An organization dedicated to the pursuit of Model and High Power Rocketry
ARS 2013 Contest
(The contest for 2013 is a repeat of the one for 2011).

Big Daddy Challenge

The "Big Daddy Challenge" is to build an Estes Big Daddy kit (#2162) and modify it any way you want while still keeping the original length and shape using the original balsa fins, paper body tube and plastic nosecone and fly it to the highest altitude.

This will be a very challenging excercise for a lot of people so it is highly recommended that you first "sim" out any design prior to building. Stability is a very big deal since this kit can possibly contain a large "K" impulse motor. SAFETY IS THE PRIMARY CONCERN IN ANY FLIGHT!

The last contest, the "Tomahawk Challenge", was won by Tony Lazarro who successfully flew a "J" motor to over 10K and also did another flight with a larger "J" motor to over 12K but it wasn't recovered until after the contest had ended. Mind you, the Estes Tomahawk used stock paper airframe and plastic nosecone and fins but was obviously very "built-up" internally.

The Big Daddy is 3" in diameter and can be built using a variety of motor choices. The inside of he body and nosecone can be built however you desire. The Big Daddy can be staged, clustered or just used with one "big" motor.

The specifics regarding the fins is as follows: You have to use the original .125 inch thick balsa fins and they can be no more than .130 inches in thickness at the time of the flight. They will be measured using digital calipers prior to the flight. You are allowed to stiffen them up by using CA to wick into the balsa or epoxy laminated/wicked on/into the balsa. There is to be absolutely NO additional material used to stiffen them up like carbon fiber or fiberglass. The fin fillets may be up to a height of 3/4 inch from the body tube and can be out of any epoxy or glue.

The rocket at the time of flight needs to be inspected by the RSO and must be flight worthy and capable of a safe flight. This means that you can't just have the fins barely on or attached with Elmers glue and have a "J" motor in it. The motor can also extend past the end of the body tube to any desired length but the rocket needs to proven that it is still stable. There will be no modifications added to the motor like a "boat tail" that takes away from the original shape of the Big Daddy.

Tracking antennas may extend outside of the airframe since on some of these there will be little room for them to be confined inside of the airframe and they don't take away from the overall Big Daddy shape.

The altitudes should be reported the day of the launch or confirmed by another club member if the rocket is later recovered and still has the altitude data available. Commercially available altitmeters are the only altitude measurement accepted, no home built ones due to the calibration required for accurate altitude data.
The rocket does not need to be fully intact or capable of immediate flight to be considered to be a valid flight. Fin and other airframe damage is expected to happen. If the rocket is staged, the top stage is the only section that has to be returned for altitude verification but it would be nice to have everything.

Hobby Lobby has offered this kit in the past and also regularly offers a 40% off coupon which will bring this kit down to around $18.00. The kit retails for $29.99. Red Arrow Hobbies also offers them for $23.99 plus shipping.

Contest Summary (Courtesy of Tony Lazzaro)

Current 2013 rules for prizes mentioned:

So at the meeting this was mentioned but it was pretty noisy where we were: I am willing to put up an I59 reload and AT case OR a K445[plugged] and CTI case as the prize for a new 2013 Big Daddy contest. Any L2/L3 winners get a choice, an L1 winner gets the I59+case. Probably should be a prize for second place, I'll add a Perfectflite timer for second place.

If I fly a Big daddy and happen to "win" anything, I will step aside for the next highest successful entry.

I do have some caveats:

A. At least three people need to fly an entry so there is an actual competition and not just one person winning by default.

B. The rules should be essentially the rules we started with:

1. An entry must meet TRA safety code. An accurate Center of Pressure location to be marked on the body.
2. An entry must use stock Estes Big Daddy kit nose, body and fins. All fins must be the stock fins. Exterior materials must be the original materials [nose, body, fins]. Paint/decoration scheme is unlimited as long as consistent with rules 3 and 4.
3. No laminating the fins. Soaking and/or painting is OK. Max allowable finished thickness is 0.130 inches.
4. No reinforcing the outside of the stock rocket nose/body other than fin fillets up to 3/4 inch up the fins, reinforcing the inside is unlimited.
5. Antennas and/or electronics can stick out if consistent with rule 4.
6. Motors can stick out the back but no boat tail, only normal motor tube. Clusters and/or stages are allowed.
7. A valid flight is one that achieves apogee intact with all its fins attached AND whose section containing the altimeter is recovered prior to the last club meeting in 2013.
8. Highest barometric altitude wins, commercial altimeters only. Altitude data must be verified by another club member.