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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