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Aim for the sky and try not to miss!
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Blackburn Triplane Rocket
By: David Bauer

Parts List:

One Baby B kit, 24mm motor tube, 3/16 sheet balsa, basswood strips for frame, label paper, balsa block or epoxy clay for windscreen, ” launch lug, one parachute guy (head only,) nose weight, 2 chutes and cords, screw eye, glue, tools, paint, decals.

After seeing the F-22 Raptor at the Airshow with all the hard rock music I was pumped up to build another airplane rocket. Looking through the Rand McNally encyclopedia I wanted to do something more sporty scale. I kept going back in time looking for that one plane that caught my fancy. The tunes running through my mind turned from Hard Rock into Bee Bop, which turned into Big Band which then turned to simply humming "It’s a long way to Tipperary." The plane that caught my eye was the Blackburn Triplane, an unsuccessful attempt by the Brits to build an anti-Zeppelin interceptor in 1917, only one was built. So I pulled out the extra Baby Bertha kit and started another kit bash, but this one was more like a kit spank. I was uncompromising, it has to look like the real thing, even if it breaks all rocketry conventions. Well here it is: nosecone weighs 6 oz. - lots of plasticine and BB's. The back end weighs 7.5 oz. with an F-24. CG just aft of cockpit. My parachute guy lost his head just like the builder.

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More photos. When it comes to building silly rockets "I beez in the trap!" But will it fly? Small and DANGEROUS!

I flew it today on an F24. Only the very hardy members of the club were present. There had been a lot of scouts earlier today so we were all a bit tired but still ready for some high end rocketry entertainment. It flew beautifully, no spin and lots of drag sure sucked the power out of the F24. It landed just off the range with no damage. Kid tested, mother approved! Post flight photos below. Time to clean her up and fly again.

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Here is a drawing of the real aircraft.

After three flights it has flown a lot better than I expected. In Thrust We Trust! With the Baby Bertha nose cone weighing almost as much as the rest of the loaded rocket I guess I also have to say In Nose Weight We Trust! I thought there was a chance the landing gear or wind screen or pilot would mess up the airflow, but with the power of the F24 and those 3 wings take over and as long as the CG is ahead of them the aircraft is going up. Even the staggered wings and asymmetrical tail did not seem to matter. The 3/16 balsa laminated with label paper held up fine and all that square edge drag was no big deal. Maybe after nearly 100 years the Blackburn Triplane has finally found success as an oddroc.

rockets! ROCKETS! lookit all the rockets!
"FlisKits make the best kits!"

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