute Rocket.
Other Tribute Rockets
I have listened to Rush since my teens. The first Rush concert I attended was during the Hemispheres tour at the Saint Paul Civic Center in 1978. Their music is thoughtful, championed the power of the individual, and technically superior to anything else out there. They wrote a song about a Space Shuttle launch called Countdown on their Signals album. I play that song in my truck every time I am heading to the launch field.
The Fantom 438 is a standard dual-deploy rocket. It is long enough to have plenty of room for the recovery gear and the 4-inch diameter makes it easy for me to build. I am done building the smaller diameter rockets. I do not have the eyes or dexterity for it.
For the flight computer, I used a Missile Works RRC3 altimeter board. I mounted it on a beechwood sled with a battery. I calculated 1.5 grams of black powder for the main parachute bay and 1.0 grams for the drogue.
The motor mount is 38mm. The rocket is made from heavy-duty cardboard with wood bulkheads and centering rings. The nose cone is plastic. The plastic attachment point on the nose cone concerned me. So, I added cast iron eyebolt in the base of the nose cone for shock cord attachment.
I used a new paint from Rustoleum called Imagine Craft and Hobby Color Shift. You prime the rocket, then apply a coat of gloss black. After that, you spray on the new paint. It produces a metallic color-shifting finish. The one thing I learned it to seal the rocket with a glossy clear coat before applying the vinyl. The transfer tape pulled some of the color shift paint of when I was applying vinyl.
The launch day started out a little windy but as the day wore on, it calmed down. I used a snap ring motor case with an experimental motor. The formulation is called ‘Rick’s Deep Six’. The flight was great. Pictures and video are below. I wanted to add the Rush song, Countdown, to the video but was worried about copyright issues.