Well, I had to do it. I took the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon and bought an Estes Interceptor-E. Of course, I made a couple of mods.
First, I reinforced the area directly behind the forward end of the engine hook. Hopefully that will prevent the hook from being ripped aft when the ejection charge fires. Sound weird but I’ve had it happen before. Some of those ejection charges are rather energetic.
Next, I drilled a couple of small holes in the forward centering ring to attach my kevlar shock cord to. I don’t like gluing the shock cord to the side of the tube. I also cut about 3/4 of an inch from one end of the tube coupler to use as a block against the forward centering ring. Since the centering ring is made of plastic, I know epoxy doesn’t stick to it as well as it does wood or cardboard. The block is epoxied ahead of the centering ring to help hold it in place just in case the epoxy holding the centering ring gives way.
It looks like my EAC Viper 4x will fly again. After spending the last 4 months looking at the remains, I just couldn’t throw it in the trash. 90% of it is still intact. The main tube only had the forward six inches crushed in the LDRS crash. The rest of it looks perfect.
There was a small amount of internal damage. The forward centering ring had popped loose from the tube. I can easily repair that. But since I will have to add back the six inches that were crushed in the crash, I won’t be able to use the altimeter setup I had built into it. It will go back to motor ejection for recovery system deployment.
But, since the tube is now glassed I should have less of a problem with zippers. That assumes that I can get the motor delays worked out correctly. Maybe I need to get the EFC-01 from Aerotech or the new accelerometer based one from Giant Leap. I’ll have to look into that.
Anyway, look for the EAC Viper 4x to make it’s return to flight at our March club launch. Keep your fingers crossed.