Update 4/26/00

Carbon Black is based on a 4" airframe, and has a 3" motor mount. 3 G-10 fins are held in place by slots in the motor mount, formed by 3 pairs of plywood slats running the length of each fin root.

The concept is straightforward, but getting 20" long, 1/2" diameter plywood slats epoxied in the right place and in a straight line proved more difficult than anticipated. It took about 7 tries for the 3 sets of slats, but finally worked out. The final solution involved clamping the fins in place as a guide when gluing the slats in place.

The G-10 fins could have been used as is, but I decided I wanted the fins to have the same carbon fiber look as the airframe, so they were covered with 5.7 oz carbon fiber cloth and vacuum bagged. Notice the two airframe sections in the right side of the picture.

After bagging the fins for a second time using mylar as the release layer, an excellent mirror finish is acheived. No paint for these guys!

Here is the beautiful airframe material. I just LOVE that carbon fiber look. Now, I just have to get up the nerve to slot the tubes for the fins!

Here, the fin can has all the slats in place, and the fins installed for a dry fit. Next, a couple more centering rins will be added, and it will be ready for installation.
Update 4/26/00

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I FINALLY got up the nerve to slot the tubes for the fins. After a about a half hour of sweating over the table saw, it was done. End result is pretty good!

Closer look at the fin can. The different carbon fiber patterns go together pretty well!

The fins are even straight. The slats hold them firmly in place, the rocket will withstand many flights, most beyond mach.
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