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AcroRay
03-02-2011, 10:54 AM
Mr. Bob at Starlight was kind enough to allow me to order a couple of their National Rocketry Day "Zippy" kits, in prep for a rocketry project I'm developing for my daughter's Girl Scouts troop. There could be upwards to 30 Brownies and Girl Scouts building and flying, so the Zippy seems like the perfect kit for both price and building experience.

I took some shots of the kits. My plan is to have my 8 year old daughter build one as a demo, so I can see how well the other girls will do with it, and adjust our teaching methods accordingly. The goal is to have the girls build them one week, and I'll take the Zippies home and spray paint them all white. (Unless the girls want to take them home and decorate their birds themselves.) Then I'll bring them back and the girls can decorate them the next week. The flight day is tentatively planned to be in the field next to the host school when the weather gets better (hopefully on National Rocketry Day!), using A8-3s.

Zippy is an 18mm 3FNC slightly over 8 inches high, with a PNC, pre-cut balsa fins and streamer recovery. It looks like a great little rocket! One of the features that really surprised me was that the BT is pre-marked for the fin locations and launch lug. Grappling with how to efficiently have all the girls properly mark their BTs was a challenge I hadn't sorted out. Starlight kindly did that for me, and still kept the kit at $1.75! The sample I opened has a high quality 2-part PNC, cleanly cast. The shoulder fits into the cone very tightly, so only a tiny bit of glue should be needed to assemble it. Zippy is a minimum-diameter bird, and Starlight provides a yellow guide tube to set the engine block. The instructions are exceptionally well drafted, printed with clear, large drawings. A NAR membership flier is tossed in for good measure.

I really don't think anyone could do better for a teaching rocket than Zippy. This covers the basic assembly skills and materials challenge, and doesn't cheapen out with a plastic 1-piece fin can & a body wrap decal, which I really appreciate. And the price is amazing. Starlight really deserves some credit and gratitude for this venture.

I'll post more pics and info as the project progresses.

blackshire
03-02-2011, 09:18 PM
Thank you for posting the ZIPPY pictures! One question--how did you place the order, by telephone or e-mail (there's no "Buy It" link for the ZIPPY on the Starlight Model Rockets web site)? I'd like to buy 80 ZIPPY kits from them for a group project.

Many thanks in advance for your help!

johnnwwa
03-02-2011, 10:17 PM
Last year I purchased 25 of the Zippy kits via phone w/ credit card. Bob had these kits in the mail in no time . The Zippy is a high altitude performer on a A8-3 and gives out of site flights on C6-5 a very easy kit to build for beginners. I would suggest sanding the shoulder on the nose cone it tends to be a little tight. I would give this kit a 4.5 out of 5 rating.

John

AcroRay
03-02-2011, 11:57 PM
I ordered through Mr Bob's e-mail, and paid via Paypal.

Thanks for the NC shoulder note, John. I'll keep an eye on that.

blackshire
03-03-2011, 01:36 AM
Thank you both for the ZIPPY ordering information.

Also, I concur with John's suggestion regarding the nose cones' bases. They fit somewhat tightly in the body tubes, and the way they are molded, the bottom edge of each one is exactly "square" with no slightly rounded edge. The 90 degree edge at the bottom of the nose cone base tends to snag the top edge of the body tube when the nose cone is inserted, so I sand the bottom edge of the base to round it slightly and also lightly sand the sides of the base to make it fit more loosely in the body tube.

AcroRay
03-25-2011, 12:51 PM
Last night my wife and I helped my youngest daughter and her Brownie troop-mates start building their Zippy rockets from Starlight!

8 of the 17 girls who want to build were at the meeting. Their meeting is short, so we got the assemblies completed that required white glue & model cement. Things went really well. I took the builds home, where they'll dry a bit more and I'll give them a base coat of white. Next meeting these girls will decorate them and tie on the nose cone and streamer, while we start the process again with the second group.

The plan is to fly in May! I'll post some more photos as things progress.

blackshire
03-25-2011, 11:49 PM
Last night my wife and I helped my youngest daughter and her Brownie troop-mates start building their Zippy rockets from Starlight!

8 of the 17 girls who want to build were at the meeting. Their meeting is short, so we got the assemblies completed that required white glue & model cement. Things went really well. I took the builds home, where they'll dry a bit more and I'll give them a base coat of white. Next meeting these girls will decorate them and tie on the nose cone and streamer, while we start the process again with the second group.

The plan is to fly in May! I'll post some more photos as things progress.Splendid! Since National Model Rocket Day (see: http://www.starlightrocketry.com/National_Model_Rocket_Day.html ) is on May 14 this year, you could even give them an age-appropriate brief presentation on what happened on that day 38 years ago at Cape Canaveral (hint: it involved the last Saturn V to fly, and it didn't launch anyone to the Moon...). Also:

I wanted to thank you all again for letting me know about the Zippy ordering details. My box of 80 Zippy kits is sitting on my living room floor, awaiting its trip over to England www.northcotehorses.com . Strangely, the box arrived exuding a strong smell of cheap perfume, which has since dissipated (Gee Mr. Bob, I didn't know you leaned that way...<GRIN>). Actually, I think the perfume was applied somewhere in-transit after a dog urinated on the box (at least that's what a suspicious-looking stain on the box leads me to think), or maybe another box containing perfume leaked on mine, but whatever caused the stain never soaked through to the Zippy kits, which arrived in fine shape.