The Mongoose 3

The Mongoose 3 started out as a stock kit Mongoose, which I bought, at least in part, because the body tube on my original Mongoose was getting a little on the tired side after nearly a dozen flights. Given that the original booster was in fine condition, however, I decided to modify the booster on the new kit to allow flying as a 3-stage version. The first step in this process was to determine (using VCP) exactly where the CP would fall if I shortened the second stage as would be needed to allow taping all three motors together in a "stick," and used the stock booster as the first stage. Having determined this, and where the CG would have to be to ensure stability on launch, I proceeded to cut about an inch (next time I'll go with more like 3/4 inch) from the internal motor mount tube, and about 1/4 inch from the booster body tube. In the course of building the model. I bashed a little piece of decal from the Alpha III I'd built the night before, so the body decal says "Mongoose 3."

 The boosters still use the same friction-fit system as on the original, with the exception that the second stage has no rear ring to keep the booster from pushing up and getting stuck on the tape at the staging joint. Everything else about prepping and flying the model is just like the original Mongoose -- except that you really need three people to track.

 I did find that Quest B6-0 motors (at least) are a little dicey on launch; the model tipped off rather badly immediately off the rod on the first flight.

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