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.