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FFR VL-1 "The FlippiFin"

The excitement of military type folding fins! First vertical breech-launch Kit! Includes complete vehicle, parachute, and 36 inch launcher, Vehicle is 1.385 inches diameter x 28.5 inches long. Assembly required, of course. Rocket may come with elliptical or conical (shown) nosecone.

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Complete Kit with Metal Fins and Kraft Breech Launcher
A FlippiFin assembly tutorial is available in our new webstore.


The Story Behind the FlippiFin

In 1995 a bunch of rocket parachute flares were surplussed which used a very cute folding fin can. Bill Colburn bought the surplus fin cans and scratched his head for a few months trying to come up with something to do with them. While playing with different configurations, he found that a tube which fits the fin can perfectly also fit a 24 mm motor! Well, that was the start. A body tube and nose cone, two machined plastic adaptors, our 18 " military chute and there you have a perfect little folding fin rocket - vertically launched!

It was destined to be tube launched because of the folding fins, and so Bill started researching that possibility and then came up with a great adaptation, breech launched folding fin rockets, where the closed breech can actually increase performance. The first few launches were with D-12's and were a little squirrelly. Besides needing ballast (the fins are heavier than the usual fins) the friction in the tube was high enough to retard the force of the little D-12. He tried booster charges in the breech and gave that up as an imperfect idea. The E-30 flights were great. 

The design has subsequently been changed to lighten the aft end of the rocket. The PVC coupler and tube was eliminated in favor of stock kraft tubing throughout. As a result less ballast is necessary for a stable flying vehicle and simulations show a 25% increase in altitude on the E motor.  Lightening the airframe has also allowed the use of Estes Black Powder D motors for surprising flights.

Aerocon Systems Co.  Warning: All liability waived! Rocketry is an inherently dangerous undertaking.
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