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.
I covered the fins with silkspan so I didn’t have to fill all that balsa grain. It seems to be holding up pretty well to the handling and sanding. I also used Aeropoxy Light for the fillets. It gives a smooth fillet and also bonds well to the balsa and cardboard tube.
I haven’t had time to hit it with primer yet, but that is the next step. Hopefully I can get a couple of warm days so I can spray it. After the white goes on, it will take a while to apply all those decals. I can’t wait to fly it with some nice 24mm F motors.
Here it is with construction completed just before I spray it with primer.