OFFICIAL REVIEW: Sirius Rocketry LPR Interrogator

Posted to The Rocketry Forum (TRF) on Dean H. Fox's "Sirius Rocketry LPR Interrogator" thread:
...And reposted here for your viewing pleasure.
Pictures also available at Ye Olde Rocket Forum (YORF): 62&postcountB
At NARCON 2006, David J. Miller of Sirius Rocketry had both 18 and 24mm prototypes of a new rocket called the "Interrogator" that he hadn't released yet. Two months later, Dave said the kits were finally ready, and he shipped me a low power version to build, test-fly, and review. The media onslaught begins *now.*
The Sirius Rocketry "Interrogator" uses standard Estes-size parts, but incorporates several unusual building techniques, including laminating 1/16" balsa fins on both sides with adhesive computer label paper. *MAKE SURE* you read the 12-page assembly manual -- with black and white photo illustrations -- very closely ahead of time to ward off any potential "gotchas." The "Interrogator's" off-center design is a nice change, and the plastic nose cone and paper-covered fins mean no time-consuming sealing is necessary!
The waterslide decals have enough detail that future cloners will need some *very* high-resolution scans. The decals are practically Shroxian in their sheer quality and quantity (the equivalent of an 8.5 x 11" sheet). However, make sure your decal application technique isn't rusty, because you'll need to apply a couple of tube-circling bands, as well as a rather large single piece to the underside of the intake tube.
The only drawbacks I found are the Mylar (TM) parachute, which some rocketeers generally find somewhat fragile, and the lack of an engine block (but most rocketeers will have an extra one to plug in during assembly). However, Dave has what I thought was a rather innovative but still logical way of reinforcing the shroud line attachment points. You'll have to judge the Mylar chute by your previous experience, if you have any. I found it to be bulkier than the 1.1 oz. ripstop nylon parachute I substituted for my "Interrogator's" first two flights.
Dave (who's Sirius -- no, really, he is) recommends the A8-3, B6-4, and C6-5 motors for the 18mm version of this rocket. However, when I used an A8-3 for the first flight, the "Interrogator" (at its best!) clawed only 100 feet into the sky, and the ejection charge fired *well* past apogee. After a nerve-wracking but successful recovery, I shoved in a B6-4, which gave *much* more satisfying results for this high-drag design, and an altitude of about 250 feet. The "B" motor is great for small field flying, and a C6-5 would also probably keep the "Interrogator" relatively close to the launch pad.
Overall, it's a sturdy design, with lots of cool construction tricks that I've started using while building other rockets. Plus, its skill level is rated 3 out of a possible 5, and while it's probably unlike any rocket you've built before, even moderately experienced rocketeers will find it an enjoyable challenge. (Unless, of course, you end up tearing your hair out because you *DIDN'T* read the instructions first!)
The bad news is now I'll be constantly drooling just trying to imagine what cool new futuristic designs that Dave has yet to exorcise from that imagination of his. (drumming fingers on desk) C'mon, Dave, get crackin'!
Order your Low Power "Interrogator" now!
The "Interrogator" also comes in Mid Power size!
--Jay Goemmer
"Centuri Guy"
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