Flippifin Tutorial

This is what the rocket looks like when completed. Colors, of course are optional but I did this one around Halloween so it seemed appropriate.

Aft view of fincan closed.

Side view of fincan closed, masking tape is mine. Obviously this is not flight configuration.

Aft view of fin can opened.

Side view of fincan opened.

Close-up of fin can spring mechanism.

From this photo you will go to the contruction tutorial.

These are the parts you get with your FlippiFin kit.

These are the additional supplies you will need.

Yellow glue, epoxy, 1/2" or 1/4" masking tape, thin cyanoacrylate, a razor knife, a tape measure, and something to mix the epoxy in.

Locate the motor mount tube. This tube is about 1" in diameter. Make a mark 3/8" from one end.

Tape the fincan closed to make it easier to work with.

Install the flippifin on the motormount temporarily. Line the aft end up with the mark you made. Make another mark at the forward end of the motor mount tube.

Mark a ring around the motor tube using the centering rings in the kit. Do this at both ends. Wrap tape inside these lines as shown. Wrap the tube 11 times on both ends using the ring you drew as a guide and your dot on the tube to keep track of the revolutions.

This photo shows the tape rings installed at both ends of the motor mount. What the tape does is take up the space between the mount and the flippifincan. Sometimes you need to be tricky to make non- standard parts work with off the shelf stuff!

Position the fincan on the mount so that the edges of the can are centered over the edges of the tape. The flat end of the fincan goes aft!

Tapes differ in thickness so 11 wraps might not be enough or it might be too much! Install additional tape or remove a wrap or two and test fit the flippifincan so that a snug fit is achieved.

Use some thin cyanoacrylate glue to bond the can to the tape and to harden the tape. Take care and try not to get any on the springs or hinges. If you do, clean it off with acetone or fingernail polish. You might also install a fillet of epoxy around the flat aft face of the fincan if desired.

Install the centering rings on the motor tube and check their position. Once you are happy with their placement remove, glue then reinstall. Slide the rings on the well-glued tube in one move, if you stop or hesitate the yellow glue will bond almost instantly.

Tie a loop in one of the kevlar lines. Your kevlar may be yellow while the kevlar shown is orange. Same stuff.

Locate one of the spurs on the flippifin can. Doesn't matter which one. Cut a groove in both centering rings, this is where the kevlar is going to sit.

Loop the kevlar over the spur.

Tie the elastic bridle to the kevlar. Thread the bridle through the airframe tube.

Slide the airframe over the rings and kevlar. You might not want to bond this in case you have to change out the bridle. Just make sure the fit is much snugger than the nosecone and it will not come off. The airframe butts directly against the fincan.

In the kit is 2.6 ounces of lead shot. When mixed with enough epoxy to wet it out completely it should weigh about 3 ounces. Mix up enough epoxy to do this plus a little extra.

Find a handy nut or piece of metal to tie to the end of the other piece of kevlar.

Settle the nut and kevlar in the tip of the nosecone.

Pour the lead and epoxy mixture into the nosecone making sure the nut stays in the tip.

All that's left is painting and tieing the parachute off to the airframe and nosecone. There will be exposed kraft paper between the metal fins at the motor mount tube, I used a black Marksalot to cover this up.

On to making the launcher!

Making the launcher compatible with a launch rod

Locate the glassine launch lug, cut in half. The kit comes with a 3/16" lug. You might want to add several different sizes of lugs so that you are compatible with whatever launcher or pad you find yourself come launchday.

Hold the tube up to a straight door jamb, draw a line the length of the tube to locate the lugs.

Glue the launch lugs onto the mailing tube 6 inches the ends. CA works but you might want something a bit beefier as these have a tendency to snap off, a piece of clear 2" tape works great.

Now we're ready to load the motor in the rocket and then the rocket in the launcher.

Install a tape thrust ring on your motor of choice. 4 or 5 wraps of masking tape about 1/4" from the nozzle end is sufficient.

Slide the motor into the motormount tube.

Like this. The motor butts up tight to the base of the motor mount tube. Add another wrap of tape around the motor and the tube to keep the two together when the ejection charge goes off.

With the electric match installed, slide the completed rocket into the mailing tube - launcher.

Warning - this is a demonstration only! You should only load the electric match in the rocket when you are at the launch pad and ready to fire the rocket.